10 Camping Recipes From Around the World


The next time you embark on an all-American camping trip, bring some cooking inspiration from other countries. Here are 10 camping recipes from different cultures around the world, shared by some of the greatest chefs in the business.

10 Camping Recipes From Around the World

From Mexico: Braised Stew with Beer and Charred Chiles

After chef Diana Dávila, owner of Mi Tocaya Antojería in Chicago, IL, cooked this dish over a campfire at a farm in Illinois, she loved it so much, she put it on her restaurant’s menu. She braised wild boar, but you can use pork shoulder, says Dávila, a “muscle that’s going to be meaty and still have some fattiness that will cook down into the braise to give it texture and flavor.”

Braised stew recipe


  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 2 to 3 poblano peppers, halved and seeded
  • 1 head of garlic, chopped in half
  • 3 pounds meat (pork shoulder, wild boar, beef, etc.)
  • 5 12-oz beers (lager)
  • 6-8 oz barley
  • Spices, to taste (cumin, coriander, and black peppercorns)
  • Bread or tortillas, to serve


Place vegetables—tomatoes, onion, halved and seeded poblano peppers, and garlic—straight on the grill, no oil, to char. Then, salt a hunk of meat (about 3 pounds), and cut into handful-size chunks. Add oil to a hot olla or pot over a campfire, then add meat to sear it. “You want it to really crust up,” she says, because “once that seared meat hits the beer, it gets the amino acids going and you get that flavor you want out of there.” Once it’s seared, pour in about 5 beers (Dávila likes lagers).

Roughly chop your charred veggies and squeeze out your garlic gloves, then add them to the pot. Top the whole stew with enough water to sit a few inches above the food (to allow for evaporation). Once it comes to a boil, add around 6-8 ounces of barley. At Mi Tocaya, Dávila adds spices like cumin, coriander, and black peppercorns, but says it’s delicious without them. Stir and check after 2 hours. “Bring bread or tortillas,” she says, “and eat it all day long.”

From Israel: Shakshuka

When it comes to crowd-pleasing camping recipes, you can’t forget breakfast. “This is the quintessential Israeli breakfast, but every country in that region has its own version,” explains Israeli-born chef Berty Richter, owner of the Mediterranean grill restaurant Ladino, in San Antonio, TX.

Shakshuka recipe


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 onion
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 2 serranos or jalapeños (optional)
  • Spices, to taste (paprika, cumin, and coriander)
  • Fresh herbs, to taste (cilantro, mint, and parsley)
  • 1 10-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 5 fresh eggs
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • Fresh dill to garnish
  • Pita bread or sourdough, to serve


In a cast iron skillet over a wood fire, sauté some garlic in olive oil, then add a tomato, an onion, and a bell pepper. If you want some heat, add a couple of serranos or jalapeños. Add a little paprika, cumin, and coriander, and “fresh cilantro, mint, and parsley, too,” says Richter. When the vegetables have broken down, add a 10 oz can of diced tomatoes and simmer.

Once the sauce is nice and thick, make some dips in the sauce and break eggs into them. Top with salt and pepper and “add some feta cheese if you’re so inclined,” he says. Cover the pan with a lid or foil “to let the eggs cook from the bottom and steam from the top.” The shakshuka is ready when the eggs are fully cooked but the yolks are still runny. Sprinkle some dill on top of the eggs after pulling the pan off the heat, and serve with pita bread or sourdough.

From South Africa: Rooster Brood Grilled Cheese

When Planet Barbecue! author and PBS TV host Steven Raichlen traveled to South Africa, the chefs at the local braai cookout he attended served chutney-filled grilled cheese sandwiches while preparing the other meats throughout the day. They used “little knots of bread dough” for the sandwich he says, but you can substitute with white sandwich bread.

Rooster Brood Grilled Cheese recipe


  • 2 Tbsp butter per sandwich
  • 2 slices white bread (or preferred bread of choice) per sandwich
  • Mango chutney, to taste
  • Half block cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 tomato


Butter two pieces of bread. On the first—butter side down—slather the top with mango chutney, then add coarsely grated cheddar cheese (“that will help it melt more easily and evenly in the sandwich,” says Raichlen). Add slivers of red onion and thinly sliced tomato. Top the pile with the other slice of bread—butter side up—and place on your pre-heated medium grill. Grill both sides of the sandwich until browned.

From Argentina: Ribeyes With Chimichurri

A traditional Argentine asado is “a ceremony of grilling,” explains chef Germán Lucarelli, owner of The Lost Fire in Kennebunkport, ME, author of The Lost Fire cookbook. “A whole afternoon of eating and drinking a good malbec.” And the key? “For us, it’s all about the chimichurri,” says Lucarelli. “It’s a non-complicated sauce to make.” And with a good one, you can do this simple camping asado.

