recipes for road trip

55 Easy Food Recipes, Snacks, and Meals For Your Trip

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Food, Glorious, Food! Do you know that song from the Oliver Twist musical? I played Food Soloist #3 in my first musical in 6th grade. I had a solid beginning to my food days.

As an avid traveler, both by air and land (I should add sea, shouldn’t i?) I know that eating during trips can be tricky. Add on if you have little kids or any weirdo food restrictions (like I do!). Relying on a gas station for anything other than a soda and a chip would be a mistake, and even then, you’re also paying that extra cost of convenience items! We all know those days when nothing sounds good, but we have to eat, and you reach for the gas station chicken sandwich that is dry and sad. Or that giant piece of pizza with more grease than you’d like to see in your lifetime? Well, have no fear; I am here. Now, not all of these will be the most healthy snacks. But they’ll be better than some fast food options so that on your next long car ride or epic road trip, you have a comprehensive list of road trip food ideas to choose from! I didn’t even include one thing that has hot dogs, so you’re welcome for that.

Disclosure: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. 

Getting Ready

Undoubtedly you have a lot to plan with a trip. Gathering your healthy road trip meals and snacks, here’s a quick list of things to gather and decide before you go.

  • Water Bottles (it saves so much money and is the best for our planet if you pack your own!) – If you have a water bottle with filter and will be in places where the water might be sketchy, that’s a good thing to include too!
  • Cooler. If you don’t have one of these, an insulated thermal can be of great help so you don’t have to buy a cooler! But if you’re going to be gone for a few days, a cooler has more benefits and may be a wise investment. I love this one!
  • Ice Packs. One of the best things is to grab cold water or cold watermelon from the car!
  • Paper towels. Just a few folded into a stasher bag can really come in handy.
  • Reusable Utensils. I like to keep my handy camping 4 in 1 multi-tool in my car, because I never know when I’ll need a fork or a wine opener.

Now what to decide

  • After reading this, list what you want your make-ahead road trip meals to be.
  • When will you go to get the grocery items?
  • What are a couple of your easy meal options?

Snacks to Buy

Now, a great option is to ensure you have more expensive convenience items. This can be added to your grocery store shopping list, or you can press a few buttons, and amazon will bring you many of these things. This way, you don’t have to rely on gas station prices. That includes:

1.) Fresh Fruit. Cut up a watermelon. Stash a couple of bananas. Grab that apple a day – because lord knows you need this great source of fiber when you’re traveling, iykyk.

2.) Potato Chips. Getting these cute bundles saves bunches when you have that salt need. This is the only junk food I always want on the road.

3.) Granola Bars. I prefer these from Bob’s Red Mill that don’t have the chocolate chips melting possibility but are still high in protein.

4.) Beef Jerky. Speaking of protein, that sucker is what gives you that energy you need to stay awake on long drives! Jerky is another great source of protein.

5.) Gummy bears. Okay, I love most sweet treats. And gummy bears are one of the best road trip snacks ever invented.

6.) Trail mix. I’ll have a few recipes down below, but sometimes the convenience of having an already-made trail mix is beneficial.

7.) Sunflower Seeds. Cashews. Almonds. Peanuts. You pick the seed and nut that you like, get those healthy fats in and you’re having a good day.

8.) String Cheese. You really can’t go wrong; plus if you’re making a pizza, you can wrap it in the crust a la Pizza Hut Stuffed crust style.

9.) Fresh vegetables. Carrots, peppers, broccoli. These are healthy road trip snacks. Except if you dip them all in ranch!! Which is, of course, the only way to eat raw veggies.

10.) Cheese. Hard cheese do best on long trips so if you get some cheese, like Bree make sure to eat it on the first day!

11.) Crackers, I mean, how could you not? They’re very versatile.

12.) Salami, Pepperoni, Pancetta, Prosciutto? Your snack plates will love you. If you’re not into meat, don’t forget the olives for your salty addition.

