Camping appetizers are inexpensive, easy to prepare, and really make an impression on those you share them with.
I grew up in the South where food equals love. If you were sad and needed cheering, I’d bring you a casserole. If you just had a baby and were recuperating at home, boom – a soup or stew. And some fresh-from-the-oven homemade chocolate chip cookies is the perfect way to meet a new neighbor.
Food is itself a language, and with the language of food, I wanted to speak to the heart of the recipient in ways that the voice alone couldn’t.
5 Friendly Camping Appetizer Recipes
While I’ve been out of the South for a number of years, that passion to show love through tasty food has never left me. I’m constantly on a quest to find palate-pleasing delectable dishes, and in that repertoire are a few that I like to call “hospitality” dishes.
They are those foods that are just right to serve up to let someone know you’re happy to meet them, pleased to be sharing the RV dream with them, encouraged that they’re your friend. I’ve put together a few of my favorites here. Let’s call them the Camping Appetizers of Hospitality.
Charcuterie Tray Camping Appetizer
Think of it as a step above your average meat and cheese tray. This says, “Get comfortable and stay for a while. Let’s share stories and laugh together.”
It can be as fancy or as simple as you like, and each time you make it, you can adjust the offerings according to what you’ve got on hand.
- What does charcuterie mean? It comes from the French word referring to a pork butcher, and therefore, the main staple of this tray is meat. Cured or smoked meats such as ham, salami, pepperoni, summer sausage, and prosciutto are all excellent choices. Slice or roll up the meats in advance.
- Next on the tray: cheeses. Choose a mild cheese that pairs well with a flavorful meat and a sharp cheese that would complement a meat like ham. For example, a soft Brie and sliced sharp cheddar.
- Think simple and easy to prepare. Freshly washed berries like strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries. Sliced figs, sliced apples, or dried apricots.
- Whole almonds, walnuts, or cashews. Or for variety, try spiced pecans.
- Small Gherkin pickles, high-quality olives, and pepperoncini are excellent choices.
- Refrigerated spinach-artichoke dip is perfect!
Bread or Assorted Crackers
- Try a French baguette or seeded loaf of bread. Crackers are great as long as they’re only used as a springboard for flavor. Simple, unflavored crackers are best. Flaky, buttery ones tend to crumble under the pressure.
A good rule of thumb for a charcuterie tray is the better quality the ingredients, the better your outcome. But don’t let the price point of a snack tray stop you from having a friend over and savoring some sweet moments together.
Stay within your budget and bring together a variety of tastes, textures, and flavors, and it’s a win-win!
Language of Love Salsa
As a matter of fact, my “love language” is salsa, so I’ve tried recipes for one or two and for twenty different kinds. Here’s one of my faves.
With a trip to a nearby grocer’s or farmer’s market, along with a manual food processor (perfect for the RV or camper), you will have a delightful, flavorful treat with enough to share.
Whip up a batch of this and open a family-sized bag of tortilla chips, and you’ve got an open door for a mid-afternoon snack and chat.
Love Language Salsa
- Ripe tomatoes, cored and quartered, no peeling necessary!
- Red onion, peeled and quartered
- Garlic cloves, peeled
- Jalapeños, stemmed and seeded
- Fresh lime juice
- Ground cumin
- Canned crushed San Marzano tomatoes
- Diced green chiles – your choice of mild, medium, or hot
- Prepare the veggies and add to your food processor along with lime juice and seasonings. Chop to a fine grade.
- Add the canned crushed San Marzano tomatoes and green chiles and puree again until almost smooth.
- Add more cumin and salt to taste, and refrigerate until chilled and ready to enjoy.
Fruit Dip Camping Appetizer
Such an easy and refreshing appetizer! This one is great for an outdoor picnic or party, especially when the temps are warm and you’ve got fresh strawberries in season. So go ahead, send out an invite to your RV neighbor and see what happens!
Cream Cheese Fruit Dip with Apples and Strawberries
- 2 packages 8-oz. cream cheese
- 1/2 – 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- whole strawberries and/or sliced apples (GrannySmith or Gala are best)
- Whip softened cream cheese with a mixer, large fork, or whisk.
- Add powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time, to desiredsweetness.
- Add in vanilla and stir until blended.
- Serve immediately with fruit or chill untilready to serve.
Rainbow Fruit Kabobs
Like a fruit salad on a stick! All you need for this one is a cutting board, knife, skewers, and fruits that don’t easily brown.
Examples are blackberries, strawberries, kiwi, mangoes, cantaloupe, watermelon, pineapple, honeydew, and grapes.
Apples can work when lightly sprinkled with lemon juice. Bananas are a favorite but you’ll want to serve the kabobs right away.
Slice your pieces of fruit into chunks or cubes and skewer onto sticks. Refrigerate until ready to serve, and let your colorful hospitality show.
For additional flavor, serve with chocolate or the Cream Cheese Fruit Dip listed above!
This recipe is my family’s absolute favorite! I get warm fuzzies just thinking about the times we’ve spent together over a batch of this delish dish. And it’s so easy!
The guacamole and chips are also excellent served in conjunction with the Salsa recipe above!
Authentic Guacamole with Tortilla Chips
- 3 wholeavocados
- 1 lime, cut in half
- 1 – 2 clovesof garlic, minced
- Cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 small tomato, de-seeded and chopped
- salt to taste
- Peel and remove the pit from the avocados. Mash avocado with a fork and squeeze in juice of half a lime.
- Add garlic, cilantro (to taste), tomato, and salt.
- Mix ingredients gently with fork and serve immediately with tortilla chips.
Camping Appetizers Made Easy
Whether it’s an informal gathering at your campsite, a potluck with friends in the RV Park, or a welcome to a new full-timer, let your hospitality shine with thoughtful, delicious camping appetizers.