6 Easy Meals to Cook on Vacation
Planning a vacation and wondering how to save money on food while you're there? There are many restaurants near Disney but if you want to control your vacation spend, cooking in a hotel room is a great option. Take homemade pizza with store bought dough for instance, this is one of the easiest and most delicious meals to make on vacation. Not only is it quick and easy, but it's also customizable and a crowd pleaser. Best of all, it can be made anywhere, including your hotel room and is less expensive than eating out.
Cooking on Vacation: Let’s Do the Math
Making homemade pizza instead of buying it at the store or having it delivered can save you a significant amount of vacation money. Not only is it more cost-effective, but it can also be a great family bonding activity if you’re looking for something different to do especially if children are involved. Let's look at the savings!
Buying a pizza from a restaurant or delivery service can cost anywhere from $22 to $35 or more, depending on the size and toppings. On the other hand, making your own pizza in your fully equipped kitchen- say at Westgate Palace, can definitely cost less, plus you don’t have to leave a tip!
Making your own pizza also allows you to customize it to your liking, which means you can save money by using ingredients you choose. For example, if you have leftovers, you can use them to make a delicious pizza of your own. Plus, since you control what ingredients make the cut, you can make your pizza more or less healthy depending on what your preference is.
Here’s a Breakdown of the Savings:
|Pizza Comparison for 12” Cheese Pizza||Westgate Palace Pizza Kit||Leading Theme Park Pizza||Pizza Delivered to your Room|
|Family Activity ||Y||N||N|
|Transportation or Delivery Cost||N||Y||Y|
|$25 Uber Credit*||Y||Y||Y|
*$25 Uber Credit can be used towards paying for meals or Uber rides
In this article, we'll provide you with what you need to know about cooking in hotel room and making homemade pizza on vacation. From the best pizza making kit to where to find the best ingredients while saving money on food while on vacation, we’ve got it all covered. We’ve even added a handy dandy video to show how easy it is to make pizza in your room. Finally, you’ll see ideas about other easy-to-make meals that are quick and fun to prepare. Dig in!
1 | Pizza | Vacations these days can be pricey so saving on food can go a long way in helping your vacation budget. Though you don’t want to spend vacation hours in the kitchen, you also don't want to eat out every night and drain your pocket. Homemade pizza is a great option because it's quick, easy, less expensive and doesn't require too many ingredients or tools. Plus, it's a fun activity to do with family (especially little kids) or friends.
Pizza is one of the easiest meals to make on vacation because it doesn't require a lot of prep work or cooking time. With just a few ingredients, you can create a delicious and customizable meal that everyone will enjoy. Plus, you can buy most of the ingredients at the local grocery store. Or if you’re staying at Westgate Palace Resort, get a pizza kit from the Palace Deli on the ground floor and make your own delicious pizza pie.
Best Pizza Making Kit
If you're serious about making homemade pizza on vacation, investing in a pizza making kit is the easiest way to make your pie. Luckily, if you stay at Westgate Palace, kits can be conveniently purchased at the Palace Deli. These kits come with everything you need to make delicious homemade pizza, including dough rolled out, sauce already on and cheese or pepperoni on top. Then it’s up to you to add more toppings and really make it your own. If you want to keep it simple, all you have to do is stick it in the oven for a few minutes then gustoso, it’s tasty and ready to go!
Prepping Your Area
Before you start making pizza, it's important to prep your area. Make sure you have all the ingredients you need and that your kitchen is clean and organized. If you're using a pizza oven kit, make sure it's set up properly and ready to use. You should also have all the necessary utensils, such as a pizza cutter, spatula, plates and napkins.
Westgate Palace Pizza Kit: Recipe & Cooking Instructions
Toppings (Cheese and Pepperoni but you can add more!)
Pizza Cooking Instructions
1. Remove lid from pizza kit.
2. Bake pizza at 325°F.
3. Cook for 30 mins.
4. Cool for a few minutes. Slice and serve.
Traditional Homemade Pizza (if Pizza is Not Prepped): Recipe & Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 450°F
2. Roll out your pizza dough on a floured surface
3. Transfer the dough to a greased pizza pan or baking sheet
4. Spread pizza sauce over the dough, leaving a small border around the edge
5. Add your desired toppings, such as cheese, pepperoni, and vegetables
6. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted
7. Wait for about 5 minutes to let the pizza cool slightly
8. Slice and serve warm
Where to Find the Best Ingredients
When it comes to making homemade pizza, using high-quality ingredients can make all the difference. If you're on vacation, you can usually find everything you need at the local grocery store. And if you’re staying at Westgate Palace, the Palace Deli sells inexpensive customizable pizza kits that can be prepared in 30 mins or less.
2 | Pasta with Marinara Sauce | This easy to make option is a classic dish that requires minimal ingredients.
To start, you'll need a pot to boil water for the pasta. Most hotel room kitchens come equipped with a stove or hot plate, so this should be no problem.
Once the water is boiling, add your pasta and cook according to the package directions.
Make the pasta “al dente,” which means “to the tooth” in Italian. It’s a term used to describe the ideal consistency of the pasta when cooked. The pasta should have a little resistance when you bite into it. It should be tender but firm and chewy. The average time to cook al dente pasta is around 8-10 minutes.
While the pasta is cooking, you can start on the marinara sauce.
