9 delicious campfire recipes that aren't hot dogs

Cooking over a campfire using pots and kettles.
Cooking over a campfire can be easy when you have the right recipe.
Anne Worner | Creative Commons via Flickr

Whether you're heading out to one of Minnesota's state parks or just your local campsite this summer, consider trying out a new campfire recipe this year.

From hot and spicy, to sweet and savory, here are some camping food favorites from the Public Insight Network.

Have a recipe of your own? Submit your favorite campsite dish here.

Create a More Connected Minnesota

MPR News is your trusted resource for the news you need. With your support, MPR News brings accessible, courageous journalism and authentic conversation to everyone - free of paywalls and barriers. Your gift makes a difference.

Stuffed bananas

What you'll need
Tin foil
Chocolate Chips
Peanut butter
Assorted nuts
Any other topping you'd like

How to
Warm some coals on your campfire. Slice open a banana lengthwise. Place any toppings you'd like in the peel and on top of the banana. Wrap the banana in foil and set it on the coals for 5 to 10 minutes. The foil will be hot, so be sure to use tongs or oven mitts.

Submitted by John, Rochester.

"It is a sweet treat and it smells good while you are waiting for it to cook. My kids love them."

Pie iron pizza

Cooking over the fire with a pie iron.
Cooking over the fire with a pie iron.
Brett Neilson | Creative Commons via Flickr

What you'll need
Pie irons
Butter or oil
Pizza sauce (in a squeeze bottle is best)
Your favorite cheese, grated
Your favorite pizza toppings

How to
Heat some coals on the fire. Heat the pie irons over the fire and use butter or oil to fully grease the interior of the iron. Place one slice of bread on the lower part of the pie iron. You can butter the bread, and place them butter side down if you like. Top the bread with your favorite toppings, sauce and cheese. Place a second slice of bread on top, again it can be buttered. Lock the pie iron closed and place it on the coals. Cook on both sides for 5 minutes, or longer for crispiness. Be sure to wait a bit before eating — the sauce will be really hot.

Submitted by Kay, Maplewood.

"Simple ingredients, each person can make theirs to order, it's social and not a lot of clean up."


Shakshuka you can make over a campfire
Shakshuka, a tomato and egg dish, can be easy to make right over your campfire.
Courtesy Beth Bowman

What you'll need
Large skillet
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
1 (28-ounce) can of whole plum tomatoes with juices, coarsely chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt, more as needed
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, more as needed
5 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 1/4 cups)
6 large eggs
Chopped cilantro, for serving
Hot sauce, for serving

How to
Light up the fire. Heat oil in a large skillet just over you fire. Add your onion and bell pepper. Cook gently for about 20 minutes or until very soft. Add garlic and cook together until tender, it should take one to two minutes; stir in cumin, paprika and cayenne, and cook for one minute. Pour in tomatoes and season with salt and pepper; simmer until tomatoes have thickened, it will take about 10 minutes. Stir in crumbled feta. Gently crack eggs into the skillet over tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until eggs are just set, it should take about 7 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with hot sauce.

Submitted by Beth, St. Paul.

"Easy, tasty, filling."

Skillet breakfast

What you'll need
A large skillet
1/4 pound of bacon, diced
2 medium potatoes
2 eggs

How to
Fry the bacon over the campfire until the fat starts to turn translucent. Layer sliced or diced potato pieces on top of the bacon. Add a dash of water, then cover the skillet. Cook until the potato pieces are slightly soft, then remove the cover and stir the potatoes until they begin to brown. Add a little more water and crack the eggs on top of the bacon and potatoes. Top it off with your choice of cheese and cover the pan again. Cook for another 5 minutes then serve it up. You can add flavor with salt, pepper, salsa or pesto.

Submitted by Kathryn, Minneapolis.

"One pan cooking is ideal for camping, and it makes less washing-up. It's hearty and takes well to cooking over a fire."

Tip from the DNR: Season your pan well — this can take many uses before a really nice nonstick finish is achieved. Never use soap. Hot water and non metal scraper will clean really well — Linda Radimecky, Area Interpretive Naturalist.

