May 27, 2014

Camping Food for Vegans

I had a request from one of my readers—hi Rebecca!—for some advice on what to take along on a camping trip. So I thought, being that it’s coming on Summer here in the states, that this would be a topic worthy of a post!

I’ve scanned through my recipe index and here are some easy-to-prepare meals, as well as snacks and foods that you can make ahead of time for your camping adventure. Just click on the photos to get to the recipes!


Soups and stews are great for traveling, and not only camping. You can prepare them ahead of time at home and take them along in a cooler. Then just open and heat! One tip on storing them: pour the soup into mason jars WHILE IT’S HOT. Fill the jars to about ½” from the top and cap them. Leave them out of the fridge while they cool and the lids will actually pressure seal (you will hear them pop as they do). This will ensure that they do well in your cooler on your trip, even if it’s not as cold as the fridge. Storing them this way, they will last at least a month in the fridge. NOTE: This method is NOT the same as canning or jarring. But you could do that, too, if you want to take the extra time and care. So don’t leave them out of the fridge or cooler.

Homestyle Lentil Soup
Pinto Portabella Chili

Moroccan Peanut Stew

Creamy, Cheezy Cauliflower Soup

Meals you can cook on a camp stove or over an open flame:

Simple Vegetable Curry
Spaghetti Bolognese
(make the sauce ahead of time and just cook the pasta!)
Szechuan Eggplant with Black Beans
Quick Chili Marinara
(serve over rice or with some hearty bread)
Black-eyed Peas and Smoky Collard Greens
(for ease, use canned beans or make them ahead—
you could use any beans and greens for this recipe)


You can always bring along some fresh fruit to keep it light. Or try any of these recipes for a more substantial meal to keep you fueled throughout the morning:

Overnight Oatmeal 
(mix all the dry ingredients together ahead of time, then all you 
need to do is add your plant-based milk the night before)
Trail Mix Scones (make ahead)
Nut and Seed Breakfast Bars (make ahead)
Chocolate Goji Breakfast Muffins (make ahead)


I think the most nutritious things you can take on a camping trip for a quick and easy lunch are veggie/bean burgers. Just make a bunch of your favorite ones ahead of time and freeze them for traveling. Here are some recipes:

Very Veggie Burgers
Chickpea Burgers
Sunshine Burgers
Ultimate Black Bean Burger


You and your crowd will no doubt be burning some calories on a camping trip. Here are some snack suggestions (all of which you can make ahead of time and pack in the cooler):

Maple Walnut Blondies
Cheezy Ranch Kale Chips
Homemade Chunks of Energy
Mountain Thunder Oatmeal Cookies

And don’t forget about these easy fixes for your adventure:

  • Corn on the cob
  • Baked potatoes/sweet potatoes
  • Nut butter sandwiches
  • Fresh fruits (a big, juicy watermelon is great on a camping trip!)
  • Fresh veggie sticks (carrots, celery, cucumber, peppers, etc.)
  • Salads with homemade nut-based dressings
I hope that this post will be of some help and inspiration for a healthy camping adventure. Stay safe and enjoy!
Healthy camping trails,

18 responses to “Camping Food for Vegans”

  1. Rebecca Z. says:

    Helyn — This is wonderful! Thank you so much for responding to my inquiry. I'm inspired to cook delicious, healthy food on our camping trip, and you've given me the tools I need to do it. — Rebecca

  2. Helyn says:

    You're so welcome, Rebecca! It was fun putting it together. Now I want to go camping!! 🙂

  3. Diane says:

    I want to go on YOUR camping trips! 🙂

  4. I live in an RV and spend my life in Campgrounds. I know for those who camp that planning is the key! Make out a menu for each day and prepare what you can in advance. If you have to cook over a fire keep in mind rain happens so have a backup meal

  5. This is a fantastic post Helyn! We are thinking of adding camping to outdoor adventures. Currently we do day hiking and only need to pack one or two precooked meals in our day packs. I did see at REI some dehydrated vegan meals that would also work in a pinch. You had so many good ideas here – I am pinning this to Pinterest for future reference. Oh and I think I would pre cook the pasta to al dente, rinse it well and pack it in a zip lock then it would just need to be reheated with the sauce in the same pan.

  6. Helyn says:

    Ha! Let's go!

  7. Helyn says:

    Wow, Linda! That sounds like so much fun but also challenging! I admire your pioneering spirit!

  8. Helyn says:

    Thanks for the info Tami! Great tip on the pasta too!! 🙂

  9. You can also take your recipes and dehydrate them in a dehydrator. To serve, just add water and heat. That keeps you from having to keep anything refrigerated and saves on weight if you're backpacking.

  10. Helyn says:

    Another great tip! Thanks!!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the ideas!! We camp with 2 young kids and are always looking for easy plant based meals for them.

  12. Helyn says:

    You're welcome. Enjoy!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Hi Helyn
    I just wanted to chime in and say a big thanks for your website which I use all the time – delicious! I am a Dr in New Zealand and I have you on my favourites to show to my patients – lets hope some of them have turned up here and are eating healthy and happy….!
    Thanks again

  14. Helyn says:

    You are so very welcome! Thanks for the feedback 🙂

  15. Unknown says:

    My family and I are so lucky that we found your website. We camp often throughout the year and I swear I'm constantly googling "healthy camping meals". This is perfect! It is so nice to feel good while one is camping without the usual indigestion and discomfort. Thank you very much! ~ Melissa & family

  16. Helyn says:

    You're so welcome, Melissa! Happy, safe camping trails to you and yours! 🙂

  17. Alisa says:

    I found this on Pinterest when I searched for vegan camping recipes. Thanks for putting this together! I'm going to use some of these ideas for our camping trip next month.

  18. Helyn says:

    You're welcome Alisa! Have fun!!!

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