“We are like 40 million in Argentina and there might be 40 million chimichurri recipes,” Lucarelli says. Just be sure to use fresh ingredients, and don’t blend it smooth. Think of it as a “pan chop salsa,” which you can prepare well in advance (which most good camping recipes should be).

Lucarelli’s Father’s Chimichurri


  • ½ cup plus 2 Tbsp white vinegar
  • Spice mix: 1 Tbsp each Spanish paprika, ground black pepper, and Kosher salt, plus 1 ½ Tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 oz fresh oregano leaves
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 ¾ cups extra virgin olive oil


Stir to combine white vinegar and spice mix. Once incorporated, add chopped parsley and oregano, and minced garlic. Add extra virgin olive oil, then put in a mason jar and let it sit for 2 to 24 hours. If you cover with an inch of oil to avoid oxidation, it’ll last for a month in the fridge, Lucarelli says.

Rib eye recipe

Marinate the steaks in some of the chimichurri in a Ziploc bag the day before your trip. At the campsite, get the grill hot. “If you can keep your hand more than 3 to 5 seconds on top of the grill, it’s not hot enough,” says Lucarelli. Squeeze the excess marinade off the rib eyes so they’re not dripping in oil (to avoid flare-ups), then place them on the hot grill.

“I usually move my steak four times,” he says. “I put it on the grill, I cross it; I flip over, I cross again, 2 minutes per turn,” he says. It should take roughly 8 to 10 minutes. Top it with fresh chimichurri, and serve with potatoes, sweet potatoes, and onions. Cook them in the hot embers for that earthy, smoky flavor; then brush them off and top with olive oil or butter and salt.

From England: Mushroom “Eggy Toast”

After too much whiskey around the campfire and a bad sleep in the tent, you could use a good English breakfast. Here’s one from chef Genevieve Taylor, author of the cookbooks Seared and Charred, who remembers “eggy bread”—similar to French toast—from her childhood. When she’s camping, she makes a savory version topped with mushrooms.

Mushroom “Eggy Toast” recipe


  • Loaf of fresh bread to cut into thick slices
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup milk (or a little less)
  • Dried herbs, to taste (oregano or thyme)
  • Salt, pepper, and chili flakes, to taste
  • 1 8-oz package mushrooms (or desired amount of preferred type)
  • 2 Tbsp each olive oil and butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Garam masala, to taste


Cut chunky slices of bread about an inch thick (1 per person). Crack eggs into a bowl and mix with a little less than ½ cup milk (100 ml), and a pinch of dried herbs like oregano or thyme, along with salt, pepper and chili flakes. “Leave the bread to soak in the liquid for a half-hour until it’s absorbed,” says Taylor.

In a pan, cook your mushrooms: “I generally tear or rip them so you get rough edges that take in the smoke from the fire,” Taylor says. Add some olive oil, butter, garlic, and a bit of spice—she likes garam masala—“and just sort of fry those until they kind of caramelize a little bit.” In another pan, add some oil, and add the eggy bread. “Fry it on one side for a couple minutes until golden, then flip and fry the other side,” she says. Serve it topped with mushrooms for a hearty camping breakfast.

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From Norway: Reindeer Sausage With Grilled Lettuce

Cook like a seafaring Viking by grilling reindeer, wild pig, or moose sausages just like Sindre Østgård, a founding partner and VC in ocean tech who often free dives for the fresh seafood he cooks on the Nesodden peninsula in the Oslo fjord. For a recent meal he cooked on a small grill on the rocks of Beinskjær, a remote island facing the Skagerak sea, he grilled “the best gourmet ecological sausages made in the area,” then moved them to the side of the grill to prepare the rest of the meal. Bear with us, as this is a bit more of a rustic recipe without a specific ingredient list.

Reindeer Sausage With Grilled Lettuce recipe

Add plain paprika peppers—the long, skinny chili peppers—onto the grill and cook them “until mushy and quite dark on the outside,” says Østgård.  Then, cut the root base off a leek, “keeping all the green part to use as a handle, turning it to give it a nice burn as it becomes buttery.”

Next, grill a “heart salad” with little gem or romaine. Halve the lettuce lengthwise, pour olive oil onto the cut sides, and topped with Maldon salt. Place them salt-side down on the grill next to halved lemons. When the lettuce halves are seared but still crispy, flip them over, sprinkle with Parmesan, and squeeze the grilled lemons on top to complete the feast.

From Japan: Yakimono Fish or Beef

When chef Yoshi Okai was a little boy growing up in Kyoto, Japan, “what a lot of kids were doing camping was whole roasted fish on a stick,” says Okai, who runs Otoko, a 12-seat omakase restaurant in Austin, TX. Theirs were river fish, so he recommends an equivalent like trout. Just gut it and clean it, push a stick “right through the mouth down the gullet” and whole roast it, plain as can be, over the flames.

