A huge part of what makes camping so much fun is the exciting food involved! While you may be tempted to devote all your attention to the main dishes, the side dishes you prepare for camping need some love too. Because let’s face it, we always need more delicious food to pass around while sitting in a tight circle around a campfire, sharing stories and laughing our hearts out.
From foil-packet treats to make-ahead salads that you can just pop into your camping cooler, here’s a list of 28 of the best camping side dishes that’ll make your camping experience one for the books!
Potato salad is a camping staple. To make it at your campsite, simply boil the potatoes in a pot over a campfire until they’re fork-tender, then combine them with celery stalk, fresh chives, and chopped cooked bacon in a dressing made with olive oil mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard, and bacon fat. Garnish it with additional chives to serve.
This campfire-friendly recipe is so easy even a beginner will be able to execute it successfully. To make, simply combine eggs, ham, bacon, onion, or your choice of add-ins into a food-grade silicone bag, seal it, then place it in a large pot directly over the fire. Once the contents are boiled, serve with some fresh cheese or your favorite salsa to enjoy.
A scrumptious French toast recipe that’s guaranteed to be a hit with everyone at your camping party! To make, wrap the loaf of bread in parchment paper, then foil, allowing the bread pieces to fall slightly open. Next, pour an egg mixture over the top and cook on the grill. Top with sliced almonds, diced strawberries, sugar, or syrup, and serve!
This sweet and savory one-skillet dish is a camping breakfast staple that can also be served as a side dish for lunch or dinner. It requires just five ingredients — thick-cut bacon, sweet potato, granny smith apple, butter, and eggs! You can also add some thyme for a more elevated flavor profile. Serve hot!
This foil pack dish is as convenient as it is delicious, making it one of the best side dishes you can make at camp! You just need to prep the sandwiches at home in a foil pack, toss them in a cooler, then heat them over a grill at camp and serve with some au jus sauce to enjoy.
Charred and tender glazed grilled carrots have a delightful flavor that is slightly sweet and a little tangy. Cook them over a campfire or on a charcoal or gas grill for a wonderful side dish that will enhance your camping trip experience. Pair it with grilled fish, such as grilled halibut or a chicken main course to enjoy!
#7. Campfire Popcorn
Popcorn is the best snack in the history of snacks, as I’m sure most of you would agree. So, why not bring this ultra-lite snack on your camping trip? Simply add some oil to the skillet, add the popcorn kernels, cover with tin foil, and let them pop! You can also add your choice of flavorings and toppings.
Corn on the cob is one of the best side dishes you can cook when camping — it’s simple to prepare and has tons of flavors. To make, spread a yogurt sauce over grilled corn and top with a spice mixture and cilantro. Enjoy the handheld snack as-is or paired with steak, chicken, fish, or grilled burgers.
Easy to assemble and super delicious, this dish is high in protein and healthy fats and is mouth-wateringly good! Simply add seasoned sausage, potato, ooey-gooey cheese, and veggies in a foil packet, throw it on a grill for about 30 minutes, then top it with freshly chopped parsley to enjoy the perfect marriage of flavors and textures in every bite!
Here’s a simple and easy side dish that’s perfect for campfire meals! Fresh veggies like sliced corn on the cob, zucchini, onion, and bell peppers are drizzled in olive oil and topped with paprika and pepper flakes before being cooked in a skillet. Grill them for about 15 minutes and serve them with a hearty meal!
Sweet and spicy cornbread paired with a bowl of campfire chili — this recipe is peak camping comfort food! To prepare, just layer the cornbread mixture in a dutch oven, top with a sprinkle of shredded cheddar cheese and green chiles, and bake until the cornbread is cooked through and the top layer is golden brown. Serve it hot to enjoy.
This creamy, rich side dish takes some time and effort to prepare, but it’s well worth it. To make, stack potatoes, onion slices, bacon, and cheddar cheese in a pot, then top with another layer of potatoes and bacon. Next, pour the cream mixture over it, top with cheddar and parmesan cheese, and bake until the top is golden brown. Enjoy!
This simple pasta salad can be made ahead of time, or directly over a campfire or fire pit with the right tools! To make, boil the pasta and toss it with crunchy and juicy veggies, cheese, and olives in a delectable Greek dressing to create layers of flavor. Top it with some protein-rich chicken to make it a complete meal.
