How to Make Mouthwatering, Easy RV Meals
I love to cook, so I’ve made some amazing camping meals just for the fun of it. However, many people see meal preparation as a chore, and for you, these ways to simplify RV cooking may help. Keep it simple and follow these tips so you have time to enjoy all that the RV lifestyle has to offer.
1. Start meal planning
You know what you like to eat, and you know what you like to cook. Make a list of those meals and be sure that you keep the raw ingredients for those meals in your fridge or cupboard. Some minimalists even go so far as to eat the same meal every day.
Personally, I can’t imagine doing that, but it apparently works for some people. Before you go to the store or order your groceries online, check your list of favorite meals and your pantry to be sure you have all the necessary ingredients on hand.
Look for easier ways to prepare favorite foods, like corn on the cob.
When I had the large home kitchen, I would boil water in a huge kettle on the range top and cook the corn in boiling water. When we started our full-time RV journey, I took that kettle with us, but I discovered it is much harder to manage that kettle in our RV. Here’s how I do it.
Cut both ends off of the corn without shucking it. Microwave the unshucked corn for 8- 12 minutes depending on how many ears are being cooked. When the corn is done, hold onto the outside of the husk, push the ear of corn out of the husk toward the larger end of the cob. Most of the corn silk will get stuck inside the husk.
2. Keep easy-to-prepare foods on hand
With today’s packaging technology it’s easy to keep quick meals on hand. A can of chili or your favorite soup, with fresh veggies and a slice of bread, only takes a few minutes to prepare. A package of frozen lasagna, frozen premade hamburger patties, or a can of tuna can all be quickly converted into an easy meal.
Buy two dozen eggs at a time and boil one dozen to keep on hand for a quick egg salad sandwich, or as a high protein snack on travel days. An extra loaf of bread in the freezer and jars of peanut butter in the fridge can be easily transformed into a quick lunch.
Keep fresh fruit on hand for a quick healthy snack or to accompany a sandwich for lunch. Before a move-day, cook a whole chicken or buy a pre-cooked roasted chicken and debone it. Now you can make a quick chicken salad sandwich for your move-day lunch. Try to think about these tips to simplify RV cooking when you’re making a shopping list.
3. Using a Crock-Pot will simplify your RV cooking
Another way to simplify RV cooking is to utilize a Crock-Pot or Instant Pot. It only takes a few minutes to put a roast, potatoes, onions, and carrots in a Crock-Pot early in the day. By dinnertime, you have a fully prepared hot meal.
Usually, it will last for multiple meals and only require a quick reheat. There are so many excellent meals that can be made in a Crock-Pot. One of our favorites is 15-bean soup with a ham hock.
I keep several ham hocks in the freezer, and I keep several packages of this soup mix in the pantry. Any time I don’t feel like cooking for a few days I just pull out the Crock-Pot and make a roast or soup. Chili or zucchini soup are also favorite Crock-Pot meals. AllRecipes.com has hundreds of recipes for Crock-Pot or Instant Pot cooking and I’m sure you’ll find a few new favorites there.
Make this Easy Minestrone Soup Recipe
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There has always been something powerful about coming together over a homecooked meal with friends & family. A time for bonding, meaningful conversations and understanding. We hope your table, plate and heart is full this week! . . RECIPE: Minestrone Soup Serves 10-12. Prep time: 20 minutes. Cook time 4-5 hours on HIGH. -10oz smoked bacon, diced -1 tbsp vegetable oil -5 large carrots, peeled and diced -6 sticks celery, diced -2 large onions, peeled and diced -2 large leeks, cut into slices -4oz whole green beans, cut -4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped -3 sprigs rosemary, leaves finely chopped -1 tbsp dried oregano -3 tbsp tomato puree -3 x 14oz cans of chopped tomatoes -10 cups of vegetable or chicken stock -1 x 14oz can cannellini/white kidney beans, rinsed and drained -1 x 14oz can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained -4oz spaghetti pasta, snapped into bite sized pieces -4oz savoy style cabbage finely shredded or spinach leaves -Salt and pepper -Grated parmesan Heat the vegetable oil in a medium sized frying pan or skillet and brown the bacon pieces, stirring regularly to prevent sticking. Tip into the stoneware bowl. Add the carrots, celery, onions, leeks, green beans, garlic, herbs, puree, tomatoes and stock, stir well. Cover and cook on High for 4-5 hours until the vegetables are almost tender. Stir in the tinned beans and spaghetti pasta, cover and cook for a further 30 minutes until the pasta is cooked through. Add the shredded cabbage or spinach and allow to wilt, before serving piping hot in bowls dusted with grated parmesan.
4. Prepare larger quantities and freeze the extra
This one tip has saved me many hours of meal preparation time. I almost always prepare more food than what is needed for one meal. If I’m making a salad, I make a lot of salad. If I’m preparing a dish in the Crock-Pot, I fill it up, and I boil at least a dozen eggs at one time.
