When on a caravan holiday, you may not always feel like prepping extensive meals for lunch and dinner times. What appeals to many when touring in the caravan is that sense of freedom and a move away from the humdrum of everyday domestic life.
But caravans usually don’t offer large kitchens, and indeed vast preparation space, like you may have become accustomed to at home! Add to that a limited fridge space and reduced storage space in general, and you won’t be able to buy as big a weekly shop as you do for the home either!
Yet, what you may also not want to do is get into the habit of relying on constant takeaways when you’re caravanning. Though it may be tempting, while it’s ideal for a short stay, over a longer period it can become problematic health wise. It can also end up becoming one of the costlier aspects of caravanning if you’re not careful here!
Here at Caravan Helper, we’ve put our heads together and come up with a couple of the office favourites when it comes to caravan cooking. As well as being some of the quick and easy meals to cook in a caravan as well as indeed prep, they’re also some of the tastiest you can get as you travel in the van.
Easy Meals to Cook in a Caravan
A favourite for so many of us, Spaghetti Bolognese is not only a good healthy and hearty meal but also something that doesn’t take much effort to make, cook, or even to store such ingredients.
In fact, you can choose to make this as much about utilising cupboard staple foods like chopped tomatoes – or opt for the fresher of ingredients to suit your mood.
Keep a few bottles of sauce in your cupboards along with packs of spaghetti, and then all you really need to keep in the fridge for this is the beef mince.
This can then be made in no time at all. What’s more, you can add a side dish to it to fill you up, while topping your spag bol with grated cheese and a couple of herbs to garnish.
As you stack plenty of bottles of sauce in your caravan cupboards for the spag bol, you can then use them to make Pasta Bake. This is another firm favourite for many and a real treat when coming back to the caravan after a long day.
This is once again a recipe whereby you can chop and change the ingredients you use in it, making it as straight forward or as extravagant as you wish.
Pasta Bake is ideal if food storage space is at a minimum in your caravan as you can use tinned tomatoes here and bags of pasta, which take up next to no room but ultimately offer a great tasting dish all around. Additionally, you can top it off with a selection of cheese sauce and serve it with garlic bread. Pasta dishes really are one of the easiest meals.
Perhaps not always the most obvious of choices for when dining in the caravan, curry dishes are certainly a big hit with most people.
Not only does curry fill you up, but it also keeps you warm during those colder caravanning nights.
Curries are actually one of the simpler of meals to make and do not create an excess of washing up, making them ideal for caravanning purposes! They are almost a one pot meal as everything just goes into 1 frying pan. Add some chopped tomatoes, spices and then your choice of meat and you have yourself a curry.
Once again, you can use jars of curry sauce here for added practicality and make this dish as simple or extravagant as you like, finishing it off with naan bread or poppadums.
Investing in a wok and keeping it in the caravan is a fantastic decision if you regularly caravan. You can make so many delicious meals or even the odd snack using this utensil. It’s also one of the more straightforward of items to wash up afterward!
This is also a great way of ensuring you get your recommended allowance of vegetables every day, alongside cutting down on the prep time and indeed cost as you can buy so many different varieties of mixed veg already bagged up in stores now.
To bulk a stir fry up and make a good dinner from it, you could also add noodles, a selection of meat types and various sauces, completing the meal. It is a quick and easy meal that the whole family will love.
Home Made Pizzas
Pizza is something all the family can enjoy. The great thing about making your own pizza when caravanning is that you don’t have to account for ample freezer space to store those shop bought ones!
As well as this, not only is it satisfying making your own, but you can then choose to personalize your topping as you see fit.
Home-made pizza can also be one of the healthier of choices as you’re more in control of what you place on them and know precisely what’s going into them!
All you need is plain flour and yeast which you can store away in your food cupboards, and you can make as much dough as you need, leaving it to rise throughout the day. Then, it’s merely a case of loading it with your preferred choices and putting it into the oven.
The tomato puree is also a single small staple food cupboard item, meaning it takes up less room and you can concentrate on storing more of those fresh choices in the fridge here to select at your leisure.
What you don’t eat that day can be wrapped in tin foil and popped in the fridge for the next day.
Full English Breakfast
As this is generally fried or toasted, once again, you aren’t likely to use too many items here, so washing up is usually kept to a minimum!
To make a full English breakfast all the more healthier, you can opt for those fry light sprays that you can easily find in most shops now. These not only eliminate the need to carry those larger oil bottles in the van, but they are also the healthier of options, with many using a much as 95% less fat than regular oil.
A full English breakfast is almost a requirement when it comes to caravanning; especially in the UK! Therefore you could ensure a plentiful and hearty breakfast or indeed brunch here to fill you up for the rest of the day.
Better still, with most of the staple food here being the more practical to store, you can do the whole works quite easily with this meal. Here you can include baked beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, eggs, hash browns, toast, bacon, and sausages, plus whatever else takes your fancy.
Other Ideas For Easy Caravan Cooking
In the Slow Cooker:
More and more people are beginning to see the many advantages of taking a slow cooker with them on their caravanning travels. These are now widely available in a range of sizes and are very well priced. Above all, they allow you to make a great tasting and healthy meal from a vast selection of meat choices – and all in just the one pot!
Slow cookers will allow you to add a lot more variety to your caravanning cooking while still ensuring you can store all the food you need for them adequately, even if storage space for food is at a minimum in your van.
Therefore, you can access a wide variety of meal recipe ideas, including stews, soups, casseroles, and full roast dinners! Best still, you can throw all the ingredients in as you wake and then return to a fabulous full meal ready and waiting for you!
Click here for some great slow cooker recipes.
In the Microwave:
If you’re lucky enough to have a caravan microwave, you can also get some additional great meal choices for your caravan holiday.
Baked potatoes are ideal for the microwave and a good meal choice as they are filling, especially when served with options such a tuna, cheese, beans or coleslaw.
A microwave will also allow you to reheat those leftovers from previous meals which you can then improve on with fresh salads and vegetables.
On the BBQ:
What’s a caravanning break without a BBQ? Better still, a BBQ in the temperamental British weather! Whether you choose to take a BBQ with you, utilise the BBQ amenities on site, or even pick up an instant disposal one, there’s no denying that BBQ food tastes great, especially when you’re away from home! All the family will love it.
Better still, they’re relatively easy to do, and you can cook a variety of meats to suit, stocking up with plenty of side choices.
Final Thoughts on Quick Caravan Meals
It may seem more of a challenge when you’re in the van to get those meals equalling what you’ve become accustomed to at home. But this certainly doesn’t mean you can’t create good quality and fantastic tasting caravan food.
Hopefully, as we’ve shown here, you can still eat well and enjoy several caravan meals here and there, alongside mixing them with the odd takeaway. Who knows, you may even find a new favourite or signature dish as you do so.
Therefore you don’t have to solely live off salad bags or tins of baked beans each time you set off in the van!
Check out our top picks for caravan cutlery trays.