Best Camping Recipes for Cold Weather

December 4, 2023

Here at KOA, we are all about year-round camping. There is no season that is better than the next to pack up your camping gear and get out there. Spring, summer, fall and winter all have their own reasons to shine as a great time to go camping.

So, as the cold weather nears, don’t think you need to pack up your camping gear and wait until the temperatures start to rise again. In fact, this is one of the times to shine in the camping world. Yes, you will have cooler temperatures to deal with, but just like camping in the heat of the summer, with proper preparation, you will be pleasantly surprised at how much you can enjoy it.

One of our personal favorite things about winter camping is the food. There are some dishes that are just too hot to cook in the summer, so when the cooler months roll around our stomachs start growling at the idea of warm comfort foods after a long day out in the chilly snow.

Here, our favorite cold weather camping recipes to keep you warm and fueled to have fun in the fall and winter sun.

Hot Camping Recipes To Keep You Warm

Let’s start with the meal that’s going to get your day started: breakfast.

Cold Weather Camping Ideas for Breakfast

Breakfast burrito with spicy chorizo and egg on a cutting board.

Breakfast Burrito

In our book, breakfast burritos are a win during any season, but you’ll really love this warm start to your day when the weather outside is chilly.

What you need:

  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • ¼ yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp chopped canned green chilies
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 8 slices of bacon or 1/2 pound of breakfast sausage
  • ¾ cup shredded cheese
  • Pinch of pepper
  • 4 10-in tortillas, warmed
  • Salsa
  • Sour cream

What to do:

  1. Prepare bacon or breakfast sausage, set aside (you can also pre-make your bacon for an even easier recipe at camp)
  2. Put butter in a skillet, letting it melt
  3. Add in the onions and chilies and saute for 2 minutes
  4. Add the eggs, pepper and stir frequently to keep the eggs from sticking to the pan
  5. When the eggs are nearing complete, sprinkle cheese on top and let it melt
  6. Place ¼ of the egg mixture and two slices of bacon on ⅓ of a tortilla
  7. Add salsa and sour cream and fold up the bottom edge, then roll to form a burrito

Homemade savory potato pancakes with fresh basil on a rustic background.

Potato Pancakes

A different twist on the sweet pancake breakfast, try these savory pancakes for a warming meal.

What you need:

  • 1 cup pancake mix
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and chopped or shredded
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Dash of pepper

What to do:

  1. Prep pancake mix according to directions
  2. Add in potato, onion, salt and pepper
  3. Spoon batter onto hot griddle and cook

Scrambled eggs with tomato salsa.

Southwest Scrambled Eggs

Add a little spice to your morning with this take on the classic scrambled egg breakfast.

What you need:

  • 8 eggs
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup Mexican-style cheese
  • ¾ cup milk salsa
  • Hot sauce

What to do:

  1. Mix, eggs, milk, and chili powder in a bowl
  2. Heat skillet and add egg mixture
  3. Cook eggs, folding them as they set
  4. Stir in cheese and continue cooking eggs
  5. Spoon onto a place a top with salsa

An egg muffin made from toast with bacon and a runny egg in the middle resting on parchment paper.

Maple Toast Egg Cups

This unique breakfast is great for on-the-go when you’re ready to roll out of bed and get out on the trails as soon as possible.

What you need:

  • 12 eggs
  • 12 slices of bread, with crust removed
  • ⅓ cup maple syrup
  • ⅓ cup butter
  • Pieces of chopped ham, bacon or sausage

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees
  2. Use a rolling pin to flatten each piece of bread
  3. Combine maple syrup and butter and brush one side of each piece of bread
  4. Butter muffin tin well
  5. Place bread in muffin tins with buttered side down
  6. Sprinkle meat chunks into each cup (and/or shredded cheese)
  7. Break an egg into each cup and sprinkle with salt and pepper
  8. Cover with foil and bake for 10-15 minutes

Cold Weather Camping Ideas for Lunch

Chances are good you’re going to want to each lunch while you’re adventuring around, so we have rounded up some recipes that are easy for you to eat on the move.

