Living on a Houseboat – Meals Ideas for Your Time on the Boat

Cooking on a boat is a lot different as compared to when you cook at your home. Therefore, you should aim to keep your meals simple and easy to make, if you plan to spend any amount of time on a boat. Not only will it help you enjoy your time more, but you also won’t be stuck preparing meals for hours on end. There are a lot of DIY meals that can be prepared in almost no time and will fill you up so you can enjoy the boat and your time off. Let’s see how to ensure that mealtimes are taken care of on a boat.

How to make mealtimes on a boat easy

When you plan a houseboat vacation, you do not want to spend the majority of your time in the kitchen preparing food because then you won’t be able to enjoy the boat itself. To avoid this from happening, there are a few steps you can take beforehand so that you can sit back and relax without having to worry about whether or not everyone has enough to eat.

Divide tasks

The best method to ensure that you won’t be stuck in the kitchen is to divide tasks beforehand. If possible, rope in everyone going on the trip and give them tasks. You can also divide them into groups to make things more efficient. The division can be according to mealtime or according to tasks. Such division allows everyone to work and enjoy the vacation at the same time. Furthermore, it also creates a variety in the dishes. Instead of one person making the same dish again and again because it’s convenient, different people will make different dishes. Thus, there will be an array of new dishes that you may get to try.

Shop at the last minute

Believe it or not, when going on a trip on a boat, preparing early is something you do not want to do. Before you board your houseboat for a lovely getaway, the last thing you should do is get your groceries. When you do so, all of the perishable goods such as vegetables stay nice and fresh longer. If you get them early, you will have to use them quickly as well, or else they will go bad. The best times to shop are either early in the morning or late at night. Plan your grocery trip according to the time you will leave. It is best to stop on the way and get your groceries then.

Do not bring extra items

It is a common misconception that a boat’s kitchen is inadequate and that you need extra cooking devices such as a deep-frier etc. There is a high chance that you won’t be able to use your fancy cooking gadgets on the ship, which may cause a fire hazard. Most boats include an adequate kitchen that has a grill that you can use to cook right there on the boat.


Preboarding is always a good idea as you can scope the place and make yourself comfortable. Usually preboarding has an additional cost, but loading up your houseboat can take some time, and you need to account for people arriving at different times. When you pre-board, you can load up the houseboat the night before. You can even spend the night there. Therefore, when you wake up, you are set to leave.

Keep it simple

Ensure that the meals you intend to make are quick and simple. There are many recipes out there, that are easy to prepare while also being fulfilling. It is a great idea to jot them down and shop according. Fancy meals on a houseboat sound nice but keeping it simple makes things a lot more fun and enjoyable. 

Some easy to make meals on a boat


Being on a boat all day is tiring, and no matter what you are doing, you will want something fulfilling to eat. Because you are not in your own space, cooking can be a bit difficult, which is why you need to make items that are easy to cook. Here are some houseboat meals ideas.

Cooler corn on the cob

Cooler corn on the cob is one of the easiest and simplest of all the recipes. All you have to do is get a cooler, lay some corn on the cobs inside, and fill the cooler with boiling water. These steps have to be done before ou board your ship. Thus, when you are hungry in a few hours, your corn will be properly cooked from the inside. Make sure that the lid is secured properly. Otherwise, the corn may take longer to cook. Additionally, be careful of the steam that will escape once you open the lid. To make them extra delicious, you can spray them with some butter. 

Salsa Chicken

This recipe is fairly simple to cook. You can prepare it at home and bring it with you on the boat. You can also cook it right there on the boat. However, you should make sure that your house-boat has the facilities that allow you to cook. This salsa chicken has some much-needed protein and is thus the perfect dish for your boat trip.

To prepare this dish, you will need; 4 pieces of boneless chicken, a cup of shredded cheddar cheese, and a cup of salsa. You will also need 4 teaspoons of taco seasoning along with 2 tablespoons of sour cream. When you have all the ingredients ready, you are all set to prepare this dish.

First, you need to sprinkle taco seasoning all over the chicken and then add the salsa mix. Place the chicken in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit or 190 degrees Celsius. In around half an hour, your chicken should be ready. Make sure that the juice runs clear, and the chicken has a golden-brown color because these indicate that the chicken is fully cooked. 

You can also sprinkle some cheese over the chicken and cook it for an extra 5 to 7 minutes if you want your chicken to be cheesy. Adding a dollop of sour cream can also help elevate the taste.

Thermos hot dogs with steamed buns

Thermos hot dogs are pretty simple and easy to prepare. All you need are some hot dogs, a large thermos bottle and hot water. Start by sliding in as many hotdogs as the thermos will fit. Next, pour in the boiling water. This recipe is also pre-prepared. Thus, you should aim to do it before you board the boat. Leave the hotdogs in the thermos for at least a few hours, and by the time you are ready to eat them, the hot dogs would be fully cooked.

To steam the buns, you can place them in a clear bag, seal them and then leave it in the sun. In around 15 minutes or so, the buns will be steamed, warm, and ready for you to pair with your sausage and eat. 


If you have pancake mix with you on the boat, making pancakes is a walk in the park. Just add in some milk and eggs to the dry mixture and mix well until the pancake mix has no dry lumps and is the consistency you prefer. Then pour it into the frying pan and let it cook for a minute or two before flipping it. In mere minutes, you will have pancakes ready to be eaten. Furthermore, you can also top them with your favorite syrup or fruits if you have any.

Firecracker potato salad

A firecracker potato salad is a hearty meal that will be perfect for your time on the boat. However, you will have to prepare this dish in advance. You will need chopped small red potatoes, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, ½ teaspoon of pepper, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cut up the potatoes, add in the oil and salt and mix it well. Heat up the potatoes in a basket or grill at medium heat until they are tender. Once they are done, transfer them to a bowl and add in any dressing of your choice. You can add mayonnaise, mustard, paprika, etc.

Grilled cheese hot dogs

Hotdogs and boats just go together partly because they are so easy to prepare. You can prepare your hot dogs in a thermos, as discussed before. However, if you want something that’s a bit more cheesy and filling, you can make these grilled cheese hot dogs. All you will need to make these are hot dogs, bread, cheese, and a grill. First, grill the hot dogs for around 5 minutes and the bun for another 2 to 3 minutes. Then, place the hot dog into the bun and the cheese on top of it. You should do this right there on the grill. The heat will melt the cheese, and you will get this melty and gooey cheese hot dog that you can enjoy.


A boat trip should be nothing but fun. Therefore, you should not be stuck doing things you do on a normal basis, such as cooking. If you want some quick and easy meals that will keep you out of the kitchen, this article has a few that may just help you. Furthermore, if you plan ahead of time, you will face way fewer issues, and you will be able to enjoy your time on the houseboat more than ever.