This is a recipe list of easy meals to make while summer vacationing or camping. You can use the table of contents to jump to a recipe. If you are like me and try to do as much as possible before you leave on vacation, then this can help you out in that area. If you have trouble remembering what meal went with what nights, then bookmark this page for easy access.Going on vacation is a great way to get time away from the hectic pace of life. The sun, sand, and sea will leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed. One item that can add extra stress while on vacation is deciding what to eat. Fortunately, these easy meal ideas for beach vacations will leave your stomach full and your mind relaxed.
Tamales, crab cakes, fish tacos, and lobster will never be healthier than when you get them at the beach. In fact, if these few easy meal ideas are any indication, beach food can be good for you.Whether you’re an experienced griller, or a novice, having the right tools for the job is important, and it can make a huge difference in how your food tastes. Here’s a list of common tools that have been recommended by some of the best grillers.People tend to think of meal preparation time as time they could be spending at the beach. However, most people don’t realize that pre-making meals is an easy way to save money while in vacation mode
Easy Meal Ideas For Beach Vacation
Beach Condo Meal Ideas
Anyone else counting down the days to summer vacation? I don’t know about you, but I LOVE heading to the beach for summer vacation. We usually stay at a hotel, but this year we are going to rent a house or condo. Since we will have a kitchen, we are going to do a little cooking while we are there. Today I am sharing 25 Quick & Easy Beach Vacation Meals. I have breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert recipes that are perfect for your upcoming trip!
What to Bring to Your Beach Rental
Most rental houses and condos come equipped with the basics, but we’ve listed a few of our favorite things that it may not have. You can either bring these things with you or order it ahead of time and have shipped to your destination so it’s there waiting for you.
- Disposable Half-Sheet Baking Pans with Lids: I use these all the time at home and when traveling with food. These are a MUST!
- Slow Cooker: Your rental may have a slow cooker, if not, this one is good. You can make several recipes in this. I love to throw the potato casserole or Smothered Green Beans in here.
- Gallon Freezer Bags: gallon freezer bags are another must for me. I use them for everything. I precook ground beef, sausage, and bacon and place them in the bags. The bags are also perfect to marinate pork, steaks, and chicken.
- Large Cooler: if you are going to do some meal prep before you head down, you will need a large cooler to store everything in. I pack the cooker with frozen casseroles, burgers, and marinades.
Beach Vacation Meals for Large Groups
Most of these recipes can be made in advance and frozen for the trip. All of the recipes are easy to double or triple for a crowd.
- For burger night, I make the burgers ahead of time and freeze them before we go down. I store them in our cooler.
- For grilled meats, you can place the meat in the freezer bag, add the marinade and freeze the bag. Alternately, you can whisk up the marinade and store it in a mason jar.
- Casseroles – all of the casseroles can be made in advance and frozen unbaked. When ready to bake, thaw and bake as directed. Write the time and temperature on the baking pan lid or aluminum foil.
Favorite Gulf Coast Beaches
The Florida Panhandle is our go-to destination. Our favorite beach is Destin, FL. We go down several times a year. You can check out all of our recommendations here: https://www.plainchicken.com/category/travel/usa/destin-fl/
We recently checked out the Alabama beaches in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. We stayed in a condo at Turquoise Place. It is the nicest place we’ve ever stayed on a trip. We want to move it in!
Check out all of our Gulf Shores/Orange Beach favorites here: https://www.plainchicken.com/category/travel/usa/gulf-shores-orange-beach/
Depending on where you go on vacation and how much your eating out budget is, you will likely want some easy meals to make yourself. (But if you’re just looking for snack ideas for a day at the beach, head over to our Beach Food Ideas post!)
Whether you are in an VRBO, AirBnb, a townhouse, or a hotel with a kitchenette, you usually will have a few key appliances and ingredients to make these vacation meals.
I’m focusing this post on recipes that don’t require tons of spices, specialty appliances, or less common herbs you simply won’t have on hand.
Watch How to Make Ham and Cheese Casserole
Here’s an easy ham casserole that won’t drag you down with carbs. It’s keto and great for a vacation meal. This dish works well for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!
Keto Ham and Cheese CasserolePlay Video
Easy dinners to make on vacation
When you’re out of town and want to feed our family without having to go out to eat every night (and without sticking them with peanut butter sandwiches) try these easy vacation dinners. They are simple enough and you don’t need tons of ingredients. You also don’t lots of spices or tricky cookware you don’t have.
