Summer Vacation 7-Day Meal Plan
May 17, 2021
12 min. read
Vacation is meant to be a break from everyday life—a time for rest and rejuvenation. But so often we find ourselves stressing over what to pack, where to go, and what activities to do once we’re there. We hear you. And while we can’t help much with deciding your travel arrangements (apart from suggesting some popular road trip destinations and summer activities), we can help you decide what to eat.
Our Summer Vacation Meal Plan incorporates 7 nights worth of season-specific dinner ideas, from barbecue and burgers to chicken sandwiches, sliders, and more! It’s the perfect cross between summer grilling and fresh, vibrant produce.
So sit back, relax, and let us take care of the meal planning as you dream about your upcoming summer vacation.
Before you begin:
- Consider your destination. If you will be flying or traveling a long distance, you will need to buy all of your groceries upon arrival. Think also about the storage capacity in the place you will be staying—if you will have limited refrigerator or pantry space, you may need to break up your shopping into two or more trips throughout the week.
- Pay attention to servings and portion sizes. The majority of the recipes in this plan are for 4 servings; adjust as needed to suit your family/group size. You may also decide to increase the number of servings to accommodate future leftovers.
- Plan accordingly. If you will be combining with several other households/families, consider splitting up the grocery shopping and meal preparation responsibilities. Be sure to read through the full meal plan first and account for the number of servings necessary and any make-ahead instructions.
- Be sure to explore the resources at the bottom of this post! We’ve put together a handy Shopping Checklist and Printable Recipes Guide so you have everything you need to shop for and prepare these recipes! For the shopping checklist, you’ll want to go through and first check off any kitchen staples you’ll be bringing with you or that you know will be at your destination when you arrive. This way you know which ingredients you still need to buy at the grocery store.
Here’s a preview of the week’s meals. Click on any day to skip straight to that recipe.
- Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Sweet Corn Slaw
- Mexican Street Corn Brats
- Grilled Chicken and Mango Skewer Subs
- American Burger Trio
- Grilled Pesto Chicken Sandwich
- Greek Meatball Sliders with Tzatziki Sauce
- Restaurant Carry-Out
7 Day Vacation Meal Plan:
After all the traveling and unpacking when you finally arrive at your destination, the last thing anyone wants to do is prepare an elaborate supper. So start the week off effortlessly with a simple yet delicious slow cooker meal that can be prepared in advance and heated back up on your first night of vacation.
This homemade pulled pork has the perfect flavor combo of sweet, tangy, and savory, with a bit of spice—and the best part is, all you have to do is toss the ingredients together in your slow cooker for a few hours, then store and reheat. As an added bonus, the sweet corn slaw topping (which can also be made in advance) incorporates a contrasting flavor and textural element with a refreshing summer vibe.
For Pulled Pork: Smoked Paprika, Light Brown Sugar, Kosher Salt, Black Pepper, Cayenne Pepper, Boneless Pork Shoulder, Honey, Red Wine Vinegar, Sweet Onion, Garlic. For Sweet Corn Slaw: Greek Yogurt, Mayonnaise, Lemon Juice, Honey, Garlic, Salt, Black Pepper, Cabbage, Yellow Corn, Green Onions. For Serving: Martin’s Sandwich Potato Rolls, BBQ Sauce.
Meal Prep Tips:
Prepare the Sweet Corn Slaw the night before and store in a refrigerator or cooler with ice until ready to serve. Prepare the Pulled Pork beforehand in a slow cooker for 4.5 to 5 hours on low or 8-9 hours on high; transfer to a large sealed container (or directly in your slow cooker with a sealed lid) and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Reheat pulled pork using a slow cooker, microwave, or stove top method.
- Serve warm on Martin’s Sandwich Potato Rolls topped with sweet corn slaw.
This recipe serves 8-12 people, so a family of 4 should have plenty of leftovers for future lunches or snacks. For larger families or groups, consider making a second batch if you plan to have leftovers.
Day 2: Mexican Street Corn Brats
Bratwurst and hot dogs are some of the most iconic summer grilling foods—and not only are they delicious warm weather fare, but they’re also quick and easy to cook! While there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a plain brat with just some mustard or relish, we like to kick things up a notch with a flavor-bursting Mexican Street Corn topping, fresh cilantro, green onions, and feta cheese, on Martin’s Long Potato Rolls.
