Travelling or even living in an RV does not mean that you have to resort to basic camp cooking. Living the RV lifestyle, you can still eat like a gourmand and enjoy a wide range of delicious recipes. Since space can be limited in an RV kitchen, you may find that you have a smaller array of cooking equipment than in a regular home kitchen. You may have to be careful about how you organise your RV kitchen, and come up with innovative storage solutions. But the lack of space and fewer pieces of equipment do not mean that you have to compromise on flavour. In this article, we will explore some one pot meal ideas to inspire you to cook up a storm with little fuss and minimal effort as you enjoy the RV lifestyle.
One of the best things about RV adventures is that they allow you to get closer to nature. Part of that should be eating fresh, seasonal, local produce. To that end, we’ve come up with this list of easy one pot meal ideas for each of the seasons, so you can enjoy no-fuss food throughout the whole year, no matter where your adventures may take you. While you may not encounter all four seasons everywhere you go, having recipes on hand for a range of different weather conditions and times of the year will help you cook easily and quickly wherever you end up.
One Pot Meal Ideas for Spring
Spring is all about light, zesty flavours and fresh greens. Spring recipes should be all about the new life springing up all around to banish the winter blues. These spring one pot recipes are all easy to cook up in your RV, and should help you make the most of the best flavours of the season.
Simple Stir Fry
Stirfrys are great one pot meals – you can use whichever vegetables you have on hand, and make use of the best fresh, seasonal produce.
Great as a quick mid-week meal or as a side dish, this stir fry is a great way to showcase the flavours of fresh spring greens.
Asian greens such as mizuna, mibuna, pak choi
Baby Carrots (thin strips)
Mixed seeds (optional)
Fried egg (optional)
- Gather your ingredients and slice as required.
- Mix soy sauce and honey to form a dressing (quantities to taste).
- Heat a wok (or large pan).
- Drop the vegetables into the pan, and drizzle over the dressing.
- After mere moments, take the wilted veg from the wok.
- If you wish, top the stir fried vegetables with a fried egg or a handful of mixed seeds.
Sprouting broccoli is one of the appealing vegetables you can harvest at this time of year. Use these healthy florets to create a simple, kid-friendly alternative to cauliflower cheese – a great way to get kids to eat their greens.
50g butter (or margarine)
100g strong cheddar (or other cheese of your choice)
Seasoning – salt, pepper, mustard powder to taste
- Chop your broccoli, and finely slice scallions and chives.
- Place the broccoli in your pot and par-boil until slightly softened.
- Drain off the water from the broccoli and return the pot to the stove top on a low heat.
- Add the butter (or margarine) and, once it is melted, add the flour and stir around for a minute or so, slowly adding in the milk and then the cheese to create the sauce.
- Once the smooth sauce has formed around the broccoli, remove the pan from the heat and add your seasoning, scallions and chives.
- Serve your broccoli cheese with some crusty bread.
Carrot and Kohlrabi Fritters
Fritters are an endlessly versatile and easy family meal, and you can use carrots and kohlrabi, as in the recipe below, onions, as in the image, or any vegetables, herbs and spices you fancy to ring the changes.
These fritters are great snacks for summer picnics, or for packed lunches and can be made in next to no time for a family-friendly lunch. Since they are so portable, these can be a great option for adventures away from your RV, and can be cooked ahead of time and enjoyed cold as well as being eaten hot as a quick meal.
Other herbs (to taste)
Seasoning to taste
- Grate the carrots and kohlrabi and finely chop spring onions, chives and other herbs.
- Add the egg and flour and stir to thoroughly combine and coat the vegetables.
- Heat a pan coated with olive oil.
- When the pan is hot, scoop dollops of the fritter mixture and flatten out in the pan.
- After around 3-5 minutes, turn your fritters and cook for around 3-5 minutes on the other side.
- Serve – with dips or salsas if you wish.
Frittatas are a great way to use up whichever fresh ingredients you have.
A frittata is another great easy meal for families on the go in an RV. You can have a delicious, child-friendly meal on the table in next to no time, and best of all, you can make your frittata in just one pan, so it is easy when it comes to washing up too.
Mange tout/ peas
Vegetable stock cube/ seasoning to taste
Olive oil (to grease the dish)
- Grate carrots and beetroot, finely chop onions.
- Caramelize onions in a hot pan, then throw in the root vegetables.
- Whisk up eggs (2 per person) and add these to the pan.
- Add your spinach (or other green vegetables) and mange tout/ peas, and mix in.
- Add grated cheese on top if you wish.
