5 vegetarian / vegan outdoor recipes

Campfire and outdoor kitchen on the shore

It is not always so easy to cook something tasty when you are going on an expedition or hiking for several days and you have to take all the food with you.

What to consider for outdoor dishes?

  • The ingredients should not be too heavy or take up too much space.
  • But they should give you enough energy so that you are fit enough for the effort.
  • Depending on where you are traveling, they should also not need to be stored in a cool place or run the risk of freezing (z.B. in the arctic winter). You may need to carry water with you on your expedition, so you should use water sparingly.
  • And of course, on an expedition or multi-day hike, you don't have all kinds of pots and pans with you, which is something else to consider when choosing your dishes and the order in which you prepare your food.

And if then the outdoor recipes should be vegetarian or vegan and delicious, then it is already quite a challenge.

My tips will help you!

Tips for outdoor recipes hiking, trekking, kayaking, etc.

  • I try to use ingredients for multiple dishes when possible. For example, I use one onion for two dishes, half for each dish.
  • If you are by the sea and fresh water is limited, for example, you can also use the salty sea water to cook pasta or rice. Attention! Make sure that the water is clean enough to do this!! Also, depending on the sea you are at, the water will be saltier or less salty – take note of that and mix in fresh water if necessary.
    By the way, camel bags are very practical to carry extra water in your kayak or backpack, as they are more flexible and adapt better to the available space.
  • The quantity specification 1 cup is of course not very exact. I take a cup for measuring, which I then also take with me on the expedition, then I take this again to measure the right amount of water. How much everyone needs then is also somewhat a matter of experience.
  • Couscous, rice, etc. I always pack off in advance in zip bags. These I then label and use them several times until they are broken.

Note for outdoor recipes with gas stove or other fuels

Mostly you also have a limited amount of gas resp. amount of fuel (because you usually have to carry that along), so you should also make sure that you prepare dishes that don't have to cook for too long.

So make sure if you are using noodles, rice, etc. select. Short cooking times!

Here are 5 quick outdoor dishes. My best outdoor dishes (vegetarian or. vegan), which I also like to prepare myself.

The quantity is for 2 persons.

– Halloumi with couscous and olives

  • 1 package of halloumi (vegan: tofu)
  • 1 cup of couscous
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 garlic

Cut the halloumi into cubes and chop the onion and garlic and fry both together in some oil. Season as you like. Then add the couscous, stir briefly and immediately pour the right amount of water (usually it is 1:2, but look again on the couscous package). Bring everything to a boil and then cover and let it rest for a while until the couscous has absorbed the water.
Voilà, already prepared!

By the way: for non-vegetarians/vegans, this also tastes delicious with bacon. Simply fry diced bacon together with the onion (I would then leave out the garlic…)

– Risotto with mushrooms

  • Dried mushrooms (z.B. chanterelle mushrooms, porcini mushrooms, etc.)
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 zucchini (optional)
  • 1 cup of rice (make sure you use a rice that doesn't need to cook too long to avoid using too much gas/fuel)

Mostly you have to soak the dried mushrooms first – see package. Also consider this time before you start cooking.

Cut the onion and zucchini (in cubes) and fry them in some oil. Then add the mushrooms (with the liquid you soaked them in – unless the instructions say to pour away the water) then add the rice. Season to taste. Now cook the whole thing like a risotto. Keep adding water until the rice is cooked through. Stir constantly.
And your delicious dish is ready!

– Mie noodles/ramen noodles with instant soup (optional zucchini)

  • 1 package of instant soup. Choose the instant soup according to taste. This can be a minestrone or a cream soup (tomato, mushroom, pumpkin, etc).) or Thai soup with coconut and curry
  • Mie noodles or ramen noodles (for vegans: make sure the noodles are without egg)
  • 1/2 zucchini (optional)

Depending on whether you have chosen a cream soup or a liquid soup, make the noodles before or after it. If you have chosen a liquid soup, prepare the soup according to the instructions, optionally cook the zucchini (cut into small cubes) and add the noodles directly to the hot soup. As a rule, the Mie or. Ramen noodles are not cooked or cooked only briefly (look at the instructions). This way you save the water you would need for the pasta. This is handy if you have limited access to water.

