25 Super Easy Recipes to Make in Your Vacation Rental
Going on vacation is expensive—and eating out for every meal while you're out of town can add up quickly. But you don't have to sacrifice taste for the sake of your budget! Throw out those boring ham sandwiches and whip up one of our easiest recipes to make on vacation. The best part? Since so many of our simple meals call for single sheet pans and pots, clean up will be a breeze.
One-Pot Pasta with Spinach and Tomatoes
This pasta dinner is a game changer: You use just enough liquid to cook the pasta--no colander needed. Recipe adapted from our sister publication Southern Living. Cost for 4: $8.43
One-Pot Cheesy Pasta Bake
This easy skillet pasta bake is a surefire family hit. Pasta and meat sauce topped with mozzarella cheese will make everyone at the table happy, and the all-in-one-pot technique will have the cook smiling pretty. Cooking the pasta in the meat sauce not only lessens the amount of dishes you have to do and the time it takes to get dinner done, but the starches in the pasta thicken the sauce—without you having to do a single extra thing.
One-Pot Pasta with Tomato-Basil Sauce
This dish is a revelation. Throw all of your ingredients into one pot over medium-high heat, and about 25 minutes later you'll have noodles perfectly coated in a luscious tomato-basil sauce. This is any busy mom's weeknight dinner perfection. If entertaining, serve with one of our easy green salad recipes for the complete dinner experience.
Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas
This easy dinner comes together in less time than it takes to wait for a table at your favorite Mexican restaurant. Mild poblano chiles and bell peppers get a nice char under the broiler and deliver more than double a day’s worth of immunity-boosting vitamin C.
Sheet-Pan Chicken Tikka Masala
With a little sheet pan savvy, flavor-packed chicken tikka masala has never been more accessible. While we suggest marinating the chicken for at least four hours, if you didn’t plan ahead, you can simply marinate the inherently tender chicken thighs for as long as you have time for.
Sheet Pan Seafood Bake with Buttery Wine Sauce
Finally, a seafood “bake” that lives up to its name. This lively platter of mussels, clams, sausage, and potatoes is a super fun alternative to your typical sheet pan suppers. It’s easy to make and doused in a ridiculously tasty, buttery white wine sauce—kicked up a bit with a little hot sauce and seafood seasoning—which is heavenly sopped up with the potatoes, as well as some crusty bread if you have it on hand. As far as seafood seasoning blends go, we prefer Slap Ya Mama brand, as we’ve found they use high quality ingredients, but feel free to use whatever you have kicking around your spice cabinet. When cleaning the shellfish prior to cooking, tap any partially opened mussels on the counter; if they close their shell, they’re fine to cook. However if they don’t close up—toss them, that means they’re dead, and no good to eat. Also discard any mussels or clams with broken shells. The clams will take a bit longer to cook, which is why you’ll want to start these on the pan first. Doing so also allows the pan to preheat, so when you add the wine, instant steam is created to help open the mollusks. We consider this dish the ultimate in laid-back evening eats, so crack a cold beer open and enjoy. And if you wanted to dress this dish up a bit, you could eliminate the potatoes and serve the shellfish, sausage, and sauce over a bed of linguine.
Sheet-Pan Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya
It’s definitely not traditional, but it sure is convenient (not to mention, way tasty). With our trusty sheet pan and a few smart supermarket shortcuts, we keep the prep for this weeknight jambalaya recipe incredibly quick and easy.
Spaghetti and Easy Meatballs
Sheet Pan Pizza with Corn, Tomatoes, and Sausage
We topped this summer pizza with fresh corn, bell peppers, plum tomatoes, and hot Italian sausgae. The sausage and tomatoes cook together to create a rich sauce, which is used as a base for summer corn, peppers, and even more tomatoes. Use fresh pizza dough and par-cook the crust before adding the toppings for the crispiest results.
Sheet Pan Nachos with Chorizo and Refried Beans
Messy? Maybe. Worth it? Yes. The secret to fully loaded nachos that won’t fall apart in your lap? A mixture of salsa and refried beans acts like the “glue” to help the toppings stick to the tortilla chips.
