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40 Recipes That’ll Take You on Vacation (in 30 Minutes or Less!)

Feel like you're on holiday when you try these quick summer recipes. They're packed with the fruity, tropical flavors that remind you of vacation.

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Popcorn Shrimp Tacos with Cabbage Slaw

These healthy popcorn shrimp tacos combine classic flavors in a new way! It’s one of my family’s favorites. To make them low-carb, use lettuce instead of tortillas. —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland
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Jalapeno-Lime Chicken Drumsticks

Bottled hot sauce isn't my thing, so I developed a fresh pepper glaze for grilled chicken. These drumsticks practically fly off the plate. —Kristeen DeVorss, Farmington, New Mexico
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Watermelon Margaritas

Summer’s best flavors get frosty in the cocktail we serve at all our backyard shindigs. We mix sun-ripened watermelon and our favorite tequila with just the right amount of ice for a thick and boozy sipper that’s perfect when we’re grilling and chilling.—Alicia Cummings, Marshalltown, Iowa
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Grilled Chicken and Mango Skewers

The inspiration for this recipe came from the charbroiled chicken skewers I used to enjoy while strolling along Calle Ocho in Miami on Sunday afternoons. Feel free to garnish with sesame seeds or spritz with fresh lime juice. —Wolfgang Hanau, West Palm Beach, Florida
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Crunchy Chili Cilantro Lime Roasted Shrimp  Exps Cwdj21 251263 B07 14 2b 2

Crunchy Chili Lime Shrimp

Easy, quick and family-friendly, this chili lime shrimp recipe comes together in just 30 minutes. The secret is the flavor-packed sauce and crunchy tortilla chips. — Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland
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Pina Coladas

Velvety-smooth texture and a taste of the tropics are what this tropical drink delivers. The easy-to-make drink can be mixed and chilled ahead of time. When ready to serve, just blend for a creamy and delicious beverage. —Linda Schend, Kenosha, Wisconsin
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Pressure-Cooker Tequila Salsa Chicken

I had this dish at a local Mexican restaurant when celebrating a friend’s birthday. I fell in love with the spicy, smoky flavor from the tequila and decided to try Instant Pot salsa chicken at home. Boy, was it a success! It’s also great stuffed into flour tortillas or for making nachos. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho
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Mango & Grilled Chicken Salad

We live in the hot South, and this awesome fruity chicken salad is a weeknight standout. I buy salad greens and add veggies for color and crunch. —Sherry Little, Sherwood, Arkansas
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Creamy Pineapple Pie

Creamy Pineapple Pie is a light and refreshing dessert that's quick to make and impressive to serve. This is one of our favorite ways to complete a summer meal. —Sharon Bickett, Chester, South Carolina
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Michelada

Like your drinks with a south-of-the-border vibe? Try this kicked-up beer cocktail that’s a zesty mix of Mexican lager, lime juice and hot sauce. There are many variations, but this easy recipe is perfect for rookie mixologists.
—Ian Cliffe, Milwaukee, WI

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Air-Fryer Steak Fajitas

Zesty salsa and tender strips of meat make these air-fryer steak fajitas extra special. —Rebecca Baird, Salt Lake City, Utah
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Polynesian Kabobs

Polynesian Kabobs

With their explosion of flavors and textures, these kabobs make a quick, satisfying entree. —Chris Anderson, Morton, Illinois.
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Lime Coconut Smoothie Bowl

This Key lime and coconut smoothie bowl is the most refreshing thing on the planet! —Madeline Butler, Denver, Colorado
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Coconut French Toast

This coconut French toast is coated with coconut flakes for a special breakfast treat. —Charlotte Baillargeon, Hinsdale, Massachusetts
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Minty Pineapple Rum

This delicious drink is a fabulous way to use fresh mint and celebrate summer. If the pineapple isn't overly ripe, add a bit more sugar. Save any leftover pineapple-mint syrup in an airtight glass container, or freeze the mixture in ice cube trays to use later. —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia
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Air-Fryer Coconut Shrimp

Panko crumbs give this spicy air-fryer coconut shrimp its crunch. It’s perfect as an appetizer or for your main meal. —Debi Mitchell, Flower Mound, Texas
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Grilled Pineapple with Lime Dip

Serve this dish as an appetizer or a dessert—the choice is yours! If desired, the pineapple spears can be rolled in flaked coconut before grilling. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Mango Orange Quencher

Serve this beautiful beverage at your next brunch in place of mimosas. Just chill the base an hour before adding the club soda. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Fast Fruit Salsa

We like this refreshing and colorful salsa served with tortilla chips or spooned over grilled chicken. For another fruity option, try stirring in some diced cantaloupe or peaches when they're in season. —Eileen Miller, Woodridge, Illinois
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Margarita Floats

