Meal Timesavers

Expert Advice

RV Meal Timesavers

For me, meal time can be a little stressful. I enjoy cooking when I’m plugged into power in a campground, but on the go I can slip into the habit of eating out if I don’t do a little planning and incorporate a few meal timesavers.

You’re on the road, there’s lots to see and do, you get hungry, it’s easy to pull into a restaurant or gas station for something quick to eat. Or, you’ve been exploring, hiking and biking all day and you get back to camp and don’t feel like cooking a big meal.

By taking a little time to plan and organize your meals, you actually come out ahead with less stress during the week and more money in your bank account. It’s one less thing to think about.

Make Ahead Meals are popular and doable even in a small space like my Winnebago Travato kitchen. Set aside an afternoon to do meal planning and prep for the week. Ingredients can often be shared across multiple meals with different flavor profiles.

Sunday – finalize grocery list, shop and batch cook
Breakfast – omelette – pre-chopped onion, mushroom, peppers, and feta
Lunch – out while shopping,
Dinner – corned beef, rice and cabbage

Batch Cooking

  • Rice
  • Skillet cabbage
  • Corned beef
  • Mongolian beef
  • Egg Roll in a bowl
  • Pre-cut/prep any veggies & fruit

Week Meal Plan 

Monday – no cooking, just reheating
B – oatmeal w/blueberries
L – bean salad & roasted chicken
D – left over corned beef, rice

Tuesday – no cooking, just reheating
B – oatmeal w/mangos
L – left over bean salad & roasted chicken
D – Mongolian beef, rice

Wednesday – no cooking, just reheating
B – oatmeal w/peaches
L – spinach salad
D – left over Mongolian beef, rice

Thursday – cooking lunch & dinner – both one pot meals
B – oatmeal w/blueberries
L – egg roll bowl,
D – Dan Dan noodles

Friday – no cooking, just reheating
B – oatmeal w/mangos, chicken
L – left over egg roll bowl
D – left over Dan Dan noodles

Saturday – only cooking dinner – one pot meal
B – oatmeal w/peaches
L – antipasto salad and deli meats
D – artichoke risotto

Timesaver Tools 

Instant Pot or IP

The latest craze is the InstantPot. It’s a 7-in-1 cooker – a great multi-use gadget that does the job of a slow cooker, electric pressure cooker, rice cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, sauté/browning pan, and warming pot. You can set it and forget it, cook foods that are frozen, keep your food warm and cook dry beans quickly.

The last night I plan to be on power I will make a stockpile to take with me for the following week off the grid. I love the IP so much I prioritized it as one of the main appliances in my tiny kitchen.

IP Recipes

My favorite is to make a corned beef roast and save the leftovers to have over rice the next few days. When I’m ready to make a meal, I will do a quick cabbage – using angel hair cut coleslaw in the bag and add a little onion, oil, salt and pepper and sauté. Then add in the corned beef to heat it up and eat.

IP Corned Beef

IP Honey Bourbon Chicken – can be frozen and then pulled out when you need it

IP Dry beans

IP Rice – 1 cup of rice to 1 cup of water (I like to use chicken broth) I added a little butter or oil and Borsari seasoning salt I make 3 to 4 cups at a time and baggie the leftovers.

For when you’re off-grid, make and freeze your favorite pasta sauce and chili in bags (store flat in small freezer spaces) or other containers and then pull them out throw them in a pot on the stove and add cooked noodles. I’ve done this many times at Walmart for dinner while I’m parked overnight.

IP Freezer Meals

inspiration for batching and freezing meals once a month (if you have the freezer space)

Instant Pot for RVers Facebook Group

Timesaver Products & Ingredients 

In an RV, large or small, space is a premium. These ingredients double as space savers with small packaging and they do not require refrigeration.

  • Individual size peanut butter spreads
  • Packaged foods – garbanzo beans
  • Pre-cut veggies
  • Olives – pouches
  • Bacon bits
  • Ready to roast veggies packaged in the produce department
  • Roasted whole chicken or pulled chicken
  • Noodles – pasta and for stir fry
  • Packaged sauces – Mexican, Italian, Asian
  • Dried beans – lentils, garbanzo, black bean – hummus, soups, or just cooked beans
  • Squeeze tubes of fresh garlic, ginger, red pepper flake – last awhile and you can freeze them if you have the room
  • Packaged olives
  • Capers
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Roasted red peppers

Quick Salad Combinations 

Cans last longer and do not take up refrigerator space

  • Julienned Canned Beets or pre-roasted beets
  • Wax Beans
  • Artichoke Hearts
  • Hearts of Palm
  • Chickpeas (canned or dry)
  • Black beans (canned or dry)
  • Corn
  • Olives (canned, deli, or pouches)
  • Capers
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Roasted red pepper
  • Bacon bits – real bacon, uncured
  • Nuts – walnuts, pecans, pine nuts, almond slivers

I try to shop at farm stands or farmers markets to pick up my fresh ingredients:

  • Boiled eggs (stove top, IP, or store bought)
  • Spinach or lettuce greens
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes

Warm spinach salad – a couple tablespoons of white rice vinegar, couple tablespoons of olive oil, salt/pepper, bacon bits – heat in pan add spinach last minute to coat leaves. Place in bowl, top with feta cheese and hard boiled egg.

Quick Asian

  • Cabbage cole slaw-angel hair cut
  • Mushrooms
  • Onion
  • Red Pepper, Garlic, and Ginger squeeze tubes
  • Sausage
  • Shredded carrot
  • Water chestnuts – canned
  • Sesame oil
  • Soy sauce
  • Lo mein noodles
  • Sauces for IP or skillet – Pad Thai…, others
  • Peanut butter – packs or jar

Egg roll in a bowl

Dan Dan noodles –

IP Mongolian beef

Quick Italian

  • Mushrooms
  • Onion
  • Tomato paste in the tube – keeps in fridge once opened
  • Diced tomatoes – can
  • Noodles
  • Jar sauce
  • Frozen sauce
  • Olives
  • Capers
  • Calabrese or dry salami
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Roasted red pepper
  • Red Pepper and Garlic squeeze tubes
  • Risotto and pasta packs
  • Pasta – angel hair, fresh if available

IP Sauce Recipe – All Day Sauce Flavor in 45 min

Quick Mexican 

  • Shredded carrots
  • Canned – carrots, corn, black beans,
  • Taco sauce – add beef, chicken or pork
  • Green chiles – can or jar
  • Tortillas

IP recipe

Veggie Burritos – using primarily canned ingredients and skillet

Breakfast to Go

Overnight Oats – recipe


  • Fruit – Mango, peach, blueberry, strawberry
  • Applesauce & cinnamon
  • Chia seeds
  • Sliced almonds

Lasts a week in the fridge.

I hope these tips enable you to regain some time to enjoy on the road!

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The Road To Adventure

Kate is a modern day solo explorer on an epic RV trip across the United States to visit 443 areas within the National Park system. She is in her 3rd year of full time RVing traveling with her 2 Chiweenies. Join her on The Road To Adventure where you’ll find videos and guides to make the most of your visit to our National Parks.