One of the joys of living on the road is the open fire in the evening – especially the food cooked on it. But quite often, the joy of cooking can turn into a nightmare if you are not well prepared for cooking on the road and the limitations involved. And one major limitation is the cookware, after all, you can’t pack all your cooking utensils in an RV.
This is where one pot meals come in handy.
What is a One Pot Meal?
As the name suggests, a one pot meal is a complete meal cooked in one pot. Yes, complete means a healthy meal replete with proteins, starch, veggies – the works. One pot meals are not actually the invention of modern-day campers, most cultures have their own variations of one-pot meals that have been passed down from one generation to another. Take a risotto, for example, an Italian one pot meal loved by most everyone.
Advantages of One Pot Meals
As someone who’s always on the move, it’s very easy to know that keeping your energy levels up is very important. But sometimes, time and space do not allow for you to cook up a 3-course meal – and those are 2 of the more common advantages of one-pot meals. Let me give you a few more.
Diversity in Simplicity
One great thing about one-pot meals is that you can use diverse ingredients and yet still keep the cooking simple. The different colors and aromas make up for a tantalizing meal – even for kids who don’t.
Saves Precious Water
Unlike your water supply that is infinite (seemingly, but not really), your RV’s water supply is very limited. Even if you fit an enormous 100-gallon tank, every drop will definitely count. And that’s a great advantage of one-pot meals, their simplicity means you save on water, both for cooking and cleaning up.
Fewer Pots to Carry
Now don’t get me wrong here, I’m not saying you should only carry one pot on your RV. But having a number of one-pot recipes up your sleeves certainly means you can cut down your weight by reducing the number of pots you carry on your RV.
Less Clean Up
This is another big advantage of cooking a one-pot meal (think great one-pot pasta dishes like a ham and cheese tortellini). Less time spent cleaning up means more time spent doing the things you love doing on your outdoor adventure.
One Pot Pasta Recipes to Get You Started
Everyone loves pasta (or at least they should). It’s a very versatile base that can be turned into anything in a very short space of time. It’s so easy to prepare pasta dishes even your 8-year old can be put in charge of your one pot meals. Here are a few tasty examples.
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, minced
3 cloves garlic,
minced 1/2 lb. chopped deli ham
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 lb. cheese tortellini
2 cups frozen peas
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup shredded swiss
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Heat the oil over a medium to high heat in a skillet. Add the shallot and garlic and cook until soft (approximately 3 minutes). Add the ham and cook until crispy (5 minutes). Make sure to stir occasionally. Season with pepper and add the tortellini and frozen peas and stir until coated. Pour in the chicken broth and simmer until the tortellini are al dente (approximately 6 minutes). Add the heavy cream, Swiss, and Parmesan and stir until creamy. Serve and enjoy
Our examples of one-pot meals can’t be complete without taking a look at some chicken pasta recipes, after all, chicken and pasta are a match made in culinary heaven, especially since both are easy to cook and yet very tasty. Here’s a delicious example you can cook in under 30 minutes.
1 tablespoon olive oil
20 oz boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
3 cups chicken broth (from 32-oz carton)
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel and 2 tablespoons lemon juice
8 oz spaghetti broken in half
¼ cup capers, drained
½ cup heavy whipping cream
In your pot or skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic and stir/fry for 30-60 seconds. Pour the chicken broth, lemon juice, spaghetti, and capers. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pasta is al dente. Most of the liquid should be absorbed at this stage. Stir in the whipping cream and cook just until heated through. Stir in the grated lemon peel. Serve warm.
Comfort Camping Food in One Pot
There you have it. Camp food doesn’t have to be boring, in fact, outdoor meals should always be a tasty treat – especially when cooked over a fire. There’s no better way to enjoy comfort food.