Most people think that because you’re camping or living in a van (or an RV), you can’t eat well. I’m here to dispel that myth because I ate like a queen while living in a campervan for two years, mostly thanks to one-pot camping meals.
One-pot camping meals are the absolute best – you can make gourmet dishes without the mess, which is invaluable in the world of living outdoors. Only having one pot to clean at the end of the night means you can spend more time enjoying and less time tidying up… because, let’s be real, who actually wants to do dishes after getting their chef on?
Whether you’re cooking over a camp stove or have a full kitchen set up in your van or RV, these are the best one-pot camping meals to try out on the road.
One-Pot Camping Meals: Breakfast Edition
While you can get away with plenty of no-cook camping breakfasts, there’s nothing like something warm first thing in the morning to start the day right. These are the best one-pot camping meals to make for breakfast with minimal effort and maximum flavor.
1. Breakfast Skillet
This is my personal favorite when it comes to one-pot camping meals. It’s easy to make, super filling, and, most of all, extremely delicious. Plus, it’s really versatile and can be spiced up by adding different ingredients to keep things interesting.
Ingredients: Potatoes, onions, eggs, bacon bits (optional), choice of toppings (sour cream, sriracha, etc…)
- Chop up potatoes and onions into small cubes.
- Cook the bacon bits, and once there’s enough grease, add in the potatoes and onions (or use oil or butter).
- When the potatoes start to get crispy, create a hole in the center and pour pre-whisked eggs. Stir them until cooked and combine them with the potatoes and onions.
- Season generously with salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder.
- Top with whatever you’re feeling. My go-to is sour cream, sriracha, and scallions.
2. French Toast
If you’re craving a sweet breakfast while camping, fresh toast is the way to go. The mess is minimal, it’s easy to make, and hits the spot every time. French toast also tastes better when eaten somewhere beautiful, so if you’re parked up in a stunning spot, have a leisurely breakfast with this easy one-pot camping meal.
Ingredients: bread, eggs, milk, vanilla, sugar, cinnamon (optional), butter, toppings (maple syrup, fresh fruit, whipped cream, etc…)
- In a bowl, whisk together eggs, a splash of milk, vanilla, a dash of sugar, and cinnamon.
- Heat butter in a pan while you soak the bread of your choosing in the egg mixture.
- Transfer the bread from the egg mixture into the pan and cook until golden brown on each side.
- Enjoy with your favorite toppings like maple syrup, more butter, fresh fruit, and whipped cream. Don’t forget the coffee!
This one-pot camping meal can be enjoyed any time of day, whether you choose to make it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The spiced tomatoes are excellent with some toast, and the eggs ensure a protein-packed dish that will energize you for your camping trip.
Ingredients: onion, garlic, canned tomatoes, bell peppers, potatoes (optional), eggs, paprika, cayenne
- Heat some olive oil and saute the onion and garlic until soft.
- Add in bell peppers and potatoes (both optional) and cook until tender. If you like crispy potatoes, avoid stirring too much so that one side gets crunchy.
- Create a well in the center of the veggies, add a bit more oil, and crack the eggs.
- Pour the canned tomatoes around the eggs and season them generously with salt, pepper, paprika, and cayenne (optional).
- Cover the dish so that the eggs can cook with the steam. As soon as a thin white layer appears on the eggs, remove it from the heat, so the yolks are still runny.
- Enjoy with crusty bread!
4. No Bake Frittata
Yes, it’s possible to make a frittata without an oven, and yes, it’s one of the best one-pot camping meals for breakfast – or any time of day, for that matter. It’s a little more technical than the set-it-and-forget-it one-pot camping meals, but it’s well worth the effort for the final result. It makes plenty to feed the family or to have leftovers, and can even be made over a campfire if you’d rather forego the camping stove.
Ingredients: eggs, your choice of toppings (my picks are bacon bits, onion, fresh herbs, and shredded cheese)
- Coat a nonstick skillet (nonstick is the operative word here) with oil and heat it while you whisk together eggs and toppings in a bowl.
- Pour the egg mixture into the skillet, and when they start to cook, use a spatula to move them around so any runny egg bits get cooked, too.
- Once the bottom of the frittata is well cooked, flip it from the skillet onto a plate. Add more oil to the skillet and then transfer the upside-down frittata back into the pan so the other side can cook.
- When there are no more runny eggs, flip the frittata onto a cutting board or a plate. Slice it and serve.
