Just because you don’t have a huge fridge, kitchen island, or six burners, doesn’t mean you can’t make some amazing vegan meals in your camper van.
The best camper van kitchen vegan meals are filling, delicious, and easy to make. Ideally, they should be low maintenance and consist of only a few ingredients since you might not have room for your groceries. You’ll likely have only one or two burners so one-pot meals are going to be your best friend.
We’ve scoured the internet, so you don’t have to, for some of the best vegan meals out there – and they can all be made right in your camper van kitchen.
Lentil Risotto With Butternut Squash
Vegan on Board specializes in vegan recipes made in a camper van, and they have everything from nut burgers to spinach pancakes. Their blog has a number of fun and easy recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They even have a baking section for those lucky enough to have an oven.
This recipe for Lentil Risotto With Butternut Squash is not only filling and nutritious but comes together in one pot for a lovely, warming meal. Just forty minutes of your time will create this simple but hearty dish that offers a big protein kick. Unlike with most risottos, this recipe is low maintenance – no need to keep topping up that stock.
Certainly! Here’s a simplified summary of the steps for making a lentil risotto:
- 1 cup dried green or brown lentils
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup diced tomatoes (canned or fresh)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Grated Parmesan cheese (optional, for serving)
- Chopped fresh parsley (optional, for garnish)
- Rinse and drain the lentils. In a separate pot, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the lentils and simmer for about 20-25 minutes until they are tender but not mushy. Drain and set aside.
- In a large skillet or saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic, and sauté until they become translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add the Arborio rice to the skillet, stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes until the rice is well-coated with the oil and slightly toasted.
- If using white wine, pour it into the skillet and stir until most of the liquid has evaporated.
- Start adding the vegetable broth, one ladle at a time, stirring constantly and allowing the liquid to be absorbed before adding more. Continue this process until the rice is creamy and al dente, which should take about 18-20 minutes.
- Stir in the cooked lentils, diced tomatoes, and dried thyme. Continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes, allowing everything to heat through.
- Season the risotto with salt and pepper to taste. Adjust the seasoning as needed.
- Serve the lentil risotto hot, optionally garnished with grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley.
Enjoy your delicious lentil risotto!
It works so well in a camper van because you just need one pot, bowl, and fork! It is easy to make and easy to clean up. Just remember to soak your lentils overnight, then it’s only a matter of chopping up your ingredients, adding everything to the pot, and letting it simmer.
If you’re having trouble finding za’atar spice, harissa or Italian seasoning are a couple of good alternatives. Similarly, you can substitute the nutritional yeast with anything you think will add flavor, such as vegan soy sauce or dried mushrooms.
Vegan Singapore Noodles
Camper Van Kitchen offers a variety of recipes made for beginner vegan cooks and experts alike. The couple lives exclusively out of their van while they travel up and down beautiful New Zealand. The cookbook has recipes that are super simple, with just a few ingredients, as well as some more involved crowd-pleasers.
- 200g soba noodles
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 tsp grated ginger
- 2 spring onions, chopped
- 1 carrot, sliced
- Half a red capsicum, sliced
- Half a broccoli head, chopped into small florets
- Half a zucchini, sliced
- Handful of bean sprouts (or whatever sprouts you have)
- Small handful of fresh coriander
- Sriracha (hot sauce) to serve
- Soak the noodles in hot water until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold
water to stop further cooking. Set aside.
- Mix together the sugar, water and soy sauce. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add the onion,
garlic, ginger, spring onion and a splash of water. Fry gently until the onion is
soft then add the carrot, capsicum, broccoli and zucchini. Keep cooking until
the veggies are tender but still crisp.
- Add the drained noodles and the water/soy sauce mix and turn the heat
down to medium. Mix well and simmer gently until the noodles have
absorbed most of the sauce, stirring regularly. Add the sprouts and taste to
adjust the seasonings with a little more soy sauce, salt or sugar if required.
- Sprinkle over the coriander, top with a drizzle of sriracha and serve.
A good stir fry should be on everyone’s go-to list of easy meals – whether it is vegan or not. But for vegans, it can be so versatile, using whatever vegetables are in season and coming together with just a pot and pan.
This recipe for Vegan Singapore Noodles comes together so easily and can be adapted to your liking. The noodles will need one pot to boil, and the rest will fry in a large pan. If you only have one burner, it’s very easy to do them one at a time, as you will be adding the noodles to the rest of the mix at the end anyway.
The sauce is a simple mix of sugar, water, and soy, mixed with some sriracha for spice. If you’re not a fan of spice, you could always try a little sweet chili, or even balsamic vinegar.