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Homemade Marinara Sauce Recipe:
All you need for the sauce is a can of crushed tomatoes, some garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. If you're feeling fancy, you can add some red pepper flakes or Italian seasoning as well.
Heat up a small saucepan on the stove or hot plate and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Once the oil is heated up, add minced garlic and sauté until fragrant. Then, pour in the can of crushed tomatoes and add salt and pepper to taste. If you're using red pepper flakes or Italian seasoning, add those in now too.
Let the sauce simmer for a few minutes until it thickens up a bit. If the sauce is too thick, you can add a splash of water to thin it out.
Pro Tip: To make it even easier, purchase a jar of pre-made store bought marinara sauce.
Once the pasta is done cooking, drain it and add it to the saucepan with the marinara sauce. Toss everything together until the pasta is coated in the sauce.
3 | Grilled Cheese Sandwiches | This easy to make comfort food is always a hit and can be used as a grab and go meal along the way.
To start, you'll need some bread, butter, and cheese. If your mini fridge has any other toppings like ham or tomato, grab those too!
Heat up a frying pan on the stove or hot plate. While the pan is heating up, butter one side of each slice of bread.
Once the pan is heated, place one slice of bread butter-side down in the pan. Then, add your cheese (and any other toppings you want) on top of the bread.
Place the second slice of bread on top, butter-side up. Press down on the sandwich with a spatula to help the cheese melt and the bread get crispy.
After a few minutes, flip the sandwich over and cook the other side until it's golden brown and the cheese is melted.
And voila! You've got a delicious grilled cheese sandwich made right in your hotel room.
If you're feeling fancy, you can also add some thinly sliced apple or pear for a sweet twist.
And if you don't have a frying pan, you can even make grilled cheese in a toaster oven or on an ironing board. Think of it like a makeshift panini press. just be careful not to burn yourself!
4 | Loaded Potatoes | You can never go wrong with this delicious and easy-to-make dish!
Most hotel room kitchens come equipped with a microwave or oven, so making this should be no problem. To start, you'll need some potatoes. Pierce each potato a few times with a fork and microwave for about 5-7 minutes or until soft (or bake them in the oven at 400 F for about 45-50 minutes).
Once your potatoes are cooked, slice them open and scoop out the flesh into a bowl. Mash the potato flesh with a fork and add some butter, salt, and pepper to taste.
Now it's time to load up those potatoes with some toppings! You can add some cooked bacon bits, shredded cheese, sour cream, and chopped green onions. If you have any leftover veggies, chicken or meat from your previous meals, feel free to add those too.
You can even bake your loaded potatoes in the oven for a few minutes to melt the cheese and crisp up the toppings.
If you want to make things even more interesting, you can add some chili, salsa, or even some leftover spaghetti sauce to your loaded potatoes.
5 | Tuna Salad Sandwich | Cooking on vacation doesn’t get easier than a tuna salad sandwich made right in your hotel room kitchen or kitchenette.
All you need are a can of tuna, mayo, and some bread. If you have other toppings (like lettuce or tomato), add them too!
Open your can of tuna and drain the liquid. Mix the tuna with a spoonful or two of mayo depending on how creamy you like it in a bowl.
If you have any other seasonings or condiments on hand (like mustard or relish), you can add those in too. Mix everything together and combine all the ingredients well.
Spread the tuna salad on one slice of bread and add any toppings you like (like lettuce or tomato) on top.
Then, place the second slice of bread on top, and gently press down. That’s all there is to making an easy tuna salad sandwich in your hotel room. You can also get a little crazy and add regular yellow mustard with your mayo… Just try it, you might like it. You can also mix red or white onions with your mayo and tuna. The onions add a little something extra. Get creative and have fun.
6 | Stir-Fry Vegetables | This is another easy to make dish that can be cooked up in your hotel room.
To start, you'll need some vegetables of your choice. Some great options include broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms. You'll also need some oil (like vegetable or sesame oil), soy sauce, and any other seasonings or spices like garlic or ginger.
Heat up a frying pan or wok on the stove or hot plate. Once the pan is heated up, add a tablespoon of oil. Once the oil is heated up, add your vegetables and stir them for a few minutes until they start to soften.
Add some soy sauce and any other seasonings or spices you like. Keep stirring the vegetables until they're cooked to your liking.
If you have or want to add some chicken or shrimp to your stir-fry, cook up diced chicken (diced), shrimp, or tofu in a separate pan and add to the vegetables. You can also serve your stir-fry over rice or noodles for a more filling meal.
And don't be afraid to experiment with different vegetables or spices to create your own unique stir-fry dish. You can even grab some pre-chopped or frozen veggies from a nearby grocery store to make things a lot easier.
This meal is simple yet healthy, flavorful and sure to satisfy your cravings!
Just Remember to Have Fun While Cooking on Vacation
What to Cook on Vacation? Cooking on vacation should be a relaxing and enjoyable experience, so don't stress too much about getting everything perfect. As long as you have good food and good company, you're sure to have a great time!
For more foodie guides and travel tips, visit our Westgate Resorts Travel Blog.
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* Westgate Resorts is in no way affiliated with the attractions featured in this article. Items or places listed are current as of the publishing date of this article. Please call or visit the respective website for the most up-to-date offerings and details.