5. Jazzed Up Oatmeal
Oatmeal has to be one of the easiest one-pot camping meals, and one of the most versatile too. Simply cook it according to package directions and top it with whatever you’re feeling. Oatmeal isn’t for everyone, but it sure is easy to make, so if you’re pressed for time or don’t feel like cooking a full-blown meal in the morning, this is the best one-pot camping breakfast for a hefty dose of energy.
Ingredients: rolled oats (or prepackaged oatmeal), powdered milk, brown sugar, and favorite toppings (dried or fresh fruit, honey, coconut, chocolate chips, etc…).
- Either cook packaged oatmeal according to the directions or add all dry ingredients (rolled oats, powdered milk, and sugar) to a bowl and mix well.
- Add in hot water and stir until the mixture thickens
- Top with your favorite treats and enjoy.
One Pot Camping Meals: Lunch Ideas
If you’re hanging around your site, these are the best one-pot camping meals to make for lunch. All of these recipes are super leftover-friendly, which means you can pack them up and take them on the go, too. No matter where you choose to enjoy your camp lunch, these are all easy to make, filling, and heavenly.
6. Orzo Salad
When I was living in a campervan full time, orzo salad was my most eaten meal. It takes a bit of prep work, but it’s nutritious, delicious, and totally versatile, depending on what you add to it. I’ll lay out my classic orzo salad recipe below, but don’t hesitate to make it your own with your favorite toppings. And be sure to make enough for leftovers! This is one of those one-pot camping meals that you can pack up and take with you on hikes for a delicious lunch somewhere scenic.
Ingredients: orzo, pesto, toppings (my go-to’s: bacon bits, chickpeas, apples, cucumber, avocado, tomatoes, mozzarella balls, spicy sunflower seeds)
- Cook the orzo according to package directions. Drain the water and add a large spoonful of pesto to the orzo and stir until it’s coated completely.
- Chop up the toppings and add to the orzo once it’s cooled down. If you’re feeling fancy, finish with a swirl of balsamic glaze.
7. Rotisserie Chicken Sandwiches
Technically this is one of those one-pot camping meals that doesn’t require a pot or even any cooking – a top choice if you’re looking for something easy and quick to chow down on. Simply grab a rotisserie chicken from your nearest grocery store, a bag of coleslaw, or your favorite buns, and voila! A suitable lunch or dinner that can be eaten hot or cold. If you don’t polish off the chicken with the sandwiches, you can use it for other one-pot camping dinners like ramen, stir fry, burritos, or salads.
Ingredients: rotisserie chicken, bagged coleslaw, burger buns, spicy mayo (optional)
- Shred the rotisserie chicken and make the coleslaw according to the directions.
- Spread mayo (spicy or regular) on both sides of the bun, pile high with coleslaw and chicken, and enjoy!
8. Chicken and Cheese Burritos
Great for lunch and even better wrapped in tin foil and eaten on the go, chicken and cheese burritos are easy one-pot camping meals when you don’t know what else to eat. All it takes is combining burrito ingredients in a single pot and then wrapping them up.
Don’t have tortillas on hand? Turn this one-pot camping meal into a burrito bowl instead. And if you’re not a fan of chicken, you can easily substitute it for whatever protein you feel like.
Ingredients: instant Spanish rice, beans, chicken (raw or rotisserie), shredded cheese, tortillas, and your choice of toppings (salsa, guacamole, sour cream, hot sauce, etc…)
- Cook and season the chicken with paprika, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Set it aside once cooked through.
- Cook the Spanish rice in the same pot, and add a can of beans. Once heated through, put the chicken back into the pot and cover everything with shredded cheese.
- Put the mixture in the center of a tortilla and roll it into a burrito. Enjoy with your favorite toppings!
9. Healthy Fifteen-Minute Ramen
If you’re feeling too lazy to cook, this is one of the best one-pot camping meals ever. It takes minimal effort, and it’s the ideal choice if you’re low on energy after a big day full of adventures. Keep it simple with noodles and a soft-boiled egg, or jazz things up with some shredded chicken and an assortment of vegetables… the possibilities are endless!
Ingredients: Chicken broth, garlic, fresh ginger, white pepper, soy sauce, ramen noodles, toppings of your choice (eggs, shredded chicken, veggies, seaweed, scallions, sriracha, sesame oil, etc…)
- Add chicken broth, garlic, peeled ginger, white pepper, and a splash of soy sauce to a pot. Bring the mixture to a boil and immediately reduce it to a simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Throw in ramen noodles and any toppings that need to be cooked.