In case of a cream soup, prepare the pasta first and put it in a plate while you prepare the cream soup. When the cream soup is ready, add the noodles and stir the whole thing again well. At the same time the noodles are also warmed again.
Bon appétit!

– Mashed potatoes with roasted onions and lentils with olives (resp. Tuna)

  • 1 package of mashed potato powder (sufficient amount)
  • Some powdered milk (optional and vegans leave it out)
  • Roasted onions (can be bought ready and packaged)
  • 1 package of cooked lentils (preferably in a bag or tetra pack)
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 small can of olives (not marinated) or a few olives prepackaged

First, chop the onion again and fry it in some oil. Then add the lentils and heat them up. Season to taste. After that I add some tomato paste, which I have with me anyway for the dish pasta with tomato sauce. Then I add olives (chopped). I let the whole thing warm up well and then put it in a plate which I cover.

Then I make the mashed potatoes. I mix the powder with water. I usually take powdered milk for breakfast anyway and then I can use it for the mashed potatoes as well. The puree is quickly made and the lentils should still be warm. Divide the lentils and the puree on the plates and sprinkle the roasted onion on the puree.

Alternatively, you could just eat canned tuna instead of the lentils to the puree.
Bon appetite!

– Pasta with tomato sauce and olives

  • 1 tube of tomato paste
  • 1/2 onion
  • pasta (I always use thin spaghetti or linguine because they don't take up much space; it's also important that the cooking time is short)!)
  • remaining olives

A classic of course! However, I make the tomato sauce with tomato paste – it's more space efficient…

I start with the sauce. As always, chop the onion and fry in a little oil, then add the tomato paste and then water. It's a matter of taste how much tomato paste and how much water – depending on whether you like a thicker or thinner sauce. Best to start with little marrow and water and then add until it fits. If you have done this once, you have a better feeling the next time. Then season as you like and if there are any olives left, you can add the rest to the tomato sauce. Put the sauce in a plate and cover it. Then prepare the pasta – I always break the spaghetti to make it fit better. When the noodles are ready, I add the sauce to the noodles and stir the whole thing and warm it up again briefly.
To table and enjoy!

What is a delicious outdoor recipe breakfast?

Definitely oatmeal porridge! Oatmeal is straightforward: it takes up little space, has a long shelf life, and gives you lots of energy. And I personally find them very tasty too.

I prepare them as follows:

  • Bring water to a boil, stir in the oatmeal, then cover and let sit for a bit. I always take fine flakes, because they do not need long until they are soft.
  • Then I sprinkle some sugar on top and a mixture of raisins and hazelnuts. But here you can let your imagination and taste run free. Dried fruits are also delicious or sunflower seeds or maybe some cinnamon.
  • Sometimes I also take milk powder for the café and mix some more milk powder into the boiling water.

I also fill the oatmeal in zip bags in advance. It's best to check at home how many cups are needed per breakfast and then fill accordingly. Depending on your mood, I still mix chia seeds with drunter or flaxseed – everything is possible.

What else do I need for the outdoor kitchen?Preparing a delicious vegetarian dish on the shore

Other ingredients I need for cooking (put in small containers):

  • Oil for frying
  • salt and pepper
  • herbs de Provence or other spices to taste

Utensils for simple trekking recipes:

  • Camping stove
  • 1 pot with lid (you can usually use the lid for cutting, otherwise you may need a light, small cutting board)
  • 1 plate per person, using a deep plate (almost bowl) because we can eat breakfast porridge well in it and all other dishes too.
  • 1 cup per person for the café
  • Spoon and fork per person
  • Pocket knife – I always have this with me anyway and can use it for cooking and eating right away if needed…
  • Small container for oil (here I take the transparent one – size yes depending on how long I am on the road)
  • Small container for dishwashing liquid (see topic washing up below). Here I take the orange – size yes after how long I am on the road.
  • Small containers for salt, spices, pepper, sugar, etc. (the two small containers in the middle)


I hope I could give you some good and at the same time simple recipes for trekking, for hiking and for all kinds of expeditions.
To the question if these outdoor recipes taste good to kids, I would say YES!

Have fun cooking!

Oh yes, for washing up I recommend a product that is environmentally friendly and biodegradable – especially if you use it in a lake or river.
I recommend a product that can be used not only for washing dishes, but also doubles as a shampoo, body soap, and for washing socks and underwear. Then you don't have to lug around all these different bottles;