Going camping doesn’t mean that we have to give up those hearty side dishes that we love at home. Many people when they go out camping remember the main course and plan a big meal around it. Either that or they focus on doing some form of a one-pot or foil meal. While these are fantastic options it is nice to have something in the repertoire that changes things up a bit. That is where these camp Au gratin potatoes come in. No longer do you have to settle with a can of beans or veggies. Instead, you can make these delicious cheesy potatoes in no time flat!
As you get into this I know you may start thinking to yourself, “Self, this person isn’t even giving me a recipe!” You would be partially right. I like making things easy on myself when camping. So I take every advantage that I can get. In this case, I am relying heavily on packaged ingredients. If that isn’t up your alley and you want to make it from scratch that is possible too! Follow this amazing recipe from The Dutch Oven Chef if you have more time and energy!
Need a main dish to go with these delicious potatoes? Give this Cuban Sandwich Pie a shot!
The Ease of Cheese
As I mentioned above, this camp au gratin potatoes recipe is super easy because I am using pre-packaged ingredients and primarily boxed au gratin potatoes.
The thing is that dehydrated foods are a staple in backpacking and I eat quite a bit of them. So it doesn’t really bother me much to pull out a box of potatoes that have received the same treatment. Pretty much any brand you see on your store shelves will work for this recipe. This is because we are going to doctor them up!
You are probably aware that the box will come with its own cheese and seasoning packet. I don’t stop there though. I pack along with me extra cheese. I like to mix things up. Sometimes I will simply add more cheddar. Other times I will add pepper jack cheese. With so many shredded cheese options you really have the ease of cheese on your side.
So select your favorite cheese (pre-shredded works or shred at home before you travel), and add about one to two cups of the cheese to the pot as it finishes up. The fresh cheese added to the camp au gratin potatoes really makes it taste loads better.
But Wait There is More to Camp Au Gratin Potatoes
There is more to this recipe than meets the eye though. You saw this one coming I am sure if you have read my other recipes. I love to customize things. In fact, I try to make everything a little special for my little ones. It helps them to not be so picky. Also, adding in some additional items takes this from a side dish to the main course!
So what kinds of things do I add to my camp au gratin potatoes? Well, in the recipe I use corn beef, because YUM, but give these other options a try! Just mix the precooked add-ins at the end of cooking.
- Pork Loin
- Corned Beef
- Roast Beef
- Polish Sausage
- Bell Peppers
There is not much in the way of tools that you need here since this is such a straightforward recipe. You should have basic utensils available such as a large spoon and a knife (if doing some addons). Your primary cooking apparatus will be the dutch oven. If you do not have a dutch oven that is fine! I often make this on my camp stove with a standard cook pot. Luckily since we are using prepackaged potatoes you can easily follow the stovetop directions right from the box! No need to get too crazy with the tools on this one! Keep it simple and delicious.
Camp Au Gratin Potatoes
- Dutch Oven (or pot) Bring your Dutch oven tools with you!
- Stirring Spoon
- 1 can Corned Beef
- 2 Boxes Au Gratin Potatoes
- 6 cups Water
- 1/2 cup Dry Milk Powder
- 1/4 cup Margarine Or Oil
- Salt and Pepper
- Construct your campfire and prep for direct coals at medium heat
- Boil water in the Dutch oven and pour into a holding container with the powdered milk.6 cups Water, 1/2 cup Dry Milk Powder
- Put the corned beef on the bottom of the pan.1 can Corned Beef
- Open the potato packages and layer the potatoes on top of the meat. Any additional corned beef you have can be layered throughout.2 Boxes Au Gratin Potatoes
- Sprinkle the cheese powder over the potatoes. Put the oil or margarine on the potatoes.1/4 cup Margarine Or Oil
- Pour the hot milk/water liquid over the dry potatoes and put the Dutch oven on a moderate heat coals to simmer gently for 40 minutes.
- This arrangement should result in a slightly liquid mixture. Turn the pot from time to time if it is being kept at the edge of the fire to assure it heats all the way around and nothing burns.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.Salt and Pepper
- Don’t like canned corned beef? Get fresh slices of corned beef from the deli cut thick!
- The oil and margarine can be left out as this prevents the mixture from foaming and causing a boil over.
- Serve with something that can mop up that cheesy goodness.
- You could also make this with fresh potatoes and cheese. It will be more to carry and more work but the flavor will only improve!