Want to go on a road trip but not exclusively eat fast food? Check out these easy road trip meals to keep you healthy on the go!
Road trips are one of the cheapest ways to travel, but it can be difficult to maintain a healthy diet. This can be especially true if you have dietary restrictions. Here, we share some of the best road trip meals for staying healthy on the go.
What You Should Bring
It is totally possible to make your own meals on the road without bringing your whole kitchen along! All you really need is an Instant Pot such as this one, a can opener, a spatula, some disposable dishware and silverware, and some Ziploc bags for storage. You can store some of these essentials inside the Instant Pot when not in use to save space.
Instant Pots offer a minimum of seven functions in one device, such as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sauté pan, food warmer, and yogurt maker. This makes them the perfect device for cooking healthy meals on the road. I love that I can brown hamburger and slow cook a soup in the same device. To make cleanup easier, use these slow cooker liners. Just be sure to not use them on the pressure cooker setting.
If you will be staying in one location, we recommend renting a condo or something with a slightly larger kitchen to make cooking on the road a little easier. Extended Stay America hotels are great for reasonably priced rooms with an adequate kitchen. These road trip meals can definitely be made in a regular hotel room as well. If you will be doing a lot of driving on your trip, consider getting a cooler that keeps items cold for 5 or 6 days, such as this one. We have one very similar to this and it makes it so much easier to not have to constantly replace the ice.
What Meals to Make
Some of the best heathy road trip meals include chicken fried rice, taco soup, hard boiled eggs/egg salad, chili, and pot roast with vegetables. These meals can all be made in your Instant Pot with only a few ingredients that require no chopping! The meals consist mostly of whole foods, making them healthy and adaptable to a variety of special diets. Some of them contain pre-packaged meal seasonings. These are available without gluten and other additives at larger grocers such as Woodmans, or online through Thrive Market. Side note: I love Thrive Market for getting all of my gluten and dairy-free stuff at a discount, mailed right to my house. They offer a risk-free one-month trial and a free gift with your first order if you are interested. Use whatever best suits your dietary needs for these recipes.
1. Chicken Fried Rice
Chicken fried rice is a very easy, healthy road trip meal. To make this, you can either cook chicken breasts or tenderloins on the pressure cooker or slow cooker setting, or heat up pre-cooked grilled chicken strips for a quicker meal. Cook the rice using the rice cooker setting, then add in the chicken, egg, and frozen vegetables and finish cooking using the sauté function. Mix with soy sauce or coconut aminos for a gluten free option. Serve up on your disposable dishware, throw out the slow cooker liner, and you are done!
2. Taco Soup
Taco soup is one of road trip meals that can be made in your Instant Pot. To make, brown a pound of hamburger on the sauté function. Next, add one can of black beans, one can of corn, one can of diced tomatoes, and one can of Rotel. Do not drain any of the water from the cans before dumping in the Instant Pot. Add one packet to taco seasoning and stir together. Set the Instant Pot on slow cooker mode for four hours. It should automatically switch to the “keep warm” function when done cooking. This is a perfect road trip meal to throw together in the morning, then go about your adventures for the day and come back to a warm, healthy dinner. If you prefer to make the meal when you get back, it can also be cooked on the pressure cooker setting for 30 minutes.
3. Hard Boiled Eggs
Ok, so hard boiled eggs aren’t necessarily a meal on their own, but they are a versatile food that can be made in an Instant Pot and eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. To cook hard boiled eggs in your Instant Pot, make sure you bring a metal trivet such as this one. It can be stored right in your Instant Pot when not in use. Add one cup of water and metal trivet filled with eggs to the Instant Pot. Select the high, manual setting, and set timer for three to seven minutes, depending on how well done you like your eggs. Rinse eggs in cold water, then peel. You can easily make egg salad sandwiches by bringing along some mustard and mayonnaise. We recommend the squeeze versions of these as they are easier to travel with and don’t require any extra silverware usage.
Ahhh, chili. This is one of my favorite meals since it is so easy to make, healthy, and just feels “cozy” on a chilly day. As with the taco soup, is a one of the road trip meals that can be prepped in the morning, then left to cook all day while you are out having fun.
To make, brown one pound of hamburger on the sauté setting of your Instant Pot. Add two drained cans of kidney beans, one 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes, one 8 oz. to 16 oz. can of tomato sauce (depending on how liquid-y you want your chili), and one packet of chili mix. Mix together and set to slow cook for four hours. You can also make it on the pressure cooker setting for 30 minutes if you prefer. Make sure to use a slow cooker liner to make clean-up a breeze so you can get on with your fun!
5. Pot Roast
Pot roast is another healthy road trip meal that is quick and easy to put together. It is very hearty and is the perfect meal after working up a large appetite exploring. To make this meal, combine a chuck roast, one bag of baby carrots, one bag of mini potatoes, one packet of pot roast seasoning or gravy, and one can of beef broth. Recently, I found bags of mini-potatoes at Aldi that are pre-washed and ready to be tossed straight into the slow cooker. They are perfect for cooking on the road. Cook on high for four hours, or low for 8 hours.
Need ideas for where to go on your road trip? Check out our article on affordable places to visit within the United States!
What are some of your favorite meals to make on the road? Feel free to share below!