For Mexican Street Corn: Sweet Corn, Butter, Garlic, Mayonnaise, Sour Cream, Lime Juice, Chili Powder, Paprika. For Bratwurst: Bratwurst, Martin’s Long Potato Rolls, Green Onions, Feta Cheese, Fresh Cilantro.
Meal Prep Tip:
The Mexican Street Corn can be prepared earlier in the day; follow the recipe through step 6a, then pack the mixture into a baking dish, cover, and store until ready to cook the bratwurst.
- When ready to cook, preheat the grill to medium heat, preheat the oven to 350°F, and bring the Mexican Street Corn dish to room temperature (if prepared in advance).
- Bake the Mexican Street Corn for 15-20 minutes or until heated through.
- Grill brats as desired until browned and cooked through (internal temperature of 160°
- Serve brats on Martin’s Long Potato Rolls topped with Mexican Street Corn and extra toppings.
- This recipe serves 4-6 people (about the same quantity of bratwurst in a standard sized package); for larger groups or to accommodate leftovers, double the recipe or simply cook up some extra bratwurst or hot dogs for future meals.
- You’ll still need a few ears of corn for later in the week, but in case you have leftovers, check out these other Summer Corn Recipes for inspiration!
We’ve said it before, but we’ll say it again: two of the most important rules of summer are 1) Grill whenever (and whatever) possible, and 2) Make the most of the season’s fresh produce. Right now, we’re craving anything tropical to get us in the vacation mood! These grilled chicken and mango skewers pair both principles into one creative and effortless dish.
Martin’s Long Potato Rolls, Sweet Corn, Butter, Green Onions, Chicken Breast, Salt, Pepper, Mangos, Olive Oil, Lime.
Meal Prep Tips:
Since yesterday’s recipe also used corn, you can choose to do the prep for both recipes at the same time; either grill the corn the day before, allow to cool, and then cut from the cob, or simply cut the raw corn from the cob and then sauté it the day of, as instructed in the recipe. If desired, you can also cube and/or marinate the chicken the day before in your choice of marinade.
- Thread the cubed chicken and mango onto skewers and grill over medium heat until chicken is cooked through, about 10-12 minutes.
- Serve on Martin’s Long Potato Rolls topped with skillet corn and green onion mixture.
Grill extra chicken and mango skewers and use in salads, wraps, or tacos for future lunches.
Day 4: America Burger Trio
Every summer meal plan needs a classic burger night! There’s always the option to set up a buffet-style toppings bar and let everyone assemble their own burgers, but we love the idea of offering three preselected variations to choose between. Our trio of America-themed sliders includes a Cowboy BBQ Mini Burger, a classic Diner-Style Mini Burger, and a Taco Pizza Mini Burger. (Pro Tip: Since they’re slider-sized burgers, you get to try more than one!)
For Cowboy Mini Burger: Martin’s 12-Sliced Slider Potato Rolls, Ground Beef, Salt, Pepper, American Cheese, Bacon, Crispy Fried Onion Strings, BBQ Sauce. For Diner-Style Mini Burger: Martin’s 12-Sliced Slider Potato Rolls, Ground Beef, Salt, Pepper, American Cheese, Tomato, Lettuce, Onions, Dill Pickle Chips, Ketchup, Mustard. For Taco Pizza Mini Burger: Martin’s 12-Sliced Slider Potato Rolls, Ground Beef, Mexican Shredded Cheese Blend, Salsa, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Black Olives, Fresh Cilantro, Taco Seasoning.
Meal Prep Tips:
Prepare extra bacon with breakfast and set aside to use as a burger topping. Prepare burger patties in advance: form ground meat into 12 loosely packed 3-oz. meat balls. (Be careful to mark which patties are for the Taco Pizza Burger as they will include a special seasoning blend.)
- Grill burgers as desired or use a cast iron skillet to cook patties “smash burger” style. Flip halfway through and add cheese to second side.
- Remove from heat and serve on Martin’s 12 Sliced Slider Potato Rolls with corresponding toppings.
This recipe yields 12 sliders, or about 6 servings, depending on the average serving size. Simply prepare extra burger patties to accommodate larger groups or leftovers for future meals. You can also repurpose the Taco Pizza Burger patties into beef tacos or breakfast burritos!
