When you are boating, you might be tempted to keep eating at restaurants and getting your meals whilst ashore. However, now and again, a home-cooked dinner might seem like the best way to keep your family or group together during an aquatic vacation, and really what could be better than alfresco dining aboard your own floating home.
The problem is that when boating, whether you’re on a narrowboat, cruiser or anything in between, you might not have the galley space to do all the cooking you need – nor will you have enough pots and hot plates to create particularly ornate meals.
Clearly then you’ll need to find some easy recipes that you can do even if you have only one pot. Here are a selection of one pot recipes ideally suited to boat based cooking, regardless of how long you may be at sea:
Macaroni and Cheese
You can never go wrong with macaroni and cheese. This simple and timeless recipe is great because it only requires a few ingredients, which you can cook on a single stove or hot plate on your boat. If you have a small compact boat oven, it will make things even better, as you will be able to get that nice golden crust as well. These are the ingredients that you will need:
- 1 box of macaroni
- ¼ cup butter
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
- ground black pepper (to taste)
The best part about this recipe is that you can find these ingredients at pretty much any convenience store ashore, more or less anywhere in the world. You can just grab the ingredients the next time you stock up. You may find the recipe method and some variations here.
Lasagna is most often cooked in an oven, but it can also be done in a pot or pan. You just need a pot, a stove, and the ingredients. Again, if you have a portable oven on your boat, things will get even more convenient for you, as you can cook it properly there.
- Italian sausages
- Olive oil
- Tomato sauce
- Diced tomatoes
- Dried basil and oregano
- Farfalle pasta
Unlike traditional oven cooked lasagne, there will be no layering with this recipe, all you have to do is simply mix the ingredients. In the end, it will taste just the same as your average layered lasagna. You may find the recipe here.
Thai Red Curry Lamb Stew
Stew is a good hearty meal to chow on, regardless of your location, but it’s particularly good for warming the soul when temperatures outside are little on the chilly side. It’s nourishing, hydrating, and overall delicious. And once again you’ll also find most of the ingredients (or close substitutes) at any local store near to where you moor up. You may find the recipe here, but this is what you will need:
- 1 lbs of lamb chops or roast
- 1 can of coconut milk
- 1 can of pumpkin
- 16 ounces of chicken broth
- 1 bunch of chopped kale
- 2 tbsp. or red curry paste
- 4 minced garlic cloves
- 1 tsp of olive oil
To make life easier you may want to pre-cook the lamb before you set sail, chop it up, and then put it in a bag in a portable cooler. When you’re ready to prepare the stew onboard, you’ll simply need to mix the seasoning, add it to the olive oil, and then toss the lamb in.
Tuna with Lentils
Tuna is one of the most common fish species, and if you like to do some fishing when at sea there are many waters where you may find it. Of course you can also buy it in canned form just about anywhere as well. Pack it with some lentils in a nice salad, and you’ll have a delicious, lightweight one-pot meal. Here is what you will need.
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 cup of lentils (your choice)
- ½ onion
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 fresh tuna
- 1 tbsp chopped chives
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- ¼ cup of extra virgin oil
- 1 tbsp vinegar (ideally, red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar)
It takes less than 20 minutes to prepare this meal, which is more or less just a case of chopping everything up and placing it in a bowl. Cook for about 45 minutes, and after that, you should be able to serve it. For more details, you can check the recipe here.
Balsamic Chicken and Veggies
If you’ve been over indulging a bit and want a healthy dinner that is low in carbohydrates, then you might want to consider cooking a round of balsamic chicken and veggies. The recipe is simple and can be done with ingredients from the local market. Here is what you’ll need:
- Italian salad dressing
- Red pepper flakes
- Balsamic vinegar
While these veggies are the standard for the recipe, you may also substitute them with whatever other veggies you may have to hand. It is quite a versatile recipe that you may try playing with as you are boating. You may find the recipe here, which of course you can adjust to suit your taste.
Beef Stir Fry
When in doubt, steer fries can also come in handy. This no-fuss recipe simply has you tossing the ingredients in a pot or a pan, stirring until you get the right consistency. Here are the ingredients for the recipe you might find here.
- Sirloin steak cut into smaller strops
- Vegetable oil
- Soy sauce
- Seasoning mix for stir-fries
- Green onions
- Green beans
- Sugar snap peas
- Bell peppers
- Yellow onion
The quantities mainly depend on how much you want to cook, as this is quite a versatile recipe. You may even swap beef for chicken, depending on what your preferences are. Plus, since you’ll be adding stir-fry seasoning, you won’t be going with that much of a hassle by creating a sauce. It’s the perfect choice when you simply want to throw some ingredients in that famous solitary pot.
Spanish Fish Stew
Once more, if you want to feel content after a meal, then Spanish fish stew will certainly prove to be a tasty and satisfying meal. Since you will be using fish, you should be able to come across a variety of local ingredients – or who knows, maybe even catch the fish yourself if you have the gear. Here are the ingredients that you will want to gather:
- Skinless fish fillets, which you can cut into larger chunks
- Raw peeled king prawn
- Fish stock cube
- ½ can of chickpeas
- Chopped tomato
- Cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- Floury potato that was cut into smaller chunks
- 1 onion
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Juice and zest from one lemon
- 2 finely chopped garlic cloves
- Chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
Depending on the canned products that you use, you may already get the liquid coverage for the broth. However, if you feel there is a need for it, you may also add a can of water to the mix. You may find the more detailed recipe here.
Chili Con Carne
You’ll need about 30 minutes, one pot, and a couple of ingredients in order to make the perfect chili con carne recipe. Here is what you will need to gather up:
- 500 grams of ground beef (~1 pound)
- 2 cans of red kidney beans
- 2 cans of diced tomatoes
- 2 tsp. of chili powder
- 1/8 tsp of cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp of dried oregano
- 1 tsp of coriander
- 1 tsp of salt
- 2 medium onions, finely chopped
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- Optional: 1 jalapeno (remove the seeds if you want to reduce the spice)
The recipe has multiple variations that you may try out. In terms of seasoning and spices, you can of course adjust this to taste. You can use this recipe here for more inspiration.
Creamy Skillet Chicken
To make this recipe, you just need the ingredients and a skillet or frying pan. Most of the ingredients can be found at a convenience store on shore, but you may also grab some alternatives if you cannot find the “base ingredients.” Here is what you should get.
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Ground pepper
- ¼ cup of all-purpose flour
- Cream cheese
- Egg noodles (for serving)
- Kosher salt
- Vegetable oil
- Sliced mushrooms
- 2 cloves of garlic
- Baby spinach
You might work this recipe up to your taste, but overall, it’s quite easy to make. Simply add the ingredients in their right order to cook, and skillet that chicken. You can find a more detailed recipe here.
Fusilli with Tomato Sauce and Tuna
This recipe is a quick one that is not only tasty but also takes less than 30 minutes to prepare. Served with a glass of white wine, this is the perfect dish to savour on deck. Here is what you will need to gather.
- Fresh tuna chunks (can be swapped with ricotta cheese)
- Chopped tomatoes that were peeled beforehand (or canned chopped tomatos)
- ¼ cup of extra virgin oil
- 1 tsp sugar
- Salt and pepper
- Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano cheese
- Dried oregano and basil leaves
If you cannot find the specific ingredients at the convenience store on shore, then you can also pick up the more standard, easily available ingredients. You may find more advice about the recipe here.
The Bottom Line
When you are boating you must make sure you are well-fed, without making too much of a mess. These recipes can make matters easier for you, as all they require is one pot (or pan) and the right ingredients. Happy cooking, and happy boating!