Mac n Cheese Recipe for Camping

4.7 from 20 votes

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 This Mac n Cheese recipe is the easiest and cheesiest make-ahead meal! Get ready for the best camping dinner experience you’ve ever had.

 
mac n cheese

Now, a Mac n Cheese recipe for camping? 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!

mac n cheese

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.}

mac n cheese

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.

mac n 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!

homemade mac n cheese

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

homemade mac n cheese

Obviously top with more cheese!

homemade mac n cheese

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.

homemade mac n cheese

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….

homemade mac n cheese

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.

mac n cheese recipe

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 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.

mac n cheese recipe

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 mac n cheese recipe out. It’s so fast, so simple and awfully delicious!

Have a great weekend! xoxo

4.7 from 20 votes

Camping Mac n' Cheese

This Mac n 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 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

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 n' Cheese
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204 Responses
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  8. 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.

    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!

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  11. 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!

  12. 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.

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  16. miranda

    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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  18. Anne

    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!!

  19. Mel

    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!

  20. Shelly

    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?

  21. 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

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