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Cheapa campervan near beach at Sunshine Coast, QLD

 
Alyssa Tresider
/ Categories: AU Blog

The Best Meals to Cook in a Campervan.

A road trip across Australia opens you to a world of freedom, especially when you can cook your own delicious meals on the go. In this blog, we're diving into the culinary side of van travel, giving you the best campervan meals and RV cooking ideas. Whether you're looking to rent a travel van for a short getaway or planning a larger Australia road trip, mastering the art of campervan meals will enhance your adventure. From quick bites to full camping dinner ideas, we've got you covered with camping recipes that are as easy as they are delicious, ensuring you never have to sacrifice flavour for convenience on your Australia road trip.

 

The Benefits of Cooking in Your Campervan

Cooking in a campervan doesn’t have to be a simple means to fill the stomach — it can also be a highlight of your van travel experience. Imagine sizzling up a hearty breakfast as the sunrise paints new landscapes at your doorstep each morning. The ability to whip up your own meals in your campervan not only connects you more deeply with the places you visit but also brings a host of practical benefits:

  • Cost-Effectiveness: Cooking your own campervan meals can significantly cut down on travel costs. Instead of dining out for every meal, which can quickly add up, buying ingredients for campervan meals and cooking in your campervan allows you to stretch your budget further. This is especially beneficial on long journeys where daily restaurant meals are not financially sustainable.

  • Dietary Control: When you prepare your own campervan meals, you have complete control over what you eat. This is crucial for travellers with dietary restrictions or preferences. It ensures you can always have access to food that fits your dietary needs without the hassle of finding suitable dining options at the last minute.

  • Convenience and Self-Sufficiency: With a kitchen on wheels, you eat what you want, when you want. No need to align your hunger with restaurant opening times or spend hours of your precious holiday searching for a place to eat. This is particularly advantageous in remote areas of Australia where eateries are few and far between.  

  • Quality Family Time: With easy camping meals, cooking becomes a collaborative and fun activity with family or friends. It's a great way to bond, share responsibilities, and enjoy each other's company, all while creating delicious meals.

 

Essential Tips for Campervan Cooking

Planning is everything when it comes to van travel — that is even more true of motorhome cooking. Let's dive deeper into the essential tips for making your RV cooking enjoyable and hassle-free.

 

Plan Ahead

To get the most out of your motorhome cooking, planning your campervan meals goes a long way. Here are a few things to consider to ensure you plan ahead effectively:  

  • Meal Diversity: Plan a mix of simple and elaborate campervan meals. Include easy breakfasts, nutritious lunches, and more indulgent dinners after exploring.

  • Efficient Use of Resources: Think about campervan meals that can be cooked using the least amount of pots and pans or that can be made using a campfire or portable stove. This not only saves on cleaning time but also conserves gas and water.

  • Adaptability: Be prepared to swap your campervan meals based on your daily activities. If you have a busy day ahead, opt for quicker meals; for relaxed days, you might spend more time cooking something special.

  • Local Ingredients: Incorporating local produce is a fantastic way to reduce costs, support the local economy, and add a little dose of local flavour into your campervan meals.  

 

Stock Your Campervan Pantry

Whether you are travelling from city to city or travelling to remote regions, it is best to stock up your campervan at the start of your trip. That way you can spend more of your Australia road trip enjoying your adventures! Here are some tips to ensure your pantry is well-prepared and space-efficient:

  • Essential Non-Perishables: Stock up on basics like rice, pasta, and lentils, which are versatile, long-lasting and don’t require refrigeration. Canned goods such as beans, vegetables, and fish like tuna are also great staples.

  • Smart Spicing: Carry a basic but diverse spice kit. Spices like salt, pepper, paprika, and mixed herbs can transform any dish. Don’t forget to grab specialty spices like curry powder or Italian seasoning for themed meals.

  • Space-Saving Storage: If you are coming from home, it can be helpful to bring along space-saving solutions like stackable containers and spice jars. Also, consider collapsible kitchenware that can be easily stored away when not in use.