This recipe is sure to become your next favorite camping food! Who can say no to pizza, especially when it’s stuffed into pita pockets? It’s made with pepperoni, mozzarella, and pizza sauce, but you can change up the filling to suit your preferences. Prepare it ahead of time and cook it over the campfire to enjoy!
This fresh fruit salad is the perfect summer side dish to enjoy with your grilled mains like hot dogs and burgers. It requires no cooking, comes together in a cinch, and has a flavor that will have you craving seconds. Simply toss all the fruits in the syrup, set aside for a while, then garnish with mint leaves to serve!
This recipe combines three popular favorites — chili, cheese, and French fries — to make an incredible camping feast! Cook your French fries over a campfire, then top them with chili and cheese and cook again until the cheese has melted. And voila, you’re done! You can also make a bigger batch and serve it for dinner.
These poutine foil packs are super easy and an absolute must-have camp-worthy dish! Simply grill the poutine packs, which are made of large fries or wedges drenched with melted butter, then top them with cheese, brown poutine gravy, and more cheese for extra flavor. And since this incredibly delicious side dish does not require any plates for serving, it also cuts down on cleanup time!
This protein-rich salad with Mexican flavors can be made on the grill or over a campfire. To make, grill corn on the cob until charred and cooked through, then add it to a bowl with beans and vegetables. Drizzle a delicious vinaigrette over everything and toss to combine. Add sliced avocado and chopped cilantro to serve.
Bright and refreshing, this healthy salad will be a welcome addition to your camping menu. It’s light and healthy yet filling enough, making it great as a side dish or even a quick lunch. Add fresh tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, and peaches to a bowl with golden brown bread cubes, pour a white wine vinaigrette over it, and toss to combine. Serve fresh!
This no-fuss Southwestern chicken side dish can be cooked over a campfire or on a grill. It’s made with frozen corn, drained, and rinsed black beans, taco seasoning, chicken breasts or tenders, salsa or pico de gallo, and salt and pepper. Garnish with chopped cilantro, mashed avocado, or sour cream for an incredible side dish.
#21. Cucumber Salad
This cucumber salad tastes like summer in a bowl. Just douse the veggies in a simple homemade dressing, shake well to combine, and refrigerate for at least 6 hours to allow the flavors to marry. You can carry it to your campsite in a cooler to serve it chilled with grilled chicken or beef to enjoy a filling supper!
Mashed potatoes are high in fiber, carbs, and vitamins, and go with almost any main course! They’ll keep you satiated and provide you with the energy you’ll need to make the most of your camping adventure. Make this side dish with potatoes, minced garlic, butter, cream cheese, seasonings, milk, and chopped chives to take your tastebuds on a ride.
If you’re a fan of seafood, you’re going to love this foil packet recipe! Make it with shrimp, sausage, corn on the cob, and potatoes seasoned with Cajun spices for just the right amount of heat. Serve this no-fuss side dish garnished with chopped parsley to elevate your campsite dinner.
Here’s a gourmet one-pot dish that you can easily put together at your camp! Make it with sirloin steak, bacon, jalapenos, shallot, crumbled blue cheese, a delectable beer-cheese sauce, and sliced green onions on top. It can be customized to keep it as simple or complex as you want. Either way, it will yield delicious results that will appeal to even the most discerning palates.
This easy-to-prep snack is a favorite with kids and adults alike! It’s super easy to whip up, minimizes cleanup, and keeps the little ones happy — a tasty, crunchy side dish for your grilled mains. You can keep the spice level mild for kids or take it up a notch if you can handle the heat!
Spicy, cheesy, and so delicious, this side dish will quickly become a staple in your camping menu. Prepare it in a Dutch oven with vegetables, seasoning, and enchilada sauce rolled up in flour tortillas, then top it with beans and cheese. Garnish with jalapenos, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime before serving hot!
This quick and easy salad can be made a day or two in advance, making it the perfect side dish to bring along on your camping trip. All you must do is combine fresh vegetables, beans, tortilla chips, and a generous drizzle of a delectably creamy homemade dressing made with sour cream, apple cider vinegar, lime juice, honey, and spices. Make sure to serve it chilled!
This recipe for loaded nachos is perfect for snacking and is guaranteed to be an instant hit at camp! To make, combine shredded chicken, cheese, avocados, roasted red pepper hummus, and a few other ingredients, then top with your preferred toppings. Feel free to experiment with the ingredients and cooking methods included in this recipe for your convenience!