13.) Peanut or nut butter, I’m putting this on its own because it can do so many things.

recipes for road trip

Snacks to Assemble

14.) Hard-boiled eggs. These are not my jam, but I understand many of you like them. (it’s a texture thing) They’re easy, pack well, and keep in your cooler for about a week if kept around 40 degrees or lower. They can be on their own, added to a snack plate, or cut up into a sandwich or salad. I get why you love them.

15.) Taco Trail mix

Lord goodness, I love this. This makes a lot so feel free to reduce and substitue as necessary.

You want 12 cups of Mix-Ins Total – Mix and Match as you desire!

  • Chex Mix or Oyster Crackers
  • Cheez-its or Goldfish
  • Pretzels or Sesame Sticks
  • Peanuts or Pecans

Mix in ⅔ Cup of Veggie Oil

With ¾ Cup of Taco Seasoning

Let it marinate for an hour, before trying!

16.) Trail Mix – Okay, let’s just go classic here,

  • Peanuts 
  • Pretzels
  • Raisins
  • M&Ms

17.) Trail Mix – Now time to fancy it up again – 

  • Dried Cranberries
  • White Chocolate CHips
  • Cashews
  • Yogurt Pretzels
  • Dark Chocolate chunks
  • Dried Cherries
  • Sunflower Seeds

18.) Hummus

Hummus and I are good friends – I like to make my hummus since I have a problem if the texture isn’t something that I love (see deviled eggs above!!)! Here’s my favorite recipe. Put it into the food processor in this order:

  • ¼ Cup Tahini (Give this a good stir with a fork!)
  • ¼ Cup Lemon Juice 
  • *BLEND FOR 1 MINUTE! Scrape Sides, Blend for 20 seconds.
  • 1 Clove Minced Garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • ½ Teaspoon cumin
  • Salt to taste
  • *BLEND for 20 seconds, Scrape the sides. Blend for 20 seconds.
  • ½  Can of Rinsed Chickpeas
  • *BLEND for 20, Scrape, and Blend again for 20 seconds.
  • ½ Can of RInsed Chickpeas, blend as you desire 🙂 
  • Top with a drizzle of Olive oil, Salt to taste, Make it pretty with a sprinkle of cayenne if you want

19.) Protein Balls – These travel well in a to-go container. Help boost your mood and are super easy to make: Mix and roll into balls, and put in the fridge. I’ve used this recipe quite a few times from Gimme Some Oven.

  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 2/3 cup toasted shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (or vegan chocolate chips)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

20.) Rice Krispie Treats. Snack or dessert? You decide. It’s such a classic, it travels well, unlike ice cream, and you can’t go wrong with them. Double bonus if you brown the butter before you make them!

recipes for road trip

Breakfast Assembly

21.) Muffins – Maybe Banana Muffins with a smear of Peanut butter? Or Peanut Butter Banana Muffins? With Double peanut butter.

22.) Pancakes – Pancake sandwiches are a great way to do double duty with these. Peanut butter and banana? Nutella and apple? You can do savory with some salami and cheese. God, I love pancakes.

23.) Bacon, Cheese, English Muffin – These can be made ahead, wrapped in foil and an easy warm-up at a rest stop.

24.) Granola, Yogurt, Fruit – Classic health foods here that assemble into a breakfast of the gods 😉

25.) Freezer Burritos – So good. Toritilla, Scrambled Egg, Veggies. Voila breakfast. Bonus with hot sauce.

26.) Snack Central – cheese, hard-boiled egg, crackers or croissants, fruit. You don’t have to have a sandwich for breakfast, or a sugary treat.

27.) Overnight Oats – These are pretty to assemble the night before. Make sure you have a jar or something to put it in. The best part is that they can totally be customized to your liking.

Base: 1/2 Cup Oats, 1/2 Cup Milk Of Choice (Water works too!), 1/4 Cup Greek Yogurt, 1/4 Cup Chia Seeds, 1 Tablespoon Honey or Maple Syrup

Flavor Ideas: Add Any of these in about 1 tablespoon increments: Peanut Butter Apple; Banana Nutella; Chocolate Chip Banan

Mix & Let sit for at least 2 hours or overnight. You may need to thin it a little bit with your milk or water in the morning.

