If you want to cook a truly delicious Thanksgiving dinner in a tiny kitchen, then you are in good hands! I have made the last five Thanksgiving dinners in three different RV kitchens, and am still alive to tell the tale. RV #1 was the tiniest. RV #2 was the biggest but was a loaner (not ours). RV#3 is my current kitchen.
This guide will help you plan your meal in 4 steps and then spread the work out over 4 days. Each of the 4 steps has it’s own post plus a bonus post at the end with links to recipes and extra tips.
If, after reading this guide, you want to pick up a fully cooked meal from Publix and reheat it, or get take-out plates from Cracker Barrel, there is no shame in that. You do you. I am shooting for a homemade meal with shortcuts no one will notice and I will lay out my time-tested plan so that you can have the homemade meal you are picturing too.
Let’s quickly run through the tiny kitchen challenges we will overcome:
- The teensy, tiny countertops make it hard to prep, period. It also takes longer to prep because you can only do one thing at a time.
- A limited number of small kitchen appliances, pots and pans, and casserole dishes.
- A limited amount of space to store or stockpile food.
- Storing food in a refrigerator that might not hold standard size pans. My fridge was a regular size but that definitely could be a hurdle to overcome.
- Needing to eat and live and wash dishes in the tiny space while simultaneously preparing food in advance.
- Reheating all of the prepared food with one small oven and a microwave.
RV #1 had approximately one square foot of space for prep. To the left was a stovetop and to my right was the sink. Technically I could cover the sink and increase my prep space; however, I needed to fill pots, drain pasta and put the dirty dishes somewhere so that wasn’t super practical.
This is a picture of my prep space for three years. If I can make a Thanksgiving dinner here, you will be able to as well!
With a bit of planning you can ace this tiny kitchen thing. It’s a four-step plan.
- Make a reasonable menu.
- Find shortcuts.
- Spread out the work.
- Do a dry run.
If you are ready, let’s do this!