Just because summer has come to a close doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the great outdoors with your family. In fact, the fall is an ideal time of year to go camping with your nearest and dearest. Whether you’re staying at a dispersed camping site (which will limit your visit to 14 days within a 30-day timeframe) or are pitching a tent in the backyard, there’s arguably no better way to bond with your loved ones while appreciating the beauty and the bounty of Mother Nature.
Since 37% of families say that vacations make them happy, this is the perfect excuse to escape daily life and get back to basics. After a warm season full of glowing skin and beach time, a little R and R is exactly what you need. That said, your meals don’t have to be basic, too. There are plenty of ways to spice up your autumnal camping trip with some scrumptious meals made right on the fire. And since 78% of campers participate in outdoor camping during their trips, you’ll be getting the authentic adventurer experience when you make one of the following recipes this fall.
Dutch Oven Cornbread and Chili
Chili is a dish that can be enjoyed year-round, but there’s something special about making it when temperatures start to cool down. Cornbread makes the perfect accompaniment to chili, of course. But how do you bake when you’re camping? Simple: make it in a dutch oven. For this recipe from Honestly Yum, you’ll need…
- 3 lb. ground beef
- Large onion (diced)
- Green bell pepper (diced)
- 8 cloves of garlic (minced)
- 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
- 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes
- 6 ounces of tomato paste
- 16-ounce can of black or kidney beans
- 5 teaspoons of chili powder
- 2 tablespoons of ground chipotle powder
- 1 tablespoon of ground cumin
- 1 can of water or beer
- Two 8.5-ounce boxes of cornbread mix (plus eggs and milk needed for mix)
- Salt and black pepper to taste
Once you’ve made a layer of hot coals on the ground as part of your campfire, place your dutch oven over these coals and heat. Then, cook the ground beef until it starts to brown. Add onions, garlic, and bell pepper and cook until vegetables become soft. Add chili powder, chipotle powder, cumin, tomatoes, and tomato paste, followed by the beer or water and beans. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes and season with salt and pepper. Then, make the cornbread mix according to its directions and pour the mix over the top of the chili. Put the lid on the dutch oven and place more hot coals on top of the lid. Cook for 10 minutes, then lift the lid and poke a skewer through the cornbread to check for doneness. Once the skewer comes out clean, your chili and cornbread are ready to serve.
Pumpkin Pasta With Sausage
Pasta might not be a traditional meal made for camping, but this is an easy and delicious way to enjoy a hearty fall dish. Although this recipe from The Spicy Apron includes sausage, there are some who might cite the fact that people who replace meat products with plant-based foods have a 20% lower mortality rate than those who eat meat. If you want to keep this dish strictly vegetarian, you can simply eliminate the meat or substitute it with one of several veggie sausage options on the market. Keep in mind that you’ll need to pre-cook your pasta at home for this one. You’ll need…
- 1 pound rotini pasta (or any other shape you like)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Yellow onion (diced)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 pound sage-flavored sausage
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- One 15-ounce can of pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling!)
- 4 ounces of cream cheese
- Chives for garnish
At home, cook your pasta in heavily salted water to al dente and drain. Rinse and drizzle with olive oil before cooling. Place pasta in a sealed plastic bag to bring on your camping trip. Once there, heat oil n a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook for two to three minutes; then, add garlic and stir frequently. After one minute, add sausage to the pot, crumbling and cooking until brown (five to seven minutes). Sprinkle flour into the pot and stir for one to two minutes until flour starts to brown, then add milk slowly and continue stirring until combined. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium. Add spices, pumpkin, and cream cheese and cook until thick (10 to 15 minutes). Then, add cooked pasta, stir until combined, and serve.
Apple Spice Cobbler With Cream Cheese Topping
Apples are undoubtedly one of the most enjoyable fruits from this time of year and they’re perfect for campfire desserts. This recipe from Kampgrounds of America is both comforting and quintessential for American outdoors enthusiasts. You’ll need…
- Two 20-ounce cans of apple pie filling or three to four apples sprinkled with brown sugar and cinnamon
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup pecan pieces
- Spice cake mix (prepared according package directions)
- 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup powdered confectioners sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Heat dutch oven to 350 degrees and spread apples evenly on the bottom. Add pecan pie pieces and dot with butter pieces before pouring prepared cake batter on top. Place eight to 10 briquettes on the bottom of the oven and 16 briquettes on top of the lid and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. While baking, blend cream cheese, butter, confectionary sugar, and almond extract until smooth. Remove cobbler and serve with a dollop of topping.
With these incredible recipes, your next fall camping trip will be one your family will never want to forget.