25 Family Vacation Dinner Ideas That Are Surprisingly Simple

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When travelling with kids, there’s a lot to think about and prepare. Making it a challenge as a parent to relax into the holiday yourself. Which is where these easy family vacation dinner ideas and recipes come in.

As a family that loves to travel 1-3 times a year, we’ve learned that pre-planning meals not only makes our trips more enjoyable but also save us money. Which we happily use for other special activities or meals, or put towards more family trips.

We’re excited to share our top 25 simple yet delicious dinner ideas that are perfect for any family getaway. We’re talking just a little prep, and meals like fresh tacos, pasta salads, quick stir frys. So you can spend more time in the sun & fun and less time in the kitchen.

Whether you’re in a cozy cabin or a seaside rental, these meals are sure to please everyone and keep your vacation budget on track. Let’s dive in!

Tasty Dinner Recipe Ideas for Family Vacations

All these simple recipes just require basic tool. So there’s no need for a slow cooker, instant pot or other fancy kitchen equipment. 

Just grab some fresh produce and staples from the local grocery store.

Vacation meal planning can be fun, with these tasty meals.

1. Italian Pasta Salad For An Easy Vacation Dinner

Bowl of spiral noodle pasta salad with mozarella balls, cherry tomatoes. black olives and salami cubes.
Recipe: Packed for Life

There is something about cold pasta salad that screams summer vacation and lazy days at the cabin or beach. We love how super quick it is to make, especially if you grab your favorite pre-made Italian dressing.

We’ve eaten this for lunch, dinner, snacks as a family, and even the occasional breakfast. We’ve made it camping, for a family reunion & on a road trip or three.

One of the most easy vacation meals the whole family will love. 

2. Salmon Burgers with Avocado Sauce

Salmon Burger on a plate with avocado sauce.
Photo & recipe by Champagne Tastes

Salmon Burgers are a great idea if you’re looking for something a little different from your regular burgers.

With the quick avocado sauce, it elevates your vacation meal to something special. Just skip the sauce on the kids burgers if they aren’t too keen & add some french fries.  

3. Easy Cheesy BBQ Chicken Wraps

BBQ chicken wrap on a plate with corn salad.
Photo & recipe by Two Healthy Kitchens

Rotisserie Chicken saves the day! These easy cheesy BBQ chicken wraps are full of flavour, customizable to all tastes, and ready to eat in 10 minutes.

Easy meals for your vacation at a beach house, rental house or even a hotel room in a pinch.

PRO TRAVEL TIP: Using store bought rotisserie chicken is our #1 vacation meal hack. The chicken can be used in so many ways to make meals in 15 minutes. Think chicken salad, chicken ceasar wraps, omlettes, & burritos to name a few ideas).

4. Greek Quinoa Salad with Feta

Greek Quinoa salad with feta cheese in a bowl.
Photo & recipe by Dished by Kate

Take a Mediterranean twist on quinoa salad, with a zesty lemon dressing. This Greek quinoa salad will become your go-to for a refreshing & light vacation meal. Perfect as easy dinners or as leftovers for lunch the next day too!

5. Better Than Bouillon Ramen Noodles

Bowl of ramen noodles with spinach  and a fried egg.
Photo & recipe by Garlic All Day

We eat a lot of ramen in our family, and this quick & easy ramen soup recipes is so good!

Plus this recipe is a healthier, homemade take on instant noodles. Add more veggies & your favourite protein for a quick on the go vacation dinner.

6. Roast Turkey BLT

Stack of roast turkey BLT sanwiches with tomato, avocado, lettuce & potato chips.
Photo & recipe by Begin with Balance

So much flavour! Elevate your sandwich game with this Roasted Turkey Avocado BLT.

Packed with turkey, avocado, red onion, and Sriracha aioli, it’s a quick, easy, and delicious twist on the classic BLT, using simple ingredients.

Easy to customize for your kiddos, just skip out on the ingredients they don’t like.

Sandwiches also make great, easy meals for road trips too.

