What makes Christmas so great? Is it the presents? The excuse to get a little loose at the staff party? Maybe just because it’s that one week of the year you can sleep in on a weekday and not worry about getting blasted by your boss?
Our favourite part of Christmas is the food. We’d eat Christmas Pudding, gingerbread houses and drink brandy custard all year round if all our mates didn’t think we were weird doing it.
Another thing we love about Christmas time is camping (obviously). However, as you already know, you’re limited in what you can take camping, which makes cooking some of our favourite Chrissy meals a bit tricky.
That’s why we have compiled this stack of Christmas camping recipes to help our fellow campers, hikers and outback holiday-makers cook those meals Santa would be jealous of.
What You’ll Need
Before we get in too deep, we suggest taking a few of the camp cooking essentials with you to help prepare your meals. Although there are workarounds if you don’t have this gear, it’s best to have all this stuff to make your life easier. It also means it’ll be painless to follow the recipes we have for you too, instead of having to get creative with what you have.
The basics we recommend taking:
Cooking utensils (eg. knives, chopping boards, stirring spoons, tongs, spatula, etc.)
Pot and pan set (if you’re hiking or short on space, something like the [360 Degrees Furno Pot Set] would be good)
A roll of aluminium foil for general use
If you don’t have a camp stove, a portable barbecue or portable fire pit is your next best option. There will be some other recipe-specific things you’ll need too, but we’ll get to that later on.
Every great feast starts with a good entrée. When choosing your entrée, you’ll need to walk the fine line of finding something that ‘prepares your belly’ for the main course ahead, while not being overly filling at the same time.
Our go-to entrée is pigs in a blanket, which are essentially basic camping sausage rolls. Although they aren’t that ‘Christmassy’, they are special to us as we only really get to eat them around this time of year.
Hotdogs plus pastry makes for one tasty equation.
Pigs in a Blanket Recipe
Two sheets of puff pastry
Eight hotdogs skin on or off, or 16 cocktail frankfurts (you can also use turkey sausages instead if you want to make them more festive)
Any condiments you like with your hotdogs
Optional: 300g of shredded cheese
Optional: one egg, beaten
Makes eight pigs in a blanket
Frying pan if you’re using a camp stove
Wire rack, hotplate or long skewer if you’re cooking over a campfire
Make sure your puff pastry isn’t frozen. If it is, let it rest in the shade for a few minutes to soften up.
Cut both puff pastry sheets into quarters. You should end up with eight pieces.
Place each hotdog horizontally along each pastry sheet. If you are adding cheese to your pigs in a blanket, sprinkle that over each one now.
Roll the pastry and hotdog up together.
You can brush the top with the optional beaten egg if you want your pastry to come out more ‘golden-brown’.
Put the rolled hotdogs on your wire rack, barbecue hotplate or frying pan over your cooking apparatus. If you are cooking over a campfire, you can cook them on a skewer like a marshmallow as well.
Cook them for 15 minutes or until the pastry is golden-brown.
It’s as easy as that. Serve them up with your favourite condiment.
Now that you’ve smashed down your pigs in a blanket, you’ll be ready to start cooking your main meal, and boy do we have a classic treat for you – garlic prawns and veggies. Not only is this meal extremely quick to make, seafood is a must-have for any Christmas lunch.
What’s more Aussie than seafood for Chrissy lunch?
Garlic Prawns and Veggies Recipe
500g of your favourite deveined prawns – shell or no shell (we use jumbo king prawns)
100g of butter
One lemon, squeezed
Three cloves of garlic, well minced or very thinly sliced (alternatively, a small jar of pre-minced garlic works too)
100g of chopped parsley or coriander
One tablespoon of your choice of cooking oil (slightly more if adding the optional ingredients)
One tablespoon of salt and pepper to season
Two cobs of corn
Optional: 250g of diced bacon
Optional: half a red onion
Optional: half a red chilli
Optional: some crusty bread (such as a sourdough or cobb loaf)
Serves four normal people or two very hungry campers.
A camp oven can be used to cook the vegetables instead
If you only have one or two pans, you may need a bowl to hold your food while you use the pan to cook other things.
