Easy Meals for Vacation

Easy Meals for Vacation – below is a list of tons of meal ideas for your next beach vacation if you’re in charge of the meal planning!

If you’ve been tasked to make a meal while on family vacation, I’ve got you covered! Below are lots of ideas for:

  • Meals you can make ahead and bring with you in a cooler
  • Grilled dinners (if your rental has a grill!)
  • Non-grilled dinners
  • Happy hour cocktails
  • Appetizers & snacks
  • Make ahead desserts
  • Breakfast ideas

A sample menu from our last summer trip:

Some tips for you next vacation:

Bring a cooler! This is our favorite size Yeti for taking to the beach. It doubles as a cooler for food on the ride down and it’s the perfect size to take down to the beach.

Bring the random spices, bulk ingredients, and hard-to-find ingredients in plastic bags or tupperware.

Bring equipment you aren’t sure they’ll have. We always bring a blender for making frozen lemonade.

Bring tupperware or gallon-size plastic bags for leftovers.

A huge tip is to make something from the “make before you leave” section below for night one. It’s so nice to have a pre-made dinner night one when you’re still getting settled. And it doubles as great lunches for the rest of the week.

If you don’t want to cook something before you leave, you can pick up pulled pork from a local BBQ restaurant

Don’t forget to bring games. They’re great for something to do after dinner or on the rainy days. Our favorite high energy family game is Farkel. Here’s a list of all of our favorite games.

If you’re in need of a book to take on your vacation, The Hotel Nantucket is my favorite beach read ever!

Easy Meals for Vacation

Easy meals for vacation
Make before you leave and bring in a cooler:

Spaghetti Sauce in the Slow Cooker

You could even make this a few weeks ahead of time, freeze it, and bring it down frozen.

Italian Meatballs

Make the meatballs ahead of time and freeze. Then bake with marinara and cheese when you get there.

Pulled Pork

Serve with a salad and mac & cheese. Or get some pre-made potato salad and coleslaw from the grocery store when you get there.

Sweet Pork

Make it ahead and then turn it into tacos, salads, or bowls on night 1!

Italian Beef

Serve with frozen french fries

Grilled dinners:

Turkey Burgers

Serve with some chips and watermelon

Burgers with Pimento Cheese

Serve with frozen french fries and corn on the cob

Honey Mustard Sausages

Serve with pasta salad and fruit

BBQ Boneless Chicken Thighs

A meal in one and comes together in under 30 minutes

Balsamic Chicken Skewers

Serve with a side salad and corn on the cob

Gluten Free Steak Marinade

Serve with asparagus and frozen potatoes

Grilled Chicken with Avocado Tomato Salad

This is an awesome & healthy complete meal

Cuban Mojo Chicken Thighs

Make these into burrito bowls

Low Country Boil (on the grill)

This is an entire meal in one

Mexican Shrimp Skewers

Serve with chips, guac, and margaritas

Grilled Shrimp Kabobs

Serve with a simple salad and rice

Balsamic Grilled Flank Steak with Charred Tomatoes

Serve with a side salad and mac & cheese

Street Corn Chicken Tacos

Serve with some chips and salsa

Grilled Chicken Parmesan

Serve with a side salad and some garlic bread

Easy Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce

Make it easier with store bought tzatziki

Non-grilled dinners:

Dutch Oven Pulled Chicken

Serve with mac and cheese plus a salad

Marry Me Chicken

Serve with garlic bread and roasted broccoli

Baked Ravioli with Pesto Cream Sauce

Serve with garlic bread

Chicken Florentine Pasta

An all in one meal

No-Boil Baked Penne with Meatballs

Serve with some garlic bread

Million Dollar Ravioli Casserole

Like lasagna but way easier!

Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

Serve with a bagged caesar salad and garlic bread

Meatball Sliders

Make the meatballs before you leave for an easy dinner

Italian Pesto Sliders

Serve with a caesar salad

Pizza Sliders

Serve with a caesar salad

Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes

Serve with roasted potatoes an a salad

French Onion Beef Sliders

Serve with frozen french fries

Cheeseburger Sliders

Serve with frozen french fries and watermelon

Ham and Cheese Sliders

Serve with a side salad and fruit

Baked Potato Bar

An easy cheap meal that’s customizable for different preferences

Honey Soy Baked Chicken Thighs

Serve with rice and broccoli

Ground Orange Chicken

Serve with rice and broccoli

Peanut Noodles with Roasted Broccoli

A super quick and super easy meal in one

Korean Beef Bowls

Serve over rice

Honey Lime Enchiladas

Use a rotisserie chicken to make it easier

Chicken Taco Salad

Make this into a taco bar!

Mexican Lasagna

Serve with chips and guac!

Sheet Pan Chicken Pitas with Tzatziki

Make it easier with store bought tzatziki

Sheet Pan Jambalaya

Serve with a side salad

Grilled Sausage and Peppers with Garlic Aioli

You could grill these, but would be just as easy on a skillet! Serve with a green salad

Crescent Dogs

A kid friendly dinner, serve with corn on the cob and watermelon

Puff Pastry Hot Dogs with Honey Mustard

A slightly fancier version of the above crescent dogs

Fish Tacos

Serve with chips and salsa

Baked Cajun Salmon

Serve with rice and roasted vegetables

Baked Blackened Salmon

Serve with a side salad

Mussels, Clams and Shrimp in Spicy Broth

Serve with a baguette on the side to dip in the broth

Blackened Shrimp

Serve with rice

Baked Crispy Shrimp Tacos

Serve with chips and guac

Sheet Pan Garlic Butter Shrimp

Serve with bread and a salad

One Pan Garlicky Shrimp Rice

Serve with a side salad

Roasted Shrimp and Orzo

Leftovers make a great lunch

Happy hour cocktails:

Frozen Lemonade with Vodka

Make sure you bring your blender if you want to make this

Rosé Spritzer

This is super easy and refreshing

White Sangria Recipe

This can be made in the morning and served when you’re ready for a cocktail

Aperol Spritz

The most refreshing summer cocktail

Skinny Margarita

For taco night!

Orange Crush

This is great one to drink while on the beach

Raspberry Limoncello Prosecco

Easy and minimal ingredients!

Appetizers and snacks:

Chicken Nuggets in a Blanket

These taste like a homemade chicken mini meets pigs in a blanket

Fruit Dip Recipe

A three ingredient dip!

Mediterranean Dip

A light and fresh dip to snack on during happy hour

Buffalo Chicken Dip

You can prep this ahead of time, freeze it, and bring it down. Then thaw in the microwave, put in a baking dish, top with cheese, and bake!

Hot Onion Dip

A super simple, but a huge family favorite dip!

Make ahead desserts:

Frozen Cookie Dough Balls

Make a big batch before you leave and freeze the cookie dough balls. (OR just buy cookie dough from the grocery store when you get there!)

Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie

This is the best family style dessert for a vacation! You can make the dough ahead of time or get store bought dough, bake, and serve with ice cream on top!

Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats

These can be made ahead of time and they last for days!

7 Layer Bar Coconut Macaroons

Loaded with milk chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and pecans. The best make ahead dessert ever.

Christmas Chex Mix Recipe

This is such a hit I make it year round. Instead of the green hats, just mix the bugles with the rest of the ingredients in white chocolate.

Strawberry Shortcake Dessert Cups

Make the pound cake ahead of time. Or buy a pre-made poundcake from the grocery store when you get there

Breakfast ideas:

Blueberry Jam Muffins

Make these ahead of time and bring them down to have a pre-made breakfast

Banana Bread

Make it before you leave and bring it down with you

Cinnamon Sugar Biscuits

Made with canned biscuits and only 4 ingredients

Bagel Breakfast Sliders

The easiest way to make breakfast sandwiches for a crowd

Tater Tot Casserole With Sausage

An all in one breakfast

Easy Breakfast Casserole

Simple and a crowd pleaser!

Cinnamon Roll French Toast Casserole

Made with canned cinnamon rolls!

Nutella French Toast Sandwiches

Stuffed french toast made in a casserole dish

Biscuits and Gravy Egg Bake

Eggs and biscuits baked in a casserole with sausage gravy on top

Baked Cream Cheese French Toast Casserole

The can be made the night before and baked in the morning