- Serve with a spring salad.
Nettle & Potato Soup
Nettles may be stingy but they can be delicious too – especially in the spring!
One cool way to make your money go further when travelling in an RV is to make the most of the wild food at your disposal and eat the weeds! The common stinging nettle can be found all over and while it may be a bane to gardeners and make your legs sting if you brush past them on a countryside walk, they are also incredibly useful – and delicious. Get into the swing of foraging by donning some gloves and picking some fresh nettle tips to cook up in your RV.
Nettles (and other foraged spring greens, as desired)
Garlic (or foraged wild garlic)
Seasoning (to taste)
- Boil potatoes and mash them.
- Add water and stock to create a smooth soup texture.
- Finely (and carefully) chop garlic, nettles and other spring greens and add these to the pot. (Pouring boiling water over the nettles first will eliminate their sting and make them easier to chop.)
- Simmer for a few minutes until all the ingredients are combined.
- Serve your soup – perhaps with some nice bread.
One Pot Meal Ideas for Summer
Summer is a time of plenty, when there will usually be plenty of fresh, local ingredients to choose from. When the sun is shining, you do not always want to be stuck inside cooking. Of course, you will likely also be enjoying plenty of barbecues and campfire meals as well as some light, healthy salads knocked up in your RV. But when you do feel the need for something warm, these one pot meal ideas make it easy for you to provide a hot meal on a cool evening without having to slave for hours over the stove.
There are plenty of risotto recipes that are sure to be one-pot wonders ideal for your next RV trip.
Pea, Bean and Spinach Risotto
This creamy take on rice and beans is usually made with ricotta, though you could use other soft cheeses, or even cashew cream if you would like a vegan option.
Fava beans or green beans
Spinach (or other greens)
Salad crops (for side salad)
ricotta cheese (or other soft cheese)
Seasoning – salt and pepper – to taste
- Prepare your fresh produce, shelling peas and slicing green beans if required.
- Add water, vegetable stock and rice to a pan and bring to the boil.
- Add vegetables and ricotta and simmer for around 15-20 minutes, stirring to prevent rice from sticking. Add a little more water if it becomes too dry.
- Season to taste and serve with a seasonal side salad.
Mediterranean Vegetable Spaghetti Medley
Mediterranean ingredients lend themselves perfectly to a range of easy one pot meals that you can cook up in your RV.
Spaghetti is a family-favourite and so quick and easy to make that you may find yourself cooking it over and over again over the summer months, as you use up delicious tomatoes fresh from the vine, as well as other summer vegetables and fruits. There are two options, the first is to pre-prepare a sauce or finely chopped mix of vegetables to enjoy with your spaghetti, the second is simply to add the finely chopped vegetables to the spaghetti once it has been boiled, as in the recipe below.
olive oil (to taste)
seasoning to taste
- Add your spaghetti to a pan of boiling water and boil until soft.
- Meanwhile, finely chop your vegetables and herbs.
- Drain the water from the spaghetti and then add your vegetables and herbs along with a drizzle of olive oil and seasoning, return to the stove top on a low heat, stirring all the time and combining all the ingredients.
- Serve, with additional fresh herbs as garnish if desired.
‘Three Sisters’ Soup
Corn, beans and squash are often called the ‘three sisters’ – they were planted together by native cultures and still thrive together today. They are excellent companions in the garden and work well together in the kitchen too. This simple soup is a delicious way to celebrate their fresh summer flavours in your RV.
Corn (off the cob)
Seasoning (to taste)
- Chop your squash and add these to a pan of boiling water.
- Slice your beans and prepare your sweet corn and add these to the water as soon as the squash is soft, along with your vegetable stock.
- Use a masher or blender if you wish to turn squash into a pulp and create a smooth soup consistency, adding a little more stock or water if required.
- Add salt and pepper to taste and serve with bread or as a stand-alone meal.
One Pot Meal Ideas for Fall
As the night’s draw in and temperatures fall, RV travelers may well want something a little more warming. But filling your bellies with hearty and warming food still doesn’t mean a huge amount of effort, or lots of pots and pans to wash up at the end of the day. Here are some seasonal one pot meal ideas for the fall:
Bean chilli is a perfect fall meal to warm you up on a cold evening.
Green beans may be done for the season, but you can still find fresh beans that can be taken from their pods and cooked, or dried for later use. This recipe is a great way to use these healthy beans, along with late season tomatoes and chilli peppers.
seasoning to taste
- Pod fresh beans (or open a tin). There are many different types of bean you could use.
