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#Panlife: Easy meals you can make in a single pan in 30 minutes or less

Car camping just got delicious.


Fresh air won’t be the only breeze on your next car camping trip. With a little bit of prep beforehand, you can spend less time cooking and washing dishes and more time adventuring after eating a gourmet warm, hearty meal.



We put together 7 easy camp meals that you can make in a single pan in 30 minutes or less on your next camping trip. So break out your favorite cook pan and whip up a delicious hot dish in nature.



Bacon in the Bugaboo Campset




But first: car camping cooking tips


  1. Cooking oil, salt, and pepper are needed for most recipes, so it’s a good idea to invest in a separate set of these to stash with your camp gear so you don’t forget them!
  2. Pre-plan your meals so that you can measure out spices (and even pre-chop ingredients) before you leave the house to make cooking even easier. That way you won’t need to bring measuring spoons (or wash them).
  3. Unless you have the space in your cooler and want to bring Tupperware, pay attention to the serving sizes so that you don’t have leftovers to deal with—and so you can avoid wasting good food.



Fresh veggies in a pan



1. Backcountry Fried Rice

A delicious meal in just 2 steps! Works in the backcountry or just if you feel like being extra low-maintenance.


Servings: 2

Total time: 20 min

Perfect pan: Glacier Stainless 8


1-2 tbsp olive oil

1 cup chopped veggies of your choice (fresh or dehydrated)

1 cup brown minute rice

1 tsp salt

2 eggs, scrambled (used dehydrated eggs if backpacking)

1 (2 ounce) package jerky, shredded

3 packets soy sauce


  1. Preheat pan with olive oil. Add veggies, rice, salt, and eggs. Sauté until eggs are scrambled.
  2. Add soy sauce and jerky and stir to combine. Enjoy!




2. Fajitas

Spice up the campsite meal with some simple but delicious fajitas.


Servings: 4

Total time: 30 min

Perfect pan: Bugaboo 10 Frypan


1 pound chicken or steak, sliced thinly

2 tbsp cilantro or parsley

½ tsp hot sauce

4 tsp olive oil

1 tsp oregano

1-½ tsp chili powder

1 tsp salt

¼ tsp garlic powder

¼ tsp ground cumin

Juice of half a lime

1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced

½ of a yellow onion, thinly sliced

For serving: tortillas, sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, shredded cheese, avocado, green onion, fresh cilantro, lime wedges


  1. In a large bowl, combine cilantro, 2 tbsp olive oil, oregano, hot sauce, ½ tsp chili powder, ½ tsp salt, garlic powder, and cumin. Toss the chicken or steak in the marinade and set aside.
  2. Preheat skillet over high heat with 2 tsp oil. Add in peppers, onion, 1 tsp chili powder, and ½ tsp salt. Sauté 4 minutes or until golden and softened. Remove from skillet and set aside.
  3. Add another 2 tsp oil to skillet, add in chicken/steak mixture, and sauté until cooked through.
  4. Add peppers and onions back in along with juice of half a lime. Cook 1 minute and serve!


A mean camp breakfast

3. Campfire Breakfast Hash

This particular recipe serves 10, so you can be everyone’s favorite person at the campground.


Servings: 10

Total time: 30 min

Perfect Pan: 15 Steel Skillet


¾ pound bacon strips, finely chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1 package (30 ounces) frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed

8 large eggs

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


  1. In a large skillet, cook bacon and onion over medium heat until bacon is crisp. Drain, reserving ¼ cup drippings in pan.
  2. Stir in hash browns. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat 10 minutes or until bottom is golden brown; turn potatoes. With the back of a spoon, make eight evenly spaced wells in potato mixture. Break one egg into each well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook, covered, on low 10 minutes or until eggs are set and potatoes are tender. Sprinkle with cheese; let stand until cheese is melted. Enjoy!



4. Zucchini & Sausage Casserole

Quick and easy ingredients that won’t immediately go bad in the cooler, so you can make this on night two or three of the trip.


Servings: 6

Total time: 30 min

Perfect Pan: Bugaboo 14 Frypan


1 pound sausage (something like Aidells Chicken & Apple smoked sausage works great—cut it up into small pieces before adding)

1 tbsp canola oil

3 medium zucchini, thinly sliced

1 medium onion, chopped

1 can (14-1/2 ounces) stewed tomatoes, cut up

1 package (8.8 ounces) ready-to-serve rice or quinoa (Seeds of Change Quinoa & Brown Rice from Costco is yummy and super quick)

1 tsp mustard

½ tsp garlic salt

¼ tsp pepper

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese


  1. In a large skillet, cook sausage over medium heat 5-7 minutes or until no longer pink, breaking into crumbles. Drain and remove sausage from pan.
  2. In same pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add zucchini and onion; cook and stir 5-7 minutes or until tender. Stir in sausage, tomatoes, rice/quinoa, mustard, garlic salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 5 minutes to allow flavors to blend.
  3. Remove from heat; sprinkle with cheese. Let stand, covered, 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Shenanigans while waiting for dinner time

5. Beef Tortellini Skillet

Tortellini is always a good idea.


Servings: 4

Total time: 20 min

Perfect Pan: Bugaboo 12 Frypan


1 pound ground beef

½ teaspoon steak seasoning

1 cup water

1 teaspoon beef bouillon granules

1 package (19 ounces) frozen tortellini

1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend


  1. In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat 5-6 minutes or until no longer pink, breaking into crumbles; drain. Stir in steak seasoning. Add water and bouillon; bring to a boil. Stir in tortellini; return to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 3-4 minutes or until tortellini are tender.
  2. Remove from heat; sprinkle with cheese. Let stand, covered, until cheese is melted.

6. Chicken Pesto Pasta

All of the best things in one pot or pan. What’s not to love?


Servings: 4

Total time: 30 min

Perfect Pan: 12 Steel Frypan 


1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 teaspoon salt-free seasoning blend

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 can (14-1/2 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 cup uncooked spiral pasta

2 cups fresh broccoli florets

1 cup frozen peas

1/3 cup pesto


  1. Toss chicken with seasoning blend. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and brown evenly; remove from pan.
  2. In same pan, combine broth and lemon juice; bring to a boil, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan. Stir in pasta; return to boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 10 minutes.
  3. Add broccoli; cook, covered, 5 minutes. Return chicken to pan; cook, covered, 2-3 minutes longer or until pasta is tender and chicken is no longer pink, stirring occasionally. Add peas; heat through. Stir in pesto.

Camping meals done right

7. Vegetarian (Chicken) Noodle Soup

The perfect comforting camp soup for chilly days. White beans provide protein, but you can add chicken if you don’t mind using a separate pan.


Servings: 2-4

Total time: 25 min

Perfect Pan: Pan in the Bugaboo Base Camper Large


2 tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion

4 cloves garlic

3 stalks celery

1 large carrot

1 inch piece of ginger, grated

1 tsp each of coriander, paprika, basil, parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme (pre-mix these at home or find a mix with most of the spaces at the store to save space/time)

6 cups vegetable broth

4 leaves dino kale, chopped

½ box noodles

½ fresh-squeezed lemon

1 can garbanzo/any white beans (optional for extra protein)


  1. Chop veggies and sauté in pot with spices, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil.
  3. Add kale, noodles, lemon, and beans. Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.





With these easy recipes, you can cook like you never left the kitchen at home! Share your own camping recipes with us here.







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