Sheet Pan Cuban Sandwiches
Make perfectly pressed and toasty Cuban sandwiches for a crowd in one go with this genius sheet pan technique. Beyond being an obvious choice for your next party or tailgate, this recipe is an incredible way to recycle leftover pork roast or pork tenderloin into a delicious way to feed a group. Brushing the bread with pickle juice is a smart trick for keeping the bread from drying out too much and delivers an additional punch of flavor.
Sheet Pan Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
This simple sheet pan technique allows you to make five grilled cheese sandwiches with at the same time (meaning everyone around the table gets an equally gooey and warm sandwich at the same time), and with not much more effort than it takes to prep one. We went with 4 type of cheese—goat, white cheddar, provolone, and Swiss—for these buttery, rich sheet pan grilled cheese sandwiches.
Easy Taco Salad
Perfect for hectic weeknights, this easy taco salad recipe is something both kids and adults will love. The beauty of taco salad is that it’s entirely customizable to your favorite taco components, so feel free to stray from the recipe to accommodate whatever you’re craving and/or the ingredients you already have on hand.
Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro-Lime Slaw
These easy shrimp tacos are apt to become one of your favorite weeknight dinner go-to’s. They’re ridiculously fast, they’re easily adapted to suit picky palates, and wow, TACO bout flavor. A few pantry spices and about five minutes under the broiler are all it takes to transform raw shrimp into a dynamite taco filling.
Taco Truck Lettuce Wraps
Flavorful as a taco truck, but healthy enough to become part of your regular rotation. We keep calories in check by blending a mixture of higher calorie (but oh-so-flavorful) Mexican-style chorizo with leaner ground pork for the meat filling. And then we keep it light by tucking the filling into sweet, fresh butter lettuce leaves—like a cross between a taco and a lettuce wrap.
Pizza Roll Casserole
Mmm, tastes like college. The pizza rolls and cheese sticks achieve a perfect crispiness here, excluding the small bit that's "dipped" into the pizza sauce. The cool, creamy ranch makes for the perfect bite.
Sheet Pan Thai Red Curry Mussels
Easy weeknight dinners don’t get any more impressive than these sheet pan mussels. Bold aromatics come together with curry paste and rich coconut milk for an incredible broth that goes right on the sheet pan to steam the mussels and infuse them with flavor.
Charred corn, seasoned black beans, creamy avocado, tangy pico de gallo, cilantro-lime rice--every bite of this burrito in a bowl is a delicious surprise.
Everything Bagel Salad
Your favorite brunch special just took on a new, heartier format. Everything here comes through: The bagels, capers, lox, raw onions, and cream cheese are all balanced out by spinach’s natural mild sweetness.
Mini Tomato Sandwiches With Bacon Mayonnaise
One of the season’s simplest and most iconic pleasures, the beloved BLT, can also double as an effortless appetizer. The quality of your tomatoes will make or break this simple sandwich. We like the color contrast of red and yellow heirloom tomatoes, but choose whichever large tomato is ripest. These little sandwiches are perfect for outdoor picnics or brunch with the ladies.
Sheet Pan Fried Eggs
Chicken Caesar Salad Sandwiches
This recipe, ideal for spring picnic sandwiches, weekday lunch at the office, or a weekend brunch with your book club, can be made in just 20 minutes, thanks to the convenience of a store-bought rotisserie chicken. The chicken salad mixture can be made a day ahead. Store in the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble the sandwiches.
Grilled Ham and Cheese Waffle Sandwiches
Breakfast or lunch? This delicious waffle sandwich doesn't make you choose. The perfect brunch recipe is always a crowdpleaser.
Grilled Margherita Sandwiches
This quick five-ingredient entrée transforms a favorite pizza combo into a melty grilled sandwich. To thinly slice fresh mozzarella with ease, freeze the cheese for about 30 minutes before cutting.
Sheet Pan Steak Fajitas
Look in the refrigerated precut produce section for a blend of sliced multicolored peppers. If starting from whole peppers, use about 2 medium peppers of each color (this step can also be done ahead).