- Once the noodles are cooked through, add them to a bowl with soup and garnish with scallions, seaweed, and a splash of sesame oil if you’re feeling fancy.
One Pot Camping Dinners
After a long day of enjoying the great outdoors, the last thing anyone wants to do is make a huge mess at their campsite with dozens of dishes to clean. These one-pot camping dinners contain the chaos of cooking on the go, without skimping on flavors or nutrition.
10. Quick Stir Fry
Stir fry is versatility at its finest: you can add pretty much anything, douse it in soy sauce, and it’ll taste good. Plus, the minimal dishes make it an exceptional one-pot camping dinner because all you really need is a pot and some instant rice to enjoy it with.
Ingredients: instant rice, protein of your choice, veggies, fresh ginger, garlic, onion, soy sauce, sweet soy sauce, sesame oil, fresh chilis (optional)
- Cook the instant rice according to the package directions and set it aside.
- Heat cooking oil in a pan and add fresh ginger, minced garlic, and chopped onion. Once fragrant, add in the meat.
- When the meat is almost cooked through, add in vegetables of your choice – my go-to’s are broccoli, string beans, baby corn, and chopped-up bell peppers.
- As everything cooks, add in soy sauce, sweet soy sauce, sesame oil, and fresh chilis if you like some spice. Measure with your heart and taste as you go!
- Serve the meat and veggies on top of the precooked rice.
11. Easy Chicken Noodle Soup
When the weather starts to get chilly, chicken noodle soup is the ultimate one-pot camping meal, especially if you can make it in the comfort of your campervan or RV. Not only is it the cure-all to colds and winter ailments, but it’ll warm you right up from the inside and is a hearty meal to enjoy after a long day of exploring in frigid temperatures.
Ingredients: Boxed chicken stock, boneless chicken breasts, carrots, onion, celery, garlic, bay leaves, fresh thyme, egg noodles
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot while you chop up the onion, carrots, and celery. Add them to the pot once the oil is hot. When the veggies soften, add in crushed garlic.
- Add in 2-3 bay leaves and a few sprigs of fresh thyme, and season the veggies with salt and pepper.
- Lay two chicken breasts on top of the vegetable mixture and fill the pot with chicken broth.
- Bring the soup to a boil, and once it’s bubbling, cover it and reduce heat immediately to a simmer. Let the soup simmer for 30 minutes – don’t let it boil; otherwise, the chicken will become tough.
- Pull out the chicken breasts and shred them before adding them back into the pot with noodles.
- Cook for another 6-8 minutes, and enjoy!
12. Simple Thai Curry
This hearty one-pot camping dinner is an awesome choice if you want to have some leftovers. It stores well, and the flavors continue to develop the longer it sits, so make enough to eat it for dinner and lunch the following day! If you’re scratching your head wondering how you’re going to make a Thai curry while camping, rest assured it’s possible and much easier than you think – I made this one-pot camping meal dozens of times while living in a campervan and can attest to its simplicity (and deliciousness!).
Ingredients: instant rice, Thai curry paste (red or green), onion, garlic, veggies of your choice, Thai chilis (optional)
- Cook instant rice according to package directions and set aside.
- Chop up an onion, garlic, and veggies and add them to the pot with some oil – try out bell peppers, zucchini, cauliflower, and chickpeas.
- Cover the vegetables with a can of coconut milk and once it comes to a simmer, add in curry paste.
- Stir until everything is combined, and add in fresh Thai chilis (or red pepper flakes) if it needs more spice. Serve over rice, and enjoy!
13. One Pot Camping Chili
There’s nothing quite like chili while camping, especially when it’s chilly outside. This one-pot camping meal is nutritious and easy to make – just set it and forget it while you prepare camp for the night. The leftovers can be used for sloppy joes or hot dogs for lunch the following day. Or dig into some cold chili for breakfast, no judgment here!
Ingredients: ground beef, canned tomatoes in juice, black beans, onion, garlic, chili powder, paprika
- Chop up an onion and garlic, and cook them with the ground beef. Drain excess liquid from the pot once cooked through.
- Add in canned tomatoes with juice, black beans, and seasoning, and cover the chili.
- Let the chili simmer for at least 30 minutes and serve with cornbread, rice, or on its own.