Water (to boil vegetables if you’re doing it that way)
Grab your carrots and corn and wrap them in aluminium foil. Put them on a hot plate or wire rack over your campfire, or place directly onto hot coals. If you’re using a camp stove, they can be boiled in water or cooked in a pan instead.
While your veggies are cooking, melt your butter and garlic in a small pan for a minute.
Once combined, take the pan off the heat and squeeze your lemon juice into it, add parsley/coriander. Put it back on the heat for a minute and stir. Remove from the heat again and set aside.
You can now cook the optional bacon, red onion and chilli in a small amount of oil. Once that’s cooked, whack it into the garlic sauce pan.
Pour the rest of your oil into the pan and put your prawns in. Season with salt and pepper to your heart’s desire. Cook for prawns for about 30 seconds each side, or until they appear pink. Don’t overcook or they’ll go rubbery and taste like a car tyre.
Return the garlic butter sauce to the pan with the prawns in it. Heat until you see bubbles (shouldn’t take more than 30 seconds), then remove from heat quickly.
Depending on how quick you were, the vegetables should be just about done by now. Take them away from the heat. Be careful as the foil will be really hot. Unwrap them.
Serve up your garlic prawns with the vegetables. Crusty bread goes great with soaking up all that leftover sauce too.
What’s our favourite part of the annual Christmas feast? The correct answer is dessert of course. It’s the icing on the cake to any good festive fiesta and the nail in the coffin for the inevitable food coma afterwards.
Keeping with the Chrissy theme, we’ve decided to put a spin on another camping classic: s’mores. Now you might be thinking ‘how do you make biscuit, marshmallow and chocolate festive?’ Well, we have news for you, there is actually a million ways to spruce up this campfire delicacy with the holiday spirit.
But, so as not to overwhelm you with choices, we will keep this one nice and simple.
Best camping dessert ever, of all time…
Christmas Nacho-style S’mores Recipe
1 packet of pre-made mini gingerbread men or a handful of full-size ones (you can also make your own gingerbread from scratch at home beforehand)
1 packet of marshmallows
1/2 cup (125g) of chocolate chips (milk or dark is fine)
100g of mint chocolate
3 candy canes
1 packet of ‘Christmas M&Ms’ or Smarties (the green and red only ones)
Optional: Any other ingredients you like, such as peanut butter, sliced strawberries, sliced banana, white chocolate. You can really go nuts with it!
We like to think it can serve four, but in reality, you’ll want to eat it all yourself.
If you aren’t a huge fan of gingerbread (we know not everyone is), feel free to substitute it with a different biscuit variety. Digestives, Oreos or Marie biscuits work best. Similarly, the candy canes and mint chocolate can be removed too, but your s’mores will come out less festive.
A camp oven can work instead of a saucepan, skillet or frypan
Some decent cleaning gear as this is gonna be messy
Begin by placing your mini gingerbread men into your frypan. Put them in random places sticking up and lying down. Try to cover most of the bottom with the gingerbread where possible. If you are using bigger gingerbread men, break them up into small pieces.
Put half your marshmallows over the biscuit layer. Break the candy canes up and put them over that. Put your chocolate chips, mint chocolate and Christmas M&Ms/Smarties over the marshmallow layer too.
Now is the time to put in any extra ingredients you have for it.
Add the remaining marshmallows over your fillings, creating a ‘sandwich’ over the gingerbread.
Put your frypan over your campfire, camp stove or barbecue grill and let it cook for 10 or so minutes until the marshmallows are soft and golden.
This has been designed to be eaten like nachos, so use the biscuits on the sides of the pan to eat the toppings. If you want to be a little more civilised, you could cut it up like a cake too.
What a feast. We don’t know about you but we reckon it’s time for a long nap by the lake.
All of our recipes today need to cooked over some sort of flame, which may be a problem if the day you want to cook these ends up being a Total Fire Ban. You’ll still be able to cook on a camp stove or barbecue under the right conditions, but a campfire will sadly be a no-go.
We suggest reading up about the rules and regulations of Total Fire Bans days before heading out on holiday.
Now all you need to do is make sure you have the right gear to cook with, grab the ingredients and head out on your Christmas camping trip. Just don’t forget to grab some bonbons, paper hats and crappy jokes to make it feel just like home.
What’s your favourite Christmas camping treat? Got a recipe of your own you want to add? Let us know in the comments below!