When you prepare food for more than one meal, you only have to clean up the cooking mess one time.
Cooking a whole pot of 15-bean soup? Freeze any extra. A couple of weeks later, that frozen soup will be a big treat. It’s so easy to prepare and clean up.
5. Use your whole grill or barbecue when cooking outdoors
This last tip to simplify RV cooking ties into tip #4. Are you firing up the grill or barbecue? Load up the whole grill with food you can save for later. Make four steaks instead of two. Grill eight ears of corn instead of four. Barbecue the whole side of a salmon. Hash browns and bacon can be reheated, too. Prepare at least two days’ worth.
Some larger propane grills have enough surface area to cook large quantities of food. Take advantage of the whole surface. You’re paying for the propane anyway. The whole grill needs cleaning after it cools. You might as well cook for multiple days while the grill is hot.
Want More RV Cooking Tips?
If you like to cook, and preparing exotic dishes in your RV appeals to you, then go for it. If you want to make Chocolate Bakala for dessert, that’s awesome, and if preparing Cranberry Stuffed Game Hens for an extra special holiday meal with all the side dishes is an important part of your holiday traditions, most RV galleys accommodate that effort.
Check out previous article on 6 Quick & Easy Camping Meal Ideas. You may also like these tips on How To Cook Thanksgiving Dinner In An RV.
Peggy Dent is an author, writer, and full-time RVer, traveling around the US and Canada. She’s traveled more than 130,000 miles in a motorhome, over the past 20 years, and is currently writing for the RV industry. You can contact her through her website at www.APenInYourHand.com
Roosevelt Williams says
Thanks for posting this i appreciate it soon I will be full time at a park here in Texas my home and looking forward to it. I have a instant pot and haven’t really used it but I will soon
Vanessa Simmons says
For years I have cooked more and frozen it or had it the next day. When I fire up the grill I cook steaks, porkchops, hamburgers and chicken breasts. That is that nights meal and the next three days. Plus many more meals with the extras in the freezer. I make soups and casseroles and freeze portions. Before I hit the road I pull out a few soups, casseroles, frozen porkchops, etc and put them in the RV freezer. Helps to cool it down along with a couple of bags of refrigerator made ice.
Jennifer John says
Thanks for the great tips. The minestrone soup is definitely going on our next road trip!
Corn on the cob in your campfire. Make an envelope of aluminum foil, folded over on both ends a couple of times. Put in corn, add a little water and fold over top. Throw in fire coals for about 10 min.
Love the tip for corn on the cob. If only doing 2 ears would you go 8 minutes? Will definitely try this as we only cook it on the grill now. I also use my crockpot a lot and along with an electric skillet manage most of our meals.
Most of the time i buy meal kits before leaving the 24-hour walmart parking and microwave them whenever I feel hungry. No need to cook or wash utensils. Its only when we park overnight in national parks, I turn on the grills and cook something nice and fresh for the family.
One of our favorite things to cook is a pork shoulder roast. (Shoulder excellent tender cut). WE have an electric roaster. We rub the shoulder with salt and pepper, make knife slits in roast and stuff with cloves of garlic. Throw in a couple sprigs of rosemary. We serve with mash potatoes and a salad. A couple of nights. Then we shred and make pulled pork sandwiches served with coleslaw. Then last but not least burritos and tacos rice and beans. . We ❤️ our roaster. I can fit a 20lb turkey in it. We have had many family Thanksgivings while we are rving. Our crock pot comes in as #2. Just because the roaster is quicker. We love to cook! Everything smells so good. We have been aske many times by our neighbors sure smells good what are you cooking? Most often we share a plate or two🙂
Leilani Worrell says
You forgot about an Instant Pot. This appliance made our 5-month trip so much better. Frozen meats cook in less than 15 minutes! What a time-saver.
Gloria Sluder says
I have an air fryer that gets used frequently. Microwave and electric skillet and I am good to cook..
May I suggest getting an Air Fryer for your RV and at home? I got one a few months ago and rarely use my oven now. It makes delicious food. Easy and fast.
I cook many meals ahead of trip for quick stops or lazy days. Also take easy prep meals for every day cooking, at least one meal a day. Some examples of prep ahead are, breakfast burritos, scramble eggs, sausage or bacon some seasoning veggies (I get frozen chopped) cheese and hash browns rolled into a flower tortilla, wrapped in foil and marked. Fajitas, breakfast bowls. Also examples of ingredients for easy prep meal dehydrated hash browns, canned tuna, canned chicken breast, canned salmon, canned chili, tomato soup, pasta, oatmeal, grits, cereal, instant milk,
Larry Lyon says
At home, I often vacuum seal leftovers and stash them in my freezer, and then take them with me in my RV freezer, or frig if I will be using them soon, when I hit the road.
That way, I can just drop them into some boiling water (usually heated by my portable electric induction hot plate) for a few minutes and have hot, previously prepared meals to enjoy.