8 Instant Pot Recipes to Make at the RV Campground

Jan 18, 2021 | Food & Camp Cooking

8 Instant Pot Recipes to Make at the RV Campground

Bring cooking ease and convenience to the campground with these Instant Pot recipes.

By Kerry Sainato

Photo: Jeramey Lende / Shutterstock

Over the past several years, the multi-purpose Instant Pot has taken kitchens by storm. At its heart, it’s an electric pressure cooker that offers a safe and reliable way to make meals. Not only does it save time and provide convenience, but the appliance also has other functions like slow cooking, yogurt making, and sous vide cooking.

Instant Pots are great for home kitchens, but should you bring your electric pressure cooker camping? RVers love it for the fast cooking speed, plus it reduces the number of dishes. Just ensure you have enough power to run the Instant Pot through either electric hookups at the campground, a generator, or a solar panel and battery setup. 

Tips for Buying an Instant Pot for Camping

At present, Instant Pot offers nine versions of the multi-cooker in up to four different volume capacities. So which one should you buy? Let’s start with volume. For RVers, the 6-quart capacity offers the best balance between ease of storage and the ability to feed a crowd. Most recipes are scaled for the 6-quart size because it’s the most popular. A 6-quart Instant Pot uses 1,000 watts of power to run and all Instant Pots run on 120 volts.

For price-conscious shoppers, consider the Duo Nova ( $59.99), which offers most of the recent upgrades that Instant Pot made to their base models. For a splurge, the Duo Evo Plus ($119.95) has added technological upgrades including the option to sous vide. 

Related 7 Dutch Oven Recipes to Make at the RV Campground

Instant Pot Camping Recipes 

The following recipes are scaled for a 6-quart cooker and based on using the pressure cooking function on high. Full cook times will be slightly longer than the pressure cooking timer you set. The Instant Pot needs time to come up to pressure before the timer starts, so a 3-minute cook time might be closer to 10 minutes depending on how much is in the pot and how long it takes the pot to reach full pressure.


Oatmeal with nut and fruit toppings
Photo: Kerry Sainato

Steel-Cut Oatmeal

Steel-cut oats take 30 minutes of constant stirring on the stove; Instant Pot reduces cook time to 4 minutes without any tending. 

Togo Tip

Keep a pot warming all morning with a variety of topping options available for the family for an at-your-own-pace breakfast offering.

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup steel-cut oatmeal
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Directions 

  1. Place all ingredients into the Instant Pot insert that’s set inside the pressure cooker. Lock the lid on the Instant Pot and flip the steam valve in the sealing position.
  2. Press the button for the pressure cooker function (in older models, this is “manual”) and choose high pressure. Set the timer for 4 minutes.
  3. Once the pressure cooker cycle is complete, let the pot naturally release the pressure for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, flip the steam valve to release any remaining steam.
  4. Remove the lid and stir the oatmeal. The oatmeal will be creamy; if you like it a bit thicker, let the oatmeal sit for a few minutes before serving.
  5. Serve with your choice of toppings, such as dried fruit, nuts, and sweeteners. 
Egg salad sandwich
Photo: Kerry Sainato

Egg Salad

Hard-boiled eggs are a breeze to cook and peel in the Instant Pot, making egg salad an easy lunch option for your camping trip.

Togo Tip

Cook up to a dozen eggs in the Instant Pot at once to have a quick, protein-packed snack readily available. Hard-boiled eggs are also tasty sliced on an English muffin with ham for a simple breakfast sandwich or added to a bowl of instant ramen soup.