Mother's Adobo

What you'll need
Copper-bottom pot
Cast-iron pan
Camp stove
Half-cup of white vinegar
1 teaspoon of black peppercorn
3 to 4 garlic cloves, crushed
3 to 4 bay leaves
Half-cup of soy sauce
3 pounds of chicken thighs
White rice

How to
Place the chicken thighs, white vinegar, soy sauce, peppercorn, bay leaves and crushed garlic cloves in a secure container. Let that marinate for 3 to 4 hours. Boil water in a pot on the camp stove, add rice and put the lid on, cooking for 20 minutes. Do not take the lid off until the rice is done. While that cooks, grease a pan with butter over the fire. Add just the chicken, onions and garlic from the marinade and cook until the chicken is brown and the onions and garlic have been lightly caramelized. Then add the rest of the marinade and cover with a lid or tin foil. Let it simmer for a half hour, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid and let it continue simmering until the marinade is thick and the chicken is tender to the bone. Serve on rice.

Submitted by M.J., Minneapolis.

"Every Fourth of July, during the '60s and '70s, my family camped on Lake Michigan at what was then Antrim County Park, near Eastport, MI. Other campers would politely stop by and ask, 'What is that? It smells great!' It was my mother's Adobo ..."

Foil dinners

Foil dinners cooked over a campfire.
Foil dinners cooked over a campfire.
boviate | Creative Commons via Flickr

What you'll need
Foil pans
Aluminum foil
Smoked sausage, chopped
Or just about anything else you want!

How to
Heat your coals by the fire. Wrap your choice of ingredients completely with aluminum foil, before sealing you can add oil or seasonings for taste, then make sure the foil is pinched tight so nothing falls out. Place the foil-wrapped food on the campfire coals. The dish should steam quickly, be sure to flip after a few minutes. If you want more browning you can poke holes in the foil before you flip.

Submitted by Andrea, Rochester.

"They're customizable, use those great campfire coals and create a delicious meal with little over-the-fire effort."

Pulled pork nachos

What you'll need
Foil pans
Pulled pork (pre-cooked)
Tortilla chips
Green chili

How to
Layer the foil pans with chips, pulled pork and whatever toppings you want. Cover the foil pans with aluminum foil and place them on the grate over the fire. Rotate the pans around the fire so it is cooked evenly throughout. Let it cool, then enjoy.

Submitted by Ann, Bemidji.

"We've been camping for years, we just take our favorite recipes and adapt for wood fire cooking. Anything can be done on the fire."

Campfire bean soup

What you'll need
Iron pan
1 pound of dry navy beans
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1-2 bay leaves

How to
Soak the beans overnight with enough water to cover them by two inches. Drain the beans, then put them on a pan and cover with water again, this time cover them by one inch. Add bay leaves and boil over the fire for about 30 minutes then add carrots, onion and garlic. Simmer uncovered until the beans are tender then season with salt and pepper. Continue cooking until the dish is the desired consistency.

Submitted by Christina, Minneapolis.

"Something about cooking over an open fire that adds to the flavor I can't get when I make it at home."

Some more of what?

A smore
A chocolate melts over a marshmallow in a hot smore.
regan76 | Creative Commons via Flickr

What you'll need
Graham crackers
Hershey's chocolate bars

How to
Toast your marshmallow on a stick or metal skewer. Break a graham cracker in half and place a portion of your chocolate bar on one of the crackers. Place the toasted marshmallow between the crackers and enjoy.

Submitted by Claire, St. Paul.

"This secret recipe was handed down in the dead of night over a campfire."

More from the great outdoors

• Boundary Waters newbie? Here's how to eat, plan, paddle and get home

• Discussion: What to do if you're caught in the wilderness during a storm

• Go outside: Reasons to visit Minnesota's state parks

• Tips and tricks: How to eat well in the BWCA

• Photos: Getting paid in sunsets at Voyageurs National Park