Camping Mac n’ Cheese

Camping Mac n' Cheese...omg so yummy!! The easiest make ahead dinner for camping!

Hi there howdy ho.

Pretend I said that in a southern accent because–>Homemade Macaroni and Cheese!!!!

Is that southern? Pretty sure it is….but even if it’s not, you can get some mighty fine mac and cheeses in that part of the country.

Now, Camping Mac n’Cheese? A Pacific Northwest kind of thing.

Probably more of a Lauren’s Latest thing.

Do you camp? You’re going to want to after one peek at this recipe.

You guys, camping for me isn’t just hot dogs over a fire. My mom taught me from a young age that we can eat just as deliciously on vacation at the beach camping then we do at home. It just means a little cooking in advance! So in honor of me having gone on a camping trip sans husband {still trying to figure out why I agreed to go} and providing my fellow campers with oatmeal chocolate chip cookie s’mores, I decided that I should think of more meals that people would probably not want to make or think they couldn’t make whilst camping.

Why macaroni and cheese was the first thing that popped into my head, I’ll never know. But here is the recipe! I do take a few short cuts, but by golly is this stuff amazing!! Try it and see 🙂

Here’s how to make it:

Camping Mac n' Cheese...omg so yummy!! The easiest make ahead dinner for camping!

Camping Mac n' Cheese...omg so yummy!! The easiest make ahead dinner for camping!

Since we’re cooking these on the fire/on an outdoor grill, start by finding these mini aluminum pie tins. Just found these at the grocery store! Spray 4 of them with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. {Yes, you can also use just a regular size pie tin.}

Camping Mac n' Cheese...omg so yummy!! The easiest make ahead dinner for camping!

For the actual mac n’cheese recipe….it’s not much of a recipe. I like to call it a cheaters mac n’cheese because that’s exactly how I feel about it. This recipe is: cooked elbow macaroni, store bought alfredo sauce, parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese, half & half, salt & pepper. Once the pasta is done cooking, rinse it with cool water and drain well. Then stir in all of these goodies and that’s basically it.

Camping Mac n' Cheese...omg so yummy!! The easiest make ahead dinner for camping!

You want to cool down your pasta so the cheese doesn’t melt. The last thing you want is a glob of cheese in the middle of your dish. It would be so hard to divide!

Camping Mac n' Cheese...omg so yummy!! The easiest make ahead dinner for camping!

Anyways, divide this cheesy mixture in between your pie tins.

Camping Mac n' Cheese...omg so yummy!! The easiest make ahead dinner for camping!

Obviously top with more cheese!

Camping Mac n' Cheese...omg so yummy!! The easiest make ahead dinner for camping!

Now, as for storage: we’re going to cover these with foil because again: foil won’t get completely destroyed in a fire pit. Write out what it is so that in your cooler when you go camping, you’ll know to keep these all together and away from the melty ice water.

Camping Mac n' Cheese...omg so yummy!! The easiest make ahead dinner for camping!

Be sure to spray the other side of your foil with more nonstick cooking spray. I hate when all that melty, gooey cheese sticks to the top {and then I can’t eat it}.

The things I think of….

Camping Mac n' Cheese...omg so yummy!! The easiest make ahead dinner for camping!

Cover these bad boys up and seal them as best as you can. I like to actually put all 4 of these guys into a large ziploc bag so if they do happen to get submerged into that grody, melty ice water in the cooler, it’s no big deal.

Camping Mac n' Cheese...omg so yummy!! The easiest make ahead dinner for camping!

 

Once you are ready to cook these, get a fire nice and hot and let it burn down to hot coals. Place a grill over top {to prevent the bottoms from burning!!!} and heat up your mac and cheese 8-10 minutes or until hot and cheesy! YUM. Depending on how hot your fire is, this could take no time at all, or could take a little longer. The key is to not set them directly over your heat source. Burnt mac and cheese was never good.

Since everything is more or less cooked, all you have to do is heat it through.

Camping Mac n' Cheese...omg so yummy!! The easiest make ahead dinner for camping!

The best part of this recipe is the edges and the tops got a thin layer of crispy cheese that added a whole new level of deliciousness.

I’m kind of in love with crispy cheese.

Anyways, if any of you are headed out to camp or even if you don’t camp, try this recipe out. It’s so fast, so simple and awfully delicious!

