Holiday travel requires a few extra camping tips! You don’t have to settle for the old hot dogs, beans and potato salad recipes for your Memorial Day weekend camping menu. No matter your cooking preference … Dutch ovens, campfire, grill, camp stove, RV stove/oven etc … we have Memorial Day camping recipes the whole family will enjoy!
Memorial Day Menu Recipes For Campsites Or Backyards
Because we all have our favorite cooking methods, we have organized these Memorial Day camping recipes this way:
- Dutch Oven Recipes (my personal favorite)
- Campfire Or Grill Recipes (my husband’s specialty)
- Camp Stove Recipes (super handy if you are camping with fire restrictions)
- No-Cook Recipes (salads are just the beginning)
- Make Ahead Recipes (get the work done at home)
- Foil Packet Recipes (awesome when you hate doing dishes)
- Dessert Recipes (finish off with something sweet)
- Camping Cocktails (with or without alcohol, cheers)
Dutch Oven Recipes
We have an entire post dedicated to Dutch oven campfire cooking with recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert! We’re listing a few of our favorites here. You’ll find all those recipes and more cooking tips in our Dutch oven camping recipes post.
Who said you can’t have pizza for breakfast? The kids and adults will love this fun camping recipe that is savory, filling and totally yummy!
Get more camping breakfast ideas that include tons of sweet as well as savory options.
Don’t forget to pack your Lid Lifter if you will be using your Dutch oven for cooking your Memorial Day camping recipes.
Simple ingredients create a bold and tasty hearty dinner with only 5 minutes of prep time!
Baby back ribs simmer in a delicious sauce for about 6 hours and make super tender barbeque ribs in your camp Dutch oven that taste AMAZING! They’re great with a side of coleslaw and corn on the cob!
This is one of my family’s favorite camping dinner recipes. In fact, we like ribs so much, we make a beef version in our portable smoker. Try my easy beef dino ribs and check out the video to see how we make our Pellet Smoked Short Ribs.
Chicken is such an affordable protein when it comes to cooking for a family. This easy recipe makes a creamy mustard sauce that is OFF THE CHARTS and is super simple too!
If your camping Memorial Day weekend plans include lots of activities, you may want to minimize the amount of time required for meal cleanup. Using Disposable Foil Dutch Oven Liners makes cleaning almost effortless!
Campfire Or Grill Recipes
I prefer making easy campfire recipes because I just love cooking over an open flame. My husband usually takes the lead when we have camping grill recipes on our menu. Some of these recipes can be made using either method.
I really like doing “build your own” bars when I have picky eaters to feed on camping trips! Making campfire eggs let’s each camper pick which ingredients they want in their breakfast!
“Ingredient bars” are a great way to make easy camping meals and let campers make their own meals.
Campfire cooking can get hot and dangerous without the proper cooking gear. Wearing Heat Resistant/Flame Retardant Gloves helps prevent accidental burns when handling hot cooking equipment at the campsite.
Depending on the variety you use, the peak season for corn on the cob runs from May through September. That is why it seems to be a food item that appears at every summer cookout event! Check out our tips on grilling this favorite summer food!
Roasting corn is one of my favorite easy camping meals for large groups. You can do huge batches, it is super cheap when it is in season, it’s fun to make and delicious to eat!
Need a little help starting your campfires? … AND … want to get rid of dryer lint? … AND … want a fun DIY project the kids will enjoy? Find simple instructions in our How To Make Homemade Fire Starters Using Dryer Lint Easy DIY Camping Project post!
Grilled meat and veggie skewers cook quickly after marinating in a prepared salad dressing for a few hours. We like adding onion, bell pepper, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes but you can use any veggies you like.
If you want to keep your Memorial Day cookout vegan, we have a great recipe for grilled vegetable kabobs in our list of vegetarian camping recipes.
The freshness of this salad is unforgettable. You’ll marinate and grill shrimp, then, toss in a simple dressing along with spinach, ruby red grapefruits, oranges and avocados.
Maybe you want a little extra help starting your campfires BUT you are not interested in a DIY project to make your own … These All Natural Campfire Starter Pods are made from wood shavings and food-grade wax and they come in a handy bucket!
If you don’t have a set of these Extra-Long 22-Inch Locking Tongs for cooking over campfires … you need to ask yourself why! These things are awesome … total control and long enough to keep your hands from getting too close to the hot campfire!
Camp Stove Recipes
Burgers and BBQ are some of the most common Memorial Day recipes. Instead of doing the classics, why not switch it up a bit and try a combination? These sandwiches can be served as triple-deckers and feature McDonald’s copycat Big Mac sauce.