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 scallions
  • Bread, for serving

Directions

  1. Place the insert into the Instant Pot and place the trivet in the bottom of the insert. Add 1 cup of water to the pot, then place the eggs on the trivet.
  2. Lock the lid on the Instant Pot and flip the steam valve to the sealing position.
  3. Press the button for the pressure cooker function (in older models, this is “manual”) and choose high pressure. Set the timer for 6 minutes.
  4. While the eggs are cooking, chop the scallions small.
  5. Once the pressure cooker cycle is complete, immediately flip the steam valve to release the pressure.
  6. Move the eggs to a bowl with ice and water to stop the cooking and cool the eggs. 
  7. Once the eggs are cool enough to handle, peel them. 
  8. Cut the eggs in half and remove the yolks from 3 of them. Place egg yolks in a medium bowl. 
  9. In the bowl with the yolks, add the mayonnaise and mix together well until a smooth mixture. 
  10. Add Sriracha, salt, pepper, sugar, and scallions. Stir to combine. 
  11. Meanwhile, dice the remaining eggs and egg whites into small chunks. Then add to the mayonnaise mixture. Fold in to combine. 
  12. Serve on your choice of bread.
Pulled pork sandwich
Photo: Kerry Sainato

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

The Instant Pot makes quick work of cooking pork meat that would normally take hours over low heat. 

Togo Tip

Use leftover pulled pork to make a breakfast hash or BBQ pulled pork quesadillas at lunchtime. The BBQ spice rub will make more than you need, but keep the extra stash to season other meat.

Makes at least 8 servings 

Ingredients 

  • 4 pounds boneless pork shoulder roast
  • 6 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup of BBQ sauce, plus more for serving
  • Coleslaw, store bought or from a pre-mixed bag

Directions

  1. Cut the pork roast into 4 equal pieces.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together salt, sugar, chili powder, smoked Spanish paprika, ground cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, thyme, and black pepper. Stir together to combine well. 
  3. Sprinkle the BBQ spice rub over all sides of the pork, coating well.
  4. Place the insert into the Instant Pot and place the trivet in the bottom of the insert. Add 1 cup of water to the pot, then place the pork on the trivet.
  5. Lock the lid on the Instant Pot and flip the steam valve in the sealing position.
  6. Press the button for the pressure cooker function (in older models, this is “manual”) and choose high pressure. Set the timer for 60 minutes.
  7. Once the pressure cooker cycle is complete, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes and then flip the steam valve to release any remaining pressure.
  8. Remove the pork from the Instant Pot and shred it using two forks or chop with a knife. Place in a large bowl. 
  9. Mix ½ cup of the cooking liquid with ½ cup of BBQ sauce. Pour over the pork and mix well. 
  10. Serve on a large burger bun with more BBQ sauce to taste. Top with coleslaw.
Sausage and pasta dish made in Instant Pot
Photo: Kerry Sainato

Sausage, Pepper, and Onion Penne Pasta

This dish turns a classic cook-out sandwich into a saucy, one-pot pasta dish with just 3 minutes of pressure cooking time.

Togo Tip

You can use a different pasta shape for this recipe, but vary the cooking time according to the package. The standard math for cooking pasta in the Instant Pot is to take the cooking time from the package, halve it, and round down to the nearest minute. So, if the package recommends 9 minutes, half and round down for an Instant Pot cook time of 4 minutes. 

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients 

  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage (or remove from casing)
  • 2 large bell peppers, sliced into ½-inch by 2-inch strips
  • ½ large onion, sliced thin
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 pound dried penne pasta
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • Chopped fresh basil

Directions

  1. Place the insert into the Instant Pot. Turn the saute function on by pressing the saute button. Adjust the temperature to high. Add olive oil. 
  2. Once the pot heats up, add the sausage. Brown the sausage, stirring occasionally. This should take about 5 minutes. 
  3. Once the sausage has started to brown, add the onions and peppers to the pot with a pinch of salt. Stir occasionally and cook until the vegetables soften and the onions have turned translucent and start to brown (about 3 to 5 additional minutes). 
  4. Add the garlic, basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes and stir. Cook for about 30 seconds.
  5. Add tomatoes and chicken stock. Then pour in the pasta and gently press it into the liquid. If there isn’t enough liquid to cover the top of the pasta, add more water. 
  6. Lock the lid and flip the steam valve in the sealing position.
  7. Press the button for the pressure cooker function (in older models, this is “manual”) and choose high pressure. Set the timer for 3 minutes.
  8. Once the pressure cooker cycle is complete, allow the pressure to release naturally for 3 minutes and then flip the steam valve to release any remaining pressure.
  9. Open the lid and give the pasta a stir. Stir for 20 to 30 seconds to mix the pasta with the other ingredients and thicken the sauce slightly. 
  10. Serve with grated parmesan cheese and chopped fresh basil, if desired. 
Chicken taco dish made in Instant Pot
Photo: Kerry Sainato

Chicken Taco Rice Bowls

Celebrate Taco Tuesday from your RV with this one-pot pressure cooker rice dish. 