There’s nothing like homemade pesto to use up your garden’s extra basil and add a fresh touch to your summer meals. In this dish, the pesto acts as a marinade to help flavor and tenderize grilled chicken breast. With the help of a few simple prep tips, all you’ll have to do is fire up the grill, cook the chicken, and serve it up on Martin’s Rolls with some bright and summery toppings!
For Pesto Marinade: Prepared Pesto, Rice Wine Vinegar, Salt, Sugar. For Chicken Sandwich: Chicken Breast, Martin’s Big Marty’s Rolls, Red Onion, Tomatoes, Baby Spinach. For Lemon-Mayo: Mayonnaise, Lemon Juice.
Meal Prep Tips:
If you wish to make homemade pesto, use the ingredients and instructions listed in step 1 of the recipe; prepare the pesto before your trip and store in a sealed container in the fridge until ready to use. The night before or the morning of this day, add the chicken breasts and marinade ingredients to a zip-top bag and refrigerate until ready to cook. (Alternately, you can marinate and freeze the chicken before your trip and thaw in the fridge overnight.)
- Cook marinated chicken on a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat until cooked through, about 20 minutes.
- Prepare lemon-mayonnaise.
- Serve grilled pesto chicken on Martin’s Big Marty’s Rolls topped with lemon-mayo and desired toppings.
Serve any remaining pesto chicken, sliced, atop salad or in a wrap or sandwich for future lunches. (Bonus: For marinade facts and additional recipes, check out our Chicken Marinades blog.)
Add a Mediterranean flair to your vacation with these flavorfully seasoned meatballs served on Martin’s 12-Sliced Slider Potato Rolls! And don’t forget the homemade tzatziki sauce—nothing quite says summer like a cool refreshing dip of cucumber, lemon juice, fresh garlic, and dill, blended with creamy Greek yogurt. Yum!
Martin’s 12-Sliced Slider Potato Rolls, Olive Oil, Ground Beef, Ground Pork, Ground Cumin, Ground Oregano, Red Pepper Flakes, Dried Parsley, Fresh Dill, Fresh Mint, Red Onion, Garlic, Salt, Pepper. For Tzatziki Sauce: Seedless Cucumber, Garlic, Fresh Dill, Greek Yogurt, Lemon Juice, Salt. Toppings (optional): Lettuce, Tomato, Onion, Green Pepper, Cucumber, Feta Cheese.
Meal Prep Tip:
To cut down on preparation time, season and form the meat balls in advance and store, covered, in the fridge until ready to cook. You can also make the tzatziki sauce a few hours in advance and store in the fridge; just be sure to stir prior to serving as some of the liquid ingredients may begin to separate.
- Bake prepared meatballs on a baking sheet in the oven at 425°F until cooked through (internal temperature of 165°F), about 30 minutes.
- Serve meatballs on Martin’s 12-Sliced Slider Potato Rolls topped with tzatziki sauce and desired toppings.
This recipe yields 12 sliders, or about 6 servings depending on average serving size. Serve leftover meatballs over Greek salad or in a pita bread wrap with extra tzatziki sauce and veggies.
Day 7: Carry-Out from Local Restaurants
Imagine it’s the last day of vacation: your goal is to use up the remaining food in the fridge in order to minimize the amount you have to pack up to take home. For breakfast: think a one-pan skillet meal using leftover meats and cheeses, eggs, veggies, potatoes, sauces, whatever else you have on hand. For lunch, it’s leftovers or deli sandwiches for everyone—quick and easy…
Now for dinner, you don’t want to have to make another in-depth meal because you need to spend time packing up and preparing to leave (like on the first day). You have a great opportunity to try the local restaurant fare of your vacation town (if you haven’t already). Spend a few minutes throughout the earlier part of the week scoping out the town’s restaurant scene and gathering takeout menus. With your research done, decide on a restaurant (call ahead if necessary), and order a carry-out or delivery meal for the whole family. Enjoy!
Download our Printable Resources:
- Summer Vacation 7-Day Meal Plan – Shopping Checklist
- Summer Vacation 7-Day Meal Plan – Recipes Guide
Be sure to pin this meal plan to your Pinterest board for quick and easy access!
Martin’s Summer Fun Season: Round #2
Theme: “Get Movin’”
Dates: May 18 – June 7, 2021
The next round of prizes for our Summer Sweepstakes are perfect for those on the move! Enter for your chance to win one of the following: 1) an Electric Scooter, 2) a Suitcase Set, or 3) a Picnic Basket!
Go to https://MartinsSummerFun.com to enter!
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