Fireside Recipes to Enjoy by the Fire this Fall
Updated: Nov 5
By Heidi Baldwin, MS, Holistic Health Coach
Whether you love to camp and you’re out in the woods until the snow flies, or you'd rather tend to your backyard BBQ until the season forces you inside, fireside recipes are one delicious way dine alfresco. Quite often though, it seems like the usual cookout suspects aren't the healthiest of options.
I'm going to be sharing my favorite healthy by the fire recipes that are nutritious, delicious, and easy ways to satisfy your outdoor appetite. These can be easily adapted to any eating style, so I'll be sure to include ideas for meat-eaters and meatless eaters, as well.
1. Pineapple Skewers
Pre-marinate your chicken or tofu and pineapple skewers, then cook over the fire. You can add other ingredients such as red pepper and onions, which pair well with pineapple. Bring lettuce to wrap it with and other fun toppings like an Asian slaw mix, so you can customize your wraps bite to bite.
2. Foil Packets Cooked to Perfection
Fresh salmon cooked over a fire is one of the best things about outdoor cooking by the fire. For a meat-free option, substitute a medley of vegetables in your foil packet, with some added tofu. Try it with a mix of hoisin and fish sauce for a Thai-like experience, go Mediterranean with pesto, or keep it simple with olive oil and dill. Just wrap it with your desired flavors in foil and cook until done.
3. Grilled Stuffed Avocados
Grill up garlicky shrimp and avocados, then stuff the shrimp into the avocados for a tropical take on your campout. Bring mango salsa along to unite the flavors with perfection. Skip the shrimp for a meat-free option, and use grilled tofu and jicama instead.
4. Potato Packets
Fill up foil packets with pieces of organic chicken sausage, potatoes, and other veggies you like for a rustic and delicious meal that nourishes with healthy ingredients. You won't need much to season it with the bold flavors of sausage making their way through there, though it's best if you pre-cook the chicken sausage before heading out on your trip (or before putting them on the grill). For a meat-free option, choose meatless links such as Beyond Sausage Brat.
5. Campout Caprese
If Caprese chicken is a favorite around your dinner table, then turning it into a campfire-friendly dish is a must! Simply slice each chicken breast in a Hasselback style and stuff it with tomato and mozzarella, top with pesto, then seal into your foil packets. If you want to skip the chicken, use a potato for a Caprese Hasselback Potato option. To make it dairy-free, choose dairy-free mozzarella.
6. Fireside Fajitas
Wherever there are fajitas, there is always a fiesta. Using lean meat, plenty of bright bell peppers, and onions, you can create your Mexican restaurant favorite by wrapping it in aluminum foil. Or you can skip the meat and use a meat-free substitute. Don't forget to bring tortillas along plus a little guacamole for plenty of those healthy fats, too.
7. Mexican Corn
Called 'elote,' this Mexican street food is a delight on any campsite or in your own backyard around the fire pit. It takes just a few extras (lime, mayo, cilantro, chili powder, and cojita cheese), and you'll have the best outdoor snack of all time. Find a dairy-free cheese if you want to skip the dairy -- there's still so much flavor to be enjoyed. Since this is not a commonly cooked food, at least where I live, I am including step by step instructions for this one:
Tin Foil Elote Recipe
2 ears of corn
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Mexican crema or sour cream
1/3 cup cotija cheese, finely crumbled
1 lime (1 half is for zest and juice, the second half is for garnish)
1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder. (use paprika as a mild alternative)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 small garlic clove, grated
(optional) 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
Prepare fire and place grill close to coals for high heat.
Shuck corn and completely remove silk and stalk.
Place corn on grill. Rotate every three to four minutes for a nice char on the kernels without blackening the whole ear. This should take between 15 and 20 minutes, depending on the heat of your fire.
Set aside to cool.
Zest and then juice half a lime. (Try not to zest the other half since that’s for pretty pretty garnish.)
Thoroughly mix mayonnaise, sour cream, two tablespoons cotija cheese (set the remaining cheese aside), chili powder, garlic, lime zest, lime juice, and salt in a bowl.
(optional) Delicately blend in 1 teaspoon of cilantro (set aside the rest for later)
Stick wooden skewers into each corn ear at the stalk.
Use stick as handle to liberally brush each ear of corn with mayonnaise mixture.
Sprinkle remaining cotija cheese, chili powder, and cilantro over corn.
Serve with wedges of lime.
Corn, lime, cotija cheese and other Ready to enjoy!
ingredients ready to go.
8. Bruschetta Pasta
When you've got busy adventures ahead, make a batch of whole wheat or gluten-free spaghetti beforehand and then cook it fireside with shrimp and bruschetta for a perfect Italian-inspired meal outdoors. Skip the shrimp for a vegetarian option.
9. Banana Boats
And finally, because you need a dessert when camping or soaking up the last fading wisps of warmth before seasons change, there are banana boats. Split your bananas (keep the peel on – cut a slit down the top of the peel), stuff them with marshmallows and dairy-free dark chocolate chips, wrap them in foil, and warm over the coals of the fire or on the grill. Them eat with a spoon and enjoy this healthier version of the campout classic smore’s.
Do you have any healthy favorite cookout recipes? I would love for you to share them!