Togo Tip

Craving a burrito? Stuff this mix into a large flour tortilla with some shredded cheese, roll it up, and toast on a buttered griddle for a quick burrito meal.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 1-ounce pack of taco seasoning mix
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ onion, diced small
  • 1 bell pepper, diced small
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 cups long grain white rice
  • 3 cups chicken stock or water
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Avocado
  • Salsa
  • Sour cream
  • Cilantro
  • Hot sauce

Directions

  1. Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning mix on the chicken breasts. Set aside.
  2. Place the insert into the Instant Pot. Turn the saute function on by pressing the saute button. Adjust the temperature to high. Add olive oil. 
  3. Once the pot heats up, add the onion and pepper to the pot with a pinch of salt. Stir occasionally and cook until the vegetables soften and the onions have turned translucent and start to brown (about 3 to 5 additional minutes). 
  4. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Then add the tomato paste and cook for about 1 minute, stirring the entire time.
  5. Add the rice and stir to coat well in the vegetable and tomato paste mixture. Add the chicken stock or water and the black beans. Stir. 
  6. Place seasoned chicken on top of the mixture.
  7. Lock the lid on the Instant Pot and flip the steam valve in the sealing position.
  8. Press the button for the pressure cooker function (in older models, this is “manual”) and choose high pressure. Set the timer for 6 minutes.
  9. Once the pressure cooker cycle is complete, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes and then flip the steam valve to release any remaining pressure.
  10. Remove the chicken to a cutting board and gently fluff the rice with a fork. 
  11. Shred the chicken and add it back to the Instant Pot. Mix the chicken into the rice by gently fluffing. 
  12. Serve in bowls and garnish with your choice of toppings.
Chicken and potato dish made in Instant Pot
Photo: Kerry Sainato

French Onion Chicken Thighs and Potatoes

A simple, classic packet of powdered onion soup mix brings flavor to the party. The chicken and potatoes are cooked together in this recipe, making this a convenient Instant Pot dinner.

Togo Tip

The remaining liquid after cooking makes for a delicious, light jus to serve over the finished dish. If you’d prefer a thicker gravy, whisk a tablespoon of cornstarch into a quarter-cup of cold water. After removing the chicken and potatoes from the Instant Pot, stir the cornstarch mixture into the jus and turn the saute function on high until the liquid thickens. 

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 1-ounce packet of Lipton onion soup mix
  • 4-6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1½ pounds of red potatoes, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 scallion, sliced thin

Directions

  1. Season the chicken thighs on both sides with salt and pepper. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of the onion soup mix on the non-skin side of the chicken thighs. 
  2. Place the insert into the Instant Pot. Turn the saute function on by pressing the saute button. Adjust the temperature to high. Add olive oil. 
  3. Once the pot heats up, add the chicken, skin side down, to the pot. Let the chicken sear for about 5 minutes until golden brown. Take care not to try and pull the chicken out of the pot too early, or the skin will stick and rip apart. Once the chicken is seared well, it should easily lift from the bottom of the pot. If you are searing 6 chicken thighs, you’ll need to do this step in two batches.
  4. Once the chicken is seared, remove it from the pan and set aside. Add the potatoes to the pot. Allow the potatoes to lightly brown in the chicken fat, flipping them every couple of minutes for about 8 minutes. 
  5. Add the chicken stock. Place the chicken thighs, skin side up, on the potatoes. 
  6. Turn off the saute function.  
  7. Lock the lid and flip the steam valve in the sealing position.
  8. Press the button for the pressure cooker function (in older models, this is “manual”) and choose high pressure. Set the timer for 7 minutes.
  9. Once the pressure cooker cycle is complete, allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes and then flip the steam valve to release any remaining pressure.
  10. To serve, remove the chicken thighs and potatoes. Place the potatoes on a serving platter, top with the chicken thighs, and then pour the jus. Garnish with sliced green onions.
Carrot dish made in Instant Pot
Photo: Kerry Sainato

Honey Chipotle Glazed Carrots

Carrots are an easy vegetable to bring camping because they’re sturdy and don’t require refrigeration. 

