Van living has its own unique rhythm and quirks. On a recent cross country road trip from Delaware to Grand Teton National Park, we wanted food that we could prepare and eat in the van without the hassle of a lot of dishes and cleanup.

What transpired were the following simple, delicious recipes, that call for minimal ingredients and can be whipped up quickly while on the road.

Dean's Secret Casserole

one pot recipes on the road

This warm, comfort-food dish is perfect for slightly chilly fall temps.

My mom has been making this casserole for me since I was a kid. She shared her recipe with us right before we left for this most recent adventure. It works great as a pre-race meal and is easy to make on the road. Makes my mouth water just thinking about it.

Serves two.


-½ pound ground beef

-½ onion, diced

-½ small can of tomato soup (we used Campbell's)

-½ cup diced sharp cheddar cheese

-8 ounces egg noodles

-Salt and pepper, to taste


-Boil water and cook the egg noodles until al dente.

-Drain the noodles and set aside in a bowl.

-Add the ground beef to the same pot and cook until the meat has turned light brown.

-Add the diced onion and continue to saute until the onion is translucent and the meat has browned.

-Season with salt and pepper.

-Pour in half of the tomato soup, stir everything together and heat on low until you can see steam rising out of the pot.

-Add in the egg noodles and cheddar cheese and stir until the cheese starts to melt

– Divide into two bowls and enjoy.

Twilight Quinoa with Chicken

one pot meals on the road

5 ingredients and minimal prep time yield this delicious one-pot meal.

This one pot recipe only has a handful of ingredients and is perfect when you're craving something hearty and savory. Prep it, set it on the stove and relax as the sun goes down. Bonus: You can enjoy leftovers (if there are any) the next day straight out of your cooler.

Serves two.


-½ red bell pepper, diced

-Handful of baby carrots, diced

-4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

-1 box of Nature's Earthly Choice Garden Vegetable quinoa (4.8 ounces)

-1 ½ cups water

-Salt and pepper to taste

-Handful of fresh thyme leaves

-Season the chicken thighs and brown in a pot. When cooked let rest until cool enough to tear into bite sized pieces

-Put carrots, red bell pepper and quinoa into the same pot

-Pour in 1 ½ cups of water, a bit more salt and pepper

-Remove the thyme leaves from the stem and add to the pot

-Put a lid on the pot and bring to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, reduce heat to simmer, recover and cook 20 minutes or until the little tail on the quinoa curls out

-Divide between two bowls and enjoy.

Grand Teton Taco Salad

one pot recipes on the road

A refreshing meal (and the perfect accompaniment to a cold beverage) after a long day on the trails.

This recipe was inspired after a day on the trails in Grand Teton National Park. We came down out of the mountains hungry and tired, and needed something quick and easy to refuel us for the next day.

Serves two.


-4 cups of iceberg lettuce, shredded

-½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved

-½ cup shredded cheese

-½ cup guacamole

-1 can of black beans

-Handful of corn tortilla chips for each bowl

-Salt and pepper

-1 tsp taco seasoning

-1 lime

-¼ cup avocado oil


-Divide lettuce between 2 bowls

-Open the can of black beans and drain

-Spoon 1/2 of the beans into each bowl

-Add the shredded cheese, guacamole, and cherry tomatoes to each bowl

-Drizzle the avocado oil onto the salad

-Squeeze lime onto each bowl

-Season with salt, pepper, and taco seasoning

-Crunch a handful of corn tortilla chips on top of each bowl. Enjoy!

Erin McGrady and Caroline Whatley are based in Asheville, North Carolina, but are currently traveling the country in their van. You can follow along with their adventures at Authentic Asheville.

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