13 Budget, Healthy & Easy Recipes to Make in Your Vacation Rental

Pasta dish – Italian cuisine – A World to Travel

Traveling is fun and exploring the native cuisine of your travel destination is even more! However, how long can you feast on the restaurant’s dishes or street food, you will surely end up craving your home food.

Cooking in a vacation rental comes with lots of challenges. The first one is you can’t be prepared for it before as you don’t know what the kitchen will be like and what it will be equipped with.

The other reason might be your special dietary requirements. It can be hard to find a spot to eat if you are searching for gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, vegetarian, etc., options. Moreover, meals with special dietary requirements cost more, too.

That’s why most tourists look for recipes that need fewer ingredients and can be made easily and swiftly in the vacation rental. If that’s the case with you, too, we have got you covered!

Whether you are traveling with family or alone, our selection of easy recipes to make in your vacation rental will surely help you. We have included each detail that you will need to make these recipes. Dive in to explore more!

Baked Eggs in Tomato Sauce with Kale

Some delish baked eggs are just three easily accessible ingredients away! So, what are you waiting for? Grab them up and dive into the recipe to make it worth drooling over baked eggs. Get a spicy tomato sauce for a more delish flavor.


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Ground Pepper
  • 3 10-ounce packages of frozen chopped kale, defrosted, drained, and dried
  • 8 large-sized eggs
  • 3 cups canned low-sodium tomato sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Heat oil in a nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add kale, season it with pepper and salt, and sauté for 2 minutes. Then, stir in tomato sauce and bring to a simmer.
  3. Make eight holes in your sauce with anything, say a spoon back, and crack an egg in each hole carefully. Season these eggs with the leftover salt and pepper.
  4. Grab the pan, place it in the preheated oven, and bake for around 20-minutes till the egg whites are set, and the yolks are still soft.

Smoked Turkey Sandwich

Who doesn’t love sandwiches? So, why not make them in the vacation rental? Smoked Turkey Sandwich – the lunchtime classic is a big hit for everyone except vegetarians.


  • Boule (about 8 inches in diameter) or 1 large round bread loaf or
  • 4 ounces sliced cheddar cheese
  • 12 ounces thinly sliced smoked, cooked turkey
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2-ounces butter lettuce leaves


  1. Cut the loaf half horizontally, hollow it out, and remove most of the soft interior of it. Save it for other uses, like making DIY breadcrumbs.
  2. Spread mustard on the cut sides of the bread. Layer the cheddar and turkey inside the bread bottom.
  3. Top it with butter lettuce and place the other half on the sandwich.
  4. Tightly wrap it in double layers of plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour or up to one day.

Toaster-Oven Tostadas

Craving restaurant-style tostadas in your home rental? This recipe has got you covered! Just layer the cheddar and black beans onto corn tortillas, and TADA!


  • 2 corn tortillas
  • 2 tablespoons shredded Cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup canned black beans, rinsed
  • 2 cups mixed salad greens
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ¼ avocado, mashed
  • 2 tablespoons pico de gallo or salsa


  1. Spread foil over a toaster-oven pan and place tortillas on it. Top these tortillas with cheese and beans. Toast for 2 to 8 minutes until the cheese melts, and the tortillas turn brown along the edges.
  2. In the meantime, grab a bowl and place greens in it. Drizzle oil and lime juice over them.
  3. Remove the tostadas from the toaster oven and top them with salsa or avocado. Serve them hot with the dressed greens.

Pesto Tortellini Pasta Salad

Traveling in summer? You should try this delish salad; it rounds out BBQ and makes a simple lunch or dinner meal when it’s too hot for a hot meal! Just hop inside a grocery store, grab your favorite veggies, combine and dress them, and enjoy!


  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 (9-ounce) packages of fresh cheese tortellini
  • 1/3 cup basil pesto
  • 1 (12-ounce) jar of fire-roasted red peppers, drained and chopped


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the tortellini according to the mentioned package instructions.
  2. When done, drain and run the tortellini briefly under cool water to cool them down. Follow up by draining well.
  3. Assemble the tomatoes, cooked tortellini, and pepper in a large bowl and toss to combine. Add pesto and toss again.

Spaghetti and Easy Meatballs

Where are the Italian cuisine lovers? We have got a delish, quick-to-prepare recipe for you! No matter whether you have to eat alone or share with your family, too, it’s indeed a perfect crowd pleaser. To save more of your time, you can use store-bought meatballs.