Talk about a totally fun and festive recipe to celebrate Memorial Day camping in the great outdoors! These pancakes make me feel like a kid again but you don’t have to be a kid to love them!
They are SO EASY because they start with “just add water” pancakes. You might ask, how in the world could they possibly be yummy?!? The secret is the “almost gourmet” sauce!
Don’t worry … it is simple to make but don’t tell anyone because they would never know you didn’t slave for hours making it! LOL
Camp stoves are great … especially when you are required to cook with propane in times of fire restrictions. For most of us, camping includes grilling and campfires.
Sadly, when rain has been scarce and the forest is dryer than laundry lint, the dreaded “No Campfires” and “No Charcoal” restrictions come out … ugh!
I’ve been stuck with an “uncookable menu” in the past. So, I have a list of camping recipes that require only a propane camp stove for preparation. I’ve got you covered for your Memorial Day camping menu recipes!
Amazing camp stove recipes you’ll want to make more than once!
This 6-ingredient recipe is so simple and fast, you’ll have enough time to be part of the Memorial Day camping parade … assuming there is one where you will be camped for the holiday.
I love making sandwiches when I’m only making camping meals for two!
If you do lots of cooking with camp stoves that use 1-pound propane bottles, you may want to consider refilling them with a Propane Refill Adapter. Never used one before? Don’t worry … we’ll show you how!
It is safe (when handled properly), inexpensive and environmentally friendly to re-use 1 lb propane tanks. If you have never done it, check out our How To Refill 1 lb Propane Cylinders, Tanks And “Disposable” Small Camping Propane Bottles post for step by step instructions with photos.
This hearty meal is so satisfying and even though it uses canned tomatoes, beans and corn, it is packed with fresh flavors from the fresh avocado and cilantro. I’m guessing it will become one of your favorite camp recipes you enjoy all year long!
If your Memorial Day camping trip will consist of larger groups of people, you may need a larger camp stove than just a tabletop style. This Camp Chef Explorer 3X Three-Burner Stove has a cooking area that measures 14-inches x 49-inches and a cooking height of 29-inches.
There are three 30,000 BTU cast-aluminum burners with a total output of 90,000 BTU/hr. It even has removable legs for portability and you can adjust them if you are cooking on uneven ground.
We have tons of helpful tips in our How To Camp When Camping Fire Restrictions Are Activated post.
I love making cold, no cook camping meals when the weather is hot during our trips. We live in Phoenix and have seen temperatures over 100 degrees for our Memorial Day camping trips! Thankfully, that is not normal but when it does happen, I like to be prepared with a cold food menu.
This recipe makes a refreshing side dish and if you add a little protein (like pre-cooked cubed chicken from the deli), it becomes a satisfying main course.
This is one of my favorite gluten free camping food ideas!
No cook options can often be prepared in advance and kept refrigerated in Food Storage Containers until you are ready to eat. One caution … Avoid soggy sides! For salads, make sure you transport the dressing in a separate container and toss just before mealtime.
How do you make a sandwich exciting? I mean, a couple of slices of bread and some lunchmeat from the deli is not what I call a meal! This recipe is a great alternative and just as easy!
We’ve got tons of easy camping lunches that are delicious but don’t require tons of effort.
If you are planning a mostly-cold menu for your Memorial Day camping trip, don’t underestimate the size of the cold storage you’ll need. Many ingredients are “refrigerate after opening” and if your family does not eat the entire recipe in one sitting, you will need to store leftovers in a cooler or your RV refrigerator.
The most refreshing dessert for warm weather camping is my summer fruit salad. I might be a little biased, but every time I serve this recipe, it gets rave reviews! I like serving it as a side dish for main meals too!
Want to know my secret weapon for getting a TON of flavor with very little effort? It is ZEST! If you don’t use the juice and zest of fresh citrus, you are missing out on a simple camping hack! A Microplane Zester/Grater is lightweight and easy to carry with your other camp kitchen utensils. It is awesome for grating hard cheeses, like Parmesan, too!
Chips and homemade salsa are the perfect no cook snack! You’ll love my brother-in-law’s recipe. His secret ingredient: lemon instead of lime juice!
Check out all of our best camping snacks. And, make sure you don’t miss our Fresh Guacamole as well as our Rosemary Spiced Nuts!
Make Ahead Recipes
Personally, I love cooking at the campsite but there are times when I just want to relax. That’s when I plan a menu full of make ahead camping meals. Here are just a few of my favorites.
This quiche is easy enough to make at camp but you can also make it at home. It travels well and makes a wonderful meal for breakfast or lunch.
You can prep this freezer meal 3 months in advance! Then, just dump & cook at the campsite.
Freezer meals a great options for make ahead meals that you just “dump and cook” at the campsite.