They’re simple, inexpensive, and satisfying. Of course, while you’re on vacation you’ll want to eat some meals out in restaurants. But for the other nights, try these dishes.
Easy Vacation Dinners
These meals are easy to make on vacation without all your normal spices, tools, appliances, and cookware. Simple and easy to make to fill your family if you want to save money while away on vacation.
Beach food—or, really, any midsummer meal—should be utterly uncomplicated, seasonally appropriate (tomatoes! corn! herbs galore!), seafood-heavy if you are indeed by the shore, hearty enough to get you back to the beach tomorrow, and quick enough that you don’t have to head home early to get the cooking started. Here are the recipes we make when all that’s on the docket for the next day—and the one after that—is floating on our backs in the closest body of water.SAVETO COLLECTION15 Beach Bag Essentials: Family EditionSAVETO COLLECTION15 Summery Sandwiches to Take to the Beach
From Our Shop
Our Best Dinner Recipes For Beach Vacations
It’s not a true beach day without a bowl of clam chowder, right? Right. This tomatoey version uses 3 pounds of fresh clams, bringing that straight-from-the-sea flavor straight to your mouth.SAVETO COLLECTIONNew Manhattan Clam Chowder
2. Crab Cakes
Whether you start a beach dinner with more seafood for an appetizer (we doubt anyone will complain) or decide to serve these as your main course, our Baltimore-style crab cakes are the very best you’ll ever taste, guaranteed.SAVETO COLLECTIONCrab Cakes
If you’re team lobster salad over a Connecticut-style hot lobster roll, this is the recipe for you. An entire pound of freshly cooked lobster meat is tossed with homemade tarragon mayonnaise, thinly sliced scallions, and finely diced cucumbers for a fresh, crisp bite. Pile the salad high into your favorite top-sliced hot dog bun for the ultimate beach vacation dinner.SAVETO COLLECTIONJasper White’s World-Famous Lobster Rolls
The beauty of this clam stew is that you don’t need to be too precise or too pretty. Start by making your own fregola, which is an Italian pasta similar to Israeli couscous. Cook the beads of pasta with a combination of garlic, onions, tomatoes, and olive oil (you know the drill), plus 2 pounds of clams for an Italian stew that will transport your taste buds seaside.SAVETO COLLECTIONSardinian Clam Stew With Fregola
After a long day on the beach, you’re probably a little tired, a little sunburned, and certainly quite hungry. This Mexican-style sandwich will hit the spot. “This torta is fairly light in meat because of the addition of beans, and since I often have the rest of the ingredients on hand, it is quick and easy to pull together,” says recipe developer SavorThis. If you have ingredients like black beans, chipotle and cumin powder, paprika, and sherry vinegar on hand, you’ll be good to go.
Report an adSAVETO COLLECTIONSteak and Bean Torta
Corn on the cob shines in this colorful pasta primavera along with yellow zucchini and fresh basil. But the fun doesn’t stop there. After all, it’s the weekend, so what better way to celebrate than with a little bit of bacon thrown into the mix, too?SAVETO COLLECTIONSummer Weekend Pasta
Upgrade the crab roll that you know and love from a seaside shack with this recipe, which combines crabmeat with a vibrant avocado mayo. The four-ingredient mayo brings just the right amount of zest to this summer sandwich, which is exactly what you want after a long day spent at the beach.SAVETO COLLECTIONAvocado Crab Rolls
Amanda Hesser calls this one of her favorite summer dinners for a family vacation, and soon enough, you will, too. Our co-founder’s secret is using both preserved lemons and fresh lemon juice so that you get plenty of brightness even after the sun goes down.SAVETO COLLECTIONSpaghetti with Clams, Parsley, Garlic, and Lemon (x2)
“This is in my post-beach dinner rotation in the summer. It’s all prepped ahead and the only thing left to do is warm the tortillas and make yourself a drink,” says recipe developer Cheese1227. In our book, that’s the perfect way to end a long day spent in the summer sun.
Report an adSAVETO COLLECTIONWhite Fish Escabeche Tacos
For a light vegetarian dinner that you can bring to the beach for a picnic dinner, make these green bean and mozzarella sandwiches. The best part is that you can make the marinated green beans a few days in advance, so they’re ready to eat at the drop of a hat.SAVETO COLLECTION