Image: Instagram - @krismartyn

 

The Best Meals to Cook in a Campervan

Cooking in a campervan doesn't mean limiting yourself to simple dishes. With a bit of creativity and the right ingredients, you can whip up gourmet meals that are not only delicious but also easy to prepare. In this section, we'll explore some of the best campervan meals that will keep you fueled and satisfied throughout your Australia road trip. From hearty breakfasts to quick and easy dinners, these campervan recipes are perfect for the nomadic chef.

 

Campfire Breakfast Hash

A campfire breakfast hash is a robust and flavoursome campervan meal that is a perfect start to an adventurous day. This one-pan dish combines hearty ingredients with the simplicity of campfire cooking, making it a perfect choice for breakfast or brunch in the wild. This campfire breakfast hash not only packs a punch in terms of flavour but also provides a balanced meal with protein, veggies, and carbs, all cooked in a single pan for easy cleanup. It's an ideal start to a day packed with activities or a leisurely morning enjoying the scenery. Plus, it's versatile—feel free to swap out ingredients based on your dietary preferences or what you have on hand. Enjoy your meal with a view of Australia’s breathtaking landscapes, making your van travel experience unforgettable.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large potatoes, diced

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 1 bell pepper, diced

  • 4 sausages, sliced

  • 4 eggs

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Oil for cooking

Instructions:

  1. Heat your skillet over the campfire or a medium-high heat source if you're using a portable stove. Add a bit of oil to coat the bottom.

  2. Add the diced potatoes to the skillet. Cook them until they are golden brown and crispy, stirring occasionally to ensure even cooking and prevent sticking.

  3. Once the potatoes have a nice crust, add the chopped onions, diced bell peppers, and sliced sausages to the skillet. Cook the mixture, stirring frequently, until the vegetables soften and the sausages are well-browned and cooked through.

  4. Make four wells in the hash mixture and crack an egg into each well. This can be done by gently pushing the hash aside with your spatula to create small pockets.

  5. Cover the skillet with a lid or aluminium foil to trap the heat and cook the eggs to your liking. This usually takes about 4 to 5 minutes for eggs that are just set but still have runny yolks.

  6. To serve, season the entire dish with salt and pepper. Give the hash a final stir to mix all the flavours together and serve hot directly from the skillet.

 

Grilled Veggie Skewers with Quinoa

Grilled Veggie Skewers paired with quinoa is a fresh, vibrant motorhome cooking dish that brings colour and flavour to any campervan dinner table. This campervan meal is not only nutritious but also incredibly versatile, allowing you to use whatever vegetables you have on hand. It's a great way to incorporate a variety of vegetables into your diet while on the road. What’s more, this dish is not only easy to make but also quick, making it perfect for a relaxing evening after a day of exploring the best things to do in Australia.

Ingredients:

  • Assorted vegetables (capsicum, zucchini, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes)

  • Olive oil

  • Salt and pepper

  • Cooked quinoa

Instructions:

  1. If you're using a campfire, make sure your coals are hot and ready. For those with a portable grill, preheat it to a medium-high setting.

  2. Then, thread the vegetables onto skewers, alternating between capsicum, zucchini, mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes for a colourful variety. If you're using wooden skewers, soak them in water beforehand to prevent burning.

  3. Brush the vegetable skewers lightly with olive oil, which helps in cooking and adds flavour. Then, season generously with salt and pepper.

  4. Place the skewers on the grill or over your campfire or stove. Grill each side until the vegetables are tender and have nice char marks, typically 3-4 minutes per side.

  5. Serve the hot skewers over a bed of fluffy cooked quinoa. The quinoa is a wonderful complement, adding a protein punch to this easy campervan meal.

