Pizza while Camping – Three Ways

If your child will only eat pizza or chicken nuggets, it can be hard to introduce new foods camping.

However, we have found multiple ways to bring our child’s favorite pizza into our camping menus and want to show you three ways to help you out. One of the very first things we made in our pie irons were Pie Iron Pizza Pockets. We love how they can be customized to anyone’s tastes. Another easily customizable pizza, that can be made in advance, are our French Bread Pizza Rolls. And, while technically not pizza, the Camping Stromboli has all the same flavors as pizza, so we call it a Pizza Log.

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Who doesn’t love food cooked over a campfire? Actually, we know a lot of people who don’t, and we just have to feel sorry for them. Because we love to cook over a campfire, especially when we can recreate family favorite recipes in the outdoors. Somehow everything just tastes better when you have been camping!

Pie Iron Pizza Pockets

finished pizza pockets on a blue plate

Pie Iron Pizza Pockets are the first recipe we ever made in our pie irons. They are still one of my go-to recipes on every camping trip. We use the ready-made crust in a tube, along with jarred pizza sauce, and plenty of pizza cheese. Along with that would be any toppings you prefer. I love pepperoni and black olive while camping even though at home I’m usually the one asking for the veggie supreme pie. Spray your irons and place a square of pizza dough inside one cavity. Spread some pizza sauce on one side, add your cheese, and your toppings. Place another square of dough on top and pinch the edges to seal. Close the pie iron carefully. Cook over the campfire, flipping after about five minutes. Continue cooking until crisp and warm. Allow to cool before eating unless you like to burn the roof of your mouth.

French Bread Pizza Rolls

French Bread Pizza Rolls eaten while camping

As a child I loved those microwavable French bread pizzas. As an adult, they don’t taste nearly as good as I remember. Oh well. Instead, we make these French bread Pizza Rolls at home and wrap them up in foil packets for heating over the campfire after a fun day of fishing and hiking and whatever else strikes our fancy at the campground. Since these will typically only cook long enough for the cheese to melt, you will want toppings that don’t need a lot of time on the fire. In other words, this is not the time I put bell pepper pieces on my pizza because I don’t want to taste crunchy bits.

Camping Stromboli

pepperoni and black olive stromboli ready to eat

We like to call this one a Pizza Log. It is easy to make at home prior to your camping trip.  We prefer to customize each log to our own tastes in toppings. I just recommend using thinly sliced items as they will cook faster than dense ones. With this recipe, we will sometimes use our homemade pizza dough and sauce since we don’t have to pack it. Then we add a thin layer of cheese and toppings prior to rolling and sealing it. As it cooks over the fire the aroma will make your campsite neighbors start to drool.

What we love about these camping pizza recipes:

  • They use standard ingredients
  • You can customize them to each one’s tastes
  • They can be cooked over wood, charcoal, or gas

FAQ and How to Customize:

Q. What is the difference between a calzone, pizza, and a stromboli?

A. The traditional pizza we know is a flat crust with sauce, cheese, and toppings. Strombolis are an Italian American invention from suburban Philadelphia PA. They are not the same as calzone even though some people use the terms interchangeably. They do both use pizza dough and cheese to create a sealed, portable pizza. However, calzones are folded into a hand pocket while strombolis are rolled and sliced.

Q.  Can I use a different type of dough such as crescent roll dough for the stromboli or pizza pocket?

A.  While a thinner dough such as crescent roll dough will bake faster, it will also be more apt to leak. We recommend sticking with pizza crust or using a bread dough. Ready-made tubes from the store make these recipes so easy to make.

Q. I can’t find French bread rolls. What else can I use?

A. This can be made on almost any type of rolls or loaves of bread you can find. We have even used hot dog rolls and hamburger buns when I had some that needed to be used up. The only bread we would not use would be sandwich bread because we think these need a thicker bite. But if that is all you have, we say go for it!

Q. We don’t like tomato-based sauces. Any other ideas?

A. We have used pesto sauce, white sauce, barbecue sauce, and even gone sauceless with seasoned olive oils. A personal favorite of mine is a sauce formed from roasted vegetables such as carrots, onions, and bell peppers. Just make sure the toppings you select work with your flavor profile.

Q. What cheese do you recommend?

A. We enjoy the standard shredded mozzarella but not everyone likes preshredded cheese. You can take your own block of cheese and grate your own or use sliced cheese of your preference.

Q.  Can I use different toppings?

A.  Yes please! One of the best things about a recipe such as this is getting to choose the toppings you want to eat. Just remember that denser ingredients will take longer to cook than more thinly sliced items such as bell peppers.

Q.  Can these be cooked these in the oven?

A. Of course the stromboli and the pizza rolls can! For the stromboli, we recommend 350 degrees F on the middle rack for roughly 45 minutes, flipping and rotating every 15 minutes. For the pizza rolls, we recommend about 15 minutes at 350 degrees F. We do not recommend sticking the pie irons in the oven although we have tried to do so in the past when the weather turned on us. Unfortunately, it never works out well.

Q. What are some good side dishes to go with these camping pizza recipes?

A. We think you can never go wrong with a nice green salad, but that can be difficult too far along in the camping trip. So fresh veggies that keep well such as baby carrots, cucumbers sliced at camp, and broccoli or cauliflower are all good options. Serve with some dip if that is the only way your family will eat them. I also recommend sturdy fruit such as apples, oranges, or melon for a balanced meal.

Q. What do you suggest for dessert after enjoying our camping pizza?

A. We always enjoy a good dessert pudgy pie such as the Campfire Turtle Pudgy Pie or the Pie Iron S’mores Sandwich. However, if your pie irons are in use, don’t forget about a Campfire Cone. They are easy to customize for everyone. Or, if you are tired of cooking, just roast some marshmallows and call it a day.

Possible equipment needed:

  • Aluminum Foil: We use heavy duty aluminum foil for all of our foil packet recipes. It only takes one time for your foil to fall apart during the process of cooking to realize the importance of quality foil.
  • Parchment Paper: Some people don’t like to cook over high heat with aluminum. Parchment paper is the way to go here. Line the inside of the foil with the paper and everything cooks the same, just without touching the foil. Bonus-the foil stays clean and can be recycled.
  • Pie iron(s): We have two cast iron double pie irons, two cast iron single pie irons, and two aluminum single pie irons. Pie irons also come in a variety of specialized types such as circles, hamburger (round with slots for draining grease), hot dog/bread baker, and (hard to find) waffle versions. Most of our pie irons come from Rome. We recommend a square or rectangle for the Pie Iron Pizza Pockets.
  • Cutting board and knife: You will want to have a clean surface to cut your pizza dough into pieces that will fit inside your pie irons along with the knife to cut them.              
  • Heat resistant gloves: If you are going to be working around a fire, at some point you will probably get burned. These gloves can help prevent that.

Pizza is great for camping because individual pizzas cook quickly and can be customized to everyone’s tastes.

Plus, you can eat them with your hands if you don’t want to dirty up a bunch of dishes. Don’t forget to tag us on Instagram @campinganswer and show us what crazy toppings you’ve put in your camping pizzas! We are always looking for new ideas to try.

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