Easy Campsite RecipesJust because you are living the Van Life doesn’t mean you need to eat out all the time, or eat low quality, unhealthy foods.
Even though you don’t have as much space or equipment as you would in a regular kitchen, campervan cooking can be delicious and satisfying.
It’s important to keep your chuck box well organized. Only buy food that you use regularly, instead of buying items that you will only use once that take up much space. At the same time, choose foods that you can make multiple meals out of without getting bored.
Before you go to the grocery store, plan as many meals as you can in advance.
Simple, Delicious Meals for Van Travel
When searching for easy campsite recipes to cook, look for those that use a narrow range of ingredients. If you over complicate things, cooking might become frustrating and a negative experience for you.
Great Gear for Great but Simple Meals
When choosing your equipment to cook with in a van, don’t just go for the cheapest option. Quality is important! You want to go with items that are versatile and easy to clean.
If at all possible, get a two burner stove. The long term benefits are well worth the little extra space they take up. A good two burner allows you to cook easy campsite recipes in less time and give you more freedom while cooking.
If you cook with a lot of fresh food, invest in a good compressor fridge/freezer that will provide you with more room and keep your food coldest for the longest periods of time.
If you spend the time to think about what you need to create a tiny kitchen that fits your needs, cooking can be enjoyable and easy. Here are seven, one-pot recipes that I like for campervan cooking.
Seven, One Pot, Easy Campsite Recipes
1. Sausage with Lentils
Makes 4-6 servings
- 1 pound sausage. Depending on your refrigeration system, choose sausages that keep well such as Andouille or other semi-dry cured. Can be cooked whole or sliced into thick, oblong coins.
- 3 cloves of minced garlic
- 1 chopped onion
- 3 tomatoes, chopped
- 2 Carots
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 red chilli pepper, chopped, or dried chili flakes or chili paste.
- 1.5 cups of brown or red lentils
- 2.25 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
- 4-6 eggs
- In a frying or sauce pan, heat some oil to medium high temperature. Gently fry the sausages until they are cooked through and golden brown.
- Add the chopped garlic, onions, tomatoes, and peppers to the pan.
- Fry for a few minutes, then add the vegetable stock.
- Next, add the lentils, and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Season and add more liquid if it’s looking too dry.
- Then make a well for each egg that you’re using, and gently crack them in.
- Cook for another 5-10 minutes until the egg has set.
- You’ll know the dish is done when the lentils are soft. Serve with garlic bread.
2. One Pot Fried Rice w/Eggs
Some will be offended by the idea of using microwave rice. Feel free to steam rice separately and add in step 4.
Minute rice is another option that reduced stove/fuel use.
For perfect steamed rice: Bring two cups of water to a boil. Stir in 1 cup of white rice and reduce heat to simmer. Cover pan and allow to simmer/steam on very low heat for 20 minutes.
Brown rice may take up to twice as long to soften, depending on variety. It’s okay to pop the lid to test a bit for done, just put it right back on.
- 1 tablespoon of oil of your choice, or butter
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 chopped red or green bell pepper
- Other vegies as desired
- 1 pouch of microwavable rice
- 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon of paprika
- A pinch of salt
- Chilli flakes to taste
- 3 eggs
- Soy sauce and sweet chilli sauce for serving
- Heat the oil or butter in a saucepan.
- Add the chopped onion, and fry until softened.
- Next, add the bell pepper and garlic and saute for a couple of minutes.
- Add the rice, the turmeric, black pepper, sugar, paprika, salt, and chilli flakes. Stir well.
- Stirring frequently, cook until the rice starts to turn golden and smell toasty.
- For non-microwave rice: gently stir in cooked rice.
- Push all of the rice to the sides of the pan. Crack the eggs in the middle of the pan.
- Scramble the eggs and then gently fold into the rice.
- Serve with soy sauce and sweet or hot chili sauce.
3. Campers Breakfast Crumpet/English Muffin Sandwich
I love a simple, messy sandwich and this one fits the bill. Perfect for any time of day, really.
All sandwich making and many other cooking tasks can be greatly simplified with a sandwich press,including melting cheese, toasting and even clean up.
- 2 crumpets or English muffins
- Half of a ripe avocado
- 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
- 1-2 eggs
- A teaspoon of butter
- 2 servings of of bacon, American or Canadian
- Cheese with low melting point (cheddar, havarti, mozzarella, cream cheese…)
- Toast the crumpets until slightly crispy.
- Mash the avocado with the lemon juice.
- Butter the crumpet first, then spread the avocado on the bottom crumpet.
