Meal Planning in an RV

how to meal plan in an RV

When you think of typical camping meals, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Hamburgers, hot dogs and smores? Within my RV Facebook groups or other social media, I commonly see questions on what to cook while RV’ing. Truly, you can make almost anything you make at home (in a sticks and bricks home) while in the RV. You may have to make some slight adjustments but it can be done. Meal planning in an RV doesn’t have to be difficult.

During our typical schedule, I meal plan. It makes it easier on me to plan for two weeks at a time so I am only doing the planning work twice per month. I sit down, create a menu for 14 days, create the grocery list for that menu and then shop for the bulk of the items. That means only 2 big grocery trips per month and then a couple quick stops for fresh fruits and veggies. Sometimes I get crazy looks when I share that method but it works well for me! I try to do the same thing while on the road traveling. The only caveat is that sometimes there is not enough room for two weeks of food (when buying for three growing boys).

Below is an example meal plan for one week. While traveling, we like to try new restaurants so I typically plan at least one or two times of eating out. My family does not often eat leftovers so I plan a dinner for every evening. If we do have left overs, we may eat it for lunch one day. Check out my article here for my favorite kitchen tools and accessories that I will be using in the recipes below.

Meal Planning RV Life

Below is an idea of a meal plan for one week. I included breakfast and dinner for each day. When we are traveling in the RV, we typically are busy and on the go during the day. We like to eat a good breakfast, lunch on the road and then dinner back in the RV. I will include lunch ideas at the bottom of the breakfast and dinner plans.

Day 1

Pancakes – These are so perfect to make on the Blackstone Grill (from Amazon). Our favorite pancake mix is Kodiak mix (also available on Amazon). Sometimes we add chocolate chips and, in addition to syrup, we like peanut butter on our pancakes.

Cuban sandwiches – This is one of our favorites. They would make a great lunch but we typically eat for dinner with a side of veggies. You will need hoagie buns, ham slices, shredded pork, havarti cheese, Claussen pickles (the sandwich slices), mustard and butter. Butter the outside of the hoagie buns, add the rest of the above ingredients to the sandwich and heat on the Blackstone Grill until the bread is hot and toasty. I prefer to smash the bread down to flatten the sandwich. Yum!

Day 2

Breakfast tacos – This is one of our favorites (yes, I have many favorites) and you can make several different variations. I fry bacon or sausage on the Blackstone and then scramble eggs. Make sure to throw your tortillas on before serving to heat and crisp them. Add cheese and salsa or any other favorite toppings.

Mongolian Beef – I love searching for new recipes as I am not a creative chef on my own. I love Iowa Girl Eats and especially these Mongolian Beef Noodles. I use the Blackstone Grill for the flank steak and cook the rice noodles on the outdoor kitchen stove or inside the RV. I don’t add the coleslaw (because I have one son who won’t eat it) but a side of broccoli is perfect for this meal.

Day 3

French Toast – When you make french toast, make sure you purchase Texas toast bread (thicker). My other secret to delicious french toast is to add some maple flavoring to the eggs and milk mix. I love adding fresh fruit to the top of french toast and it can always be sweetened with some powdered sugar.

Walking Tacos – These are so easy and everyone loves as they can make their own. I buy individual bags of Doritos. Cut the top off the bag then use your fingers to smash up the chips into smaller pieces. Fry hamburger with taco seasoning on the Blackstone grill. Add taco hamburger to the Doritos bag along with all your favorite taco toppings – lettuce, cheese, onions, salsa, sour cream. As a bonus, you throw away your Doritos bag. No dishes to wash!

If you want another chicken meal instead of beef, chicken is easy for walking tacos too. I like to throw chicken breasts in the slow cooker with some salsa and a packet of taco seasoning. Shred and its ready for tacos.

Day 4

Ham and cheese omelets – Typically I am not great at creating an actual omelet. Our ‘omelets’ are basically scrambled eggs with ham and cheese. But hey, its tasty!

Meatloaf – Once again, I cannot take credit for this Instant Pot meatloaf recipe. However, I can verify its easy and delicious. The Instant Pot makes it an easy RV meal. I do cut meatloaf recipe in half and use only 1 lb. of hamburger meat as that is enough to feed us with the potatoes and a side of veggies.

Day 5

Cinnamon rolls – I like to buy the Rhodes cinnamon rolls from the frozen section. I was terrified of my RV oven at first but have learned to use it with this helpful secret that we share in our RV Cooking Accessories blog post here.

Chicken Caesar Salads – Once again, I use my Blackstone. I slice chicken breasts into strips, add some salt and pepper and fry on the grill. We love Cajun seasoning so I typically add some of it to our chicken to give it a little spice. Throw this on a bed of romaine lettuce with croutons, Parmesan cheese and Caesar salad dressing.