14. Pasta Puttanesca
This dish always reminds me of the scene in A Series of Unfortunate Events when the orphans have to cook dinner for Count Olaf. They decide on pasta puttanesca because it requires few ingredients and can be cooked in no time. Here’s my rendition of this simple one-pot camping dinner I regularly ate throughout my van life journey. It’s easy to cook on a camp stove and can be modified based on whatever ingredients you choose. It may not be a classic puttanesca, but it sure is yummy.
If you’re feeling lazy, skip the work and simply cook spaghetti, drain the water, and dump it in a jar of grocery store sauce.
Ingredients: pasta, onion, garlic, red pepper flakes (optional), olives, capers, canned tomatoes (diced), bay leaf, oregano, parmesan (optional)
- Cook the pasta and set it aside. Save half a cup of pasta water for the sauce.
- Heat up olive oil while you dice the onion and chop up the garlic. Add them to the olive oil once hot with red pepper flakes (optional).
- When the onion is translucent, add in chopped-up capers and olives and saute for a couple of minutes.
- Dump in a can of diced tomatoes with juice and stir to combine. Add in a bay leaf, oregano, and black pepper, with the leftover pasta water. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cover it with a lid.
- Let the sauce cook on low heat for 15 – 20 minutes, and then add in the pasta. Enjoy with fresh parm on top.
15. Molly Baz’s Lemon Orzo
If lemon pasta and risotto had a baby, it would be Molly Baz’s orzo al Limone. This is an excellent one-pot camping meal if you’re after restaurant quality with a fraction of the effort. This easy dish is tasty, nourishing, and pretty much comfort food at its best. It also takes less than 20 minutes to make, so it should be your first port of call if you’re seeking easy one-pot camping meals – this one comes from a world-class chef (thanks, Molly!).
Ingredients: orzo, onion, lemon, butter, parmesan
- Melt a whole lot of butter over medium heat while you dice an onion. Once the butter is foamy, add the onion to the pot.
- Once the onion softens, add a cup of orzo and three strips of lemon zest (use a vegetable peeler for this). Season with black pepper and toast the orzo for a couple of minutes.
- Add three cups of water and salt to the pot – bring to a simmer and then reduce the heat while stirring regularly to ensure nothing sticks to the bottom.
- Cook until most of the liquid is absorbed and the orzo is al dente.
- Turn off the heat, and stir in tons of butter and lots of parmesan. Top it off with freshly squeezed lemon. It should have a creamy consistency, similar to risotto.
- Finish with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and more parm.
16. Lemon Garlic Shrimp and Veggies
Shrimp is one of the few seafood items you can cook in a campervan or RV without a lingering fishy scent. Try this one-pot camping dinner if you’re sitting by the ocean somewhere or simply have a hankering for garlicky goodness. It cooks quickly and can be made over a camp stove or campfire – the choice is yours!
Ingredients: shrimp, garlic, onion, lemon, paprika, cayenne, fresh parsley, your choice of vegetables (I always use broccoli and green beans, but anything works with this dish), butter, instant rice
- Heat olive oil in a pan while you chop up onion and garlic. Add the onion to the pan and cook until tender.
- Add in shrimp and season generously with salt, pepper, paprika, and cayenne (optional). Top with lemon zest and tons of garlic. Cook until shrimp are light pink and begin to curl in – be sure not to overcook them! For crispier shrimp, leave them alone in the pan, only turning once.
- Remove the shrimp from the pan and add in veggies. Saute until soft, and then return the shrimp to the pan. Squeeze half a lemon over everything and then set aside.
- Add instant rice to the same pot with butter and cook according to package directions. This will allow the rice to soak up all the sauce from the shrimp and vegetables.
- Serve over rice with lots of fresh parsley, and enjoy!
California Van Rentals and Campervan Rental Arizona
If I have one word of advice about cooking while camping, it’s to do it from the comfort of a campervan or RV. There’s nothing quite as jarring as being starving and having to cook a meal in the pouring rain or raging wind. Most campervans and RVs accommodate indoor cooking, which means you can cozy up and make your meals without getting soaked or chilled to the bone.
TB Outdoor Rentals offers California van rentals and campervan rentals in Arizona, with a range of rigs to choose from. Many of our vehicles come outfitted with a camp stove, but they’re also available as an add-on, along with charcoal grills if you feel like getting fancy.
Click here to check out campervan and RV options for your next trip, and don’t forget to save this post for all of your one-pot camping meal inspiration!