Have a great weekend! xoxo

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Camping Mac n' Cheese

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time:

Cook Time:

Total Time:

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni
  • 8 oz prepared Alfredo sauce {just over half a jar}
  • 1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4-1/2 cup half and half or whole milk
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  2. Stir alfredo sauce into the cooked pasta with the three cheeses and enough milk to keep things loosey goosey. {This is so your mac and cheese doesn't dry out while it's staying cool.} Stir in salt and pepper to taste. Divide between four mini aluminum pie tins {or one big one}, sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Spray one side of aluminum foil with more nonstick cooking spray and cover each individual mac and cheese portion, sprayed side down, facing the food. Seal well. Store in a large plastic food storage bag in a cooler until ready to cook.
  3. Prepare a fire and let it burn down to the coals. Place a cooking rack over top that would be 2-3 inches above. Place each pie tin over the hot coals and cook 8-10 minutes or until hot. Remove from fire and serve immediately.
  4. **SHORTCUT MAC AND CHEESE DIRECTIONS**You can also just bake these at home in a glass or ceramic baking dish at 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until hot and melted. Easy peasy!

Camping Mac n' Cheese...make it over a fire, on a grill or just in the oven! So cheesy and simple!

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  1. LOVE this!!! I always have camper dinner envy when those around me have yummy things like this and I’m stuck with hot dogs. Not anymore! Pinned 🙂

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  2. Fabulous idea and looks sooo yummy!

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  3. great recipe. thanks for the tip about the nonstick spray b/c the first thing I thought of was how to keep the cheese from sticking. smart. cant wait to try this one out next year. (hopefully maybe this year) have a great day!

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  4. ***grody*** my poor kids… That’s gonna be my word of the day today to torture them with ;). And bc I’m still giggling, gonna use this recipe this week on our camping trip up north. Thx!!!

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  5. Hi there! I cannot wait to try this for my family on our next camping trip. I was just wondering if I would be able to share it on our Facebook page? (I work for an RV dealer in Alberta, Canada) I think our followers would love this!

    Thanks in advance,
    Michelle

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  6. i just wanted to tell you we cook this on the beach while on vacation and it was amazing. The second time we had my husband passed on everything else and just ate the macaroni, thats for the recipe going to cook this along with my smoked turkey for Thanksgiving.

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  7. Made this last night in the oven! Yummy! Nice to make GF and tasted fresh and real verses Kraft shells n cheese 😉 only problem was ours was a little gritty; maybe the Parmesan ? Also do I dare ask how to find the nutrition facts?

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    • Jennie — February 21st, 2016 @ 7:37 pm

      Could you freeze this before hand to cook on day 2 or 3 of camping? Also, just FYI if you freeze bottled water and use it as ice there will be no more grody ice water in the cooler (and as they slowly melt you’ll have a cold drink)..

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  8. CAMPING MAC & CHEESES (LOOKS GOOD)

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  9. For Father’s Day weekend?

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  10. Do you think I could make them ahead of time and freeze them until my trip?

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  11. Can you freeze after making and for travel

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  12. Thank you for the idea! This looks amazing! We are doing 2 nights of tin foil dinners and I didn’t have any new ideas. My kids will LOVE this (so will I!)

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  13. Thank you for sharing this amazing camping recipe with us all! We are going camping tomorrow and I am going to surprise my boyfriend with this mac n’ cheese recipe! It is simple and looks super yummy!!! Can’t wait!

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  14. We made this for our 4th of July trip and it was great. Word of warning – I couldn’t find the pie tins at my regular grocery store and so used mini loaf pans thinking this would work the same. Not so…the edges were boiling and the middle was still cold (and my super picky mother was flipping out!)…it was still good, just took a lot more effort to get hot than it should. So definitely use the pie tins! We actually cooked moose hot dogs at the same time and then mixed them in. Overall, this was a great hit!

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  15. Would this be ok over a coleman 2 burner stove instead of a campfire? I’m assuming that the same crispiness might not be there, but otherwise would you foresee any problems? Thanks!

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    • Lauren — July 26th, 2016 @ 9:39 am

      It might scorch the pasta on the bottom if you have the heat too high. But the beauty of this recipe is you only have to heat it through until the cheese is melted and then it’s done 🙂

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  16. I could dive right into that last picture with that browned bubbling cheese on top!

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  17. We made this for our camping trip the other weekend and the family LOVED it! I actually made it in a 9×9 foil pan and cooked it over the campfire (indirect heat) with BBQ boneless ribs. This was defiantly a win and will make it again!!

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  18. Um, amazing! This could not be any better. Okay, it could be better if it had some bacon in it, but that’s just a personal character flaw. And then my kids wouldn’t eat it. So, yeah, couldn’t be better! What a great idea, thanks for sharing!!

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  19. Wondering how to hear on a propane camping stove? In SoCal we have no a no-fire order.

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