The Best Make-Ahead Camping Side Dishes: Easy, Flavorful, and Stress-Free Recipes

Make-Ahead Camping Side Dishes

When it comes to camping, having delicious and convenient food options is key to a successful trip. That’s why I’ve put together a list of the best make-ahead camping side dishes that are not only easy to prepare but also packed with flavor. These stress-free recipes will save you time and effort, allowing you to fully enjoy your outdoor adventures. Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a longer camping excursion, these make-ahead dishes will elevate your camping meals to a whole new level.

Make-ahead side dishes served cold:

When it comes to camping, having side dishes that can be served cold is a game-changer. Not only do they save you the trouble of cooking over a campfire, but they also provide a refreshing and convenient option for outdoor dining. Remember to prepare them in advance and pack them in your cooler. Enjoy the ease and deliciousness of these refreshing camping side dishes.

Caprese Pasta Salad: This refreshing pasta salad combines the classic flavors of Caprese with the convenience of make-ahead preparation. Simply toss cooked pasta with cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, and a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette. It’s a light and flavorful side dish that will complement any main course.

Quinoa and Black Bean Salad: This protein-packed salad is not only nutritious but also incredibly versatile. Cook quinoa in advance and combine it with black beans, corn, diced bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and a zesty lime dressing. It’s a satisfying and filling side dish that can also be enjoyed as a light meal on its own.

Mediterranean Couscous Salad: Whip up a Mediterranean-inspired couscous salad that’s bursting with flavors. Cook the couscous in advance and mix it with diced cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, Kalamata olives, feta cheese, and a tangy lemon dressing. It’s a light and refreshing side dish that pairs perfectly with grilled meats or fish.

Cucumber and Tomato Salad: Create a refreshing campfire side dish that can be served cold. Slice cucumbers and cherry tomatoes, then toss them together with thinly sliced red onions and fresh herbs like basil or parsley. Drizzle with a tangy vinaigrette made from olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, and a touch of honey. Let the flavors meld together in a sealed container, and serve chilled for a crisp and flavorful salad that complements any outdoor meal.

Fresh Fruit Salad: Keep things light and refreshing with a vibrant fresh fruit salad. Chop up a variety of your favorite fruits, such as watermelon, pineapple, berries, and grapes. Pack the salad in a sealed container and serve it as a healthy and refreshing side dish or a sweet snack during your camping trip.

Heating it up:

While camping, there’s nothing quite like enjoying a warm and satisfying side dish. Whether you’re gathered around the campfire or cooking on a portable stove, hot camping side dishes add comfort and flavor to your camping experience. These easy dishes can be prepared them in advance and reheated them over the campfire or stove.

Grilled Vegetable Skewers: Take advantage of the grill at your campsite by preparing these flavorful grilled vegetable skewers in advance. Thread your favorite vegetables onto skewers, such as bell peppers, zucchini, onions, and mushrooms. Marinate them with a simple herb and olive oil mixture, and they’ll be ready to grill when it’s time to eat.

Sweet Potato Fries: Who doesn’t love crispy and flavorful sweet potato fries? Make a batch of these fries ahead of time, and reheat them on a grill or stovetop during your trip. Sprinkle them with your favorite seasonings, such as smoked paprika or garlic powder, for an extra kick of flavor.

Campfire Corn on the Cob: Corn on the cob is a classic camping side dish that can be prepared ahead of time with a little extra effort. Remove the husks and silks from the corn, then wrap each cob in aluminum foil with a pat of butter and a sprinkle of salt. When it’s time to cook, place the foil-wrapped corn on the campfire grill and let it cook to perfection.

BBQ Baked Beans: Prepare a hearty batch of BBQ baked beans that can be enjoyed hot or cold. Simmer canned beans with your favorite BBQ sauce, onions, garlic, and a touch of brown sugar. Let the flavors meld together and pack them in airtight containers for an easy and delicious camping side dish.

Cheesy Garlic Bread: Indulge in the ultimate comfort food with cheesy garlic bread. Prepare the bread slices with a garlic and butter spread and top them with a generous layer of shredded cheese. Wrap the individual slices in foil and heat them on the grill or campfire for gooey, cheesy goodness. These can easily be made with gluten-free bread!


With these best make-ahead camping side dishes, you can spend less time cooking and more time enjoying the great outdoors. From refreshing salads to grilled favorites, these easy, flavorful, and stress-free recipes will take your camping meals to the next level. So, pack your ingredients, prepare in advance, and get ready to indulge in delicious campsite feasts without the hassle. Happy camping!

Chickpea, Tomato, & Feta Salad

Chickpea, Tomato, & Feta Salad

Easy Camping Side Dish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 4
Calories 352 kcal


  • 2 cups Chickpeas (cooked, rinsed)
  • 1.5 cups Cherry Tomatoes (halved)
  • 1/2 Cucumber (medium, chopped)
  • 1/2 cup Feta Cheese (crumbled)
  • 3/4 cup Pitted Kalamata Olives
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2.5 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 tsp Greek Seasoning
  • Sea Salt & Black Pepper (to taste)
  • 1/4 cup Parsley (chopped)


  • Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl and mix to combine. Divide evenly between bowls or onto plates and enjoy!
Keyword anti-inflammatory recipes, camping recipes, camping side dish, vegan recipes, vegetarian recipes

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