How to Cook Thanksgiving Dinner While Camping

Whether you’re planning on celebrating Thanksgiving with the fam or Friendsgiving with your crew, an RV excursion is the perfect holiday getaway. With RV camping, you can escape the stress of cleaning your home for guests and the craziness of Black Friday shopping. Instead, simply pick up an RV rental and head out for a relaxing vacation where you can truly reconnect with family and friends and remember all you have to be thankful for. 

Think the best part of Thanksgiving is the food? Who doesn’t! Planning an outdoor getaway doesn’t mean you have to skip the stuffing. Here are a few camp-friendly recipes that embody the flavors of the holiday.

A Turkey Roasting on an Open Fire!

Turkey is the star of this holiday show. When it comes to cooking your holiday bird over a campfire, there are two popular methods: 1. Cooking it directly on the grate over the fire, and 2. Using an improvised set-up to smoke the meat. Check out this step-by-step guide for the grate method from Outside Magazine or this great recipe for applewood-smoked turkey breast from REI to get you started. 

Whichever method you choose, you can cook up a delicious bird in a unique way that your family is sure to remember!


Photo Credit: Good To-Go and REI

Sweet Potatoes

Speaking of fires and tin foil … wrap whole sweet potatoes in tin foil and place them on the side coals of your campfire. Just like at home, don’t forget to give these little guys a few good pokes with a fork or knife before heating. Depending on their size, the potatoes should be tender in 45 minutes to an hour. Go all out and serve them with butter, cinnamon and mini marshmallows.  


Photo Credit: Epicurious

Campfire Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving dinner isn’t complete without pumpkin pie. We love this recipe from Let’s Camp S’MoreTM. It’s quick and easy – simply mix all of the ingredients together and pour into a Dutch oven to bake on hot coals or an open campfire. It’s a bit more cake-like than a traditional pie but delivers all the great flavors of Thanksgiving in every delicious bite. 


Photo Credit: Let’s Camp S’MoreTM

Dinner in a Pumpkin

If you’re up for something a little out of the ordinary, skip the pie and repurpose your pumpkin in a new way. This unique recipe from our friends at the KOA features ground beef, rice, vegetables, cream of mushroom soup and seasonings, cooked inside a large pumpkin. 


Photo Credit: KOA

Prep At Home

Ensure your Thanksgiving camping experience is as easy and stress-free as possible by prepping as much as you can at home. Chop vegetables and pack pre-measured ingredients for your recipes in plastic baggies or small reusable containers. 

This extra step will help keep the kitchen space clean and the cooking process hassle-free. 

Camp Made 

Don’t dismiss packaged options such as boxed stuffing or instant mashed potatoes. When roughing it on the campsite, these quick-to-make items can be a welcome convenience. You can also consider canned cranberry sauce and premade gravy. We promise we won’t judge you for skipping grandma’s famous homemade stuffing and gravy recipe. 

Start Planning Now

Be sure to mark your calendar – American Thanksgiving is the fourth Thursday in November and Canadian Thanksgiving is held the second Monday in October. Start planning your Thanksgiving RV adventure today!