RV meals
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33 Amazing 5-Ingredient Recipes for Cooking in a Camper

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Fab Five
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Fab Five

Just because you're traveling on the road with limited kitchen space doesn't mean you have to forgo delicious home-cooked meals. Based on tips from RV lifestyler Susan Teich and blogs such as Go Rving, we put together a list of five-ingredient RV meals suited to life on the road. These easy-to-make meals are based around cooking methods that work seamlessly with RV life, and can be made in an instant pot, pressure cooker, one stovetop pan or pot, outdoor grill, and other camp kitchen gear.


Related: The Coolest Off-Road RVs for Battling Rough Terrain

Slow Roasted St. Louis Style Baby Back Pork Ribs
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Slow Cooker: BBQ Country-Style Ribs

You may be traveling around in a camper, but this stick-to-your-bones meal will remind you of home. Pork ribs are cooked with liquid smoke, salt and pepper, brown sugar, onions, and barbecue sauce for a feel-good meal. 


Recipe: Six Sisters' Stuff

Young fried potatoes with garlic and dill on a black background
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Grilling: Garlic Potatoes

Perfect as a side dish alongside grilled meat or as breakfast topped with eggs, these garlicky grilled potatoes are easy to make and even easier to clean up. Baby Yukon gold potatoes are tossed with garlic, onions, olive oil, and fresh thyme, then grilled in foil over high heat. 


Recipe: The Suburban Soapbox

Spaghetti, tomato and basil
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Instant Pot: Spaghetti

When the craving for a simple bowl of spaghetti hits, this Instant Pot recipe is a go-to. Customize the sauce with various herbs and spices or add your choice of meat — all in all, it should take around 10 minutes to make.


Recipe: The Typical Mom

One-Pan Meal: Chicken Veggie Skillet
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Instant Pot: Mac And Cheese
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Instant Pot: Mac and Cheese

Mac and cheese is a major food group in the United States. Once you've mastered the basic recipe you can customize it with your choice of fresh seasonal vegetables or proteins. The entire dish can also be changed just by switching up the kinds of cheeses used.


Recipe: Food Network


Related: We Tried Store-Brand Mac and Cheese and These Are the Best

Grilling: Barbecue Chicken
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Grilling: Barbecue Chicken

A standby recipe, this easy chicken on the grill can be made in a large batch for a crowd or to have leftovers for the week. Switch up the sauce to suit local tradition and bring some variation to the dish.


Recipe: Simply Recipes


Related: 25 Barbecue Sauce Recipes for Grill Season

One-Pan Meal: Sausage And Potatoes
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One-Pan Meal: Sausage and Potatoes

This easy RV meal can be turned into brunch with eggs, or dinner with a side salad and a glass of riesling. Made from two ingredients that can be easily stored, it's an anytime dish for whenever and wherever hunger strikes.


Recipe: Kitchen Nostalgia

Pressure Cooker: Frittata
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Pressure Cooker: Frittata

The pressure cooker does double duty in this recipe. Sauté the veggies right in the cooker, then close it up and bake. This super cheap and high-efficiency food can be enjoyed anytime of day with a small salad for a surprisingly sophisticated meal.


Recipe: Kitschen Cat

Grilling: Fish Steaks
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Grilling: Fish Steaks

Fish is tasty and healthy, but can leave behind odors when cooked inside a camper — best to cook it when there's access to an outdoor grill. These easy fish steaks are versatile enough to tailor with favorite flavors.


Recipe: Epicurious

Instant Pot: Rice And Beans
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Instant Pot: Rice and Beans

Rice and beans is an inexpensive, easy-to-make staple in most cultures. This version gets bonus points for using dry beans, which are even cheaper and contain less additives than their canned counterparts.


Recipe: From My Bowl

Instant Pot: Beef Stew
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Instant Pot: Beef Stew

This calorically dense meal is delicious — and a good way to get full from a one-bowl RV meal. Best for making in large batches, this classic beef stew keeps well and actually improves as it sits for a few days.


Recipe: Migraine Relief Recipes

One-Pot Meal: Chili
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One-Pot Meal: Chili

A large batch of chili can take on so many uses. After you get sick of eating chili on its own, ladle it over hot dogs or on nachos, mix with rice into burritos, and find other creative ways to use up the remnants.


Recipe: The Kitchn

Instant Pot: Black Bean Soup
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Instant Pot: Black Bean Soup

The chorizo in this soup adds significant flavor, making it feel more like a meal than a starter. This hearty soup can also be dressed up or down, served simply or with a dollop of crema, cilantro, or other garnishes.


Recipe: Treasured Mom

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No Cooking: Coleslaw

It's important to keep vegetables a steady part of your diet — even when kitchen appliances and the ability to cook is scarce. This recipe comes together quickly, especially if using precut vegetables, and will improve as it sits in the fridge over a few days.


Recipe: Litehouse Foods

Instant Pot: Chicken Tikka Masala
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Instant Pot: Chicken Tikka Masala

This Indian favorite — which may have been developed in Scotland — can be enjoyed anytime and anywhere with this super-simple recipe. It requires some prep to make the masala paste, but those without time or space can always substitute a store-bought curry paste for a slightly different (but just as tasty) result.


Recipe: Pinch of Yum

Grilling: Mexican Elotes
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Grilling: Mexican Elotes

These delicious grilled ears of corn are a classic throughout Mexico and many neighborhoods in the United States. If you really want to get good at putting them together, take in an expert video; you'll see that having a stick or some way to mount the corn goes a long way.


