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5 Perfect Camping Recipes to make ahead of time [KETO!]

| Updated Feb 20, 2021

When we head out with our RV, we use camping recipes that we make ahead of time so we can spend as much time exploring, hiking, and taking in the scenery.

And when we go winter camping, bringing along make-ahead camping meals is even more important.

That's because our RV is winterized for the cold weather and we don't have running water to wash the dishes as we do the rest of the year.

But even in warmer weather, we love preparing our favorite camping recipes ahead of time in our home kitchen.

We store the finished meals in small one or two serving sized containers that we can put in our RV freezer or refrigerator. The amount of preparation time saved is priceless, as is the peace of mind in knowing that we have our camping meals all planned out.

If we are in a remote location or boondocking (our favorite style of camping), that means we don't have to leave camp for groceries or supplies.

And in the wake of the pandemic, with social distancing still very much the norm, we feel bringing our own made-ahead camping meals from our own favorite camping recipes just makes a lot of sense.

We have a lot of favorite camping recipes but when we were heading out recently for a winter camping trip along the snow-covered shores of Lake Michigan, we chose three special camping recipes to make ahead of time for our lunches and dinners.

We made a video that documents pretty much every step in the three camping recipes we followed for the video. Click below to watch it and then keep scrolling for the full camping recipes for those three plus two more bonus camping recipes!.

Our make-ahead Camping Recipes

Let me first tell you that the three camping recipes we featured in the above video are keto.

That's the eating plan I'm on right now. But we think these meals are so good that anyone would like them, keto or not. If you want to eat non-keto, serve with rice, pasta, bread, potatoes, whatever.

The make-ahead meals are:

Keto Broccoli Cheese Slow Cooker Soup

Man does this taste good for lunch after a long morning hike in the snowy woods! The cheese really makes it creamy and thick. 

We followed the original recipe (just click this link) but instead of 2 cups of water, we only used one cup for a thicker soup.

The recipe does allow for frozen broccoli, though we used fresh. It is also important to cut the broccoli crowns into small pieces to make sure it is tender. 

If we wanted it thicker, we would have added three cups of the grated cheddar instead of the 2 1/2 cups suggested by the recipe. We found it plenty thick with that amount.

We love this recipe because it makes 12, one-cup servings. We usually bring three or four servings with us on the camping trip and leave the rest back home in the freezer.

CrockPot Tuscan Garlic Chicken 

This awesome recipe is so easy to put together and packs a powerful punch of flavor. 

The only change we made from the original recipe was to substitute chicken breasts for the called-for chicken thighs. Instead of six thighs, we use three breasts, cut in half. 

Neither of us is fond of dark meat, though the recipe says the thighs absorb more of the flavor.

The creamy garlicky parmesan cheese sauce this meal simmers in over the afternoon it cooks (3-4 hours if the CrockPot is on high, 6-8 hours if on low) fills your kitchen with mouth-watering aromas.

It truly is just “dump and go.”

Other than the sauce that you make on a stovetop to dump on top of the chicken as it cooks in the pot, the CrockPot does all the work. Fresh spinach goes in at the end. 

We shred the chicken with a fork just before serving.

This makes a great camping recipe, providing three meals for two people.

Jen eats this over noodles or rice.  Mike uses zucchini noodles for low-carb keto.

Keto Meatballs

We've made this recipe for our camping trips before. And we use it at home, too.

Our favorite use for it is as a meatball sandwich. (Mike uses a low-carb product called Kiss My Keto Bread, Jen uses regular Italian bread).

We also eat these with spaghetti. Jen uses regular pasta, Mike uses a low-carb product called Wonder Noodles for Keto.

The recipe is for 16 meatballs and a great sauce. That's enough for four servings or two meals for two people.

When we made it for the camera, it made 17. So I was only too happy to sample the 17th before we packed them up for storage.

We used only half the salt suggested and searched around for a box of crushed tomatoes that had very little salt or sugar. Most tomatoes we find in the supermarkets have way too much sodium and sugar. 

If you are interested, the brand of crushed tomatoes we used is Pomi. It uses just tomatoes, nothing else, and comes from Italy. It's available on Amazon and at most supermarkets. It has zero sodium and no added sugar.

Storing your make-ahead camping meals 

In the video, Jennifer showed how we package and store those camping recipes we made. You can find a lot of those small little containers at most any supermarket.

The brand we like a lot is called Fullstar and we picked up a 12-pack of them in assorted sizes on Amazon for $29. Here's a link.

Two more Camping Recipes for Make-Ahead Meals

The video showed three meals. But we have two more make-ahead camping recipes we like to take with us.

Here they are:

Salsa Chicken

Here's a video Jen did on this super easy camping recipe. 

Salsa Chicken is so easy to prepare right in the RV. But as we often do before setting off on a long trip, we like to make several meals ahead of time that we can put in the RV's freezer and then bring out when we want.

Salsa chicken consists of chicken breasts and salsa. That's it. Here's the recipe.

We make a double batch – two large chicken breasts and a full container of salsa. That's enough to serve the two of us, twice.

For Keto, I eat it over cauliflower rice. Jen eats it over long grain rice.

Vegetable Lasagna

This is perhaps the most favorite of our make-ahead RV camping recipes.

Here's a video of how Jennifer makes it:

Preparation is the key.

The payoff, though, is a mouth-watering meal that you can easily prepare by popping it out of the freezer and then warming in your RV's microwave or convection oven.

We usually find one piece is enough for a serving, and this recipe makes enough for from nine to 12 pieces. A salad and a vegetable are its usual side dishes for us.

It's not strictly keto because it uses real lasagna noodles but it IS healthy and we could substitute cauliflower lasagna noodles.

But this is not that bad carb-wise. Besides, it's so good that it's worth straying off keto for!

Ready to try boondocking?

Boondocking is our favorite way to enjoy the RV Lifestyle. If you've never tried it or you have and you want to experience it to the max, please know we wrote the book on boondocking! Check out our special Beginner's Guide to Boondocking, an instantly downloadable eBook now available at a special price!

ebook boondocking guide



Mike Wendland

Published on 2021-02-20

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

3 Responses to “5 Perfect Camping Recipes to make ahead of time [KETO!]”

September 22, 2022at6:15 am, What Food Should I Bring For A Weekend Camping Trip? | RV Lifestyle said:

[…] Still others suggested you do prep work at home and then finish the recipe in the RV. That makes any recipe a lot easier, and it’s something Jennifer and I do often. We even have 5 Perfect Camping Recipes to Make Ahead of Time. […]

February 20, 2021at3:10 pm, Barbara said:

I love your site and have gotten a lot of useful and entertaining info. Your cooking videos are great except for saying the recipes are Keto. You use a lot of non keto foods – carrots, onions, tomatoes, half and half, pasta, etc . It could be misleading for those who are just starting keto and are not familiar with the diet. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

February 20, 2021at7:46 am, Dianne Belk said:

Thank you so much for the recipes and the reminder of how awesome it is to have meals ready to eat while camping. I did this for the first time last year and was amazed at the difference it made time wise, health wise and economic wise. Looking forward to using every recipe you shared! Hope you will share even more in the future.

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