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7 EASY No-Cook Recipe Ideas for Your Next RV Camping Trip

| Updated May 24, 2021

Do you need some no-cook recipe ideas for your next RV camping trip? 

Snacks and treats are part of every RV camping trip, and some of the best camping foods are things you can enjoy without having to spend time in the kitchen or standing in front of a grill. You can save energy and eat healthy, enjoying the best camping foods that are ready to eat in minutes, with little or no cooking required.

BONUS if you WANT to do some cooking ahead of time – Watch our recent video 3 Easy Recipes to Make Meals Ready for Your Trip!

EASY No-Cook Breakfast Meals

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Preparing breakfast takes up a lot of time if you are trying to enjoy an RV camping trip. Simplify your morning with grab ‘n’ go breakfast ideas. Cereal with milk is always a quick idea, but you can supplement that with fruits and berries to supplement the nutritional value. Out-of-the-box cereal bars and toaster pastries are probably the simplest way to go, allowing you to eat after you get on the trail. Just remember to pocket the packaging for later disposal.

Always Simple No-Cook Sandwiches and Chips

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One of the best camping foods, sandwiches are no-cook meals perfect for a light lunch. You can pull your favorite lunchmeat and cheese out of the refrigerator, or take along some peanut butter or hazelnut spread and a squeeze bottle of jelly. For a heartier sandwich lunch, add lettuce and tomato to your lunchmeat treats, or slice up some fresh fruit to add a little zip to the PB&J.

Potato chips are not the only crunchy munchies for your plate. Baked crackers and chips, puffed corn, or even a few pieces of sliced celery go well with any sandwich and add just the right amount of zest. If your day involves hiking or other strenuous exercises, including chips or crackers in your lunchbox will help your body replace the salts being washed out by exercise.

Energy Bars and Jerky

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Between meals on your RV camping trip, a chocolate bar or energy bars will help pick up the pace without weighing you down. Chocolate is a messy idea for hot days unless you are on the road and eating in air-conditioned comfort, but energy bars like granola are lightweight and able to handle high temperature and rough handling.

If you prefer meat to grain, there is an amazing variety of jerky available at your local grocer, and many small towns feature locally smoked meat and cured jerky that is unlike anything you can get from national chains. In some areas, more exotic meats are part of the jerky menu, including venison, bear, and bison.

Dried Fruits and Nuts

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Trail mix is among the best camping foods because the mixture of nuts, grains, and dried fruits keep well, are easy to carry, and provide plenty of nutritional value. You don’t have to settle for the mainstream fare, either. Pick up your favorite ingredients and create your own trail mix recipes. Don’t forget to add some tasty goodies like yogurt-covered raisins or dried bananas and pineapple to give the mix a sweeter flavor.

Nuts by themselves are perfect for an RV camping trip, but shell them ahead of time or buy them ready-to-eat. The great outdoors is ours to protect and even though nutshells are biodegradable, a trail of peanut hulls is not what the people behind you want to see underfoot.

Fresh Fruits and Salads are always no-cook, of course

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Fresh fruits and vegetables that you can peel and eat should be part of every RV camping trip. If you want to have a truly no-fuss meal, mix a variety of cut or chopped fruits with some crushed nuts ahead of time and portion the fruit salad into individual sealable serving bowls that can go straight from the cooler or backpack to your taste buds.

Salads don’t travel as well as fruit. Some, such as coleslaw, are vulnerable to the midday heat. But it is still a great idea to carry along tomatoes, lettuce, onions, and peppers for an evening meal that doesn’t require cooking. With experimentation, you can create the perfect salad using items like banana pepper rings or seedless grapes to make your salad a more enjoyable meal.

And if you are new to camping or the RV Lifestyle – Bookmark this post to get up to speed before you go!

Canned Foods just need warming, or maybe not…

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Another option for the days you want to relax and enjoy your RV camping trip instead of standing around in the kitchen is to stock an assortment of canned goods that can be opened and eaten. Soups, chili, spaghetti, and ravioli come immediately to mind, but there’s a whole aisle in your local grocer with things that can be eaten straight out of the can.

You can even choose from a huge list of sandwich meats that include tuna, chicken breast, chopped ham, luncheon loaf, and spreadable meats like deviled ham. If you are willing to boil some pasta, canned meats let you add protein and other nutrients to simple Mac and cheese dishes, and the spreadables are excellent for blending into just about any type of pasta salad.

Heat ‘n Serve meals are no-fuss (just a tiny bit of “cooking” needed)

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There are all sorts of meals available that can go straight from the freezer or refrigerator into the oven. Chicken wings, tater tots, and pizza are among the best camping foods if you have a microwave or conventional oven available. You can pick up deli burritos and keep them chilled for a couple of days by storing them in sealable bags. Fried chicken from your grocer’s deli can be sealed and chilled or frozen and then eaten at a later date by thawing to room temperature.