 

One-Pot Pasta Primavera

One-Pot Pasta Primavera is a creamy, comforting dish perfect for chilly evenings in the campervan. It combines the simplicity of one-pot cooking with the fresh flavours of spring vegetables, and it’s guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser. The beauty of this one-pot meal lies in its ease and minimal cleanup, making it ideal for campervan cooking. What’s more, it's a hearty, satisfying camping meal that brings the comfort of home cooking to the great outdoors. Plus, it’s a fantastic way to use up any vegetables you have, reducing food waste while on your Australia road trip.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz pasta (any type you prefer)

  • 2 cups mixed vegetables (broccoli, carrots, peas)

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 cups vegetable broth

  • 1 cup cream

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot, combine the pasta, mixed vegetables, minced garlic, and vegetable broth. The broth adds flavour while cooking the pasta and vegetables together.

  2. Bring the mixture to a boil over your camp stove. Once boiling, reduce the heat and let it simmer. Cook until the pasta is al dente, and the vegetables are tender, about 10-12 minutes.

  3. After the pasta and vegetables are cooked, stir in the cream and grated Parmesan cheese. The cheese should melt into the mixture, creating a rich, creamy sauce that coats the pasta evenly.

  4. Season the pasta with salt and pepper to taste. Give it a final stir to make sure everything is well combined, and the seasoning is evenly distributed. Bon Appetite! 

 

Camping Tacos

Camping tacos are a festive and customisable camping meal that brings a taste of Mexican cuisine to your campervan adventure. They are easy to prepare, delicious, and perfect for a quick lunch or camping dinner ideas after a day of exploring. Tacos are a fantastic meal for camping because they require minimal cooking and can be tailored to personal tastes. This is also one of the best camping meals to get everyone involved in preparation, adding their favourite toppings.

Ingredients:

  • Tortillas

  • Cooked meat (chicken, beef, or fish)

  • Salsa

  • Guacamole

  • Shredded cheese

  • Lettuce

  • Tomatoes

Instructions:

  1. Place tortillas on a skillet or directly over the campfire or stovetop for a few seconds on each side, just until they are warm and slightly toasted.

  2. Lay the warm tortillas flat and start by adding your choice of cooked meat—chicken, beef, or fish works wonderfully.

  3. Spoon generous amounts of salsa and guacamole over the meat. Add shredded cheese, chopped lettuce, and diced tomatoes.

  4. Fold the tortillas over the fillings, and your camping tacos are ready to be enjoyed. Serve them warm for the best experience.

 

Stuffed Campfire Potatoes

Stuffed campfire potatoes are a hearty and comforting dish that can serve as a meal on their own or as a side dish. This is one of those perfect easy camping meals that you can whip up with a campfire or in the oven of your campervan. This dish is not only filling but also a comforting end to a busy day.  

Ingredients:

  • Large potatoes

  • Butter

  • Sour cream

  • Bacon bits

  • Chopped chives

  • Shredded cheese

Instructions:

  1. Wash the potatoes thoroughly and pierce them a few times with a fork to allow steam to escape during cooking.

  2. Wrap each potato in aluminium foil and place them in the hot coals of your campfire. Cook for about 45 minutes or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.

  3. Carefully remove the potatoes from the coals with tongs and unwrap them. Slice them open and fluff the insides with a fork. Top each potato with butter, sour cream, bacon bits, chopped chives, and a generous sprinkle of shredded cheese.

  4. This is one of those camping recipes best enjoyed while warm and the cheese is melted. Yum. 

Image: @_letsescapetogether_

 

Want to Try Out These Camper Recipes?

Campervan cooking doesn't have to be complicated; with the right ingredients and a bit of creativity, you can enjoy delicious and hearty meals wherever your journey takes you. These camping recipes are just a glimpse of what you can cook in your campervan. 


Want to try out these camping recipes for yourself? Rent a van to travel and explore this beautiful country's countless landscapes and flavours. Book your Cheapa camper online and pick it up from any Cheapa branch. Then all that is left to do is to stock up your pantry, plan your meals, and you're all set for an unforgettable Australia road trip full of amazing campervan meals. 

 

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