  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 (25 oz.) jar tomato sauce
  • ½ cup bread crumbs, soaked in 1/4 milk
  • 1 ½ pounds of ground beef
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Kosher Salt


  1. Set oven to 375°F for preheating. Take a pot of salted water and bring it to a boil. Add spaghetti, cook it, and stir often for just 10 minutes. Drain them well.
  2. Grab a deep skillet or large and wide saucepan and heat tomato sauce over low heat.
  3. Meanwhile, combine soaked bread crumbs, beef, egg, parsley, garlic, cheese, onion, and salt in a large bowl.
  4. Form balls of this mixture, slightly bigger than golf balls. Lay meatballs on two oiled or nonstick baking sheets and bake for 10 minutes in preheated oven till nicely browned.
  5. Use tongs to transfer meatballs from the oven to the simmering sauce and combine. Serve these meatballs and sauce on top of spaghetti.

Brown Butter Seared Scallops

Do you struggle with cooking scallops? This recipe will surely help in cooking them perfectly. Pair these buttery brown scallops with orzo or sautéed spinach and brown rice to take your dinner in a vacation rental to the next level.


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 16 sea scallops
  • Salt
  • Ground Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, tarragon, or sage


  1. Take a skillet and heat butter in it over medium-high flame. Add scallops, sprinkle salt and pepper and cook for around 3 minutes till the scallops turn golden brown in the bottom.
  2. Turn the scallops and add herbs and leftover butter. Keep cooking for around 2 to 3 minutes more, spooning the butter over the scallops till they turn brown on the bottom and properly cook through.
  3. Remove the scallops and stir them in lemon juice. Shift them to a plate and add the lemon-butter sauce on top.

Sheet Pan Potatoes and Chicken Sausage

Next on the list are the Sheet Pan Potatoes and Chicken Sausages! Have some potatoes in your vacation rental? Roast, smash, and pair them with sausages to create a salivation-worthy meal!


  • 1 1/2 pound baby red potatoes
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 12 to 16 ounces of cooked chicken sausages, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh parsley


  1. Set over to 450°F for preheating. Boil the potatoes; meanwhile. Pick a medium saucepan and place potato in it. Sprinkle some salt, and add water to cover up the potatoes.
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat, minimize heat to medium-low, and let it simmer uncovered till the potatoes are thoroughly cooked for 12 to 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and let them cool.
  3. Take a rimmed baking sheet and place potatoes on one half. Use your palm to press down the potatoes, smashing them to a uniform thickness.
  4. Take a small bowl and mix garlic and oil in it. Brush half of this mixture onto the potatoes and sprinkle pepper and salt. Use a spatula to turn the potatoes, brush with the remaining mixture, and sprinkle salt and pepper.
  5. Roast the potatoes for 15 to 20 minutes till they turn brown. Again use a spatula to turn potatoes and add cheese. Place sausages on the other half of the sheet. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes more till the tops and edges of the potatoes turn golden brown. Sprinkle the potatoes with the parsley and serve.

Ice Cream Sandwiches

This dish is your best bet for satisfying sweet tooth cravings. With just two ingredients, you can make a dish that will leave you licking your fingers! Without further ado, let’s hop onto the ingredients and direction!


  • 1-quart vanilla ice cream
  • 1 (18-ounce) package of chocolate chip cookie dough at room temperature


  • 2 (8×8-inch) baking pans
  • Large serrated knife
  • Spoon or spatula
  • Parchment paper
  • Wire cooling rack


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking pans with parchment paper, do leave some overhang on two sides of each pan.
  2. Divide cookie dough into two halves and place one half in each pan. Generally, press the dough in each pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes till the middle is slightly undone, and the edges are set and golden.
  3. Let the cookie squares cool for 15 minutes, placing the pan on a wire cooling rack. Use parchment paper as a sling to remove the cookie squares and leave them on the rack to cool.
  4. Meanwhile, grab the ice cream from the freezer and let it sit for 30 minutes at room temperature to soften slightly.
  5. Shift one cookie to the same baking pan. Put some ice cream and spread it to form an even layer. Remove parchment from another cookie square and place it at the top ice cream. Gently press to combine and freeze until solid, for at least 4 hours.
  6. Remove an ice cream sandwich from the pan, grasp the parchment, and shift them to the cutting board. Use a long serrates knife to cut it into nine squares, and enjoy!

Spinach & Egg Scramble with Raspberries

Staying in the vacation rental and sticking to the weight loss diet; seems challenging. However, this recipe makes a scrumptious breakfast for weight loss. It packs the goodness of egg, raspberries, and toast, making a filling, protein, and fiber-rich breakfast!


