Summer vacation is often filled with great memories of relaxing, the family coming together and enjoying the warmer weather. Family holidays are a wonderful way to make memories that last a lifetime. Here are some simple summer recipes for you to enjoy.With summer vacation approaching and people preparing to spend more time traveling, we thought we’d offer some quick, easy recipes to make the journey a little easier.
When it comes to food, nobody is willing to settle for second best. We have high expectations, and that’s what separates the cooks from the eaters. But even novice chefs will tell you that recipes vary from household to household, from region to region. We expect a lot of our recipes: They should be unique, delicious, inexpensive and easy to make. That’s a tall order – unless you are on vacation.Summertime is here and with it comes the madness of vacations. You’re thinking about them, your friends are talking about them, and every store’s display window is showcasing that all-too-familiar beach scene with a sunset to boot. But all this summer holiday excitement can also create a bit of anxiety for you among other things. Having to decide what to pack can be stressful enough without the added pressure of worrying about how to entertain yourself during those few days away. It doesn’t matter whether you are heading to the local pool or catching a plane for an exotic two-week vacation in some tropical island. You just want to enjoy your time off and have fun with your family or friends.
Easy Recipes For Summer Vacation
Everyone deserves some time off. Whether you spent all year working or taking care of kids, it’s important to take at least a week off a year. During this time, we should relax and recuperate — doing things that improve our life overall. Vacations do exactly that — they provide us with the much-needed time to grow both physically and mentally.
You’re on Vacation, Thank Goodness. Here’s What to Cook
We’ve got lots of recipes—plus the kitchen tools as important as your bathing suit.
August 1, 2022
Is there anything more satisfying than setting up an OOO autoresponder? Thanks for your email but I’m not checking my email. Thanks for your email but I’m on the beach, sipping cold wine, playing Scrabble, insert your chillest pastime here. The only doozy is what to cook for dinner (and, hopefully, make for dessert).
Vacation food hinges on two things: what local produce is ripe and what kitchen equipment your lodging has (or, more likely, doesn’t have). These summery recipes are as effortless as they are fun, like floating around a pool on an inflatable doughnut. So crank up the AC and let’s make something good.
Things You Should Just Bring
Just to be safe. No, we’re not going to tell you to bring a stockpot or food processor or your whole spice cabinet. But there are some ingredients and gadgets that we wouldn’t want to be without, especially if we’re driving. Here is our packing wishlist—pick what you have space for.
- Flaky salt and kosher salt because bland food is bad food, and bad food is not invited on vacation.
- Black pepper and chile flakes: See above. Bring freshly ground or whole peppercorns plus a mill.
- Olive oil and vinegar for perking up whatever you overbuy at the farmers market, from tomatoes to corn to lettuce.
- That condiment you put on everything: Zhong sauce? Yellow sriracha? Kewpie mayonnaise? All three?
- Coffee or tea. In case you’re one of those people who becomes Not Nice when you don’t get your caffeine fix as soon as you wake up.
- Storage containers for leftovers (dinner tonight is the easiest lunch tomorrow) and adventures (so you can win Best Meal at the Top of the Mountain).
- Knives—yes, even if the Airbnb kitchen photos look promising. Chef’s at a minimum; gold star each for a serrated and a paring.
- Microplane for citrus, ginger, Parmesan, garlic, etc. As Christina Chaey puts it, “Once you start traveling with your Microplane, you may never go on another trip without it.”
- Sheet pan: You can’t pack every pan, so you might as well pack the most versatile one.
- Wine opener because vacation. Go lo-fi with this under-$10 option or spend a little more for an electric wonder.
Recipes That Taste Like Summer
And they’ll taste even better when you blast your go-to karaoke songs while you cook.
- Photograph By Isa Zapata, Food Styling By Susan Ottaviano, Prop Styling By Stephanie De Luca1/17One-Pan Braised Chicken with Soy Sauce and TomatoesOn lazy summer nights when you can’t fathom doing more than the bare minimum number of dishes, make this deeply comforting one-skillet chicken and tomato dish from contributing recipe developer Christian Reynoso. The chicken thighs marinate, cook, and get served in a single skillet; as the chicken cooks, the marinade cooks down into a luxuriously buttery, salty sauce that’s perfect for spooning over rice or thick slices of toast. —Christina Chaey, senior food editorVIEW RECIPE
- Photograph By Isa Zapata, Food Styling By Susan Ottaviano, Prop Styling By Stephanie De Luca2/17Grilled Corn and Steak FattoushIf you can gather everything for tonight’s dinner with a single sweep of the sleepy village supermarket, then it’s a vacation winner in my books. Bonus points if it doesn’t require a blender or stand mixer or any such machine that your cute rental is unlikely to have. This grilled corn and steak fattoush fits the bill, demanding nothing more of you than a few bowls and a hot grill by the pool, grass in your toes. —Shilpa Uskokovic, food editorVIEW RECIPEADVERTISEMENT
- Photo By Emma Fishman, Food Styling By Rebecca Jurkevich3/17Creamy Lemon Zucchini PastaWhen most people go on vacation they pack extra bathing suits and flip-flops; I pack my Microplane and Thermapen. After staying in one too many vacation homes without a box grater on premises, my newest must-pack vacation item is a collapsible box grater that packs up flat and is no bigger than a small notebook. I use it to shred zucchini and Parmesan for this decadent summer pasta, turn a pile of carrots into a big grated salad, or make a quick grated raw-tomato sauce. —C.C.VIEW RECIPE
- Photograph By Isa Zapata, Food Styling By Taneka Morris, Prop Styling By Dayna Seman4/17Crispy Chickpea and Cucumber SaladWhen a friend invited me to lunch and a lazy day on the beach, I thought about taking a bottle of wine. But sun and rosé midday can’t possibly lead to good, so instead, I made good use of some garden-gown cucumbers to make this salad. A quick search of my pantry confirmed I had everything else I needed to make this bright and crispy salad, one full of protein thanks to the addition of sautéed chickpeas and feta. While I can’t say the others didn’t wish I’d opted for rosé, I can say they all asked for the recipe. —Dawn Davis, editor in chiefVIEW RECIPE
- Photograph By Isa Zapata, Food Styling By Susan Ottaviano, Prop Styling By Stephanie De Luca5/17Blueberry Muffin CakeThis cake is for those of us who believe baking is relaxing. You won’t need more than a mixing bowl and whisk to achieve a tender crumb. Whether your vacation kitchen is fully stocked or barely functioning, this cake is designed to impress under any conditions. The shortcut: store-bought granola in place of a homemade streusel topping. Because even though you’re baking, you’re still on vacation. —Mehreen Karim, recipe production assistantVIEW RECIPE
- Photo By Alex Lau, Food Styling By Rebecca Jurkevich6/17Salted Watermelon JuiceI made this juice on vacation precisely as the headnote dictated: We needed to use up the rest of a whole watermelon we bought. I froze the cubes before blending for a thicker slushie texture. It is definitely thirst-quenching after baking in the summer sun on the water all afternoon. And it can easily be boozed up with most whatever you have on hand. —Ryan Harrington, research director