The ideal vacation-rental meal is festive—you’re on vacation, after all. But it also has to be easy, something that doesn’t rely on a long ingredient list or complicated kitchen tools.
We challenged Mia Buchignani of miacooks.com to come up with 10 delicious six-ingredient vacation rental recipes that don’t require hard-to-find ingredients and can be made in your standard-issue vacation rental kitchen.
Buchignani’s creations prove anyone can make wow-worthy meals in simple surroundings with just a few ingredients. Check out these 10 videos for step-by-step instructions to make shrimp tacos with tangy slaw, creamy Chardonnay chicken stew, scallion longevity noodles, maple soy-glazed salmon rice bowls, and more. And don’t forget dessert—watch for the inside scoop on creating easy crowd pleasers like key lime pie and caramel pear sundaes.
Note: A few of these recipes don’t count pantry basics—the kind you’d be likely to find in a basic vacation rental kitchen—in the six-ingredient tally.
Sunday Roast Chicken Dinner
A one-pan feast comes together quickly with this roasted chicken dinner. Simple seasonings including lemon, rosemary, olive oil, salt, and pepper meet easy-to-find ingredients (if you can’t get asparagus, broccoli or another veg that roasts well will also work beautifully). The best part? Clean up is a breeze, especially if you wrap the roasting pan (or rimmed baking sheet) with foil first.
Steak Salad with Chimichurri
Simplicity, elevated—that’s the joy of this steak salad recipe. Sure to win over even salad skeptics with additions like steak and a flavorful chimichurri sauce, it pairs perfectly with a loaf of fresh country bread, a glass of wine, and an outdoor table.
Shrimp Tacos and Tangy Slaw
Nothing says “vacation” like shrimp tacos. This version relies on a few great ingredients that come together simply and quickly for the sort of meal you can savor al fresco at your vacation rental. Odds are, you’ll like these so much you’ll bring the recipe home with you.
Scallion Longevity Noodles
Simple ingredients like ground meat, ginger, garlic, scallions, soy sauce, and noodles (fresh spaghetti works if you can’t find fresh Chinese egg noodles) come together into this quick and impressive take on longevity noodles. The only ingredient that might require a little advance planning is oyster sauce, but it’s worth the extra purchase. Bonus: If you don’t eat it all in the first sitting, these scallion noodles make amazing leftovers.
Sausage and Kale Pasta
Quick and simple comfort food with minimal ingredients mean you can bring a taste of home with you on vacation. This pasta+meat+veg structure is also adaptable, so if you can’t find one of the ingredients as you’re shopping in an unfamiliar destination, try a substitute.
Gouda and Apple Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Grilled cheese is … fine, but when you’re on vacation, it’s nice to have something that feels a little more festive. This fancy grilled cheese recipe has you covered. By using gouda and thinly sliced apples in place of the usual yellow cheese, you’ll up your sandwich game.
Creamy Chardonnay Chicken Stew
Surprisingly simple, and deeply flavorful, this creamy chardonnay chicken stew will fill your vacation rental with delicious scents of sautéing onions and mushrooms as you prep. It comes together with little fuss, and the last-minute addition of cream tastes indulgent.
Maple Soy Salmon
Healthy and easy, this maple soy salmon with bok choy comes together in a snap with the help of a (foil-lined, for easy cleanup) baking tray and a hot oven. While the salmon is in the oven, make some rice, cook your glaze, and you’ll have a festive and nourishing meal.
Key Lime Pie
Vacation is the dessert of life, so of course you’re going to need some actual dessert when you’re on vacation. This key lime pie requires limes, eggs, sweetened condensed milk, and a pre-made graham cracker crust (you’re on vacation, after all, you don’t need the extra effort of making a pie crust).
Caramelized Pear Sundaes
Pears cooked in butter, sprinkled with brown sugar (and a touch of salt), and drizzled in vanilla magically transform the fruit into a taste of fall. Serve it with two scoops of your favorite vanilla ice cream, top with roasted hazelnuts and a bit of the pear’s pan sauce, and you’ll have a restaurant-rivaling dessert.
More from SmarterTravel:
- Vacation Rental Recipes: Two-Ingredient Ice Cream (Video)
- Here’s What Chefs Really Think About Your Food Instagram Habit
- Is it OK to Bring Peanuts on a Plane
We hand-pick everything we recommend and select items through testing and reviews. Some products are sent to us free of charge with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions and do not accept compensation to review products. All items are in stock and prices are accurate at the time of publication. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.