The start of summer is filled with potluck recipes and yummy cold salads. This one tastes better after the flavors marry for a day or two.
You can prep all of the ingredients at home, then just toss and serve at the campsite. I combine fresh spinach with tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, yellow bell pepper, Italian bread cubes and fresh marinated mozzarella balls with a simple homemade dressing to make a delicious no cook summer salad!
Combine English cucumbers, red onion, bell pepper and garlic, then, let the combo sit in a simple homemade dressing with fresh dill for a few days. This salad is like eating summer in a bowl!
Combine mayo and mustard to make my family’s classic Polish potato salad.
We’ve got lots of different camping side dishes that pair well with a variety of main dishes.
Some people add fresh dill or other herbs to their potato salad recipes but when you have meat lovers in your crowd, add bacon and fresh chives!
Get more menu ideas for yummy camping salads.
Foil Packet Recipes
If you don’t like doing tons of dishes, try making a menu of camping foil meals. You can eat right out of the foil packets!
These loaded fries are so easy and delicious!
Normally, I love cooking at the campsite but every so often, I just say … cook for yourself! That’s when I set up an ingredient bar and let each camper make their own meal like with this recipe.
Ingredient bars are one of my favorite ways to easily feed large groups of people which is often the case with camping Memorial Day weekend events.
S’mores are a MUST on the menu to kick off the summer camping season on a Memorial Day Weekend camping trip! We have a few ways to make some of our favorite camping desserts!
Start with a packaged pound cake, grill it then top with a mascarpone cheese mixture, fresh berries and nuts for a patriotic red, white and blue dessert!
You can make not-so-traditional s’mores by getting creative with the ingredients. Check out all of our yummy recipes. And, be aware, #2 Just Might Change Your Life!
If you have not seen the coolest marshmallow roasting sticks, you need to check these out! What Memorial Day camping marshmallow roasting event would be complete without the Telescoping Rotating Marshmallow Roasting Sticks, the Fishing Pole Campfire Roaster and the Reach N Roll Campfire Roasters!?!
And remember, patience is a virtue … don’t burn your marshmallows!
If you can’t even think about Memorial Day camping recipes without thinking about a sweet ending to your meal … try this one. I always make it for our Thanksgiving camping trips … but, it’s a real crowd-pleaser all year long! Serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and you’ll be a hero!
Some Dutch oven desserts are made directly in the oven and others can be made in a pan inside the oven … if you are using a pan inside the oven, you may want to raise the pan off from the bottom of the oven with a Cast Iron Trivet. These are also helpful if you are roasting large cuts of meat that you want to prevent from scorching.
Camping cocktails MUST be refreshing but DON’T have to include booze. Most of ours are “alcohol optional” recipes and family-friendly … like this one. YUM!
Want to sip a cocktail that will make you pucker just a tad? This one is slightly sweet and slightly tart … and, oh so refreshing!
If you enjoy a martini but don’t want to deal with the potential of broken glass, consider using Unbreakable Martini Glasses that are made from a high quality polycarbonate plastic that gives you the feel of crystal glass but won’t break if you drop them!
We love using fresh fruit and herbs to make cocktails and mocktails for Memorial Day camping drink menu special treats! Get Kona’s lemonade recipe made with fresh strawberries and basil. And, find out why Dustin needed to be rescued by a Boy Scout group at the Grand Canyon!
Find More Memorial Day Camping Tips
And a little extra help in our Memorial Day Weekend Camping Trip In 10 Easy Steps post.
If all the campgrounds are booked, here is a video and tips to turn your trip in to a dispersed camping adventure. If you waited too long before trying to make your Memorial Day weekend campground reservation and they’re all full…don’t give up…go dispersed camping!
Don’t forget to pack a thing for your memorial day camping event! Use our FREE printable Ultimate RV And Tent Camping Checklist! You don’t want to find out in the middle of your trip you forgot to pack the soap!
If your Memorial Day camping adventure will be in an RV, you should grab your FREE printable copy of our RV Tool Kit Checklist before you hit the road!
You will also love these great sources for information on camping, fire restrictions and other helpful information.
For national camping, recreation and incident information:
For camping in Arizona at the state parks:
Enjoy this Memorial Day holiday and please don’t forget to celebrate and pay tribute to those who have paid the ultimate price in service to our country.
See More Memorial Day Menu Recipes…
You’ll find our entire list of camping recipes that are great for the campsite or backyard!
FREE Printable Menu Planner
Use my camping menu planner to stay organized when planning meals for your next trip. It’s FREE and you’ll get it delivered instantly to your inbox!
Pre-Made Menu Plan
No time to look for recipes, create a menu and write a grocery list? No Problem! Get our 3-Day Dutch Oven Camp Menu Plan here!