Yakimono beef recipe

You can also cook beef yakimono-style over the open fire. Marinate wagyu beef or boneless short rib in a soy sauce marinade [his recipe follows] and grill it over binchotan, a premium Japanese charcoal. “It’s not cheap, but it’s aromatic,” explains Otoko’s general manager Billy Weston. Or, just bring some small pieces of binchotan to add to your local log fire along with some tongs, they explain, “and apply the charcoal directly to what you’re preparing, just to lightly sear the outside.” Serve with grilled Japanese sweet potatoes and “a good camping sake” like a can of Bushido.

Marinade Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce (preferably a fancy Japanese one but Kikkoman is a great workhorse if need be)
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp grated garlic
  • 1 Tbsp dry sake (like the Bushido you brought)
  • 1 tsp mirin rice vinegar (or, if you can’t find mirin, sugar)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

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From France: Buried Potato

Chef Josiah Citrin says the inspiration for the potato at his restaurant Charcoal in Venice Beach came from the open-fire restaurant La Chaumière in Nice, France. They cooked theirs in the coals of their fireplace grill and served it with French butter and chives. Citrin, author of Charcoal: A New Way to Cook with Fire has his own take. It’s as simple (and tasty) as camping recipes get.

Buried Potato recipe

Choose a large Yukon gold potato (which he likes for its creamy texture and rich, nutty flavor). When the embers are “very red and hot, but not firing,” says Citrin, “drop it in the coals and keep turning until it gets all black on the outside, and cooked on the inside, about 35-40 minutes.” Let it cool a bit, then cut it open, fluff it, and top it with Beurre de Baratte, a fine French churned salted butter. Or, he says, substitute a salted Irish butter. “Then I put some crème fraîche, shredded aged Gouda, and chives on top of that.” Serve alongside your favorite viande (meat) and a good Bordeaux.

From the Middle East: Dry Rubbed Lamb Rack

“When I go camping, I don’t get too fancy, but I tend to do a lot of the preparation at home,” says Ori Menashe, chef and owner of Downtown L.A.’s Bestia and Bavel, and author of the Bavel cookbook. He says lamb rack is made for cooking on an open fire.

Dry Rubbed Lamb Rack recipe

Pack a 2-lb. lamb rack in your cooler along with a jar of a dry rub. [His recipe follows.] When you’re close to grilling, season the room temperature lamb rack with the rub. “The spices stay more vibrant when you season it right before cooking,” says Menashe. Place it on the grill over a medium-heat fire. “Grill on both sides of the rack for 5 minutes on each side, flipping the rack at least 4-5 times during this process,” he says. Cook until it reaches 137 degrees (medium) and rest before cutting.

Menashe serves his with a side of labneh, strained yogurt mixed with grated garlic (10 grams garlic for every pound of yogurt “cheese”) and salt. For another meaty addition, Menashe brushes grapeseed oil on oyster mushrooms, seasons them with salt, pepper, and sumac, then skewers and grills them over the fire beside the lamb.

Dry Rub Ingredients:

  • 10 g salt
  • 2 g cumin
  • 1 g each black pepper, dried ginger, dried mint powder (available in any Middle Eastern spice store), fennel seeds, coriander, and dried orange peel

From Sweden: Stompa pan-fried bread

Martin Nordin, author of the cookbook Fire, Smoke, Green: Vegetarian Barbecue, Smoking and Grilling Recipes, loves to make stompa, a Swedish flatbread “that you cook in a skillet and top with a hard cheese.” The key is to make the dough in advance. “Wrap it in Saran wrap and stick it in your cooler,” says Nordin. “At the campsite, all you have to do is drop it into the skillet and it cooks in about 15 minutes.”

Make the dough a day or two before. [His recipe follows.] At the campsite, place a cast iron skillet straight in the fire until it just starts to smoke. Unwrap the dough, then “mush it and flatten it out a bit, so when you put it in the skillet, you can press it a bit more,” he says. Cook both sides for about 2 minutes, until you have the perfect bottom on each.

Swedes often top their stompa with västerbottenost. That’s a firm cheese with holes it in like Swiss that tastes like Parmesan and cheddar had a baby. If you can’t find that, Nordin recommends a strong cheddar or a hard aged cheese. But, really, like any pizza or flatbread, you can top your stompa with anything. “In the fall, when we have a lot of mushrooms,” says Nordin, “chanterelles with lingonberries is very common.”

Stompa dough recipe

First make the flour-spice mixture: Mix 500 g sifted rye flour and ½ teaspoon each baking soda, fennel seeds, anise seeds, and sea salt. Add your liquid mix (150 ml room-temperature buttermilk and 3 Tbsp honey). Quickly combine to a smooth dough. Roll the dough into a loaf and divide into 4 equal pieces and wrap it up.