A closeup of four devilled eggs on a plate against a blue gingham backdrop.

Deviled Eggs

These make a great addition to any meal, or a quick lunch on the go.

What you need:

  • 2 dozen hard-boiled eggs
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup dill pickle relish
  • ¼ cup green onions
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1 can sliced back olives
  • 1 can sliced green olives

What to do:

  1. Cut boiled eggs in half and remove yolk
  2. Combine the yolk with mayo, pickle relish, green onions and blend until creamy
  3. Fill egg whites with yolk mixture and sprinkle with pepper
  4. Optional: garnish with olive slices

Burger and Veggie Pouches

Though this takes some time to make, you’ll love having these as leftovers from lunch.

What you need:

  • 4 hamburger patties
  • 1 sliced onion
  • 1 can mushroom soup
  • Potatoes
  • Squash
  • Butter

What to do:

  1. Place hamburger patties on foil
  2. Cover with a layer of onions and mushroom soup
  3. Fold foil into a pouch
  4. On second piece of foil, slice potatoes ½-inch thick and alternate layers with onions, topping with a few slices of butter
  5. Slice squash and add to potatoes
  6. Wrap up foil and throw it on the campfire
  7. Cook for one hour, turning every 15 minutes

Closeup of a taco with pulled chicken, tomato, onion and sour cream on a plate with lime wedges

Camp Tacos

Tacos are always a good idea.

What you need:

  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 can Rotel
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • 1 can black beans
  • 2 packages Chicken of the Sea white chunk chicken
  • Tortillas
  • Cheese
  • Salsa

What to do:

  1. Drain Rotel and mix with diced vegetables, chicken, and beans in a pot
  2. Warm over store or fire and add taco seasoning
  3. Cook for 15 minutes or until vegetables are soft
  4. Warm tortillas over the fire in foil
  5. Put chicken mix in the tortillas and add cheese and salsa

Pita with chicken, vegetables and sauce.

Cucumber Chicken Pita Sandwiches

These refreshing sandwiches make for a great lunch any time of the year.

What you need:

  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • ¼ cup finely chopped cucumber
  • ½ tsp dried dillweed
  • ¼ tsp dried mint, crushed
  • 4 large pita bread rounds
  • 4 lettuce leaves
  • 6 oz thinly sliced, fully-cooked chicken breasts
  • 1 small tomato, thinly sliced
  • ⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese

What to do:

  1. In a small bowl, mix yogurt, cucumber, dill weed, and mint
  2. For each sandwich, place a pita bread on a plate
  3. Top with lettuce, chicken tomato and feta cheese
  4. Spoon dressing on top
  5. Roll up pita bread
  6. Secure with wooden toothpicks

Cold Weather Camping Ideas for Dinner

Closeup of the a piece of beer batter fish.

Fish in Beer Batter

Beer and fish? Yes, please. This is the perfect dinner for when you’re feeling cold and hungry.

What you need:

  • 1 ¼ cup packaged biscuit mix
  • ¾ cup beer
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 4 pan-dressed fresh fish (about 8 oz each)
  • Cooking oil

What to do:

  1. Mix together biscuit mix, beer, egg, and salt
  2. Pat fish to dry
  3. Dip fish in batter to coat both sides
  4. Fry in hot oil for 4-5 minutes

Beef ribs being basted with bbq sauce on a grill with a basting brush.

Honey Barbecued Ribs

I want my baby back, baby back, baby back ribs. Our mouths are drooling at the thought of this recipe.