Pro Tip! It’s a good idea to make this ahead of the trip so you can find the combinations and consistency that you like so you have the right ingredients on hand!

28.) Cereal – Is it a great snack AND a breakfast food? yes yes that is true. It can also be an addition to your yogurt or just a handful when your sweet tooth shows up! I’m team lucky charms. But you do you.



29.) Vegetable Frittata – Super portable. Can be diced and put into a tortilla if you want a vessel. My favorite part is that you can kinda use whatever is around. If you didn’t eat all the peppers the day before, just chop them up and put them in.

recipes for road trip

Lunch to Make

30.) Ham cheese roll up. Ham, Mustard, Cheese, Tortilla – It is quite delicious. 

31.) PB&J – Classic. Make it fancy with a tortilla or croissant! You could use those pancakes too.

32.) Salami, Cheese, Croissant. 

33.) Nachos – Best if you have a heat source. But those nacho lunchables exist – so cold cheese really can’t be that bad.

34.) Hummus veggie wrap, side of chips.

35.) Tacos – you really just need the filling and the tortilla. An easy way to justify traveling with hot sauce.

36.) Chicken Cesar Salad – Grilled chicken is very versatile! And so is romaine lettuce. The best is that this can be one of those easy road trip meals you grab if you don’t have room in your cooler.

37.) Taco Salad – taco meat travels well! So why not.

38.) Snack Protein Lunch: Jerky, Fruit, Chips, Cheese, Crackers

39.) Brie, Jam and Toastie crackers 🙂

recipes for road trip

Dinner to Make

40) Lentils and rice: Cook lentils and rice separately and then mix them together with your choice of spices and herbs. Top with veggies and a splash of greek yogurt and olives!

41.) Quinoa and black bean salad: Cook quinoa according to package instructions and let cool. Mix in diced vegetables (such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers), black beans, and a vinaigrette dressing. Vinaigrette is one of the best dressings to travel with!

42.) Couscous Salad: Cook couscous according to package instructions and let cool. Mix in diced vegetables (such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers) and a vinaigrette dressing. Bonus if you have feta or olives here too.

43.) Chickpea Salad: Mash chickpeas in a bowl with a fork, add diced vegetables and a vinaigrette dressing.

44.) Open-Faced Tuna sandwich. Best if you have a heat source! Or maybe tuna salad?

45.) Sausage & Rice – Cajun it up! Add your veggies. This is good cold or warmed up. It can be added to your breakfast frittata too.

Dessert

46.) Brownies. Just stop for the ice cream.

47.) Magic 6-layer bars. These are summer staples! But, Maybe skip if you can’t keep them cold. Though I guess if they melt, you can just eat them with a spoon. Visit Fountain Avenue Kitchen for a great recipe.

48.) Buy muddy buddies. You could make them, I guess.

49.) S’Mores: But with a twist 🙂 This is, the care of my friend Amanda, who introduced me to this: Chocolate, Hersey, yes classic. Marshmallow. yes, standard. Here’s the twist: Club crackers instead of graham. It’s buttery, it’s salty. It’s so good. Please give it a try and tell me what you think!

50.) Cookies. YOu really can’t go wrong. Even if they’re mushed they’re still delicious

51.) Cheesecake in a jar

52.) Oatmeal cream pie. You can be fancy and make them. Or just buy them.

53.) Cut up fruit, yogurt, drizzle of honey or maple syrup. Especially if you’re making parfaits, this can be a nice double dip if you have extra fruit.

54.) Cupcakes.

And last but not least 55.) Fudge! My grandma’s recipe:

Never Fail Fudge

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 Cups sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Butter
  • 1 Small Can of Evaporated milk
  • 1 Jar Marshmallow Fluff
  • 3/4 tsp. sal
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1 package of semi-sweet chocolate

Instructions

    1. Combine the first 5 Ingredients
    2. Stir Over low heat until blended
    3. Bring to boil over medium, being careful not to mistake air bubbles for boiling.
    4. Boil slowly, constantly stirring for 5 minutes (use softball "test")
    5. Remove from heat
    6. Stir in Vanilla and chocolate until melted
    7. Pour into a buttered 9x9 pan and cool

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