With a beach vacation on the horizon, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared with quick, easy meals that won’t leave you feeling like you’ve missed out on a relaxing vacation. The last thing you want is to spend all day in a kitchen when you could be outside soaking up the sun! Here are some ideas for easy meals that will keep you from feeling like you’re missing out:
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Recipe: Shrimp-and-Corn Succotash
This dish basically screams summertime, from the fresh corn succotash to the herby mayo mixture that coats shrimp.
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Recipe: Steak-and-Potato Kebabs
Fire up the grill to make these perfect kebab skewers. All you need is a side salad and crusty bread to complete the meal.
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Lemon Vinaigrette Pasta Salad with Field Peas
Recipe: Lemon Vinaigrette Pasta Salad with Field Peas
This freshest-ever pasta salad is gearing up to be your go-to side with any meal. A lemony vinaigrette tops it off in the most refreshing way.
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Slow-Cooker Carnitas Tacos
Recipe: Slow-Cooker Carnitas Tacos
If we can put it in the slow cooker and forget about any worries while having a stroll on the beach, we’re happy. These carnitas make taco night oh-so easy.
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Kardea Brown’s Okra Soup with Shrimp
Recipe: Kardea Brown’s Okra Soup with Shrimp
This Gullah-inspired family recipe features the most mouthwatering broth you’ll ever taste. Shrimp shells are a gold mine for flavor.
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Creamy Broccoli Slaw
Recipe: Creamy Broccoli Slaw
This makes the most dependable sidekick for any casual lunch or dinner during the summertime. Pair with grilled fish or a classic turkey sandwich—your choice.
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Sheet Pan Fajitas
Recipe: Sheet Pan Fajitas
We’ve transformed more time-intensive fajitas into a family-friendly recipe you can pop in the oven and have ready in just 20 minutes.
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Creamy Avocado Dip
Recipe: Creamy Avocado Dip
Like a creamier take on guacamole, this dip is the perfect snack to replenish tired beachgoers after a long day.
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Buttermilk Alfredo Pasta with Chicken and Spinach
Recipe: Buttermilk Alfredo Pasta with Chicken and Spinach
Fact of the matter: Everyone loves this easy one-pot supper (made with rotisserie chicken for ultimate ease), adults and kids alike. Whip it up on any hungry but lazy night.
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Hot Crab-and-Artichoke Dip
Recipe: Hot Crab-and-Artichoke Dip
There is always a place for creamy crab dip on the snack spread during the summer—or any season, really. Beach trip notwithstanding.
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Fried Chicken Sliders with Pimiento Cheese
Recipe: Fried Chicken Sliders with Pimiento Cheese
If these don’t become an instant family favorite, we’re not sure what tree they’re barking up. It calls for store-bought chicken tenders, which means you can assemble them in seconds.
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Bacon-Ranch Pasta Salad
Recipe: Bacon-Ranch Pasta Salad
Bacon and ranch always make a dynamic flavor duo—including in this hearty pasta salad that is begging to be paired with your burgers.
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Maque Choux with Sausage
Recipe: Maque Choux with Sausage
This classic Louisiana dish makes the most of all of the summer veggies like corn, okra, and tomatoes. Sausage is just an extra perk.
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Southern Fried Corn
Recipe: Southern Fried Corn
Introducing the newest all-star side dish to make year-round. It’s skillet-fried and packed with buttery flavor.
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Egg Salad Sandwiches
Recipe: Egg Salad Sandwiches
We couldn’t forget this classic sandwich spread you can make ahead and snack on all week.
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Tuna Pasta Salad
Recipe: Tuna Pasta Salad
A marriage of two of our most favorite portable things: tuna salad and pasta salad. This will cover your lunch bases all week long.
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Slow-Cooked Barbecued Chicken Sandwiches
Recipe: Slow-Cooked Barbecued Chicken Sandwiches
A little brown sugar, Coca-Cola, and bourbon (optional) are the secrets to this slow-cooked chicken that can be served over cornbread, like seen here, or on sandwich buns whenever hunger strikes.
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Chicken Salad-Stuffed Tomatoes
Recipe: Chicken Salad-Stuffed Tomatoes
Summer tomatoes have never looked so delicious. Serve on a slice of bread for the kiddos who haven’t gotten on the ‘mater train yet.
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Recipe: Creole Burger
We upped the ante on everyone’s basic burger by adding the bold flavors of Creole seasonings (hello, Zatarain’s) and a tangy sauce.
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Recipe: Shrimp-Tomatillo Tacos
Tasty shrimp tacos in just 20 minutes? Yeah, that’ll do.
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Recipe: Shrimp-Okra-and-Sausage Kebabs
This recipe is basically jambalaya on grilled skewers, which we never knew we needed—but totally do.
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Easy Creamy Chicken Spaghetti
Recipe: Easy Creamy Chicken Spaghetti
It’s hard to beat this family-friendly casserole that you can make ahead to take on vacation. It makes your life way easier from the get-go.
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Potato Salad with Dijon and Scallions
Recipe: Potato Salad with Dijon and Scallions
Classic potato salad gets a major upgrade with fingerling potatoes, tangy Dijon mustard, and scallions.
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Sweet-and-Spicy Salmon Rice Bowl
Recipe: Sweet-and-Spicy Salmon Rice Bowl
Just a half hour is all that’s needed to turn out this hearty one-bowl meal. Salmon is topped in a super delicious honey-Sriracha sauce.
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Greek Grilled Chicken Pita
Recipe: Greek Grilled Chicken Pita
These hand-held pitas are the ideal travel lunch for days spent on the beach. Throw in a bag of Zapp’s potato chips for good measure.