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. Very cool idea. About the bring one serving for each person in my camping group. 🙂

    Reply
  2. Can these be frozen?

    Reply
  3. Love your recipe, just recommended on my blog. Thanks so much

    Reply
  4. Fun and looking delicious!! Great idea!

    Reply
  5. I have made this 3 times for camping now and love it! It is creamy and the top gets crusty. Perfection!

    Reply
  6. Just made these for a camping trip to the Canadian Rockies and loved it! We ended up putting one pie plate without the foil inside of our dutch oven and cooking on our camp stove for about 10 minutes with excellent results. I was worried about being able to stir/make sure it was heated all the way through and this worked perfectly even for nights you don’t want to have a campfire.

    Reply
  7. Do you think this would be good after freezing?

    Reply
    • I’ve never tried freezing this…I’m not sure how it would fare because I’ve never frozen store-bought alfredo before. You can give it a whirl, and see if it works!

      Reply
  8. I love this idea and it sounds so good. How long will they keep? I would like to make these up a few days in advance. I usually don’t like to keep things longer than 4 days, especially with all the dairy products in this recipe. Thanks!

    Reply
  9. Can these be frozen?
    Then thawed campside to cook?

    Reply
  10. Going to be staying in a state park cabin, but it has a fire pit/grill in the back yard. These will be ideal for our stay. Thank you for the recope.

    Reply
  11. Delicious,and very easy to make!

    Reply
  12. Fantastic! Rich and Creamy and so Ridiculously Easy to heat over the fire or camp stove! Will definitely be a Camping ‘go to’ for us! Thanks!

    Reply
  13. Made these last week when we went on a camping trip with 3 other couples. Everyone absolutely LOVED them! My husband decided even at home, this was going to be the “go to” recipe for mac and cheese!!

    Reply
    • That is so awesome!! Glad you enjoyed 🙂

      Reply
  14. We are headed on an overnight river triip and I was wondering if I could freeze these before we go?

    Reply
    • I think that should be ok to do. I’ve never tried it though, so I can’t guarantee anything 🙂

      Reply
  15. What brand of Alfredo Sauce do you use.
    THX

    Reply
  16. We have a family tradition of trying a new camp meal each trip. This was our new meal and everyone LOVED it! It is now on the permanent menu. We have made it several times this year camping and at home. Thank you!

    Reply
  17. This is now my most requested camping food to prepare/bring!
    I add Bacon crumbles, diced Jalapenos & Panko!
    I will be trying to make/serve a crockpot version this weekend….any suggestions?

    Reply
  18. That mac and cheese looks soooo good. My mom always made it where the cheese was crunchy! I try to do the same thing, but “nothing” comes out like mom used to make. I will have to try it some time, on the grill, and will think of you when I do.

    Thank you.

    Sue – CA

    Reply

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