On a hot afternoon, what could be better than a cold margarita float? The addition of creamy ice cream really takes this treat to the next level. —Teri Rasey, Cadillac, Michigan
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Grilled Huli Huli Chicken

I got this grilled huli huli chicken recipe from a friend while living in Hawaii. It sizzles with the flavors of brown sugar, ginger and soy sauce. Huli means "turn" in Hawaiian. This sweet and savory glaze is fantastic on pork chops, too. —Sharon Boling, San Diego, California
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Salmon with Mango-Citrus Salsa

My mother would make this for us on weeknights in summer—this was the only way we would eat fish. You can make the salsa a day ahead of time. Just keep it in the refrigerator in a covered container until ready to use. —Najmussahar Ahmed, Canton, Michigan
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Grilled Onion & Skirt Steak Tacos

I grew up watching my grandmother and mother in the kitchen. My grandparents came from Mexico, and this steak marinated in beer and lime juice honors their passion for cooking. —Adan Franco, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Caribbean Shrimp & Rice Bowl

I had a similar rice bowl on vacation and re-created this lighter version at home. It takes me back to the islands every time I make it. Try grilling the shrimp for more beachy flavor. —Lauren Katz, Ashburn, Virginia
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Pina Colada Icebox Cake

This icebox cake has all of the flavors of a pina colada. It takes just one bite to escape to a tropical island! —Rachel Lewis, Danville, Virginia
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Grilled Pineapple Chicken

A trip to Hawaii is easy with this juicy grilled pineapple chicken. Simply give it a quick marinade, fire up the grill and let it sizzle. We love this low-carb recipe! —Charlotte Rogers, Virginia Beach, Virginia
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Strawberry Watermelon Slush

We like to relax on the back porch with glasses of my slush after a long, hot day. Strawberries and watermelon blend up with lemon juice and sugar for an instant refresher. —Patty Howse, Great Falls, Montana
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Tropical Island Shrimp Kabobs

Shrimp, mango and pineapple on skewers make a sunny presentation at parties. To boost flavors, we use a coconut milk, lime juice and cilantro marinade. —Mary Marlowe Leverette, Columbia, South Carolina
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Fresh Ginger Carrot Salad

I created this salad as an alternative to the mayonnaise, raisin and carrot salad my mom used to make. I had some leftover ginger and really liked the fresh taste. I have a sweet tooth, and this salad satisfies it! —Lauri Cherian, Scott Depot, West Virginia
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Jerk Chicken with Tropical Couscous

Caribbean cuisine brightens up our weeknights thanks to its bold colors and flavors. Done in less than 30 minutes, this chicken is one of my go-to easy meals. —Jeanne Holt, Mendota Heights, Minnesota
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Mojito Marinated Fruit

All the flavors of the popular mojito cocktail are featured in this fantastic salad. After you eat the fruit, you’ll want to sip the luscious syrup! —Marcy Griffith, Excelsior, Minnesota
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Udon Noodles with Pineapple Vinaigrette

Thai cuisine has such wonderfully intense flavors, but the dishes can be heavy and time-consuming. My answer is a refreshing salad with mango, gingerroot and a pop of jalapeno. —Melanie Stevenson, Reading, Pennsylvania
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Guava Coconut Rum Cocktail

My beverage is so sensational it's like a taste of the tropics in a glass. The guava adds a touch of sweetness to this coconut drink. —Melanie Milhorat, New York, New York
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Aloha Pizza

This Aloha pizza came together on accident. I had to take something to a gathering, but had no time to shop. I raided the fridge for inspiration and discovered this happy combo. —Wendy Huffman, Bloomington, Illinois
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Easy Seafood Salad

This easy seafood salad was inspired by a dish I had in the Bahamas that featured conch. I substituted crab and shrimp and like it even more! —Cindy Heyd, Edmond, Oklahoma
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Pineapple Rum Punch

I created this with my favorite Bahamian juices. I got the inspiration for it from other Bahama punches I have sampled. —Pamela Vitti Knowles, Henderson, North Carolina
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Frozen Hawaiian Pie

Cool summer pies are one of Mom's specialties. This version offers pineapple, maraschino cherries and walnuts that are folded into a fluffy filling. It's an easy yet tempting no-bake dessert. —Jennifer Mcquillan, Jacksonville, Florida
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Chunky Mango Guacamole

When serving a crowd, double or quadruple this guacamole. The onion, tomato and mango can be chopped in advance. Add avocado just before serving. —Diana Nienberg, McComb, Ohio
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Polynesian-Inspired Macaroni Salad

I have always loved SPAM, so I decided to combine it with pineapple to make this Polynesian-inspired macaroni salad recipe. It reminds me of vacationing in Hawaii. —Susan Bickta, Kutztown, Pennsylvania

Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is an associate editor at Taste of Home where she gets to embrace her passion for baking. She pours this love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.

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