Easy Meals to Make While on a Beach Vacation

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Some travelers are foodies who strictly eat at restaurants while on vacation, and others like to balance eating out with preparing food themselves to save money–especially when traveling with larger groups. It’s all about preference, but one thing that we can all get behind is the thought of making a complicated meal while the pile of dishes in the sink grows makes us shudder. Hours over a hot stove? Dishes on vacation? Perish the thought!

So, if you’re someone who’s trying to figure out how you’re going to wake up a big group to get them out to breakfast in time to get a great spot on the beach for the day, or cooking with your family and sharing a meal in the privacy of your own villa, rental home, or condo sounds amazing, this article is for you! The best part is, that all of these recipes are easy, don’t require a lot of cleanup, and are the perfect food to recharge your family on a hot summer day. Plus, they’re healthier than just picking up frozen meals and a box of mini donuts at the store down the street.

A quick note before we begin: many vacation rentals and condos with full kitchens provide everything needed to make these recipes, but check your accommodation’s information to make sure!


Sheet Pan Omelets

Recipe by Hy-Vee Test Kitchen

Prep: 5 min | Total: 25 min

12 Servings

Described as the “One-Pan Wonder,” this hot breakfast dish combines the ease of scrambled eggs and the ability to let your family and friends customize their omelet sections. A great way to get protein in your diet before a long day of adventuring on Hilton Head Island.

Overnight Oats

Recipe by Feel Good Foodie

Prep: 5 min | Total: 8 hrs 5 min

1 Serving

A new take on the good old-fashioned bowl of oatmeal, Overnight Oats can be fully customized per serving, and are a refreshingly healthy treat in the mornings that fills you up and gets you out the door without another thought. There are two essential ingredients, but after that, it’s all up to you! See the recipe for different flavor ideas.

No-Bake Breakfast Cookies

Recipe by Homemade Mastery

Prep: 8 min | Total: 8 min

8 Servings

Did someone say healthy cookies? These easy-to-make bites are a hassle-free breakfast that are perfect for early travel days. Full of fiber and protein, mix oats, peanut butter, honey, and your choice of nuts and chocolate pieces to make the perfect grab-and-go treat to start your day off right.


South Carolina Bird Dogs

Recipe by Plain Chicken

Prep: 10 min | Total: 15 min

8 Servings

A great alternative to having no grill or not wanting to stand out in the sun to grill, swap the hot dogs for bird dogs! Pick up a box of Publix chicken tenders from the deli (trust us on this one), and assemble everything like you would a hot dog. Easy to assemble, this tasty sandwich makes a convenient lunch option on a budget.

Tortellini Salad

Recipe by Love and Lemons

Prep: 20 min | Total: 25 min

6 Servings

A refreshing side dish or the main, you can always prepare this before leaving for your trip and throw it in the cooler. You can make your own Italian dressing with the included recipe, or buy store-bought. Choose the kind of fresh tortellini from the refrigerator section and make this light meal that still fills you up!

Baked Cheeseburger Sliders

Recipe by The Cookie Rookie

Prep: 10 min | Total: 50 min

6 Servings

While this meal takes almost an hour to make, only 10 minutes is hands-on so feel free to read those last chapters you didn’t finish on the beach or lounge with friends with a drink in your hand. These tasty sliders are sure to please, and they’re easy to make for a large group.


Sesame Noodle Salad

Recipe by Food Network Magazine Kitchen

Prep: 20 min | Total: 20 min

6-8 Servings

If you’re looking for a lighter meal that’ll fill you up and has flavor to spare, this Sesame Noodle Salad is for you! Best made fresh, your group will go back for seconds, we guarantee it! If you want to save even more time, you can make the dressing before you leave for vacation.

Salmon Bowls

Recipe by Tastes Better from Scratch

Prep: 25 min | Total: 33 min

5 Servings

If you don’t make salmon that often, it might seem daunting. But in fact, it’s very simple! This dish might be your new favorite way to prepare it, and you don’t have to add the toppings if you don’t like mango, cucumber, or avocado. Save time and make the Teriyaki Sauce ahead of time!

Shrimp Tacos

Recipe by The Recipe Critic

Prep: 20 min | Total: 30

4 Servings

This healthy meal includes one of the island’s favorite seafood picks: shrimp! Purchase some fresh shrimp while you’re in town and enjoy this easy and yummy recipe that you’ll definitely want to recreate at home. Choose your toppings or stick to the recipe, you can’t go wrong!

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