25+ No-Cook Meal Ideas (Plus a FREE Download)

In just two weeks our family of 9 is headed to San Antonio, TX for the National Bible Bee Competition.  This will be our third year heading to nationals and every year I am trying to find ways to best meet our traveling needs.

As when we are at home, feeding our crew is a huge part of our day.  And when we take our family on an 1,800 mile trip to stay in a 4-star resort for a week, food is definitely on our minds.  How are we going to feed our family affordably (read without going out)?  What meals can I plan that will be quick, nutritious, and be made with many shelf-stable ingredients?  And the biggest question of them all…

How can I  feed our family without cooking for a week???

Here is a list of 25+ no-cook meal ideas to help you and your family with your next hotel stay.  Using some basic ingredients, many of which can be purchased in advance and packed in your vehicle if you are driving to your destination, you can feed your own crew without breaking the bank.

FREE Downloadable Grocery List

Many of these options do not require a recipe, but if you need a starting point, most of the meals are linked to a recipe that I found using a good ol’ Google search.  Adapt to meet your family’s needs!

Chicken (Rotisserie or Canned)

1. Simple Chicken Salad Stuffed Pitas – Canned or rotisserie chicken, mayonnaise (buy the smallest jar you can find), salt, and pepper make for a simple chicken salad.  Fill a pita with it, serve it with crackers, or make a sandwich.  Serve with some baby carrots or other easy to prep veggie.

2. Caesar Chicken Wraps – No recipe needed!  Canned or rotisserie chicken, small jar of salad dressing, tortillas or wraps, and a small bag of salad mix is all that is required.  Assemble these and then wrap them in parchment paper for a grab and go meal.

3. No Cook Cobb Salad – Adapt the dressing recipe to suit your preferences, or use your favorite store-bought dressing to simplify preparation.

4. Asian Chicken Salad Lettuce Cups

5. Thai Chicken Wraps – Simplify the ingredient list as needed.

6. Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches – Canned or rotisserie chicken, a small jar of barbecue sauce, and bread/rolls of choice are all you need here.  Add some sliced cheddar or other cheese if desired.

7. Chicken and Guacamole Tacos

8. Rotisserie Chicken Soft Tacos – Rotisserie chicken seasoned with a little cumin and chili powder (mix it up in a bag or small container and pack it), your favorite taco sauce, a small bag of grated cheese, lettuce, and tortillas are simple to pull together to make these crowd-pleasing tacos.

9. Crunchy Taco Salad – Rotisserie chicken (see above), a bag of salad mix, grated cheese, your favorite taco sauce, and a small bag of tortilla chips (slightly crushed) tossed together in a bowl.  Add sour cream or hot sauce to taste.  *Try this with canned beans in place of the chicken for a veggie version.


Lunch Meat

10. Roast Beef Summer Rolls – Substitute soy sauce in place of the fish sauce.  You can even use a restaurant packet of soy sauce.

11. Build Your Own Sub Sandwich – Keep ingredient options simple.  Consider using those condiment packages that are sitting around in your refrigerator to save space in packing.

12. Roast Beef and Cheddar Roll Ups

13. Thai Beef Salad – See note above about fish sauce.

14. Meat, Cheese, and Cracker Platter – A favorite with our crew!  Add some fruit and veggies to stretch the meat and cheese and to add extra vitamins, minerals, and fiber.


Canned Tuna & Seafood

15. Mexican Shrimp Salad Wraps

16. Creamy Shrimp Rolls

17. Simple Tuna Salad – Serve it in a pita, on bread, with crackers, or over a bed of lettuce.  Add fruits and veggies to complete the meal.

18. Mediterranean Tuna Lettuce Wraps

19. Italian Tuna and White Bean Salad

20. Tuna Sub Sandwiches – See ideas for Build Your Own Sub Sandwich.


Vegetarian, Beans

21. Corn and Black Bean Salad with Tortilla Chips – For this dish, you can put the salt, pepper, and spices into a small ziploc bag to pack along with your other food items.

22. Mediterranean Garbanzo Bean Salad

23. Hummus, Bread, and Chopped Israeli Salad – For less mess, serve the salad in a styrofoam cup and use spoons instead of forks.

24. Vegetarian Burrito Bowls – No recipe needed!  Pinto beans or black beans, salad mix, grated cheese, taco sauce, and some sour cream will have you on your to a satisfying and easy meal.

25.  Pinto Beans, Chips, and Salsa – Season the pinto beans with a little cumin and chili powder.  If you have it on hand, throw in some garlic or onion powder.  You can mash these in a bowl if you want “refried” beans.

26. Marinated Chickpea Salad with Bread – Serve over lettuce, with bread, crackers, pita, or even tortillas.

27. Southwestern Salad with Corn and Avocado – Use canned corn in place of the fresh corn.  Add black beans or pinto beans for extra protein.

28. Guacamole Salad


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