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  • Writer's pictureChristina Trotter

Pudgy Pie Perfection: Easy, Fun, and Delicious Campfire Recipes for the Whole Family

Updated: Jun 18

My first introduction to pudgy pies was when I was a Girl Scout. I remember going through an assembly line to make our own panini-like sandwich creations and then toasting them lightly over the campfire.

What is a Pudgy Pie?

Pudgy pies, also known as campfire pies, hobo pies, or mountain pies, have long been part of American campfire cooking. These delicious handheld sandwiches are typically made by placing ingredients between two slices of bread, which are then cooked in a special pie iron over an open flame.

What makes Pudgy Pies a Campfire Favorite?

We love to make them when we go camping because like foil packets, it's something that people can individualize and make with whatever fillings that they want so it's always tasty to them. It's also fun to assemble and see how it comes out, so it tends to keep kids interested. Most importantly, it requires patience and time tending over a fire, so it allows for good conversations and quality time with your kids.

It's dark outside and two pie irons sit on top of campfire coals.
Pie Irons over the campfire

Pudgy Pie Recipes

There are an infinite combination of pudgy pie recipes and really, it's up to you to decide what ingredients will be your ideal recipe. I love playing around with savory and sweet ingredients to make something that hits just right.

Sometimes, I lean towards the fastest path to eating - a grilled cheese. Other times, I want to go haute cuisine, and I'll make my favorite specialty pizza with soppressata, fresh mozzarella, Thai chiles, and pre-made caramelized onions. Okay, I'll be realistic. That happened once. And it was ah-mazing.

Breakfast Pudgy Pie Recipes

  • Egg Breakfast Sandwiches: take two slices of bread and add scrambled eggs, cheese and pre-sausage crumbles

  • Ham and Cheese Breakfast Sandwiches: Add ham and your favorite cheese between bread. Brie takes it to the next level, but provolone does just fine

Lunch Pudgy Pie Recipes

  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich: add your bread, favorite cheese(s) and toast to your

  • Peanut Butter and Jelly: layer peanut butter and jelly between two slices of bread, pinch the sides and cook

Dinner Pudgy Pies

  • Chicken Pot Pie: Use a pre-made refrigerated pie crust and add cooked chicken (Costco rotisserie works great here), and a can of mixed veggies and separately, Campbell's Cream of Chicken. Start with your pie crust, add a layer of Cream of Chicken, chicken, veggies and then another layer of Cream of Chicken and put your pie crust on top as well.

  • Pizza: you can use bread or pizza dough for this. Add a layer of pizza sauce, copious amounts of mozzarella and your favorite toppings. This is realy fun because you can go all out on toppings and never make the same one twice!

A pie iron has a pre-made pie crust sitting atop of it. Inside is cherry pie filling.
The start of a cherry hand pie

Dessert Pudgy Pie Recipes

  • Apple Hand Pies: Cut up a mix of apples (Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, Cosmic or whatever you like, but sweet and tart is a good combo). Mix apples with melted butter, lightly coat with white sugar, then brown sugar, a pinch of salt and toss lightly with a pinch or two of cinnamon. Add on top of your refrigerated pre-made pie crust and then add a layer of the crust on top. Pinch around the edges and cook!

  • Cherry or Blueberry Hand Pies: Following the recipe above, replace pie filling with cherries or blueberries

  • S'mores: Use pre-made pie crusts and butter the inside, then add crumbled graham crackers, lots of marshmallows (they reduce when cooking!) and as much Hershey's chocolate as you'd like

  • Nutella and Banana: Do the same as for the s'mores but add nutella and banana inside of your pie crusts. We also love to do with fresh or frozen strawberries in liquid

Cooking Times

You'll notice that I didn't include cooking times. That will be frustrating to some and I get it. I didn't do it on purpose because I have never found them to be accurate when it comes to campfire cooking unless I'm using a Dutch oven where I can control the baking temperature.

If you cook directly on the coals vs. a grate, it will take less time. If you like your food less cooked, it will take less time:) Pudgy pies are really easy to remove and check and everyone has a different preference for when it's done (like marshmallows). Part of the fun is being a mad scientist!

Tips for Cooking Pudgy Pies:

  • Preheat your pudgy pie - it will cook more evenly. Under 5 minutes is good.

  • You need a fat on the bottom to coat the pie iron to prevent it from sticking. Spray Pam or another cooking oil or use melted butter

  • Pre-season your pie iron and take care of it! Cast iron will last forever but show it some love! Keep it oiled and seasoned and don't let water sit on it or it will rust

  • Don't overfill! Ingredients will generally expand when they cook

  • Pinch or crimp with your fingers or a fork before cooking to seal the sides. You can add cooking oil or some raw egg to the edges if it's not staying closed

  • Rotate your pie iron when cooking for even cooking

  • Have fun because this IS fun!

I can't wait to hear how your pies turn out. Please leave a comment with your favorite pudgy pie creations. If you haven't ever made one before, would you having read this?


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