5 No-Cook Car Camping Recipes

Feast while you’re far away with these delicious camping meals that don’t require any heated cooking! 

Bean Salad

Bean salad offers weary travelers a refreshing source of protein after a long day of exertion. This savory blend of beans tossed in a tangy dressing makes for a perfect summertime dinner. And you know what they say—beans, beans, good for the heart, the more you eat…

    • Simple Three Bean Salad
      • 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed 
      • 1 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
      • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
      • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped 
      • 1 cup chopped red onion 
      • 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped 
      • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary 
      • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
      • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 
      • Salt and pepper to taste 
    • Black Bean and Corn Salad
      • 3 cans of black beans (or 1 can black, 1 can kidney, 1 cannellini beans), drained and rinsed
      • 1 cup of canned corn (drained)
      • 1 bell pepper, chopped
      • 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
      • 1 cup chopped red onion 
      • ½ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro 
      • 1 medium jalapeño, finely chopped 
      • 2 tablespoons lime juice (about 1 lime), to taste
      • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
      • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
      • ½ teaspoon chili powder
      • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
      • ½ teaspoon salt, to taste
      • Can garnish with avocado, lime wedges
Directions:
  1. Combine beans, produce, and herbs in a bowl.
  2. Mix together lemon juice, oil, salt, pepper, vinegar, and spices to make a vinaigrette/dressing.
  3. Toss the salad in homemade dressing to evenly coat beans and produce.
  4. Enjoy!

Charcuterie Board

Charcuterie boards are greater than the sum of their parts. There’s just something about the unbeatable combination of cheese, salami, and crackers that always hits the spot. This savory blend of protein, carbs, dairy, and fruit is the only food pyramid we need. 

    • Basic Charcuterie
      • Cheese- If you’re traveling without a cooler you’re going to want to work with cheeses that don’t require refrigeration. Generally, hard cheeses that have gone through a long maturation process don’t need to be kept cool. 
          • Cheddar
          • Parmigiano Reggiano
          • Aged gouda
          • Pecorino
      • Sliced meats- Just like most hard cheeses, cured meats also don’t usually require refrigeration.
          • Salami
          • Pepperoni
      • Crackers- Come one, come all!
          • Triscuits, Ritz, and Wheat Thins can usually be found at most campsites' general stores and play an excellent accompanying role in a charcuterie board performance.
    • Make it gourmet with these tasty additions:
      • Grapes
      • Slice apples 
      • A handful of trail mix or nuts
      • Olives
      • Water crackers
Directions:
  1. Put everything on a plate
  2. That’s it.
  3. Watch your back, Bobby Flay.

Tuna Salad

Tuna salad is the Leatherman of no-cook car camping meals. The versatility of this protein-packed recipe is second to none. You can eat it with bread as a hearty sandwich, serve it with crackers as a party dip, or even dollop it atop a salad for lighter fare. We also like to mix it up with tuna salad pita wraps or use it as a topping for cucumber slices. The opportunities are endless!

    • Easy Tuna Salad
      • 20 ounces of well-drained canned tuna
      • ¾ cup mayonnaise
      • 2 tablespoons of relish
      • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
      • ½ cup of minced celery
      • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
      • Salt, pepper to taste
    • Even More Oppor-tuna-ties
      • Add a few or all of the following to the above easy tuna salad recipe!
      • ½ cup of crispy apples or radishes for a crunchy texture
      • 1 small fennel bulb 
      • 2 tablespoons Capers add a nice salty, briny flavor
Directions:
  1. Add all of the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Stir to combine well.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve however your heart desires! 

Pita wraps

Pita wraps are like the cool older cousin of sandwiches. This low-risk, high reward recipe is a refreshing dinner chocked full of tasty produce with a tangy filling. While other road roamers eat their mundane trail mix and rehydrated bagged meals for the third day in a row, you will be enjoying a meal fit for Greek gods.

    • Classic Greek Pita Wrap (Serves 4)
      • 4 pitas
      • 1 cup of spread of choice:
        • Greek Yogurt
        • Spinach and parmesan dip
        • Salad dressing
        • Hummus
        • Store-bought Tzatziki 
      • 2 thinly-sliced Persian cucumbers
      • ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
      • ⅓ cup chopped olives
      • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
      • ¾ cup feta cheese
      • ⅓ cup parsley
      • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
      • Deli cold cuts or shredded chicken
Directions for Classic Greek:
  1. Toss lemon juice, cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, feta, olives, and parsley together to form a salad mixture.
  2. Divide spread among pitas. 
  3. Divide salad mixture among pitas.
  4. Fold to close.
  5. Grab and go for a meal down the road or devour on the spot
    • Kid's Pizza Pita (Serves 4)
      • 1¼  cup pasta sauce
      • ¾ cup shredded cheese
      • Sliced pepperoni
      • Optional fillings: pineapple (if you’re that kind of heathen), olives, bell peppers
Directions for kid’s pizza pita:
  1. Split each pita by slicing it down the middle to create a pocket for filling. 
  2. Evenly divide all ingredients to fill pitas.
  3. Share with your tiny travelers!

Overnight Oats

These oats are the perfect meal for a tasty, healthy, and filling start your day. This recipe is especially great if you plan on getting out early while the fish are biting or the sun is still rising since it can be prepared the night before and easily transported. Overnight oats can also be made a few days in advance! Prepare multiple jars before you hit the road and store them in your cooler for a stellar breakfast lineup on your next trip.

    • Basic Overnight Oats
      • ⅓ cup old fashioned rolled oats
      • ½ cup milk of choice 
        • Almond, skim, soy, cashew, or coconut etc.
      • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
      • ¼ cup Greek yogurt (optional)
      • A drizzle of maple syrup, honey, or agave (optional)
    • PB & J Oats
      • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
      • 1 tablespoon seedless jam
      • 2 tablespoons nut butter
      • Nuts and berries for topping
Directions:
  1. Add oats, milk, chia seeds, and yogurt in a resealable container. Also add jam, nut butter, and vanilla extract if making PB & J oats. 
  2. Mix until combined before sealing the container.
  3. Place in refrigerator or cooler for at least two hours or overnight.
  4. Uncover and thin with additional milk if necessary to reach desired consistency.
  5. Add optional sweetener, fruit, or nuts to top oatmeal immediately before serving. 
  6. Enjoy!

Life on the road doesn’t have to be fueled solely by dehydrated meals in vacuum-sealed bags. There are plenty of delicious, nutritious meals that can be made without a stove and with a whole lot of flavor. We hope that you like these recipes as much as we do. Bon Appétit!

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