7. Chicken Mozzarella Bake

Pan of baked chicken breasts covered with cheesy tomato sauce.
Photo & recipe by All Nutritious

Cheesy, Italian-flavored comfort food, is an ideal family dinner. With minimal prep, and only 30 minutes in the oven, you can play card games with the kids while you wait for the Chicken Mozarella Bake to cook.

8. Thai Tuna Salad With Green Beans

Bowls of tuna salad with green beans & Thai spices, & lime wedges.
Photo & recipe by Simply Suwanee

A fresh take on a family staple, Thai Tuna Salad on top of a bed of lettuce, or rice is the perfect summer dinner.

Bursting with vibrant veggies, fresh herbs, and zesty Thai flavors it will brighten up your boring salad game. It’s a quick, delightful dish made with canned tuna, you can toss together in 10 minutes.

9. Cheeseburger Sliders

Stack of 3 Cheeseburger Sliders.
Photo & recipe by Amanda’s Cookin’

Cheeseburger Sliders don’t have to be just for game days! They make tasty picnic dinners on the porch of your vacation rental too.

Even if you have picky eaters, you can adapt the toppings to one’s they’ll love.

10. One Pot Rice With Pork And Veggies

Bowl of rice with pork belly, onlions, and shredded carrots.
Photo & Recipe by Cooking with Lei

A one pot rice dish is good to have on your vacation meal rotation. And this Pork Belly, Rice & Veggies is a one-pot wonder that’s like an Asian-style paella. You could also use thick cut bacon in a pinch.

It’s deliciously easy and perfect for getting kids to eat their veggies. Great for vacation dinners and tasty leftovers for breakfast or lunch.

11. Roasted Broccoli & Blue Cheese Pasta

Curly pasta with blue cheese and broccoli.
Photo & recipe by Happy Veggie Kitchen

What could be easier than this 3 ingredient Broccoli & Blue Cheese pasta?

It’s as simple as roasting your broccoli and then adding in cooked pasta and blue cheese. That’s it! Mix it up with different types of pasta or blue cheese.

If you’re thinking blue cheese & kids don’t mix, my daughter will eat this pasta, but no way would she eat blue cheese normally.

12. Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos

2 soft corn tortillas filled with sweet potato, avocado & black beans.
Photo & recipe by Savvy Honey

Enjoy quick, delicious vacation dinners with these Sweet Potato & Black Bean Tacos. Filled with black beans, sweet potatoes, corn, cilantro, green onion & red pepper, plus a lime garnish. 

The sweet potato chunks are microwaved to speed up cooking time. A flavorful, speedy treat.

Don’t forget the spicy salsa.

13. Jamaican Style Pepper Steak

Plate of rice topped with Jamaican flavoured pepper steak, peppers and jalapeno slices.
Photo & recipe by Cooking Gorgeous

Savor the flavors of the Caribbean with this Jamaican-Style Pepper Steak. A vibrant stir-fry with beef, bell peppers, and exotic spices, all in a ginger-garlic-soy sauce.

Delicious over steamed rice or with crusty sourdough bread. It may become a new family favorite.

 14. Easy Baked Salmon over Orecchiette Pasta

Piece of baked salmon over pasta with herbs and cherry tomatoes.
Photo & recipe by Erica’s Recipes

An easy baked salmon recipe over cute pasta and an herbed olive oil & tomato sauce. Fresh, light, and tasty. Everything you want in a vacation rental dinner meal.

Salmon & pasta are two of our youngest’s favourite things to eat, we had to include this recipe of the two together.

15. Simple BBQ Chicken Thighs

Three boneless chiken thighs on a BBQ.
Photo & recipe by What’s Smoking

Sometimes simple is best, and these BBQ Chicken Thighs with a tasty BBQ sauce, are done just right.

We love being able to BBQ, especially on summer vacation with those hot summer nights. Keep the heat out of the house.

16. Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

Wooden Bowl of Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad.
Photo & recipe by Healthy Fitness Meals

Indulge your taste buds in this Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad, which blends your beloved Caesar salad with classic pasta salad.

Packed with chicken, veggies, parmesan, and a homemade dressing, it’s ideal for easy meal prep, a light dinner, or a tasty side dish.

Also portable to take with you, on your day’s adventures.

