14 Recipes for Summer Staycations

Staying home? Even if you can’t travel far this summer, don’t worry! You can still give your tastebuds a little getaway.

Beachy drinks. Baja bowls. Bistro cuisine. Whether you’re dreaming of a tropical paradise or a passport to the Italian countryside, these 14 fresh and delicious recipes will be just the ticket.

Your Taste of Travel: 14 Ways to Get Away

Si Si Cilantro Shrimp Tacos. So simple. So full of flavor.

Si SI Cilantro Shrimp Tacos recipe | Tastefully Simple

Top these grilled shrimp tacos infused with fresh lime with crunchy slaw, sliced jalapenos and crumbled queso fresco.

2. Smoky Beef Pepper Stir-Fry. With tender beef and market-fresh veggies, this smoky stir-fry will bring a taste of Bangkok to your own kitchen table.

Smoky Beef Pepper Stir-Fry

Serve over hot rice or noodles.

3. Carnita Enchiladas Con Salsa Verde. Quick and easy, these mild pulled pork enchiladas are smothered with melty cheese and creamy enchilada sauce. Great for Mexican night!

Carnita Enchilada Con Salsa Cerdes recipe | Tastefully Simple

4. Mediterranean Pasta. Dreaming of days in Greece? Try this vegetarian pasta, packed with the fresh Mediterranean flavors of tomatoes, Kalamata olives, garlic, artichokes and crumbled feta.

Mediterranean Pasta recipe | Tastefully Simple

If you’d like to add more protein, you can toss in cooked shrimp or chicken, too.

5. Mexican-Style Chicken Tortas. Your whole family will love these toasted rolls, topped with creamy avocado, tender chicken, pico de gallo and queso fresco – all drizzled with a fresh cilantro-garlic sauce.

Mexican Style Chicken Torta recipe | Tastefully Simple

6. Mama Mia Parmigiana. Bake this classic chicken covered with Italian breadcrumbs, melted mozzarella and savory tomato sauce simmered with Old World spices.

Mama Mia Parmigiana

Serve with pasta, fresh mixed greens and garlic bread.

7. Island Salmon with Mango Salsa. For a taste of the tropics, try this fresh salmon, topped with a smoky-sweet glaze and chunky fruit salsa.

14 Recipes for Summer Staycations blog post | Tastefully Simple

Plus, it’s ready in 30 minutes!

8. Tuscan Beef Stew. Love the lazy days of summer? Let your slow cooker do all the work with this rustic Italian-inspired dish, simmering with tender beef, sliced mushrooms and a splash of dry red wine.

Tuscan Beef Stew

Open your kitchen windows, close your eyes, and dunk a wedge of crusty bread into this hearty stew for a little taste of Tuscany.

9. Easy Pad Thai. Make this Asian-style classic in your own kitchen, loaded with red bell peppers, snow peas, sprouts, lime juice, fresh cilantro and a delicious peanutty sauce.

Easy Pad Thai recipe | Tastefully Simple

Oh, and it’s ready in only 20 minutes! Try adding chicken, shrimp or extra firm tofu, too.

10. Caribbean Shrimp Rice Bowls. These island-inspired bowls are bursting with juicy mango, citrusy-glazed shrimp, brown rice and black beans. Fresh and fun – with a little kick!

14 Recipes for Summer Staycations blog post | Tastefully Simple

11. Island Dream Spiked Milkshakes. Soak up the sunshine while sipping one of these beachy grown-up beverages, infused with hints of berry, citrus and hibiscus. Just add vanilla ice cream and vodka.

Island Dream Spiked Milkshake Mix Launch | Tastefully Simple

To make them non-alcoholic, use ½ cup milk in place of vodka.

12. Citrus Pineapple Cloud Cake. Enjoy a sweet slice of paradise with this tropical cake, topped with fluffy whipped cream, sweet coconut and toasted macadamia nuts.

Citrus Pineapple Cloud Cake recipe | Tastefully Simple

Tip: swap in coconut chips, rather than traditional flaked coconut, for some extra crunch.

13. Classy Chocolate Campfire Cupcakes. Can’t make it to the usual summer camps or state parks this year? You can still guarantee some happy little campers with these cute chocolate cupcakes, perfect for summertime.

Classy Chocolate Campfire Cupcakes recipe | Tastefully Simple

Note: due to the candies on top, these are best enjoyed the same day. They are so fun for kids though … my boys LOVED decorating them with me!

14. Creamy Key Lime Cheesecake. So tart-tangy, bright and refreshing, this velvety-smooth cheesecake will transport your tastebuds right to the Florida coast. (Sigh. I miss you, St. Pete Beach.)

creamy key lime cheesecake recipe | Tastefully Simple

This recipe is made with one of my all-time favorites, back only for a limited time: Key Lime Cheese Ball Mix. If you haven’t tried it before, it’s like a bright bite of summer.

Remember, friends – even if you can’t travel as much as usual this summer, you can still take your tastebuds on a trip!

- Jen

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