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This grilled chicken with pineapple salsa and rice makes the perfect camping dinner. Not only is it incredibly easy, but it’s also delicious. Let’s dive into this colorful camping meal!
This camping dinner has all the summer vibes! When I first developed this recipe, winter was finally coming to an end and I was craving the warm sunny days of summer.
Pineapple was on sale at the grocery store, and since pineapple is one of my favorite fruits, I knew I wanted to make something with it on my upcoming camping trip.
This camping dinner is very quick to make at camp, but it’s absolutely delicious and a great way to bring in some fresh summer flavors… even if it’s still cold outside. You can see me make it at camp in the video below:
Make Ahead Options for This Meal:
This recipe is simple to prepare thanks to some prep at home. I like to make the chicken marinade and place it along with the chicken thighs in a resealable freezer bag. To prevent leaks, I recommend double bagging it. Store the marinade and chicken in the fridge or cooler.
You can start the marinade up to 24 hours in advance. However, don’t marinate any longer than that, or the texture won’t be good. If you want to start earlier, mix the chicken and marinade and then freeze it. This will allow it to thaw in the cooler and give you some extra time.
I like to make the salsa fresh at camp, but this does require some chopping as you can see in the video above.
If you don’t want to do that at camp, you can dice the pineapple, jalapeño, and onion ahead of time, just keep the components separate until you’re at camp. At camp, mix them together with cilantro and fresh lime juice.
Again, I wouldn’t pre-chop things more than 24 hours in advance.
Here’s an example of how all this prep at home might work:
On the morning of your camping trip, you can prepare the marinade with the chicken and place it on ice in the cooler. Dice the pineapple, jalapeño, and onion. Store them in the cooler.
Drive to camp and set things up. That first night at camp, you have an easy dinner prepared; simply grill the chicken and finish assembling the pineapple salsa. Cook rice if desired, and dinner is served!
Grilled Chicken Thighs with Pineapple Salsa
This grilled chicken with pineapple salsa and rice makes the perfect camping dinner. It’s quick and easy to cook at camp and absolutely delicious!
- 1.5 pounds of chicken thighs (boneless and skinless)
- juice of 1 large lime*
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 handful of cilantro (finely chopped)
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1.5 cups diced fresh pineapple
- 1/4 cup red onion (finely diced)
- 1 large handful fresh cilantro (chopped)
- 1 jalapeno seeds removed (finely diced (optional))
- juice from 1/2 a lime
Mix all the ingredients for the chicken marinade and coat the chicken with it. I like to put all the ingredients in a resealable freezer bag. To prevent leaks, I recommend double bagging it. Mix well to make sure all the chicken is fully coated. This step can be done at home. Let the chicken marinate in the fridge or cooler for at least 2 hours but no more than 24 hours.
Make the pineapple salsa: Dice or chop all the ingredients and mix them together in a bowl.
Grill the chicken: Start a small campfire under your grill grate and let it burn for 20-30 minutes adding wood as needed. Grill the chicken thighs over the hot coals and low flames. Avoid grilling over huge flames that touch the chicken. Grill for about 6 minutes on each side or until the chicken is fully cooked. Cooked chicken should have an internal temperature of at least 165°F. Remove from the fire.
Serve the chicken with a side of the pineapple salsa and rice if desired. Enjoy!
*If your lime isn’t that juicy, you can use two.
What to serve with this grilled chicken and pineapple salsa?
As you can see in the photos, I like to serve these chicken thighs and pineapple salsa with a side of rice. To keep things simple at camp, I usually use a box mix of Cilantro Lime rice. (The Zatarain brand makes a good one.) It goes really well with the other flavors in the meal.
Since I’m already grilling the chicken over the fire, I cook the rice over the fire too. Campfire cooking is so much fun and I’d rather not have to take out a camp stove too.
Simply follow the instructions on the packaging for the rice-to-water ratio. Place the pot over the flame and bring it to a boil. Mix, cover, and move off of the direct heat to let the rice simmer for about 20 minutes.
Check on the rice to make sure most of the water is absorbed and then remove it from the heat completely. Let it rest covered for another 5-10 minutes. Fluff and serve.
Want even more easy camping dinners?
I have tons of free delicious camping meals on the blog!
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