Recipe: Bon Appétit

Pressure Cooker: Maple Vinegar Braised Parsnips
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Pressure Cooker: Maple Vinegar Braised Parsnips

A sophisticated take on a basic vegetable that goes largely unnoticed, this recipe from pressure cooking maven Jill Nussinow is unique with a gourmet flair. The veggie can be enjoyed as a tasty snack, side dish, or the base of a full RV meal.


Recipe: The Veggie Queen

Instant Pot: Chicken Tinga
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Instant Pot: Mexican Chicken

This chicken recipe is delicious on its own for a protein-packed dish, but its real value is in how versatile it is. Added to salads, pastas, sandwiches, or rice bowls, it creates a satisfying meal no matter how you use it.


Recipe: Skinny Ms

No Cooking: Fruit Salad
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No Cooking: Fruit Salad

Keeping a fruit salad around encourages healthy eating any time of day. Adding fresh herbs such as mint or basil, or a simple dressing, takes it up a notch. Adventurous eaters can even try adding a spicy chili into their dressing for a sweet and spicy flavor.


Recipe: Add a Pinch

Portobello Tacos
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Grilling: Portobello Tacos

Who doesn't want taco night by the grill? For an easy meatless meal option, simply grill portobello mushrooms with just a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper, or use a favorite marinade. Once grilled, heat tortillas on the grill for a few seconds and load them up with the mushrooms and toppings such as salsa, lime, and avocado.


Recipe: Love and Lemons

One-Pan Meal: Cilantro Lime Brown Rice Skillet
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One-Pan Meal: Cilantro Lime Brown Rice Skillet

This bowl doesn't have to use chicken every time — switch up the protein to keep the dish interesting. This could also be made alongside grilled items.


Recipe: Sweet Phi

Vegetarian Split Pea Soup
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Pressure Cooker: Split Pea Soup

As is so often the case, this super comforting food is also a super budget food. The ham hocks are optional but add a lot of flavor, so if you omit them for dietary reasons, consider adding another smoked element, such as chipotles.


Recipe: Real House Moms

Grilling: Oysters With Chorizo Butter
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Grilling: Oysters With Chorizo Butter

Oysters are at once a primal and fancy food, and so uniquely satisfying to feast on. Simple grilled oysters without the chorizo would be a treat, but this extra-indulgent version is restaurant-quality cuisine. It requires the use of a cast iron pan for the chorizo, which Teich recommends for indoor/outdoor cooking.


Recipe: Food & Wine

No Cooking: Overnight Oats
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No Cooking: Overnight Oats

There's a reason so many people have oatmeal for breakfast every day — it's a magic food, super healthy, and incredibly cheap. This camper-friendly recipe lets you enjoy oatmeal for breakfast with no heat required.


Recipe: Food Network

Pork Tenderloin
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Instant Pot: Pork Tenderloin

Bring this out to impress friends and prove that high-quality food can absolutely be made in an RV. Serve this with a light red wine or crisp off-dry white to take it to the next level.


Recipe: Savory Tooth

Pressure Cooker: Chicken And Rice
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Pressure Cooker: Chicken and Rice

This heartwarming dish is delicious on its own, but also endlessly versatile. It can be a nutritional and inexpensive blank canvas for using local vegetables, spices, or any ingredients you have a craving for.


Recipe: The Foodie Eats

Banana Chia Pudding
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No Cooking: Chia Pudding

Chia seeds are inexpensive and shelf stable, and chia pudding comes together in just a few hours. Combine two tablespoons of chia seeds with a half-cupsof almond milk or similar milk product and one teaspoon of honey or another sweetener. Stir well and let sit in the fridge. After just a few hours, it turns into a creamy pudding that can be topped with fruits, nuts and jams.


Recipe: Feel Good Foodie

Tofu Stir-Fry
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One-Pan Meal: Teriyaki Stir Fry

These days it's easy to find a variety of premade sauces in the international aisles of grocery stores. This stir fry is a good base to add different flavors, so you can eat whatever kind of cuisine you're in the mood for.


Recipe: Food.com

No Cooking: Tuna Salad
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No Cooking: Tuna Salad

Cans of tuna are cheap and easy to store, making this a good RV meal when other options are scarce. Tuna salad can be used to make sandwiches, to turn a side salad into a meal, or to serve as a snack with crackers.


Recipe: AllRecipes

Grilling: Coconut Curry Kebabs
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Grilling: Coconut Curry Kebabs

Kebabs on a grill is a no-brainer, but cooking up bite-sized chicken pieces can get a little boring. This recipe puts a flavorful spin on kebabs with coconut milk and curry paste, creating dynamic layers of flavor with a pop of zest from fresh limes.


Recipe: Once a Month Meals

Fudge
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No Cooking: Fudge

Let's be honest: Sometimes you just need chocolate, and this fudge can do the trick. It also makes a nice homemade gift if you're going over to a friend or family's place for a get-together or meal.


Recipe: Go RVing

Pressure Cooker: Rice Pudding
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Pressure Cooker: Rice Pudding

A dessert that gets better as it sits in the fridge, this is a great recipe to make in large batches and enjoy over a few days. Substitute coconut milk for a dairy-free and extra flavorful version.


Recipe: Pressure Cooking Today

Yogurt Parfaits
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