Die-hard cooks would never dream of taking a break from cooking when they head off on vacation—that’s when our creative juices start flowing. Until, that is, we stare down the poorly equipped kitchen in our vacation rental: zero workspace, no decent knives and an empty pantry.
But we’ve compiled a batch of recipes and techniques that make the most of summer produce without a lot of fancy equipment or a pantry full of staples. For starters, our grilled chicken, salt-and-pepper-shrimp, corn on the cob, and seared snapper recipes all call for seven ingredients or less. Two tomato salads, one with feta and olives, the other with black beans, corn and avocado, are dressed with fresh lemon or lime juice and don’t need a stash of vinegar , and No food processor? You can still enjoy the flavors of pesto with our Deconstructed Pesto Pasta. And icy granitas are just as refreshing as homemade ice cream, but require nothing more than a shallow dish for freezing. Or you can really go equipment-free by cooking in foil or parchment pouches. Grilled potatoes are delicious this way, as is nearly any kind of fish (check out our video to see how to fold the pouches).
We’ve also gathered tips from readers and Fine Cooking editors on how to pack cooking essentials, press tools into double duty, or otherwise make the most of a less-than-stellar kitchen. Want to add to the article? Submit your own vacation cooking tips here!