COVID-19 UPDATES: Keeping Visitors Healthy

Better Camp Food: Turkey Apple Chili

November 1, 2016  |  Permalink

Just because you’re going camping doesn’t mean you have to eat hotdogs and dried noodles. The food you consume on a camping trip should be just as awesome as the environment in which you eat it. Food plays an important part in the emotional and physical experience of your camping trip. There’s something about eating a good meal that boosts your spirits. This is especially true if you’re sharing that meal with friends.

To help you eat better and enjoy your trip more fully, we have collaborated with Marissa Barrett from Novel Creature to craft a campfire-cooking recipe that is sure to make your heart and belly happy. Her Turkey Apple Chili recipe is a perfect dish to serve a group on a cool, autumn evening at a Tennessee State Park.





1 lb ground turkey
2 apples, chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded, sliced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 small can of tomato paste
1 can black beans
1 tbsp ketchup
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp sriracha
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup water
Cooking and prep utensils (chef's knife, spatula, etc.)

Cook time:

1 hour


1. Gather and prep the ingredients. 

  • Some of this prep work can be done before you head out to the park. Marissa brought a lot of her ingredients in a cooler. 

2. Combine ingredients in a cast iron pot as shown in the video. 

3. Place the pot on a cooking grate over an open fire and cook for one hour.

  • Note: Most of the Tennessee State Park campsites include a cooking grate over the fire pit already. You can always call ahead to confirm with the park you plan to visit.

4. Enjoy!




Camping is a popular activity in our state parks, and for good reason. It offers a cheap and easy way to get outdoors and spend time in the wilderness. From Johnson City to Memphis, Tennessee State Parks offer 36 campgrounds that the public can reserve. Many of our campsites are accessible by car, and have water spigots and electricity. That makes it easy for campers to pull up, unload and jump right into the camping experience.

Click the link below to find a campground to visit on your next adventure:



About the author