Camping Can-Do: Recipes for Your Canned Goods

Veteran campers understand that a well-stocked RV pantry or grub box should always contain a few canned goods.

Why cans? Many new forms of shelf-stable food are in plastic and cardboard containers, making them an easy target for pests. Cans are rodent-proof, they're sturdy, and when properly prepped—labels removed and lid opened—they can be placed directly in the campfire.

More: Best Foods to Cook Over a Fire

Whether you have other fresh foods on hand or not, you can make a hearty and satisfying meal with canned goods. Here are a few tips for cooking with your canned goods and recipes to get you started.

Canned-Food Cooking Made Delicious

Remember these tips before you roast a can of chili over the fire. From recipe starter ideas to safety tips, this is must-know information.

  • Canned foods can result in sodium overload. Always buy no-salt-added or low sodium canned goods. You can always add more flavor with your own seasonings and spices.
  • Saute fresh chopped onion in a teaspoon of olive oil before heating canned soup or stew. It will look and taste more homemade.
  • Invent your own soups by combining two or more cans together. Start with a can of beans (any kind) and add chunky tomato or pea soup and cream of tomato. Add a dash of sherry to give it a gourmet finish. 
  • Canned ham, or Spam, is great for kebabs. Thread the meat onto a skewer with pineapple chunks and canned or fresh whole mushrooms.
  • Replace fresh ingredients with a canned version of the same item to add variety to the dish or make a meager meal heartier. Choices include corn, peas, eggplant, diced tomatoes and diced peaches.
  • Bring a can of beef stew to life with a splash of dry red wine.
  • Don't forget canned fruit for dessert or to add a touch of sweetness to your savory meals.

More: 8 Grilled Chicken Recipes for the Campsite

Use these five recipes to become a five-star canned-food chef.

Bull Moose Stew

1 10-ounce can of roast beef in gravy
2 cans, 15 ounces each, mixed vegetables, not drained
1 can of condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 small can of mushroom stems and pieces, drained
1 small can of diced chilies, drained

Serves 3 to 4
Open the can of roast beef and twist a fork in it to break up the meat. Put it in a medium saucepan and mix well with the mushroom soup. Add everything else over low heat and stir occasionally until everything is well blended and heated through.

More: 5 Camping Meal Ideas for a Large Group

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About the Author

Janet Groene

Janet Groene is a travel writer, RV blogger and contributor to ReserveAmerica.com. She spent 10 years on the road and has written more than two dozen books. Read more about Janet and find her original recipes at Camp and RV Cook.Blogspot.com. Follow her on Google+

Janet Groene is a travel writer, RV blogger and contributor to ReserveAmerica.com. She spent 10 years on the road and has written more than two dozen books. Read more about Janet and find her original recipes at Camp and RV Cook.Blogspot.com. Follow her on Google+

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