- Sauté onion in a large saucepan, add finely chopped chilli pepper (to taste).
- Add tomatoes and fresh beans and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
This warming dish is perfect for a chilly autumnal day. You can also vary this recipe to use up whatever other root vegetables that you might have in store.
Chilli Pepper (To Taste)
Cinnamon (To Taste)
- Pick, peel and chop your pumpkin.
- Sauté onions, garlic, finely chopped chilli pepper, ginger and spices in a large pot.
- Add water, vegetable stock, pumpkin, tomatoes, carrot and bring to the boil.
- Simmer for around 20 minutes until the vegetables are all tender and the stew has thickened.
- Serve within the shell of the pumpkin if you wish. (To further save on washing up!)
Seeking out fall produce can be a fun activity for an RV trip, and there are plenty of ways to use all those fresh goodies when you get back to the RV.
Autumnal Vegetable Curry
There are many different curries that you can make throughout the year using fresh. Locally sourced produce. This is one option perfect for the fall.
Autumn greens (any)
Optional: flatbreads to serve
- Pick and chop ingredients.
- Sauté onions, garlic, chilli and spices in vegetable oil.
- Add tomatoes, vegetable stock, pumpkin/squash and other vegetables.
- Simmer until the sauce has thickened and squash/pumpkin is tender.
- Serve with flatbreads for the perfect warming fall meal.
One Pot Meal Ideas for Winter
People often think of winter as a time of scarcity but if you look will find that there can still be plenty of seasonal produce to eat at this time of year. Here are some winter one pot meal ideas to inspire you to make the most of the produce available at this time of the year as you travel around in your RV:
Winter Greens Hotpot
Hotpots are almost infinitely variable and are a great way to make a one pot meal for the whole family to enjoy. This is one option for a hotpot, which makes use of winter greens.
Kale is a wonderful ingredient for winter warmers and can be a useful green over the coldest months.
Kale (and other winter greens)
Sweet Paprika (To Taste)
Smoked paprika (To Taste)
Salt and pepper to taste
- Source your fresh winter greens and prepare other ingredients.
- Dice and sauté onions, carrots and garlic.
- Add water, lentils, plenty of winter greens, vegetable stock and spices.
- Simmer for around 20 minutes until lentils thicken the stew.
- Serve with some crusty bread.
Creamy Spinach & Pesto Pancakes
If you are looking for something a little out of the ordinary for a light yet comforting winter dinner then these pancakes could be a good option.
Spinach/chard/ other winter greens
Dried or fresh herbs (to taste)
Seasoning (to taste)
Cream cheese (or vegan cashew cheese alternative)
- Harvest your winter greens and herbs.
- Mix leaves with cream cheese and season to taste.
- Make pancake batter with flour, eggs and milk.
- Make your pancakes in a frying pan.
- Spoon creamy spinach/winter greens mix into your pancakes.
- Roll up the pancakes and serve.
Mixed Vegetable Dahl
This is another multi-purpose and variable curry recipe that can be a go-to recipe over the winter months. You can make it as mild or as spicy as you wish.
Red lentils are super healthy and super easy to cook. They can play a starring role in many one pot meals ideal for RV travelers.
Any winter vegetables/greens you have to hand
Flatbreads (to serve)
- Select your winter vegetables (use this recipe to use up whatever you have available).
- Sauté onions and garlic in vegetable oil and add your spices (to taste).
- Add vegetables, vegetable stock and red lentils.
- Bring to the boil and simmer for around 15 minutes.
- Serve (with flatbreads if desired).
These recipes should have inspired you to branch out and create some different, delicious and exciting one pot meals in your RV. If none of the recipes above whet your appetite, there are plenty more one pot RV ideas to choose from – or you could just throw out the recipe books, use your imagination, and create your own.
Elizabeth Waddington has an MA from St. Andrews University and a Permaculture Design Certificate. She is a green living consultant, with a passion for sustainable travel, permaculture and the natural world. She lives in rural Fife, just north of Edinburgh, close to the Firth of Forth on the east coast of Scotland.
No stranger to RV travel, Elizabeth has travelled all over Scotland, the UK and beyond in search of natural wonders in her RV. Her camping adventures have taken her to the Grand Canyon, up the Pacific Coast of the US, to Yellowstone National Park, the Grand Tetons and to explore the wonders of Utah. She has travelled extensively in the Pacific Northwest, and around New England. In Europe, she has taken trips through much of the western part of the continent, travelled up to Norway, and down through Romania and Bulgaria to Istanbul. She looks forward to further eco-friendly adventures.