Who doesn’t love a delicious taco? They’re among the most popular foods out there, so it only makes sense that they’ve been popping up around the campsite more often in recent years. Not only are they tasty, but they’re one of the simplest foods to whip up for hungry campers. So pull up a chair, and let’s dig into our ultimate guide to camping tacos.
What Are Camping Tacos?
The explanation is pretty much right there in the name! Camping tacos are tacos designed to be made and enjoyed during a camping trip. With this goal in mind, campers often use a simplified taco recipe, skipping the complex preparations for a more straightforward process.
What Do You Need to Make Camping Tacos?
You can customize camping tacos to your taste, so there are very few requirements beyond tortillas. These are either flour or corn, and you can fill them with ingredients of your choice.
Typically, tacos start with a protein, like ground beef, steak, chicken, fish, shrimp, or pork. Often, they include cheese, usually a shredded mix of cheddar and other varieties, or a more authentic crumbled cotija cheese.
You can also top off camping tacos with vegetables like shredded lettuce, tomatoes, onions, radishes, or jalapeno peppers. Finally, many good camping tacos are finished off with salsa or hot sauce, though it’s not necessary.
Pro Tip: If you’re a campfire traditionalist, use this camp cooking hack: How Long to Boil a Bratwurst for Perfection.
What Makes a Camping Meal Easy?
Even for those camping in the nicest RVs, the kitchen and cooking space is far less than a typical home kitchen. Appliances are generally smaller, not to mention the heat generated indoors makes keeping your camper cool on a hot day difficult. Also, most camp cooks would prefer to relax with their fellow campers or explore their surroundings rather than slave over a complicated meal. That’s why it’s so crucial for camping meals to be easy.
An easy camping meal requires minimal prep work—work you could even take care of before leaving home. Ideally, you’d also want to use as few pots, pans, and utensils as possible, simplifying cleanup. Finally, easy camping meals should come together quickly in just a few steps.
Pro Tip: Cook up your camping tacos in one of these 7 Top-Rated Portable Camp Stoves for Tent, Backcountry, and Van Camping.
Our Favorite Camping Taco Recipes
One of the benefits of camping tacos is how diverse the different recipes can be! Here are a few of our favorites that’ll have your mouth watering.
Dutch Oven Camping Tacos
It doesn’t get much simpler than dutch oven camping tacos. Simply add your ground meat to the dutch oven and cook over a campfire or camp stove. This one-pot recipe doesn’t even require you to drain the grease, making it super easy and hands-off.
- Dutch oven in Blue; ideal for roasting, baking, sautéing,...
- Heavy-duty cast iron retains heat well and distributes it evenly;...
- Oven safe up to 500 degrees F
Once you’ve browned the meat, all you need to do is spoon it onto your tortillas or taco shells and top it with your ingredients of choice. While the meat browns, prepare a spread of toppings, like shredded cheese, lettuce, onions, cilantro, salsas, and whatever else you’re craving.
Camping Tacos in a Bag
Just because you don’t have tortillas or tacos shells doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a delicious taco. Camping tacos in a bag are the tasty, portable cousins of traditional tacos, perfect for a no-mess dinner around the campfire.
Brown your meat as you would for any other taco, but spoon it on top of a personal-sized bag of nacho chips when it’s finished. Then, top as you would a regular taco.
With a fork, you can enjoy your meal right out of the bag, combining the crunch of chips with savory meat and fresh toppings. Plus, there’s minimal cleanup, even compared to regular tacos.
Campfire Grilled Fish Tacos With Spicy Corn Salsa
If you’re feeling a little more adventurous (or happen to hook that perfect fish during your trip), why not try camping tacos with fish instead of meat? Fish filets are seasoned and then grilled over the campfire, adding the delicious char and smoky flavor foodies love.
You can top these tacos with a simple spicy salsa made from grilled corn, jalapenos, onion, cilantro, and lime. This can also be prepared ahead of time for an even easier experience come mealtime. Who says you can’t enjoy exotic tacos on a camping trip?
Easy Foil Pack Grilled Shrimp Tacos
Shrimp is another crowd-pleasing taco filling and can be especially appreciated by hungry campers after a long day outdoors. This no-mess recipe involves cooking the seasoned shrimp inside a tightly crimped foil packet.
This technique keeps messy and delicious juices inside and protects the relatively fragile shrimp from direct flames. Plus, there’s no worrying about losing shrimp between grill grates or flipping them individually. One turn, and the entire packet flips. This is another hands-off cooking process that allows you to prep your toppings in the meantime.
Spam Breakfast Tacos
Enter Spam, one of the most versatile proteins out there. It’s easy to transport in a can, saving room in your camping cooler or RV refrigerator for other items. When combined with eggs, it adds a unique, salty-savory punch that will have you craving more!
Simply brown the Spam, scramble your eggs, and add any other toppings you might enjoy, like beans. In just minutes, your breakfast tacos are ready to go.
If you’ll be on foot for several days carrying all your supplies, it might seem like tacos are a luxury you can’t carry. But with specialized backpacking foods, you can have a delicious taco night no matter where your trails take you.
For trips where you can’t bring perishables, you can carry diced and cooked sweet potatoes. Spices weigh next to nothing, and individual servings of cheese are minimal in weight. You can even bring dehydrated salsa, saving you the weight of a traditional jar.
Tacos Work Great for Food Restrictions
Camping tacos are an especially good food choice for reasons beyond their delicious taste. They’re also easily adaptable for any fellow campers with food restrictions or who happen to be picky.
It’s easy to come up with vegetarian or vegan tacos, which often substitute beans, tofu, mushrooms, or other veggies as the main ingredient. Tacos made with corn tortillas are gluten-free, an excellent option for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
Finally, tacos can be easily customized so that one picky eater can leave off the tomatoes, lettuce, or whatever item they just won’t eat. No matter what your party likes to eat or needs to avoid, tacos are among the easiest ways to satisfy everyone.
Pro Tip: To cook your tacos with ease, you’ll need a campfire that stays lit. Try these 5 Best Techniques To Start A Fire Like An Expert.
Spice Up Your Next Camping Trip
If, up until now, your idea of a camping meal was a boiled bratwurst and s’mores, think again. Camping tacos are not only one of the easiest meals for you and your fellow travelers but also one of the most delicious and customizable for any taste. No matter what time of day or the ingredients you have on hand, these taco recipes will keep you well-fed and satisfied.
When it’s too rainy and wet to cook over a campfire, head inside and try one of these 5 Best Instant Pot Recipes for Easy RV Cooking.
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