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Camping Mac and Cheese

4.9 from 55 votes

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This Camping Mac and Cheese recipe is the easiest and cheesiest make-ahead meal! This recipe is for when you want macaroni and cheese on the go. Get ready for the best camping dinner experience ever.

scooping mac and cheese from container

Camping Mac and Cheese | On the Go!

Camping Mac and 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 🙂

aluminium pie tins stacked together

Main Ingredients Needed

Super simple recipe made from super simple ingredients! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Elbow Pasta – this is the pasta of choice when it comes to making mac and cheese. So good!
  • Alfredo Sauce – either use store-bought (I got mine from Trader Joe’s) or make homemade alfredo sauce.
  • Cheddar, Mozzarella + Parmesan Cheese – three types of cheeses for maximum flavor!
  • Half & Half – this helps the alfredo and cheese blend together when heating.
  • Salt + Pepper – season to taste!
  • Anything Else You’d Like to Add – bacon, jalapenos, smoked sausage, bell peppers, etc.!

Preparing Camping Mac and Cheese

For all of the nitty gritty details, see the recipe card down below 🙂

Find Aluminium Pie Tins

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 them aside. {Yes, you can also use just a regular size pie tin.}

Cook Pasta + Combine Ingredients

For the actual mac and cheese recipe….it’s not much of a recipe. I like to call it a cheaters mac and 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.

Cool + Add Lots of Cheese

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!

Anyways, divide this cheesy mixture in between your pie tins. Obviously top with more cheese!

Storing

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.

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…

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.

These should last 3-4 days in a cooler, if kept cold enough!

How to Cook Camping Mac and Cheese

Prepare Coals

Once you are ready to cook these, get a fire nice and hot and let it burn down to hot coals.

Heat the Mac and Cheese

Place a grill over top {to prevent the bottoms from burning!!!} and heat up your mac n 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 n cheese was never good.

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

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.

mac and cheese in a metal pie tin

More Macaroni and Cheese Recipes to Try!

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

Have a great weekend! xoxo

4.9 from 55 votes

Camping Mac n’ Cheese

This Mac and Cheese recipe is the easiest and cheesiest make-ahead meal! Get ready for the best camping dinner experience you've ever had.
servings 4 servings
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 30 mins

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  • Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • **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!

Nutrition

Calories: 448kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 713mg | Potassium: 166mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 350IU | Calcium: 303mg | Iron: 0.9mg
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: camping mac and cheese

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228 Responses
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    […] Sometimes you need some of the ooey-gooey deliciousness that is mac and cheese. And with this mac and cheese, you can do the prep work inside your RV’s kitchen, and then cook it over the campfire in foil trays. First, you cook and drain the noodles. Then, stir in alfredo sauce and milk. Place it in small foil trays and add your favorite cheese on top to melt, and viola! You’ve got a delicious cheesey campfire treat. Get the full recipe here. […]

  2. Susan

    5 stars
    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

  3. Shelly

    5 stars
    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?

  4. Mel

    5 stars
    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!

  5. Anne

    5 stars
    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!!

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  7. miranda

    5 stars
    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!

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  11. SharonF

    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.

  12. Theresa Weller

    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!

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    1. Lauren

      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!

  15. Molly L

    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.

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