Herby Crusted Fried Tofish With Chunky Pan Fried New Potato Wedges, Mushy Peas, and Samphire
Victoria’s Creative Kitchen spends her time traveling throughout Europe, seeking out and creating some amazing vegan dishes. Her beautiful page is loaded with homemade recipes and great restaurants with incredible vegan dishes.
Victoria’s goal is to inspire people to look at vegan food as joyful, and it shows in her pictures. She has some easy to follow recipes, such as her Crispy Tofu Dippers and an array of snacks and dips. In addition, she has some more complex vegan meals that might take a little more time but are so worth the effort.
Crispy Tofu Dippers Ingredients
- For the Marinade:
- 1 TBSP Maple syrup
- 1 TBSP Wholegrain mustard
- 1 TBSP American Yellow Mustard
- 1 TBSP Sweet Chilli Sauce
- 1 clove of garlic
- Salt & black pepper
- 200g pack of firm tofu (pressed to drain off excess liquid)
- Breadcrumbs (enough to cover the tofu sprinkled on a plate or flat shallow bowl)
- Mild olive oil or other cooking oil for frying
- Slice tofu into slices/fingers and set aside on kitchen paper to remove any remaining moisture.
- Whisk together all the marinade ingredients.
- Heat a splash of oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat.
- Dip each tofu finger into the marinade until completely coated.
- Then press the tofu into the dry bread crumbs until each side is coated.
- Add tofu to the hot oil and fry each side until golden
- Serve immediately with your favourite dipping sauce.
Her Crusted Tofu With Potato Wedges and Mushy Peas not only looks amazing, but it also has an elegance that will make you feel accomplished. This dish consists of just a few ingredients – tofu, breadcrumbs, herbs, potatoes, and peas – but it does have a few extra steps.
Chunky Pan Fried Potato Ingredients:
- Cooking oil for frying
- Approx 6 new potatoes
- Can of mushy peas
- Handy of Samphire
- 2 Lemon wedges
- Boil the new potatoes until tender and set aside to cool.
- Cut the pressed tofu block into 2 slab shapes.
- Mix together the veg stock and lemon juice in a bowl & season with salt & pepper.
- Add tofu pieces to the mixture and allow to marinade for approx 30 mins.
- Once the new potatoes are cool, cut into quarters lengthways to create wedge shapes.
- Heat a decent splash of oil in a large frying pan.
- Carefully add the wedges to the oil and fry each side until golden.
- Remove the tofu from marinade and pat dry on a kitchen towel.
- Mix together the fresh herbs on a plate.
- Brush with a little oil and press into the herbs.
- Next press into the breadcrumbs and coat.
- Heat a splash of oil in a frying pan.
- When hot, add the tofu and fry until golden on both sides.
- Heat the mushy peas and gently fry the samphire with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- To serve start, load mushy peas onto plates, top with potato wedges, add tofu onto and finish with the samphire. Serve with a lemon wedge!
You need to boil the potatoes before you pan fry them, so if you only have one burner, you will need to do this first. But you’re going to cook them again, so it’s ok to put them aside to cool while you work on the rest. The tofu not only gets a quick marinade but a herby breadcrumb crust that takes it to a whole other level. And if you’re feeling adventurous, making your own mushy peas is a cinch!
If you’re having trouble finding samphire, asparagus makes an excellent alternative.
One-Pot Mushroom and Broccoli Pasta
What Should I Eat For Breakfast Today has an eclectic collection of recipes, from buckwheat eggs to elderflower pancakes to strawberry gazpacho. The recipes are not all vegan or even vegetarian, but the ones that are, are very interesting and look delicious.
The beauty of this One-Pot Mushroom and Broccoli Pasta dish is its simplicity. You will need to substitute the cream for coconut milk or almond milk, along with the parmesan. Nutritional yeast is an excellent alternative because it has a cheesy, nutty flavor that will enhance the creamy pasta.
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 medium broccoli head, cut in pieces
- 2 handfuls champignons, sliced
- one handful of spaghetti pasta (amount for 2 people), broke in half (preferably with 8-9 minutes cooking time)
- 3 cups water
- 1 tbsp powdered veggie broth
- Salt and pepper
- Splash of an olive oil
- 1 tbsp cream
- 3 tbsp Parmesan, grated
- handful of parsley, chopped
Certainly! Here’s a step-by-step list for the recipe:
1 – Prepare Ingredients:
- Finely chop the onion.
- Mince the garlic.
- Slice the champignons (mushrooms).
- Cut the broccoli into small florets.
- Grate the Parmesan cheese.
- Gather all the other ingredients.