What you need:

  • 4 pounds pork spareribs
  • 1 pouch Campbell’s dry onion soup mix
  • ¾ cup ketchup
  • ¾ cup water
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder

What to do:

  1. Cut ribs into 2 or 3 portions
  2. Place ribs in a 6-qt dutch oven and cover with cold water
  3. Heat to boiling over high heat
  4. Reduce to low heat, cover, and cook 45 minutes, then drain
  5. In 1-qt saucepan, combine soup mix, ketchup, water, honey, pepper, and garlic powder
  6. Heat to boiling, reduce to low, and cook for 5 minutes
  7. To grill, arrange ribs on rack directly over medium coals
  8. Grill uncovered for 30 minutes, turning often and brushing with sauce

top view of mountain, pudgie, campfire, hobo, camper pie, in a cast iron pie iron; mountain pies are a great camping dinner, which are cooked over a campfire

Pie Iron Pizzas

You may not think about having pizzas while camping, and if not, then you are missing out! Be sure to try this recipe.

What you need:

  • 1 loaf bread
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 can pizza sauce
  • Green peppers
  • 1 pound browned hamburger or sausage
  • 1 bag of Mozzarella
  • Pepperoni
  • Mushrooms

What to do:

  1. Brown the hamburger, adding mushrooms and peppers
  2. Spray the inside of the pie irons with cooking spray
  3. Heat pie iron and put one piece of bread on each side
  4. Fill bread with sauce, peppers, olives, mushrooms, etc. and top with cheese
  5. Close pie iron and put over coals

Delicious homemade cooked savory pie with ground beef, cabbage, vegetables and mashed potato, cheese crust. Served in a rustic cast iron pan on wooden table background.

Shepard’s Pie

Imagine biting into one of these after a day out in the cold weather hiking. A scenario like that is going to make these delicious pies taste even better.

What you need:

  • 1 pound hamburger
  • 6 potatoes
  • 1 can whole kernel corn
  • Nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper
  • Canned milk
  • Butter

What to do:

  1. Cook the hamburger in a frying pan and add nutmeg
  2. Peel and boil potatoes
  3. Boil can of corn, burger, and potatoes with salt and pepper
  4. Mash the potatoes with butter and canned milk
  5. In a deep dish, put in the hamburger, corn, and mashed potatoes

Family enjoys roasting marshmallows on a chilly fall day at a KOA campground.

Cold Weather Camping Tips

Now that you’ve got our favorite recipes on hand to whip up while you’re camping, here are some cold-weather camping tips to make your meals go as smoothly as possible.

1. Eat more

You never have to tell us to eat more twice. But the reason why you want to eat more during the winter is because you need that extra energy in order to keep you body generating heat throughout the day. You will also need this for energy, as your body uses up quite a bit of energy in the cold merely to stay warm. Add on top of that hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, or whatever winter activity you find yourself doing, and you’re going to want and need some extra calories.

2. Prep

As you can see from some of the recipes above, it is best to prep a bit ahead of time so that you are spending as little time outside in the cold over the fire as possible.

3. Stay hydrated

You may not feel as thirsty during the winter when you’re outdoors as you do in the summer, but do not let that fool you. You need to be drinking just as much, if not more, water than you usually do to keep hydrated and moving.

4. Use a camping stove.

Rather than cooking over the fire directly, use a camping stove to speed things up a bit. This is also more convenient and less messy — two things you’ll appreciate even more when it’s freezing cold outside.

5. Give yourself time

Know that cooking in the winter is going to take more time, so be patient.

6. The spicier, the better!

Spicy foods help keep your body warmer, so when you can add some spice in, do so.

Feeling ready to rock and roll out into the great wilderness this fall and winter for some cold-weather camping? We know we are really feeling ready to try out these recipes when the temperatures drop.

Leslie K Hughes

Leslie, a.k.a. Copy Girl, is a copywriter who gets butterflies from telling stories through words.

Her voice comes from a place filled with passion, dreams, and lots of sugar. “Cake over steak” is her go-to motto.

With over 10 years of experience in crafting words, and years of embarking on travels that have taken this Montana girl to some incredible places, Leslie love the adventures of both body and mind her writing takes her on.

Everywhere she goes, she takes this advice with her:

“Hold on to your divine blush, your innate rosy magic, or end up brown.” – Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume

To see what Leslie’s up to in the writing world, visit her website here.

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