If you would rather do it yourself, it is just as easy to pre-cook meats like chicken breasts or Salisbury steaks, mashed potatoes, and veggies and then prepackage meals into partitioned sealable bowls that can be microwaved in minutes without actually cooking the meal.

No-Cook Ideas – what's on your list?

These ideas only scratch the surface of what you can do without firing up the stove, and are intended to fuel your imagination to unique meal menus of your own. Even foods you cook ahead of time count as no-cook meals when you eat them straight out of the cooler or only need a minute or two in the microwave. Enjoy the time you save without full-out cooking! Tell us all about YOUR no-cook meals in the comments below.

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Mike Wendland

Published on 2021-05-24

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

10 Responses to “7 EASY No-Cook Recipe Ideas for Your Next RV Camping Trip”

June 28, 2021at1:34 pm, Including Kids Or Grandkids In Your RV Lifestyle? - 2boomersandababy said:

[…] Pack along some fun foods, and finger snacks like grapes, crackers, or cheese sticks. Maybe you need 7 EASY No-Cook Recipe Ideas for Your Next RV Camping Trip. […]

May 31, 2021at2:25 am, Susan Shaver said:

You forgot about the Hot Logic!!! Just put a ready to cook , or even frozen from the store, meal into it, plug it in while you drive for a few hours, and you have a hot meal later in the day!!! So very simple:)

May 26, 2021at2:23 pm, Kristie said:

Before we hit the road, I always make a big container of Seven Dip with tortilla chips for an evening dinner and lunch the next day. Wrap sandwiches and subs work, too. Great ideas from your followers in these comments! Thank

May 26, 2021at7:47 am, Deb said:

We always took hard boiled eggs from home. Tuna and crackers..

May 25, 2021at3:37 pm, Don said:

Most of the following international suggestions will last a day or two into camping with either no refrigeration or an ice chest.

Japan: Rice balls: The Japanese will cook rice, let cool enough to handle. Add a little salt or furikake (rice topping) to the rice and then form rice triangles with their hands about the size of a tennis ball. They would insert in the middle of the rice ball some filler like fish but anything (sausage, ham, fish, pickles) or nothing (just the plain seasoned rice) will work. Then wrap in dried seaweed (nori) to make them hand held after its cooled. The Japanese version of a sandwich. Wrap in saran wrap. Will last a day or two though the seaweed will dampen if taken more than a day. Tips: Wrap in saran wrap after the rice ball has cooled for 20m in a refrigerator to reduce condensation on the nori. If making on the go, rice can be frozen and is perfectly edible when thawed. Wrap the rice single serving sizes in saran wrap tightly so that none of the water vapor escapes.

England: Ploughman’s: Workers in England used to carry, bread, cheese, and root vegetables for a lunch. The modern ploughman is much more satisfying, but the base components are still there. Bread, cheese, pickles/olives, deli meat are staples. Add fruit, carrots, radish, celery, and maybe some onion.

Mexico: Tamales are the Mexican version of a sandwich cooked ahead of time and taken with you, but even better is the burrito. Bring along tortillas, grated cheese in a bag, and a can of refried beans. Add anything else you’d like to the burrito like jalapenos, lettuce, olives, corn, salsa.

Spain: Empanadas. They are effectively savory pop tarts. Yes, you are cooking them before you go camping but after that, they are good to go like a sandwich.

China: Similar to empanadas, is the Chinese pork bao. Chinese supermarkets like Ranch99 sell precooked pork bao or get them to go from a restaurant for ease. Some other places like little mom and pop fast food dim sum places will also serve bao. A lot of these are either most bread or contain a boiled egg or both. Try the bao before you take them camping with you.

Finally, this will require some minor “cooking” at the site, boiling water, but there are also those cup o noodles or cup o soup items. Also, there is instant oatmeal. Not really international (maybe the cup o noodles) but portable. And boiling water is a must for the coffee addicts.

May 25, 2021at9:20 am, Connie Pardee said:

I enjoy reading the newsletter each week and have found some terrific ideas for camping.
I have registered three times for the newsletter as I would like the free packing list. It tells me I’m already on the mailing list, but I have yet to receive the packing list. Please send it over so I don’t forget an important item that I need while enjoying the outdoors in our RV.
Thanks so much!

May 25, 2021at9:00 am, Kathy Blackburn said:

We always have a charcuterie board and wine along with a sunset of course!

May 25, 2021at12:04 pm, Tere Hoffhine said:

We just discovered these a year ago, and they are now among our favorites!!

June 17, 2021at10:48 am, Barbara said:

I make big batch of potato salad, 4 bean salad and cole slaw. Also partially cooked pasta to reheat in micro and cooked and frozen chicken thighs.

May 25, 2021at7:59 am, Bob said:

Enjoy you write ups and info provided. Especially your write ups on visiting Michigan and the UP. Being from Michigan the lower part. Have visited the UP family there who are yupers but have seen the sights there. On out list to visit this year.

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