2 – Combine Ingredients in a Pot:
- In a large pot, place the chopped onion, minced garlic, broccoli florets, sliced champignons, uncooked pasta, and 2 cups of water.
- Add 1 cup of vegetable broth.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add a splash of olive oil.
3 – Boil and Mix:
- Place the pot on the stove over medium-high heat and bring the water to a boil.
- Once the water is boiling, start mixing all the ingredients in the pot.
- Continue to mix for about 8 minutes. The water level will decrease, so ensure that you mix to ensure even cooking.
4 – Add Cream and Cheese:
- After 8 minutes of cooking, reduce the heat to medium-low.
- Stir in 1/2 cup of cream to create a creamy sauce.
- Add 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese.
5 – Final Cooking:
- Continue to cook for an additional 2 minutes, stirring gently, until the sauce thickens, and the pasta is cooked to your desired level of tenderness.
6 – Serve & Enjoy:
- Once the pasta is cooked and the sauce is creamy, remove the pot from heat.
- Garnish with fresh parsley.
- Serve the creamy broccoli and mushroom pasta immediately while it’s still hot.
- Enjoy each bite of this delicious dish!
Now you have a clear step-by-step guide to follow when making this creamy broccoli and mushroom pasta.
Place onion, garlic, broccoli, champignons, pasta, water and broth, salt and pepper, splash of an olive oil in a pot. Let the water boil and then start to mix everything for about 8 minutes. There’s not much water, so you have to mix so everything has a chance to be cooked. Add cream, Parmesan and parsley and cook for two more minutes. Serve straight away and enjoy each bite as it’s awesome!
Essentially, everything gets thrown into a pot and cooked together. Once the pasta is cooked, add the cream alternative and nutritional yeast, cook for another couple of minutes and serve. One pot, one bowl, one fork. Another super simple recipe that is as easy to make as it is to clean up.
A great thing here is that you can change the vegetables out to suit your mood – as long as everything cooks at around the same rate. For example, you could use cauliflower and carrot instead of broccoli and mushrooms.
Vegan Poke Bowl
Sometimes, you just don’t want to cook. Maybe it’s hot out, or maybe you’re not in the mood for a hearty soup or stew. That’s where The Simple Veganista comes in. Her website is full of salads, wraps, soups, and more. With everything from easy weeknight meals to holiday favorites, you will definitely find some recipes to try.
Poke bowls are all the rage online right now, and why should you miss out just because you don’t eat tuna or salmon? This Vegan Poke Bowl recipe looks incredible, substituting fish for marinated tofu and onions.
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup tamari, coconut aminos or soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar or lime juice
- 1/2 tablespoon sambal oelek
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped or finely grated
- 1 inch piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped or grated
- 1/3 sweet onion, such as Maui onion, julienned
- 14 oz block organic tofu (firm or extra firm), cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1/2 cucumber, sliced
- 3 – 4 radishes, sliced
- 1/4 red cabbage, shredded
- 1 avocado, diced or sliced
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted or black
- 2 scallions, white and green parts, sliced thinly on the bias
- 1/3 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
- 1 1/2 cups cooked rice (brown, black or cilantro lime rice) or quinoa
- Prep tofu: Drain the tofu and place it on its side, cut in half down the long side. Place on a clean dish cloth or between paper towels and gently press to soak up some of the moisture. Dice the tofu into 1/2 inch cubes.
- Marinate: In a medium bowl or shallow dish, combine the soy sauce, sambal, sesame oil, garlic, ginger and sweet onions. Toss in the tofu and let rest in for 10 minutes.
- Prep the remaining ingredients and assemble your bowls.
For that extra kick of protein, you will need to cook some quinoa. It adds to the texture of the dish and makes it more substantial. But that’s it for the cooking part. The rest is just about prepping your produce and arranging it in the bowl.
The tofu marinade comes together fast and is ready to serve in 10 minutes. If you can’t find sambal oelek, sriracha or sweet chili are great substitutes. Similarly, if you don’t like that much cabbage, you can try adding sliced carrots for some crunch. If you like it a little sweeter, some mango chunks will work really well.
Living in a camper van and exploring the world is an exciting and beautiful opportunity. If you are willing to let go of (most of) your things and commit to the small space and nomadic way of life, you can see the world in a truly unique way.
Though the space is small, cooking in your van doesn’t have to be a chore, and you don’t have to eat the same boring thing every day. There are plenty of blogs and websites out there with countless vegan recipes that are simple and delicious. Whether you are looking for a quick wrap for lunch or a decadent black bean burger with all the fixing, these guys have you covered.