It’s a bummer for those of us who love camping in the warmer months, but it looks like we’ll need to be camping in our backyards this year and thus, making use of some backyard camping recipes to keep things fun.
For a little background, National Parks are fully closed at this time or have limited services with a few phases reopening; 20% of state campground systems are entirely closed, delayed, or open only to residents (particularly in the northeast); and even for sites that are open, the CDC offers some campground warnings that are worth checking out before you decide to load up your gear and head out.
So lots of us in the safe > sorry group are turning to backyard camping, and so, we’re also hunting down some delicious camping recipes to keep things fun for the kids.
So I’ve rounded up some of our favorite backyard camping recipes, from breakfast to dinner and of course, dessert! Hey, it might even be a fun way to celebrate a special Father’s Day right from home.
Think of the the bright side: you can just run into the kitchen to grab what you need or stick the butter back in the fridge.
Don’t miss these related posts:
The best simple camping recipes for your family’s next great adventure
15 of the best camping recipes that make camping worth it.
Delicious campfire recipes to get you through your next camping trip. (Even if just in the backyard.)
70+ of our favorite summer grilling recipes, from burgers to veggies to dessert
Backyard camping breakfast recipes
I love how easy these Campfire Breakfast Burritos are from Taste and Tell when you’re planning breakfasts for a backyard camping “trip.” Make them ahead of time and wrap them all in foil, then store them on ice in your portable freezer — or, you know, in the fridge if you’re camping at home. Then, when the early bird gets up to make the morning coffee, they can get the fire stoked back up, and everyone can heat their burritos when they’re ready to eat. Plus, it’s a great boost of protein if you are planning on any activities like fishing or hiking for the day.
There’s something really special about waking up in a tent (even if it is in your backyard) and cooking homemade pancakes over the fire for breakfast. These Wild Blueberry Pancakes at Vegan on Board look incredible, especially with blueberries so ripe and plentiful right now. Even if you aren’t vegan, this is a handy recipe to have while you’re outdoors and don’t have full refrigeration available for milk and eggs. Otherwise, just go with any pancake mix you’d like. Don’t forget syrup!
To lure those late sleepers out of the tent, get all the ingredients for these Campfire Cinnamon Rollups at Almost Supermom ready to go. They could not be simpler…or tastier. I wouldn’t be surprised if they become one of those family tradition meals you come back to every summer.
Related: Delicious campfire recipes to get you through your next camping trip…even if it’s in the backyard
Backyard camping dinner recipes
I’m a huge fan of foil pack dinners when we camp (or even just grill in the backyard), because it’s one meal that allows everyone to choose exactly what they want to go onto their own plate. You can use shrimp, chicken, or kielbasa for yours, but I really like the look of these Steak Foil Packs at Caroline’s Cooking for a hearty backyard campfire dinner after a day spent outside.
We’re a seasoned Taco Tuesday family, but lately we’ve been switching to enchiladas, thanks to the prep-ahead aspect that makes my life so much easier as the cook of the house. I love the idea of making them portable and backyard-friendly with this recipe for Dutch Oven Enchiladas at Back Country Cooking made in a Dutch Oven, of course. She has excellent tips for cooking them over a campfire, and they’ll warm you up perfectly if things tend to get cooler in your backyard once the sun disappears.
Pizza is always a favorite dinner for my crew, and cooking our own pizzas over the campfire sounds like a lot of fun. The basic Campfire Pizza recipe at Spaceships and Laser Beams can, of course, be customized to whatever toppings your own family likes. But her tips for what to prep ahead of time and what to buy ready-made are really helpful.
Related: How to grill pizza perfectly: My family’s new summer obsession.
We’ve always called these “walking tacos,” but Taste and Tell calls them Dutch Oven Frito Pies. Either way, this recipe might become one your kids’ top requests, even when you’re not eating outside. It’s simple, tasty, comfort food…and so easy to cook over the fire.
Kebabs are one of the easiest meals to make over a fire because, unlike Dutch oven recipes or foil packs, you can actually see the food as it cooks so you know precisely when it’s done. You can skewer whatever you’d like, from chicken and veggies to steak and potatoes, but I think this recipe for Hawaiian Kielbasa Kebabs from The Seasoned Mom looks like a fun new addition to change up your weekly flavor profiles. So perfect for a backyard campfire recipe!
Backyard camping dessert recipes
Of course, we all know (and expect) to have s’mores at our campouts, but allow me to suggest this S’mores Dip recipe from Dad with a Pan. It’s an easy way to keep the mess all in one pan, instead of dripped all over the porch or yard, without losing any of the irresistible goodness of s’mores. Bonus: you can make this one inside if it starts to rain.
The trick to these Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Foil Packets at Belly Full is that you’re really just heating them up, thanks to pre-made, store-bought ingredients in this easy recipe. It looks so simple and so yummy, and it’s a nice switch from s’mores if you’re looking for a new after-dinner treat to get everyone excited.
If there’s anyone who knows how to make a good camping dessert, in my experience, it’s a Scout. And this Dutch Oven Chocolate Cherry Dump Cake from Boy Scout Troop 1424 is legendary among my own kids. In fact, each of them have made it at some point in their scouting journey. It literally couldn’t be easier, and it is so, so good. Note: You can make this with vanilla cake mix and peach pie filling, or any other combination that sounds good to you.