  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1 ½ cups baby spinach
  • 1 slice of whole-grain bread, toasted
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup fresh raspberries
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper


  1. Take a small nonstick skillet and heat the oil in it. Add spinach and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring often, until wilted.
  2. Wipe the pan clean, heat over medium flame, and add eggs. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring once or twice to ensure even cooking.
  3. Proceed with stirring in the salt, pepper, and spinach. Spread this scramble over toast and serve with raspberries.

Quick Toaster-Oven Pizza

Have you ever tried making pizza with a tortilla – a mouthwatering vegetarian lunch? It’s super delish and much easier to make and is nut-free, egg-free, and soy-free, too.


  • 1 8-inch whole-wheat tortilla
  • 3 thin slices of red onion
  • 1 teaspoon and 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 5 thin slices of tomato
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 2 cups packed mixed salad greens
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar


  1. Play tortilla on a toaster-oven pan lined with foil. Brush one teaspoon of oil over the tortilla. Put onion, tomato, and mozzarella on top and toast for 7 to 9 minutes till the cheese melts and the tortilla begins to crisp.
  2. Remove the tortillas from the oven and top them with basil. Proceed with cutting into wedges.
  3. Take a small bowl and add greens to it. Drizzle with the remaining one tablespoon of oil and vinegar and serve as a side with pizza.

Grilled Margherita Sandwiches

With just five ingredients, you can make the best-grilled sandwiches. Bite this mouthwatering creation and get lost in its crispness and deliciousness.


  • 8 (1-ounce) slices of whole-grain bread
  • ¼ cup lower-sodium marinara
  • 1 large tomato, cut into 8 thin slices
  • 4-ounce fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
  • Cooking spray
  • 12 large basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper


  1. Start by spreading one tablespoon of marinara over one side of each of the four bread slices. Top it with cheese and tomatoes, and evenly sprinkle salt and pepper on the tomatoes.
  2. Top tomatoes with basil and the remaining bread slices, and use cooking spray to coat the sandwiches lightly.
  3. Take a large skillet and heat over medium-low heat. Add 1 ½ teaspoon oil to the pan and swirl to coat. Put sandwiches in the pan and cook until browned for 2 ½ minutes.
  4. Brush the remaining 1 ½ teaspoon oil on the top. Flip the sandwiches, cook for two more-minute till browned, and serve!

One-Pot Pasta with Spinach and Tomatoes

Looking for a delish and easy-to-make meal for dinner? This one-pot pasta is the game changer! The combined goodness of spinach and tomatoes will surely leave you craving more.


  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 8 ounces of whole-grain spaghetti or linguine 
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can of unsalted and undrained petite diced tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 10-ounces fresh spinach
  • 1/4 Parmesan cheese, grated 
  • Salt


  1. Preheat oven over medium heat, add oil and swirl it to coat the entire surface. Spread onion and garlic over the pan and sauté them for 3 minutes till the onion turns brown.
  2. Add tomatoes, oregano, stock, and pasta, and bring them to a boil. Stir to submerge noodles in the sauce. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for 7 minutes till the pasta is done. Uncover it and stir in salt.
  3. Follow up by adding spinach in batches. Keep stirring till the spinach wilts. Remove from heat and let it stand for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and slurp!

Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro-Lime Slaw

Five minutes under the broiler and a few pantry spices are all you need to make these scrumptious Tacos! Once tried, these will surely become one of your favorite go-to recipes.


  • 1 ½ pound medium peeled raw shrimp
  • ½ teaspoon ancho chile powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • Lime zest
  • Corn or flour tortillas
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Granulated Sugar


  1. Preheat the oven rack. Toss the shrimp, ancho powder, coriander, cumin, garlic powder, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, combine cilantro, cabbage, lime zest, red onion, salt, pepper, sugar, and remaining oil in a bowl and toss to coat.
  3. Grab a bowl of the food processor and process sour cream, mayonnaise, avocado, salt, and remaining lime juice, until smooth.
  4. Spread the baking sheet over the baking tray and place the shrimp. Broil these shrimps in a preheated oven for like 3 to 5 minutes to cook them. That’s it!
  5. Serve broiled shrimp with avocado crema, slaw, and tortillas. You can top your tortillas with your favorite ingredients, from hot sauce to radishes, jalapenos, and more.

Wrapping Up

That was all about the thirteen scrumptious recipes you can easily make in your vacation rental.

All these feature ingredients that are available in each area’s grocery store. However, satisfying cravings or managing to make your food to save money is no longer challenging! 

William has been contributing travel articles to Journey Connected since 2016. Currently, he’s a traveling artist (vacation planner) for Journey Connected. He routinely plans for Europe and the Middle East but is also passionate about planning for domestic United States destinations.