Simplify Your RV Cooking On A Busy Travel Day
What should you cook in your RV after a long travel day? There are so many options that are quick and easy. It’s always best to plan ahead so you have all the ingredients you need. Prep everything you can so when you stop, you can don’t have to chop, slice, or even open a can. It should be ready to throw in a pot or skillet.
Also, don’t plan any complicated meals on a travel day. A meal you can pop in the microwave is great, so consider leftovers or a charcuterie feast of cheeses, fruits, and meats. Just prep ahead and pull it out of the refrigerator, add some sliced bread, and pour a glass of wine, and you have a great meal.
Let’s take a look at a few great ways to cook and some easy camping recipes that you might enjoy.
Prep before you go
Rice, quinoa, and other grains can be made ahead and used as a base for bowls with meat, vegetables, or other toppings.
Keep your meals simple, and do foods such as tacos, burgers, wraps, or simple sandwiches. Even a grilled cheese sandwich and a bowl of soup are easy and pleasing to your whole crew.
Stop along the way
Find stops along the way using a trip planner like RV LIFE Trip Wizard, and purchase fresh produce and fruit at an outdoor stand. We stayed at a Harvest Host one night and were able to purchase fresh milk, butter, eggs, and more at the dairy farm. While these aren’t always planned stops, they are a great way to enhance your groceries and add flavor to any meal.
Use your Instant Pot
The Instant Pot is a great way to make a quick and easy meal in a very short time. This device can pressure cook a meal like chicken breasts, even frozen ones, in about 15 minutes. You can have dinner done by the time your spouse has all your setup done for the night.
Try foil packets meals
Foil meals can be done in your propane oven or even in the campfire. Have your better half get the fire going while you prep the packets. Get the kids involved with the preparation as well.
Try a One-Skillet Meal
My favorite way to cook is with my electric skillet. It’s big enough to cook more than one item. For instance, I cook my potatoes in a little oil and spices, push them to the side of the pan, and cook chicken breasts or hamburgers. The potatoes stay hot and get a little extra crispy while the meat cooks on the other side of the pan.
A pasta dish or hamburger helper meal is also easy and quick and can be made in the skillet.
Get out the grill
Getting out the grill is a great way to get meat going and even add a nice vegetable as well. Corn on the cob or asparagus are great options to grill.
Hamburgers are always a good option for a quick and delicious meal. Just prep the patties before you leave, and they will be ready to throw on your grill when you arrive at your destination.
Quick camping recipes
Here are a few simple recipes to get you started.
This low-carb meal is a quick, easy, and delicious treat that will leave everyone satisfied. Most recipes call for ground chicken, but we like ground turkey. Just brown your meat in a little olive oil with 2 cloves of garlic and one onion. Once the meat is browned, add hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ginger, and Sriracha if you want a little kick.
Next, stir in water chestnuts (8-ounce can, drain and slice) and sliced green onions. Add kosher salt and pepper to taste. Wash the butter lettuce and carefully remove the leaves. Add the mixture to the lettuce and wrap like a burrito. I am leaving the amounts open so you can adjust this for your needs. Just add everything to taste—you can’t go wrong.
Instant Pot Shrimp Boil
This recipe is so easy and tasty, and with the Instant Pot, it will only take about 30 minutes from start to finish.
Wash and cut up 1-1/2 pounds of red potatoes. You can use the baby ones for less prep. Add the potatoes, one package of smoke (12.8 ounces) sausage, and ½ teaspoon of chopped sweet onion, 3 tsp of Old Bay seasoning, and 1 tbsp hot sauce. Top with 3 ears of corn, halved, and 16 ounces of pilsner or lager beer.
Set the Instant Pot on high for 5 minutes and then quick-release the pressure. Add shrimp (1 ½ pounds with shell on), set on high for one minute. Quick-release the pressure again.
Melt ¼ cup unsalted butter in the microwave or on the stove, add 3 cloves garlic and 1 tsp Old Bay. Serve immediately drizzled with the butter mixture and garnish with parsley and lemon if desired.
Ham and cheese sliders
These are yummy and easy and can be made ahead of time. You can use King’s Hawaiian Rolls or any kind of roll. First, slice the buns in half horizontally and then place the buns side-by-side in a baking dish. In between the slices, put ham and cheese. You can make the sandwiches as thick as you like. We use turkey and Swiss.
In a separate bowl, mix together one stick of melted butter, 1 ½ tbsp Dijon mustard, 1 ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce, and 1 ½ tsp minced dried onion. You can also add 1 ½ tsp of poppy seeds. I used everything bagel mix just because I like it.
Pour the mixture over the top of the rolls, making sure the dried onion is evenly distributed. The original recipe calls to refrigerate it overnight, so you can make this ahead and then just pop it in the oven at the end of your travel day. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes. Add a side salad and you have a great meal.
Black Bean Turkey Chili
This is one of my go-to recipes for the end of a busy day. I’ve been making it for so long I don’t need a recipe anymore. I make it in my electric skillet so there is no need for a lot of dishes. Just brown one pound of turkey, or you can use ground beef if you like.
Add in onions and minced garlic if you like and cook until the turkey is cooked through and the onions are translucent. Mix in one can of crushed tomatoes, ¼ cup salsa (RO-TEL will work too), and two cans of black beans, rinsed and drained. Add in 2 tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp cumin, and salt and pepper to taste. Let it simmer until you are ready to eat. Top with cheese, sour cream, onions, vinegar, or whatever you like. Don’t forget the crackers on the side.
Tater Tot Casserole
This is one easy recipe that you and the kids will love. In your skillet, brown one pound of hamburger. You can add onions, garlic, and any other spices you like. I’m a big garlic fan, so I always have a large jar of minced garlic in my fridge. Once the hamburger is browned, spoon it into the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan or a small one that fits your oven. Put grated cheese on top of the hamburger.
Mix a can of cream of mushroom soup, or chicken soup if you like, with one can of water. Pour this mixture over the hamburger and cheese. Place tater tots (frozen) in one layer on top of the mixture. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes or longer, based on the directions for the tater tots.
Sausage and Veggie One-Pan Meal
The nice thing about this recipe is you can use whatever vegetables are in season or ones that you like. You can prep your vegetables and smoked sausage ahead of time.
Take one package of smoked sausage cut into ½ inch slices. Combine with vegetables, which could include brussels sprouts, onion, summer squash, zucchini, yellow pepper, green pepper, mushrooms, or tomatoes. Put sausage and vegetables on a greased cookie sheet. Drizzle with Greek vinaigrette and toss to coat. Bake uncovered at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes.
Travel day in your RV can sometimes be mentally and physically exhausting. Instead of having fast food, a great, nutritious meal at the end of the day that doesn’t require a lot of prep or clean-up can leave you rested and refreshed to enjoy your evening.
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Terri and her husband, Todd, are full time RVers and work campers. They have been living full time in their RV for nearly three years with their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Newton, and their Mini Aussie puppy Remi. They are currently wintering in Arizona with plans to continue their travels next summer. Writing is Terri’s passion but she also loves hiking, kayaking and anything she can do outside.