Gluten-Free Recipes for Campouts

Our Cadette troop has some exciting news. We gained three new Girl Scouts in the last month! The challenge is that our camping-friendly troop has gained a Girl Scout with celiac disease. So we’re learning about how to figure out if foods are gluten-free and how to plan a menu for a campout that is celiac-friendly.

Gluten-free camping recipes and tips

After a little brainstorming with other leaders who have been there, here are some gluten-free camping recipes we’ll be looking at trying over the coming months:

Gluten-Free Main Dishes for Camping

  • Walking tacos: Ortega Taco seasoning, Doritos and Fritos are gluten-free.
  • Hot dogs with gluten-free bun (Hebrew National is one brand that is gluten-free.)
  • Pudgie pies with gluten-free bread
  • Enchilada casserole, quesadillas or tacos with corn tortillas
  • Hamburgers (with no breadcrumbs, or gluten free bread crumbs)
  • Black bean soup in a dutch oven
  • Chicken drumsticks with gluten-free barbeque sauce wrapped in foil and cooked on coals
  • Steak kabobs over a fire with a grill rack
  • Dutch oven cornbread & chili
  • Mountain Man breakfast (Diced potatoes, ham, cheese and eggs baked as a casserole in a dutch oven)
  • Frittata
  • Rice and curry (get gluten-free curry)
  • Foil packet meals (meat, veggies)
  • Oatmeal, if you source your oats intelligently
  • Hash browns and scrambled eggs
  • Baked potatoes
  • Red beans and rice
  • Fajitas with gluten-free tortillas
  • Taco tower

Layered Taco Pie Dutch Oven Recipe
1-1/2 lb ground beef
8 oz. taco sauce
4 large corn tortillas
8 oz. cheddar cheese
8 oz. tomato puree
Preheat dutch oven to 325 degrees.
Shred cheddar cheese.
Combine taco sauce and tomato puree.
Brown ground beef, remove and drain.
Place 2 tortillas in Dutch oven.
Pour 1/2 of ground beef on tortillas.
Pour 1/2 of taco sauce over beef.
Place 2 more tortillas on top.
Pour rest of beef.
Pour rest of taco sauce.
Sprinkle with cheese.
Cover and bake until cheese is melted.

Serves 6.

  • A take on eggplant Parmesan:
3 people cook. Eggplant, ground sausage, can of spaghetti sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese..
1 person- Sliced eggplant, grill until slightly brown
2nd person- brown sausage.
3rd person – prep Dutch oven. Spread spaghetti sauce in bottom, let egg plant flat, little cheese, sprinkle sausage on top, pour rest of spaghetti cause on top, top with more cheese.

Gluten-Free Camping Desserts

  • Smores with gluten-free marshmallows and graham crackers
  • Fruit cobbler

One of my favorite Dutch oven recipes is “Philmont Ranger Peach Cobbler”, made from Bisquick (which can be purchased as a gluten-free variety), canned peaches, sugar, and cinnamon. The recipe is available online. During the school year, I teach at a homeschool cooperative which uses my local BSA camp; and when I make this cobbler, I am expected to make a gluten-free version, using gluten-free pancake mix.

You wind up with a huge pancake atop the fruit. I don’t know if adding baking powder would make the pancake mix puff up more; or perhaps I could look for a gluten-free counterpart to Bisquick. At any rate, the cobbler always goes over well, in both versions.

  • Fruit crisp

Make it a crisp instead of a cobbler. Same base, but instead of the gluten free pancake mix, make a gluten-free crisp topping. Usually these toppings include nuts, sugar, butter, flour and oats. The flour is easily replaced with rice flour or some similar product. The oats are dicey–most are technically gluten free (although you have to read labels carefully) but some people with celiac react badly to them anyway. They’ve done studies on this and can’t figure out WHY this is happening; a small number of patients have actual t-cell activation, but beyond that, many more patients have digestive problems. It may be because of the higher fiber content and the amount they have to eat in the studies; in real-life situations, most people with celiac are OK with small amounts of oats, like you would find in a peach crisp topping. But if oats are on the no-fly list, you can replace them with any chunky gluten free grain *that can cook pretty quickly* (like, don’t use brown rice, although puffed rice would work nicely).

Other Tips for Leaders

Just make sure that you use separate utensils when cooking GF. And no spreading regular bread with butter and then touching the butter again. This will cause cross contamination.

This applies to clean up, as well.

The most important thing when dealing with GF is that the GF girls wash their dishes FIRST if not everything is GF in the meals…this way their dishes will not get cross-contaminated with any gluten residue from the now gluten-containing wash an rinse water.

Camp with a scout or adult with gluten-free restrictions? What are your favorite recipes or tips? Share them below!


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