Pre-Vacation Dinner Ideas

The last day before a vacation is a hectic one. There is last minute packing, cleaning the house, getting your pets to the kennel, and much more. Therefore, planning a bon voyage dinner is likely very low on the list. However, getting a good meal is an important part of the final night at home. But what should you make?

First thing first, these pre-vacation dinners need to check three boxes:

1. It needs to be easy and fast to make. This means it should be limited to some easy chopping, sautéing, or boiling.
2. It needs to create as few dirty dishes as possible. The best-case scenario is one pot or pan to cook in and one dish, cup and piece of silverware for each diner.

PRO-TIP: To make even fewer dishes use paper plates, cups and plastic flatware. After dinner you will only have to wash and dry the dish you cooked in and throw away the rest.

3. It should include as many ingredients as possible which will aid in reducing the amount of waste from throwing away perishable goods.


The following meals hit as many of these items as possible.


Salads are a great way to clean out the refrigerator and typically only create a few dirty dishes. As an added bonus, salads are a great way to have a healthy meal before your vacation. Here are some ingredients you probably have in your refrigerator or pantry right now to have a very filling salad.

Lettuce Spinach Romaine
Tomatoes Cucumbers Radishes
Cheese Celery Hard Boiled Eggs
Green Peppers Onions Carrots
Olives Radishes Peas
Brussel Sprouts Berries Cabbage
Nuts Dried Fruits Deli Meats
Mushrooms Salad Dressing Oil & Vinegar


If you have any bread you need to get rid of you could also make some croutons with a bit of butter, onion powder, garlic powder, grated parmesan cheese or any fresh herbs you have. You would then bake them at 350° for 10 minutes or until the bread is the desired crispness.


Similar to salads, you can make fun and nutritional wraps with your refrigerator perishables. Add some chips or French fries as a side dish and you have the perfect pre-vacation meal.

Here are a few ingredients you could throw in a wrap:

Lettuce Spinach Romaine
Tomatoes Cucumbers Radishes
Cheese Pickles Deli Meats
Green Peppers Onions Olives
Olive Oil Assorted Dressings Mayonnaise
Mustard Left over Meats Teriyaki Sauce
Banana Peppers Tabasco Sauce Bacon
Shredded Carrots Avocado/Guacamole Tuna

One of the best parts about wraps is each diner can make their own wrap their way. One person can have a ham wrap with veggies, mustard and mayo. Another can have a wrap using leftover chicken, veggies and teriyaki sauce. And another can have a veggie wrap with ranch dressing.


When I was a kid breakfast for dinner was always one of my favorite dinners and again the ingredients are up to your imagination and what is left in your fridge.

Eggs Bacon Ham
Cheese Green Peppers Mushrooms
Potatoes Scallions/Onions Deli Meat
Sausage (Links, Patties or Bulk) Bread Tomatoes
Grits Biscuits Gravy
Pancake Mix Fruit Oatmeal
Tabasco Sauce

These ingredients can be made into a traditional “eggs & bacon” type meal, or it can be made into Breakfast Burritos, Omelets or Breakfast Pizza or even better just throw all the ingredients in a large skillet and make a scramble.


Stir Fries are a great way to clean out the fridge and they couldn’t be simpler to make.

  • Season and brown the meat
  • Add your veggies
  • Add your favorite sauce (teriyaki, salsa, Italian dressing, etc.)
  • Serve over rice or pasta. Easy peasy.
Rice Meats (Chicken, Beef, Shrimp) Peppers
Celery Onions Sauce
Carrots Broccoli Peas
Mushrooms Green Beans Pineapples
Brussel Sprouts Cauliflower Snow Peas
Zucchini Yellow Squash Couscous
Spinach Tofu Broccoli Rabe



Soups are easy to make and rarely use more than a few dishes.

Here are some ingredients you can throw in a soup pot for a fabulous meal:

Potatoes Spinach Canned Vegetables
Tomatoes Broth Left over meats
Pasta Pasta Sauce Peas
Green Peppers Onions Carrots
Frozen Vegetables Ground Beef Chicken
Beef Shrimp Fish
Pasta Sauce Tomato Sauce/Paste Corn
Green Beans Cheese Cream/Milk
Rice Egg Noodles Raman packets


Some soup ideas are:

  • Lasagna Soup
  • Beef Stew
  • Vegetable Stew
  • Jumbo
  • Salsa Chicken Soup
  • Chili
  • Cream of ______ (Broccoli, Mushroom, Cauliflower)
  • Chicken Noodle
  • Chowder (Potato, Corn, Fish)
  • Stuffed Pepper
  • Dumpling Soup
  • Chicken Raman Soup

With all these options, your Bon Voyage dinner should leave you full, with only a few dirty dishes and the perishables cleaned out of your fridge.

Sue Nowicki is an alumna of the 2014/15 planDisney/Disney Parks Moms Panel and a travel agent with Looking Glass Travel, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner Agency. She is a team mom extraordinaire who has filled her time serving as secretary, navigator, head cheerleader, treasurer, athletic trainer and team psychologist for her daughter’s travel sports team for over 15 years before becoming a team owner. You can follow her on Twitter at @JazzinDisneyMom.

You can follow our journey here: FacebookTwitter and Pinterest for more great Team Mom, parenting, travel and Lifestyle content.







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