Campfire Cooking: Three Sample Thanksgiving Menus

Nov 4, 2022 | 0 comments

Going camping for Thanksgiving? The long holiday weekend lends itself to camping — less crowded state parks and campgrounds, cool and mild temperatures (at least in the states below the Mason-Dixon line), and time away without the pressure of extended family and shopping obligations. Plus, if you want a Pilgrim and Native American experience, eating at a picnic table in the woods is probably a pretty close bet to what Americans call the first Thanksgiving in October 1621. (Note: some historians debate the date and place it in 1637, when the Massachusett’s Bay Colony governor, John Winthrop, declared a day of celebration after colonial soldiers slaughtered hundreds of Pequot men, women, and children in what is now Mystic, Connecticut. However, this history rarely jives with the softer elementary school story of a friendly collaborative meal.) Regardless of the history, the tradition of grateful thanks for all that we have is worthy of celebrating in a tent, a camper, a cabin or your own backyard.

The below sample Camping Thanksgiving Menus, pictures and recipes are attributed to the website Visit the link to see the full article and other useful tips for a perfect Thanksgiving meal in the great outdoors.

Sample Menu #1: The Whole Kit & Caboodle 

This menu is great for a group of four (or two with leftovers!) and features basically all the flavors that you’d expect out of a classic Thanksgiving feast.

Turkey meatballs and gravy on a plate with colorful sides

Turkey Meatballs with Stuffing, Cranberries, and Gravy

Shredded brussels sprouts in a yellow dish with red tongs

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Mashed sweet potatoes in a bowl

Foil Packet Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Apple cobbler in a blue bowl next to a Dutch oven

Dutch Oven Apple Cobbler

Sample Menu #2: Mellow Thanksgiving For Two

If you’ve escaped the big family meal for a relaxing weekend with your partner or a friend, here’s a simplified menu for two. We’ve included both a turkey and a vegetarian main for you to choose from.

Two hands of an acorn squash that is stuffed with stuffing

Thanksgiving Squash Bowl


Overhead view of a bowl of acorn squash risotto

Squash & Mushroom Risotto (vegetarian main option)

Ingredients for panzanella salad displayed in a yellow dish

Fall Panzanella Salad

Apple crisp with whipped cream in a blue bowl

Easy Apple Crisp

Sample Menu #3: Miles From Anywhere

Brave enough to try a Thanksgiving backpacking trip? If so, here’s a lightweight backpacking Thanksgiving feast!

Megan and Michael holding bowls full of mashed potatoes, stuffing, and chicken and gravy.

Backpacking One-Pot Thanksgiving Feast

Megan picking up a spoonful of apple crisp

Backpacker’s Apple Crisp

Other Thanksgiving-Inspired Recipes

This article was first published on 11/12/2015 and was updated in 2021 to include additional recipes. All recipes and photos are attributed to Fresh off the Grid website.

Article adapted to post to Girl Camper by Amy Kovach, Nov 2, 2022

Amy Kovach | Girl Camper Guide South Carolina  

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