Togo Tip

You can easily substitute canned chipotle peppers for your favorite hot sauce, like Sriracha. You can also replace the honey with white sugar, brown sugar, or maple syrup.

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 5 large carrots, cut into quarter-inch slices 
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle pepper in adobo, chopped fine
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped fine

Directions

  1. Place the insert into the Instant Pot and place a steamer basket inside the insert. Add 1 cup of water to the pot. Then, place the carrot slices in the steamer basket.
  2. Lock the lid and flip the steam valve in the sealing position.
  3. Press the button for the pressure cooker function (in older models, this is “manual”) and choose high pressure. Set the timer for 2 minutes.
  4. Once the pressure cooker cycle is complete, immediately flip the steam valve to release the pressure. Remove the steamer basket from the Instant Pot.
  5. Switch the Instant Pot to the saute function and adjust the temperature to high. Add the honey, chipotle pepper, butter, and kosher salt to the water left from steaming the carrots. Stir to combine. Cook, allowing the water to evaporate until the mixture reduces by about half and is syrupy. It should coat the back of a spoon. 
  6. Once the glaze is the right consistency, add the carrots to the glaze and toss to coat. Garnish with cilantro.
Cauliflower dish made in Instant Pot
Photo: Kerry Sainato

Cauliflower with Crunch Herb Buttered Breadcrumbs

Cauliflower is another hearty, easy-to-travel-with vegetable. This simple bread crumb garnish is super flavorful and adds a great crunch to this easy Instant Pot side dish.

Togo Tip

This breadcrumb topping is also delicious on broccoli. For broccoli, set the pressure cooker to zero for optimal cooking.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 ½ tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 head of cauliflower, chopped into bite-sized florets
  • Kosher salt, to taste

Directions

  1. Place the insert into the Instant Pot. Turn the saute function on by pressing the saute button. Adjust the temperature to high. Add 3 tablespoons of the butter.
  2. Once the butter is mostly melted, add the panko bread crumbs. Stir with a wooden spoon while toasting the breadcrumbs in the butter. 
  3. When the breadcrumbs start to turn golden brown, add the basil, oregano, and thyme. Cook for another 30 to 45 seconds.
  4. Add the garlic and stir well. Cook for another 30 seconds. Turn off the saute function and remove the breadcrumbs from the pot. Set aside in a small bowl. 
  5. Give the Instant Pot insert a rinse and place it back in the Instant Pot. 
  6. Place a steamer basket inside the insert. Add 1 cup of water to the pot. Then place the cauliflower in the steamer basket.
  7. Lock the lid and flip the steam valve in the sealed position.
  8. Press the button for the pressure cooker function (in older models, this is “manual”) and choose high pressure. Set the timer for 1 minute.
  9. Once the pressure cooker cycle is complete, immediately flip the steam valve to release the pressure. Remove the steamer basket.
  10. Move the cooked cauliflower to a medium bowl. Toss with the remaining butter and a pinch of kosher salt. Then, toss with the breadcrumbs right before serving.

Save these recipes and bring your Instant Pot with you the next time you head to the campground. The mighty appliance will expand the output of your small RV kitchen and allow you to cook delicious, healthy meals quickly and conveniently—all while reducing cleanup time.

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Kerry Sainato

Kerry bought a tiny teardrop trailer on a whim over four years ago and is now an enthusiastic RV traveler. She spends most of her camping nights in New England, but is working on plans for a year-long cross country journey with her husband. Kerry also owns and operates a cooking blog, cookwithkerry.com, and loves cooking over the open fire during her camping adventures.

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