Whether you’re cooking in an RV or cooking in a sticks-and bricks-home, skillet-made meals offer up simple comfort food. What better time to share six easy skillet recipes than when we need it most—to keep us warm this winter?
I love to use my cast iron skillet for this. Cast iron is great for RVing because you can use it on your stove top or over the campfire and cleanup is easy—but any skillet will do. These recipes are super flexible too. Leave out the ingredients you don’t like or substitute something similar, and you’ll be fine! Get creative.
1. Easy Tacos
1 pound ground beef
1 small chopped onion
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained, if desired
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup salsa
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
Taco shells or corn or flour tortillas, warmed
Toppings (lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, sour cream, avocado, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, salsa, sour cream, etc.)
- Cook the ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring, until no longer pink. Drain well, remove beef and wipe skillet with a paper towel.
- Sauté the onion in oil, add spices and beef and cook 5 to 7 minutes while stirring a few times. Add the beans (if desired), tomato sauce, water and salsa. Mash the beans somewhat, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 8 to 10 minutes or until there is less liquid.
- Add your cheese and cilantro, if desired, and serve with your tortillas/taco shells and toppings.
2. Beef and Broccoli Stir-fry
1/2 cup soy sauce or coconut aminos
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup beef broth
3 tablespoon cornstarch divided
2 tablespoon cold water
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 tablespoon olive oil divided
1 pound flank steak, trimmed and thinly sliced (or similar cut)
5 cups broccoli
1 cup of onion, sliced or chopped
- Mix the first four ingredients with one tablespoon of cornstarch and beef broth. Set aside. In another bowl, mix the rest of the cornstarch, water and garlic together.
- Add the sliced beef and stir to coat it. Heat two tablespoons of oil in a skillet over medium high heat and stir fry the beef for 3-4 minutes until it’s cooked through. Remove the beef from the pan and set aside.
- Cook the broccoli and onions in the same pan for 3-5 minutes, until tender. Return beef to pan, add soy sauce mixture and stir 3-5 minutes, until thickened. Serve over rice, if desired.
3. Hearty Paella
2 cups water
1/2 pound smoked sausage, halved and sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1 (6.9 ounce) package of Zatarain’s yellow rice or your own substitution
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup of frozen peas
- Bring the first five ingredients to a boil. Stir in rice. Return to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the shrimp and peas, cover and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the shrimp turns pink and the rice is tender, stirring occasionally.
- In a separate pan, bring water, sausage, tomatoes, onion and parsley to boil in large skillet. Stir in rice mixture. Return to boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 15 minutes.
- Stir in shrimp and peas. Cover and cook 10 to 15 minutes longer or just until shrimp turn pink and rice is tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
4. Skillet Beef Tamales
1 pound lean ground beef
2/3 cup chopped peppers (red or green)
2 cups salsa
3/4 cup frozen corn
2 tablespoon water
6 corn tortillas, halved and cut into small strips
3/4 cup shredded cheese
5 tablespoon sour cream
- Coat your large skillet with oil and cook the beef and peppers over medium heat for 6-8 minutes, or until beef isn’t pink and the veggies are tender, with the beef in crumbles.
- Drain the skillet, then add salsa, corn and water to mixture. Bring to a boil. Add your tortillas. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the tortillas are softened, 10-15 minutes. Add cheese and cook, covered for an additional 2-3 minutes or until the cheese is melting. Serve with sour cream.
5. Cranberry Apple Turkey Skillet
2 medium apples, peeled and thinly sliced
3/4 cup unsweetened apple juice or apple cider
3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 cups cooked and cubed turkey breast
1 (6-ounce) package of corn bread stuffing mix (can be gluten-free)
- Combine the first five ingredients in a large skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, then simmer, covered, for 4-5 minutes or until the apples are tender.
- Once apples are tender, add in the turkey and stuffing mix. Cook, covered, 2-3 minutes or until the liquid is almost absorbed.
- Serve and enjoy.
6. Turkey or Chicken Curry
1 cup sliced celery
1/2 cup sliced carrots
1 cup of milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 cups cooked turkey or chicken, diced
2 tablespoons onion, minced
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1-4 teaspoon curry powder
Hot cooked rice (optional)
- Lightly coat your skillet with oil and sauté the celery and carrots until tender.
- Mix 1/4 cup of milk and cornstarch in a bowl until they’re smooth. Add broth and the remaining milk and mix until combined.
- Pour this mixture over the veggies, bring to a boil, and stir for two minutes or until it’s thickened. Add the rest of your ingredients (except the rice), heat through and stir. Serve with rice, if desired.
Note: If you made turkey for the cranberry apple turkey skillet and have some leftover, this is a great way to mix it up! These are also great recipes to keep on hand for the holidays.
I love convenient, one skillet meals, and these will definitely keep you warm—and full—this winter. These are also healthy recipes that can be adjusted easily to accommodate different dietary constraints—in fact, they can all be made gluten-free, either as-is or with a simple tweak or two. I hope you enjoy them!
If you enjoyed this article, you might also enjoy reading about these three national parks to consider for your next trip. When you’re ready to book your next adventure, we’ll be here with the coolest ready-to-rent RVs and campervans.