Are you heading out on a beach trip, camping experience, or RV adventure soon and want some good easy crock pot meals for vacation? If you are in charge of meal planning and prep for your whole family, having some easy slow-cooker recipes is the best way to enjoy some stress-free time out of the kitchen after a long day at the beach, hiking, or exploring.
Prepping your own meals in your vacation rental, RV or hotel room is a great way to ensure you have a delicious meal while saving time and money. Before you head out on your vacation, contact your rental company and check to make sure a slow cooker is available in your full kitchen. If not and you are driving, it may be worth throwing your own in the car!
I have also ordered an inexpensive one for our unit specifically for crock pot meals. You can also find inexpensive ones at local stores, like Target or Walmart. Of course, you can also have one delivered from Amazon, like this one!
How can I prep ingredients for crock pot recipes?
If you are heading out on vacation, consider placing a grocery store pick-up order or a delivery option for your meal planning. Our family usually uses Walmart pick-up or Instacart from Aldi or Costco. It’s a great way to spend little time in the grocery store and more time on the beach! Make a list of your favorite crock pot recipes and make your shopping lists from those recipes.
Do you anticipate having leftovers and need to store food from your evening meal? Throw in some Ziploc bag options and easy plastic storage containers, if they are not included in your rental. These are great to heat up for next-day lunches the next day. If you do some prep before you leave, like browning hamburger meat, be sure to pack ingredients in gallon-sized freezer bag storage.
If you want to lessen clean-up time after crockpot meals, you can also pick up these slow cooker liners. After dinner is over, just pull out the liners and throw them away! They are a great choice, especially on vacation! These favorite recipes can also be easily adapted for the Instant Pot, if available at your vacation spot. Enjoy these easy vacation meals!
Bbq chicken sandwiches are a family favorite in our household! I prep this often at home, and since I know it’s a winner, we eat it on vacation too. Here is what you need to add to your grocery list:
- 4-6 chicken breasts
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup of chicken broth
- 1 bottle of barbecue sauce
- hamburger rolls
Simply add chicken breasts to your slow cooker. Add 1/2 of chicken broth (or water) with salt and pepper. Allow to cook for 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low until fully cooked through. Shred with forks and add 1/2 bottle of barbecue sauce. (We love Sweet Baby’s Rays.) Allow to heat through with barbecue sauce.
Serve chicken on top of heated hamburger rolls with more bbq sauce, chips, baked beans, and cole slaw. Dinner is served!
Taco soup is another of our favorite crockpot recipes. If you brown hamburger meat before your vacation, you can save even more time with this one! Here is what you need:
- 1 pound of hamburger meat, browned and drained
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 can corn
- 1 can of kidney beans
- 1 can of pinto beans
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 can tomato sauce
- 1 package of taco seasoning
Brown hamburger meat with one diced onion. Drain and add to your slow cooker. Combine all of the cans (with liquid) with the meat and onion mixture. Add one package of taco seasoning. Cook on high for at least 2 hours or simmer on low all day long.
Serve with tortilla chips, shredded cheese, sour cream, and green onions. This one is great for the first night of your vacation since it doesn’t take long to heat through and takes minimal prep. It is also easy to adapt to large groups. Just add in more cans of beans and tomatoes to stretch the recipe for a large family or family reunion. It is one of our family’s favorite easy meals and soup tends to be a crowd favorite too!
Sloppy Joes have to be on a list of easy recipes for travel and require little prep work. This is also a great option for easy freezer meals if you are looking to prep a few options ahead of time. This is one of our most popular recipes for our kids and another easy one to increase in volume if you have company.
Here is what you need for sloppy joes:
- 3 pounds of ground beef, browned
- 1 cup of chopped onion
- 1 cup of chopped green bell pepper
- 3 (16 oz) cans of sloppy joe sauce
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- hamburger buns
Brown hamburger with chopped onion and bell pepper. Combine all ingredients (minus the buns) in a slow cooker. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 7-8 hours. Serve on toasted hamburger buns.
Our family loves these with oven-baked french fries and some raw veggies with Ranch dip. Easy, peasy!
Spaghetti with Meatballs
This one couldn’t be easier! Using frozen meatballs and your favorite jarred pasta sauces means very little prep work for your chef with rave reviews from your kids! Here is what you need:
- 1 26 oz. bag of frozen meatballs, beef or Italian style
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 tablespoon Italian herbs
- 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce
- 1 box of spaghetti or penne pasta
Saute meatballs in olive oil. Add to your slow cooker with spices and sauce. Serve over cooked spaghetti or penne pasta with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese. Our family likes to add a bagged salad and garlic bread to this one!
