RV-Friendly Christmas Dinner Ideas

Hosting the holidays in your RV can seem like a daunting task. The decorating part can be easy, but cooking a meal can seem difficult, especially in a small space. Whether you’re boondocking, staying in a campground, or spending time at a Harvest Hosts location, it’s totally possible to prepare a Christmas dinner in your RV. We’ve gathered some tips, tricks, and ideas to help your holidays meals be more enjoyable and less stressful.

Tips

1. Clean out your fridge ahead of time.

Although this is not a part of the cooking process, it is essential to ensure that you have enough room to store ingredients prior to cooking and enough room for leftovers after you have enjoyed your holiday meal. Some newer RVs are equipped with residential-sized refrigerators, but most RVs come with smaller fridges that cannot store as much as a traditional refrigerator. Clearing out your fridge ahead of time will set you up to properly prepare and store your meal after Christmas dinner is over.

Photo credit: VEHQ

2. Cook as much as possible the day before.

This is something many people do prior to holidays, even if they are working in a traditional kitchen. Making some sides and desserts ahead of time certainly lightens the workload on the day of the holiday. Most pies can be stored at room temperature and can even often be baked at the same time as each other. Stuffing can be made a day or two ahead of time and reheated later on. Green bean casserole, mac and cheese, and any of your other favorite casseroles can also be prepared ahead of time. This allows for more time to relax and enjoy your time with friends and family on the actual day of Christmas.

Photo credit: Tracks & Trails

3. Utilize outdoor workspaces.

Because you will be working with limited counter space, you may need to set up various workstations in other areas of your RV. You can easily prep veggies at your dinette or kitchen table, and then assemble the dishes on the kitchen counters. Some people even set up a large banquet table inside and prep on that table. Whatever you end up deciding to do, don’t be afraid to create some extra prep space for yourself. This will make cooking this large meal much easier.

Photo credit: Glamper Life

4. Use an Instant Pot or Air Fryer.

If you have an instant pot, you can also use that to cook one of the sides or the main course meal. Mashed potatoes or even a casserole would cook nicely in an instant pot or even a standard crock pot. An air fryer is also a great gadget for making a variety of sides. 

Photo credit: Pressure Cooking Today

Meal Ideas

Cinnamon French Toast Bake

This decadent and easy breakfast can be made in a crockpot or in the oven. When preparing this, your Christmas guests will wake up to the delicious smell of cinnamon rolls. Depending on your workspace, consider keeping either your propane oven, convection oven, or crockpot free depending on what other courses you plan on making. 

Photo credit: Tasty

Stove Top Cider or Mulled Wine

If you’re feeling fancy this holiday season, you could attempt to make your own stove top apple cider, which will leave your RV simmering with the delicious smells of this comforting drink. If you have a few extra bottles of wine from your last Harvest Hosts stay, then consider making some mulled wine. With only one burner in use, the rest of your stove should be free for whatever holiday sides you choose to prepare, as well. 

Photo credit: The Real Simple Good Life

Cornish Game Hens

Consider skipping a large turkey for something smaller and more RV-friendly. Cornish game hens are a tiny and sophisticated alternative that will still leave your guests and/or family satisfied. These could be prepared in the oven and finished off in an air fryer for a little extra crunch. However you decide to prepare these, you may be much less stressed cooking a smaller bird, in lieu of an entire turkey. 

Photo credit: My Modern Cookery

Grilled Ham

Why not take the cooking outside if weather permits? After all, embracing the outdoors is a quintessential part of RVing. Utilizing a propane grill can be a fantastic way to prepare a ham to free up the interior kitchen for sides and desserts. This recipe uses a honey bourbon glaze that’s sure to impress. We’d bet it tastes even better with a bourbon from a Harvest Hosts distillery! 

Photo credit: Betty Crocker

Campfire Green Beans

Another great part of RV camping is cooking over a campfire. We found a delicious green bean recipe that utilizes a cast iron over a campfire. If your RV kitchen is starting to feel cramped, consider cooking at least one dish over a campfire for an authentic camping holiday feel and some infused smokiness. 

Photo credit: Plant Family Therapeutics

Air Fryer Brussel Sprouts

The air fryer is an incredible invention that many households treasure. These nifty devices, can surely come in handy when cooking over the holidays, as well. They help free up the stove or oven and cook items much quicker. These air fryer Brussel sprouts are crunchy and savory and will be sure to please your guests. 

Photo credit: My Forking Life

Crockpot Candy Cane Bark

If you’re looking for a festive dessert that will help keep your oven free, then check out this candy cane bark made in the crockpot. It’s creamy, minty, and oh-so Christmassy! Your RV will be smelling like Christmas bliss with this simmering in the crockpot. This could even be made the day before to help save time and space on Christmas day. 

Photo credit: Crock-Pot Ladies

Cooking Christmas dinner in your RV doesn’t need to be stressful. If you’re hosting dinner in an unconventional space, why not make some unconventional twists as well? These meal ideas and tips should make your Christmas on the road easier and more enjoyable than ever. Considering making Christmas cookies? Check out Harvest Hosts Christmas Cookie Basics to get you off to a successful start. 

Photo credit: Cheapism

Have you prepared Christmas dinner in your RV before? What are some of your tips for cooking in a tiny space? Tell us about it in the comments below! 

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