A decade ago, most RVers were aged 65 and above. But this is no longer the case, as a huge number of families are now taking to the road and discovering the great outdoors.
The number of sales for RVs has grown over the last few years, with 430,412 sold by the end of 2020. Indications are that the trend will continue to grow as the price of an RV is offset by the travel savings that boondocking offers over time.
Adapting to life in an RV comes with numerous challenges, even if you’re only using it to take the family out on a weekend adventure. One of the areas many RVers need a helping hand with while on the road is cooking. Serving up dinner for a family isn’t always easy at home, so in the confines of an RV or with the limitations of a fire, it’s extra tricky.
Fortunately, we’ve got several dinner ideas that even the pickiest eaters will love.
Dutch Oven Meal Ideas
Chicken Corn Chowder
A staple of Boy Scouts across America, Dutch ovens are great for cooking everything from bread to soups. To make a quick Mexican chicken corn chowderthe only ingredients you’ll need are chopped onions, chicken, some chilies, a can of cream-style corn and a small carton of long-life cream.
All you need to do is combine all the ingredients in your Dutch oven, add your cream and grated cheese last, and you have a wonderful chowder for colder evenings.
If you have a second Dutch oven you can even make a simple cornbread to eat with the soup. Your family will love the rustic authenticity this adds.
Quick beef stew just like grandma used to make is always a crowd pleaser. In one pot you can mix cubed chuck roast, vegetables, and stock to make a hearty stew served with bread or rice. If you have supplies of staples like herbs such as paprika, rosemary and thyme they’ll add extra flavor, but just salt and pepper work well too.
Another great one-pot wonder is mushroom risotto. You can cook this in a Dutch oven or in a pot on the stovetop. This Italian arborio rice dish is real comfort food and often has family members coming back for seconds. Just be warned that you need to keep an eye on it, as it cannot boil dry.
Short Rib Ragu
Tantalize your family’s taste buds with a ragu that tastes like it was made by a master chef. All you need are short ribs, carrots, onions, celery, and garlic. Add a tin or two of tomatoes, a splash of red wine and a packet of pasta, and you’ve got a meal your kids are sure to ask for more of.
Sausage And Potato Bake
A great twist on tortellini sausage and potato soup, this is a simple way to make a potato bake in the oven or over the fire. You’ll simply cook the mix until all the liquid you’d have added reduces, and after that, you can top the sausage and potato bake with cheese. The cheese will melt in gooey strands that kids and adults cannot resist. Adding broccoli works well too if you want to include a vegetable.
Food On The Fire Ideas
Every RV and boondocking trip should feature food cooked over an open fire. After all, there’s nothing better than sitting around the campfire with your family, listening to night noises and gazing at the stars.
Every boondocker should have pots, pans, and utensils suitable for use over a fire, and you can use a crockpot too, of course. These dinner ideas are all super tasty and easy to make too.
Cooking chili on the fire gives it a wonderful smoky flavor. You can make chili mince with just a few spices and a tin of onions and tomatoes, and you can add red beans or butter beans to make it stretch further. Serve on top of corn nacho chips or in a tortilla for an authentic Mexican fireside meal.
If you have the time and the ingredients, a zesty tomato and cucumber salsa is a great addition to this dish.
Chicken and Vegetable Skewers
Thread chunks of chicken and vegetables like red or green peppers, mushrooms or pineapple on skewers and roast them over an open flame. You’ll soon have a delicious meal that is easy to eat. Once you’re done, you can throw the wooden skewers into the fire, so there are no dishes.
Grilled whole ears of corn are also a firm favorite on the fire. You can splash a bit of butter on them and even add a sprinkle of cheese just before you serve them. Once again, with BBQed corn, there are no dishes that need washing up after dinner.
These dinners are quick and easy to prepare, and you can dress them up or down with your seasonings and herbs on hand.
Simple cheese and tomato toasties are so much tastier when made over a fire. Using a BBQ grid, you can make your sandwiches quickly and then pop them over the fire to get that warm, toasted taste. Add onions and herbs to make them a little more exciting, or keep them plain if your kids don’t like the added flavors.
Extra tip: If you’ve got leftovers from any of these meals, use them to make breakfast tacos with scrambled eggs.
If the weather is warmer, then a quick and easy salad is always a great family meal, and you can even cook any meat or chicken you use over the fire.
A few ideas include:
- Spicy chicken pasta salad
- Deluxe potato salad with bacon and eggs
- Mediterranean pasta salad with olives and feta
- Couscous salad with chicken and vegetables
Make Ahead Meals
If you’re embarking on a boondocking adventure where you want to make cooking as simple as heating and eating, you can do that too.
All you need are a few dinner ideas that everyone loves and that freeze well. Just remember that your freezer space will be limited, so plan ahead.
You can opt for delicious family-favorite dinners such as:
- Mac ‘n Cheese
- Chicken curry
- Spaghetti and meatballs
- Meaty casseroles
The most memorable getaways are the ones that have great food, and when you’re camping in an RV you can still serve up dinners your family will love. Whether you use the RV’s gas stove or oven or cook over a fire outdoors, the options are almost endless, and delicious too.
Use these ideas for dinner, and you’re sure to create lasting memories of on-the-road eating adventures that everyone in the family enjoys.
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