17. Greek Salad Wraps With Chickpeas

Two halves of a Greek chicpea salad wrap stcked on a plate.
Photo & recipe by Avocado Skillet

When you’re tired of heavy meat meals, try this crunchy, zesty, Greek Salad with chickpeas wrap. A complete meal, that just requires just a bit of chopping and mixing so family vacation friendly.

The salad is even delicious without the wrap.

18. Rice & Corn Casserole

Pan of cheesy corn & rice casserole.
Photo & Recipe by Emkay’s Kitchen

While we personally don’t eat a lot of casseroles while on vacation, I can see the appeal. Especially with this versatile, easy Rice, Corn & Ground Meat Casserole.

Pop it in the oven, and there will be enough cheesy, meaty & rice goodness to feed your hungry crowds.

19. Hot Honey Chicken Thighs

Pan of 4 hot honey chicken thighs.
Photo & recipe by Pink Owl Kitchen

Get ready for a flavor explosion with the Hot Honey Chicken Thighs. Juicy, crispy, and coated in a sweet-spicy hot honey sauce, these chicken thighs are the ultimate vacation rental dinner.

20. Easy Taco Salad

Close up of taco salad with ground beef, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, green onions.
Photo & recipe by Fluxing Well

Taco Salad is one of my favourites for a quick meal that’s full of veggies. Perfect for a busy travel day. Try out different salad dressings. 

If we’re having beef burritos, I’ll often just eat it as a taco salad without the wrap. The younger kids usually like it wrapped, so I recommend having some tortillas on hand if they aren’t into it as a salad.

21. Baked Chicken Tacos

Pan of baked hard taco shells with chicken and cheese.
Photo & recipe by Little Sunny Kitchen

Taco Night! The ultimate Baked Chicken Tacos to easily feed a crowd. Stuffed with creamy refried beans, spicy rotisserie chicken, green onions, and oodles of melted cheese in crispy shells.

A family-friendly dinner delight, ready in a breeze – just 30 minutes to taco heaven. Make with store bought rotisserie chicken & a taco spice pack to make it even easier on vacation.

22. Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Pasta

Plate of penne alfredo pasta witch chicken and broccoli.
Photo & recipe by Family Around the Table

I love that this Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Pasta can be made as a one-pan meal, & prepped ahead if you want. Less stress & clean up = happy parents!

Plus if you cover the broccoli with the cheesy sauce, the kids might actually eat it.

23. Areyas (Lebanese Meat Stuffed Pitas)

Pile of Areyas, meat pitas on a plate with yogurt dips.
Photo & recipe by Chocolates & Chai

Dive into the flavors of Lebanon with Arayes, a beloved street food Spiced, savory ground beef stuffed in pita bread, fried & then baked to golden perfection.

Pair it with toum (Lebanese garlic sauce), or tahini, yogurt, or sour cream for a delightful taste experience.

24. Sesame Chicken Stir Fry

Sesame Chicken Stir fry close up.
Photo & recipe by Go Healthy Ever After

Enjoy this twist on a better than takeout version of the Sesame Chicken Stir Fry. Sweet, spicy, and bursting with flavor. Eat it over rice.

25. One Pot Turkey & Lentil Soup

Bowl of turkey lentil soup with metal spoon and cocnut milk swirled on top.
Photo & recipe by Kitchen Verve

Soup lovers, get ready for a cozy treat! This one-pot Ground Turkey and Lentil Soup is easy, nourishing, and absolutely delicious.

Ideal for chilly days, busy vacation meals, or a large group. It’s a low-maintenance comfort food in a bowl.

Final Thoughts:

As we wrap up our journey through easy Family Vacation Dinner recipes, we hope you’ve found inspiration to spice up your meal planning for your next family trip. No need to eat hot dogs every day. 

These easy recipes are designed to minimize your time in the kitchen while maximizing fun with your entire family. By preparing your own meals, you not only save precious vacation time but also get to explore a world of flavors.

Whether you’re looking for quick meals to energize your adventures or simply seeking alternatives to dining out every night, these ideas offer a perfect blend of convenience and taste. And who knows? They might even give some local restaurants a run for their money!

Remember, a memorable family trip is made of moments shared over delicious meals. Happy cooking and safe travels!

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