Having a well-stocked pantry is pretty important for a comfortable and enjoyable RV journey. With limited space and the need for versatile ingredients, it’s important to choose pantry staples that are practical, long-lasting, and easy to prepare. In this article, we’ll discuss a list of pantry staples that every RV owner should consider keeping on board.
Basic RV pantry essentials
When it comes to a list like this, certain basic items are helpful to create a variety of meals. These include:
- Canned goods: Stock up on canned beans, vegetables, fruits, and proteins like tuna and chicken. They have a long shelf life and can be used in numerous recipes, from stews to salads.
- Grains and pasta: Choose versatile options such as rice, quinoa, oats, and pasta. These ingredients can be the foundation for many dishes and are easy to prepare.
- Condiments: Have a selection of condiments like ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, and salad dressings to add flavor to your meals.
- Cooking oils: Consider versatile cooking oils like olive oil and coconut oil. These are great for sautéing, baking, and dressing salads.
On the road flavor enhancers
To elevate the taste of your RV meals, consider stocking up on a few of your favorite flavor enhancers. Some examples you may consider include:
- Spices and herbs: Keep a range of dried herbs and spices like salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, cumin, and oregano on hand. Spices and herbs can add depth and complexity to your dishes while taking up minimal storage space. One fun, all-purpose seasoning we like is Everglades Seasoning.
- Bouillon or broth: Having vegetable, chicken, or beef bouillon cubes or broth on hand can enhance the flavors of soups, stews, and sauces.
- Hot sauce: For those who enjoy a spicy kick, a bottle of hot sauce can transform a simple meal into a flavorful delight. There are many choices out there, ranging from mild to shocking, so be sure to grab your favorite or try something new!
- Soy sauce and vinegar: These ingredients are versatile and can be used in marinades, dressings, and stir-fries.
Enjoy baking? Here are some baking essentials for your RV pantry
If you enjoy baking on the road, make sure to include these baking staples. Keep in mind that bugs and other pests are likely to be attracted to the sweetness of baked goods and sugar, chocolate, and other treats. For this reason, you’ll want to store your baking essentials in airtight containers and limit the amount you keep around. You’ll also want to make sure to remove all food items from your RV any time it will be parked without you living in it for a long time, as pests can quickly take up residence.
- Flour: All-purpose flour and alternative flours like almond or coconut flour can be used for baking a variety of bread, cakes, and pastries.
- Sugar and sweeteners: Keep granulated sugar, brown sugar, and sweeteners like honey or maple syrup for baking and sweetening beverages. Don’t forget to seal them tightly to avoid bugs and other critters that may seek out the sweet substances.
- Baking powder and baking soda: These leavening agents are crucial for making fluffy cakes, muffins, and pancakes.
- Vanilla extract: This tiny bottle can add a touch of sweetness and flavor to your baked goods with vanilla extract.
- Baking mixes: Premade baking mixes for pancakes, muffins, brownies, or cakes can save you time and effort. They are convenient and can be easily stored in your pantry for quick, simple, and satisfying breakfasts or desserts.
- Baking chocolate: For those with a sweet tooth, keeping a supply of baking chocolate can be a game-changer. It can be melted and used in desserts or chopped and added to cookies or brownies.
Snacks and quick bites wherever you roam
Having a selection of ready-to-eat snacks is a great answer for those moments when you need a quick bite or want to enjoy a picnic on the road. Consider the following options:
- Nuts and seeds: Stock up on a variety of nuts like almonds, walnuts, cashews or peanuts. Seeds like pumpkin or sunflower seeds can also be good choices. They are nutrient-dense and provide a satisfying crunch.
- Dried fruits: Pack dried fruits like raisins, apricots, or cranberries for a healthy and energizing snack.
- Granola bars or snack bars: Individually wrapped granola bars can be easily carried in your pack during hikes or enjoyed as a quick snack.
- Crackers and rice cakes: Choose whole-grain crackers or rice cakes for a versatile base that can be topped with spreads, cheese, or deli meats.
Canned goods to consider
- Tomato products: In addition to basic canned vegetables, having other tomato products on hand can help. Diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, whole tomatoes, and tomato paste are a few versatile ingredients that can be used as a base for sauces, soups, and stews.
- Beans: Consider stocking up on a variety of canned beans, including black beans, kidney beans, and chickpeas. These are a great source of protein and fiber and can be used as a side item alone or in a range of recipes, from chili to salads.
Sauces and condiments add flavor to life, no matter where you are
- Worcestershire sauce: This tangy and savory sauce is a versatile pantry staple that can enhance the flavor of marinades, dressings, and even burgers.
- Salad dressings: Keep a few bottles of your favorite salad dressings on hand to add variety and convenience to your meals. They can double as marinades or dipping sauces for veggies and meats.
- Peanut butter and nut butter: These spreads are not only delicious but also a great source of protein and healthy fats. They can be enjoyed on bread or crackers. It can also be added to smoothies for a creamy texture.
- Mustard and ketchup: Do we really need to explain this? Of course, you want these pantry staples for nights you grill out burgers and dogs or to add flavor to fast food.
Non-perishable dairy and eggs
Non-perishables can be a big help, especially if you’re boondocking in a remote area:
- Powdered milk: Powdered milk is a great option for those who need milk for recipes or beverages but don't want to keep fresh milk in their RV. It has a long shelf life and can be reconstituted as needed.
- Powdered eggs: Powdered eggs are a practical alternative to fresh eggs. They are lightweight, easy to store, and can be used in baking or cooking when fresh eggs are not available.
Quick meals and convenience foods
Sometimes, convenience is king. Maybe you are in a hurry or just too tired after a long day of hiking or exploring the local attractions. On those days, quick meals like these can save your day:
- Instant soups and noodles: Having a few packs of instant soups, ramen noodles, macaroni and cheese, or cup noodles can be a lifesaver when you need a quick and easy meal. They require minimal preparation and are perfect for a light lunch or dinner option.
- Canned meats: Alongside canned tuna and chicken, consider adding canned sausages, corned beef, or ham to your pantry. They can be added to sandwiches, and pasta dishes, or used as a protein source in a pinch.
- Shelf-stable meals: Explore the wide range of shelf-stable meals available, such as canned chili or pre-packaged dehydrated camping meals.
It’s possible for RV owners to enjoy delicious and satisfying meals while on the road. These pantry staples provide a great starting point for your meals on the road. By planning ahead and considering the specific needs and preferences of your travel group, you can build a pantry stash that caters to everyone's tastes and dietary requirements. So, take the time to curate your RV pantry, and you'll be ready to embark on countless culinary adventures during your travels.
Ready to stock the pantry in an RV of your own?
If you love to cook and travel, what better way to enjoy the world than from an RV, where you can keep your pantry well-stocked no matter where you roam? When you’re ready to take the world by RV, find a Transwest location near you today, or shop our online inventory. Our friendly and helpful sales team is happy to answer any of your questions and get you on the road!