- Poach or fry the egg(s) and put them on top of the avocado.
- Add the bacon on top of the eggs, followed by the other crumpet.
- Melt some butter onto the top crumpet for that extra kick of flavor.
4. Simple, Quick Campsite Mushroom Ramen
This recipe is a bit more complex than the rest. However, if you like Asian flavors, you’ll want to have many of these ingredients in your van.
And speaking of Asian flavors. This gas BBQ and Wok is super innovative, versatile and fun.
- 2 eggs
- 3 cups chicken, beef or vegetable stock
- 1/4 lb sliced oyster or other mushrooms
- 1/4 lb fine egg noodles
- 2 bok choy leaves, sliced in half
- 2 scallions, sliced
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- Boil the eggs. My favorite method is to cover the eggs with cold water in a small saucepan, bring to a boil and let cook for 5 minutes, then cover the pan and let sit for 15 minutes. Perfect hard boiled eggs.
- Then, remove the eggs and let them cool before you peel them and cut them in half.
- Place the stock in a large saucepan, bringing it to a boil.
- Add the mushrooms and simmer for 3 minutes.
- Next, increase the heat to a gentle boil, add the noodles, and cook until done (3-4 minutes).
- Right before the noodles are done cooking, add the book choy.
- Take the saucepan off the heat. Mix in the spring onions, soy sauce, and sesame oil.
- Serve the mushroom ramen in bowls, topped with the halved boiled eggs.
5. Kielbasa with Potatoes and Peppers
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
- 6 chopped red potatoes
- 1 sliced red bell pepper
- 1 sliced yellow bell pepper
- A 16 oz package of smoked kielbasa, sliced into oblong coins
- Place a saucepan on the burner on medium heat. Add the oil and wait for it to warm up.
- Then, add the diced kielbasa and chopped potatoes to the saucepan. The smaller the potatoes are chopped, the faster they will cook.
- Cover and cook for 25 minutes. Stir every few minutes until the potatoes are tender.
- Once the potatoes are soft, add the sliced red and yellow bell peppers to the saucepan.
- Continue cooking for another 5 minutes, until the peppers are tender.
6. Simple Camper Pancakes
The next two recipes come out great on a cast iron griddle or fry pan.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg, whisked
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- In a bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together.
- Next, add the milk, egg, and oil. Mix everything briefly (this is a quick bread, so it’s important to not over mix. Don’t worry about a few clumps).
- Heat a lightly oiled frying pan over medium-high heat.
- Pour the batter into the pan. Use around 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake.
- Flip when it is bubbling and a light brown on under side.
7. Drop Scones With Fruit
- 1 cup flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 egg, whisked
- 1 cup milk
Berry & Lemon Topping
- 1/4 lb berries of your choice
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- The juice from half a lemon
- Add the flour and sugar to a mixing bowl. Then add the egg.
- Slowly stir in the milk, little by little.
- The runnier your batter is, the thinner the drop scones will be. If you want smaller and puffier scones, use less milk.
- Heat a frying pan until warm. Lightly grease with butter or oil.
- Add the mixture to the pan, one tablespoon at a time. Leave a little space for each round to spread out a bit.
- When the scones start to bubble on the top, slide a spatula underneath and turn over.
- Heat the second side until it’s golden.
- Serve hot and top with honey, butter, or the berry & lemon topping.
Method: Berry & Lemon Topping
- Heat the berries and honey together in a small pan with a lid. You’ll know it’s done when the fruit is soft and there’s plenty of juice. Pour over your drop scones and enjoy.
Bonus Recipe: Vanilla Greek Yogurt with Fresh Fruit
Seems super obvious, but I’ve come to love this simple meal that’s low in sugar, high in protein and absolutely delicious. I prefer it after dinner instead of a sugary dessert.
If you eat low carb, you can sprinkle some stevia powder over the yogurt, stir well, add a few sliced berries and you’ve got a great breakfast, snack or desert.
- Vanilla or plain Greek yogurt
- Fresh fruit of your choice (peaches, strawberries, bananas)
- Granola if desired
- Cinnamon or nutmeg
- I like to add a bit of pure Stevia
- Slice the fruit
- Add it to a bowl with the greek yogurt
- Top with granola, spices and sweetener and enjoy
Please share in comments
Thanks for reading and if you try any of these recipes, please comment below on how it goes.
- What’s your favorite one pot or otherwise simple campervan recipe?
- Do you get by without an oven or multi-burner stove?
- What’s your cooking setup like?