Day 6

Breakfast Hash – Back to our favorite Blackstone Grill for a yummy breakfast hash. This is one that you can add any ingredients. I use hashbrowns, eggs and sausage along with onions and green or orange peppers. Add some salt and pepper while sauteing all the ingredients.

Fish tacos – I rely on the RV oven once again to bake blackened tilapia. Now, I am going to share my biggest secret and your new favorite taco shell. I did not realize these would be such a big hit until I made these on a couple occasions for guests we invited over to dinner. Everyone loves them so I have decided to share. You will need Mission extra fluffy tortilla shells and vegetable (or canola) oil. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the shells. I use two pairs of tongs so I can fold the shells in half to create the taco form. I promise you will not be disappointed!

With the blackened tilapia in the taco shell, we love to add red onions, salsa and a cilantro lime sour cream (I love the choice at Costco). Sometimes we add feta cheese.

Day 7

Bagels and cream cheese – Are you tired of cooking every morning yet? I always give myself an easy breakfast morning when we need something quick before heading off to an activity. You have to make sure you have a toaster in the RV. If you don’t like cream cheese, put some avocado slices on your bagel instead.

Philly Cheese Steak Pasta – Ryan loves Philly cheese steaks so anytime I see a recipe, I check it out. This is an easy pasta dish in the Instant Pot so I like it. I’m all about easy but yummy meals. Once again, this is a recipe that I ran across but I can verify its tasty!

RV Meal Planning Tips: Desserts

My entire family has a sweet tooth. Its terrible at times. I will bake a batch of cookies and they will be gone within a day. Or an entire pan of brownies. Needless to say, that doesn’t stop me from baking because we all enjoy our treats. I just make sure that we have our fruits and veggies too.

I don’t bake as much while traveling in the RV but here are a couple of our favorites and are easy to make in the RV.

No Bake Oatmeal Cookies – These cookies are Ryan and the boys’ absolute favorites! Everyone may not think that oatmeal is tasty especially in cookies but you will not be disappointed with these. It only takes on pan to make plus a spot to lay out some wax paper (or parchment paper) for cooling. Add 2 cups of sugar, 1 stick butter, 1/2 cup milk and 3 tablespoons cocoa into a saute pan over medium-low heat until it boils. Stir for 1 minute (set timer). Remove from heat and add 3 cups quick oatmeal, 1/2 cup peanut butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir all together. Drop spoonfuls onto wax paper. That’s it! Wait until they cool and enjoy.

No Bake Peanut Butter Bars – I found this one on the fabulous Iowa Girl Eats and my family fell in love. While Kristen makes everything gluten free, I used non-gluten free ingredients and we make it frequently. These No Bake Peanut Butter Bars work easy in the RV because it does not require many cooking tools.

Meal Planning RV Lunch Ideas

As I mentioned, frequently we will grab lunch while out and exploring. We love to try new restaurants and this is the perfect opportunity. However, there are times when we prefer to pack a lunch (especially on the hiking or ATV trails).

When we pack a lunch, I frequently will take ham or turkey sandwiches and sometimes uncrustables (the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the freezer section. The boys love them and nothing is easier.) I also take granola bars, trail mix, fresh fruit (usually apples and oranges) and sometimes some fruit snacks.

If we are around the RV, I will grill hot dogs, hamburgers or chicken breasts. I love grilled cheese on the Blackstone grill too. The kids love macaroni and cheese mixed with a can of tuna. Easy! Leftovers are always an option. If I have leftover taco meat, I will make quesadillas on the Blackstone grill.

Vegetable Meals in an RV

While all of the above are not the healthiest, we do love our fruits and veggies and always have a healthy side or two. I always have fresh fruit. I find it gets eaten best if I cut up any fresh fruits that I can. Pineapples, cantaloupe and watermelon do not last long around camp once they are diced and put in a bowl.

These are our most common veggies –

  • Brussels sprouts – fresh ones are the best when you slice in half, toss in some olive oil and garlic salt and either roast in the oven or saute on the Blackstone grill.
  • Asparagus – Toss in olive oil and garlic sauce and saute on the Blackstone grill.
  • Zucchini and yellow squash – I dice into little pieces and cook the same as asparagus
  • Green beans – fresh green beans are perfect in the instant pot. Simply add some water and cook on manual for 5 minutes.
  • Broccoli and cauliflower – Roasted in the oven is delicious but I will also add water to a pan and boil on the stove top.

Favorite RV Meals

I hope that these tips for meal planning in an RV gave you an idea or two to add to your camping meals! I would love to hear your favorite things to cook in the RV so please leave those in the comments below.

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