8 Simple Recipes You Can Make in a Vacation Rental

There’s something uniquely satisfying about cooking your own meals, especially while on vacation. Vacation rentals, with their well-equipped kitchens, offer the perfect opportunity to explore culinary creativity. Cooking during your holiday adds a homely feel to your travel experience and allows for healthier and more cost-effective dining options. This guide will walk you through simple, delightful recipes that you can easily whip up in any vacation rental kitchen. From quick snacks to hearty meals, these recipes are designed for convenience and flavor, ensuring that your vacation dining is as memorable as your adventures.

The Joy of Cooking on Vacation

Cooking on vacation is an adventure in itself. It allows you to explore local ingredients and try your hand at regional specialties. There’s also the joy of gathering around a meal with your travel companions, sharing stories of the day’s exploits. Whether it’s a quick breakfast before heading out to explore or a leisurely dinner to wind down the evening, cooking in your vacation rental adds a personal touch to your holiday experience.

Most vacation rentals come equipped with the basic kitchen tools needed for simple recipes. Key items usually include pots and pans, a cutting board, knives, a mixing bowl, utensils, and basic appliances like a stove and microwave. Before you start cooking, take a moment to familiarize yourself with what’s available in your rental’s kitchen. This knowledge will help you plan your meals efficiently and ensure you have everything you need to bring your vacation culinary creations to life.

  1. Instant Pot Chicken Wings

One of the easiest and most delicious meals you can prepare in a vacation rental kitchen is instant pot chicken wings. This dish is not only mouth-watering but also incredibly simple to make, requiring minimal preparation and cooking time. Of course, make sure you have the necessary tools needed in the rental kitchen before you start cooking. 

The recipe is as simple as seasoning your chicken wings with your favorite spices and placing them in the instant pot with a little water or broth. Set the pot to high pressure for a quick cook, and in no time, you’ll have tender, flavorful wings ready to be devoured. Serve them with a side of vegetables or a simple salad, and you have a meal that everyone will love.

  1. One-Pot Pasta

Nothing says easy vacation cooking like a one-pot pasta dish. It’s a fuss-free, versatile meal that can be tailored to your taste. Start by sautéing some garlic and onions in a pot, add your choice of vegetables or protein, then pour in the pasta and enough broth or water to cover it. Let it simmer until the pasta is cooked, and finish with a sprinkle of cheese or herbs. This one-pot wonder saves on washing up and is perfect for a comforting meal after a day of exploring.

  1. Fresh and Easy Salad

Salads are the ultimate go-to for a quick, healthy vacation meal. They’re particularly great for lunch, providing a refreshing break in your day. Begin with a base of greens like lettuce or spinach, add in a variety of vegetables – think cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers – and then choose a protein such as grilled chicken, tuna, or beans. Top it off with a simple dressing of olive oil and vinegar or lemon juice. This easy-to-assemble meal is nutritious and also allows you to experiment with local produce.

  1. Quick and Comforting Soup

There’s something deeply comforting about a bowl of soup, especially when you’re away from home. Soups are easy to prepare and can be very forgiving. Start with a base of sautéed onions and garlic, add vegetables and your choice of protein, then pour in broth or water. Let it simmer until everything is cooked through. Season to taste, and you have a warm, comforting meal ready to enjoy. Soups are also great for using up leftovers, making them a practical option for vacation cooking.

  1. No-Fuss Vacation Tacos

Tacos are a fun and versatile option for a vacation meal that can involve everyone. Start with your choice of protein – ground beef, chicken, or a vegetarian alternative. Cook it with taco seasoning, then lay out a spread of toppings: chopped lettuce, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese, and salsa. Warm some tortillas, and let everyone build their own tacos. It’s a playful, interactive meal that’s as enjoyable to make as it is to eat.

  1. Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Elevate the classic grilled cheese sandwich to a gourmet level with just a few extra ingredients. Choose a good quality bread, and add different cheeses like cheddar and mozzarella. For a twist, include slices of tomato, a sprinkle of herbs, or even some bacon. Cook on a skillet until the bread is golden and the cheese is melted. This simple yet delicious sandwich is perfect for a quick lunch or a casual dinner.

  1. Savory Breakfast Skillet

Start your day with a hearty breakfast skillet. Sauté diced potatoes in a pan, add vegetables like bell peppers and onions, and then crack a few eggs over the top. Cover and let it cook until the eggs are done to your liking. Season with salt, pepper, and any herbs you prefer. It’s a one-pan meal that’s filling, nutritious, and sure to fuel your day’s activities.

  1. Easy Seafood Dish

If you’re vacationing near the coast, take advantage of fresh seafood. A simple seafood dish can be both luxurious and easy to prepare. Pan-sear shrimp or scallops with garlic and butter, and serve them with a squeeze of lemon. Or, if you have access to a grill, try grilling fish for a smoky flavor. Seafood cooks quickly and is a healthy option that brings the taste of the sea right to your vacation rental.


Cooking in a vacation rental doesn’t have to be a chore – it can easily be a memorable highlight of your trip. These simple recipes provide the convenience of home cooking with a vacation twist, allowing you to explore local flavors and enjoy quality time with your travel companions. From no-fuss tacos and gourmet grilled cheese to fresh seafood dishes, there’s something for every palate and occasion. Welcome the joy of cooking on your vacation – it’s a wonderful way to create lasting memories and add an extra layer of comfort and enjoyment to your travel experience.

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