Pork Tenderloin with Mushrooms and Red Wine
Pork tenderloin is a super simple option to add to our list of the most popular recipes for the slow cooker. You can use pork tenderloin in several different ways. It is an easy substitute for chicken for bbq sandwiches or you can serve it Asian style in rice bowls. One of our family favorites is this way with mashed potatoes, mushrooms, and steamed broccoli.
Here is what you need:
- 2 pork tenderloins
- 1 cup of red wine
- 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup
- 1 package of fresh mushrooms
- salt and pepper (1/2 teaspoon of each)
- 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Add pork tenderloins to your slow cooker. Add red wine, soup, mushrooms, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper to the crock pot. Allow to cook on high for four hours or low for 7-8 hours. Serve with mashed potatoes (if you want a simple option, try the Bob Evans option in the fridge section) and steamed broccoli. The pork will make a nice gravy to serve over the potatoes!
White Chicken Chili
White chicken chili is a simple favorite that our whole family enjoys! This is the perfect recipe after a chilly day of hiking and exploring. You will want to add this one to your life at home recipes as well!
Here is what you need for white chicken chili:
- McCormick’s White Chicken Chili spice mix
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 lb chicken breast or tenderloins, cut into cubes
- 1 cup water
- 1 can white beans, undrained
- 1 can of corn, drained
Heat oil in a large skillet and saute chicken until no longer pink. Add to slow cooker and add water, white beans, and corn until warmed, 2 hours on high or 7-8 on low heat. Serve with tortilla chips, cheese, and green onions.
You can always stretch this recipe by adding more chicken, another can of beans, and corn. You can also add a can of diced tomatoes if you want tomato-based chicken chili. Consider adding a can of Rotel if you like some heat!
Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas
This is a simple crock pot meal that requires a bit of prep before serving, but it is worth it! Wrapped in flour tortillas and baked, these enchiladas fulfill your longing for some Tex-Mex while on vacation. It is an absolute favorite in our household, at home, and on the road. Here is what you need:
- 4-5 chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup of chicken broth
- salt and pepper
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- one block of cream cheese
- one small can of green chiles
- one can of green enchilada sauce
- one green or red bell pepper, diced
- one onion, diced
- 1 package of flour tortillas, 20 count
- 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
Place chicken, bell pepper, and onion in the slow cooker. Add salt, pepper, cumin, and garlic powder with 1/2 cup of chicken broth. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 7 hours. Shred chicken and add cream cheese, and green chiles, and mix well.
Set oven to 400 degrees. Stuff tortillas and roll them into enchiladas. Spray 9 x 12 casserole dish with nonstick spray. Coat the bottom of the pan with 1/4 can of green enchilada sauce. Fill the pan with enchiladas. Top with shredded cheddar cheese and the rest of the green enchilada sauce. Bake for 30-40 minutes until browned.
I like to serve these with Mexican rice and refried beans, along with chips and salsa!
Meatball subs are super simple and a crowd-pleaser! Allow frozen meatballs and one of your favorite pasta sauces some time to simmer for the best flavor. Here is what you need for this one of our favorite crock pot meals for vacation!
- one bag of frozen beef meatballs
- one jar of your favorite marinara sauce
- Provolone cheese
- sub rolls
If you have time to saute the meatballs before placing in the slow cooker, you get an even better flavor. But, if you are short on time, no worries. Just pop them in the slow cooker with your favorite marinara sauce. Allow to simmer on low for 3-4 hours.
Halve sub rolls and top with meatballs and sauce. Add provolone cheese and toast until the cheese is bubbly and rolls are browned. Delish! Serve with fresh veggies and fruit!
Chicken Taco Bowls
Chicken taco bowls are super simple and customizable. Simply add shredded chicken, beans, and corn with your favorite toppings for a perfect, healthy meal. These make perfect leftovers as well!
Here is what you need:
- 3-4 chicken breasts
- 1 cup of salsa
- 1 package of taco seasoning
- 1 can of black beans
- 1 can of corn
- shredded cheese
- sour cream
- tortilla chips
Allow chicken, salsa, and taco seasoning to the slow cooker. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. Shred chicken and set up a taco bar! Add your favorite accompaniments like corn, black beans, shredded cheese, avocados, sour cream, and tortilla chips!
Simple Sides for Easy Crock Pot Meals for Vacation
Be sure to grab some simple sides for your easy crock pot meals for vacation! Some simple things to add to your grocery list are: cut veggies and dip, assorted fruit like melon, grapes, and berries, potato salad, slaw, chips, baked beans, bagged salad, quick rice and potatoes, and corn on the cob.
I hope this list of easy crock pot meals for vacation helps you and your family on your next vacation! Whether you are heading to the beach, mountains, or somewhere in between, enjoy your vacation time together. Be sure to sign up for my free newsletter below and keep reading for more great meal and travel ideas!