Fresh Summer Recipes to Prep & Serve at YOUR Smoky Mountain Cabin

While kicking back in a rocking chair with a glass of sweet tea in hand and stunning Smoky Mountain vistas only a glance away, a faint yet enticing scent passes by. It’s almost time to eat, and a homemade meal is just what you need. Comforting and satisfying, fresh cabin recipes are the perfect additions to your Smoky Mountain vacation.

Whether prepping in the fully equipped kitchen or cooking out on the grill, mealtimes at the cabin are special. Romance enters the air with a candlelit dinner, quality time awaits families that come together to dine, and fun develops at a table filled with friends! Need cabin food ideas and recipes to make them? Perfect. We have you covered — breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert! Then read on for season-specific picks! 

Healthy & Hearty Breakfasts

  • Summer Breakfast Salad — Bacon, eggs, avocado, spinach, berries, pumpkin seeds, red quinoa, and honey make up this unique take on salad. Who would have thought to turn a classic lunch into a scrumptious and healthy breakfast!
  • Grilled Bacon-wrapped Trout — Turn your freshly caught rainbow trout into a yummy breakfast surprise, with parsley, thyme, and sage tucked close with bacon. It’s a fueling and satisfying breakfast fit for cabin life on the river.
  • Blueberry Pancake Breakfast Casserole — If you thought pancakes couldn’t get any better…think again. This pancake casserole is chock full of blueberry, butter, eggy, and cinnamon goodness!

Yummy Lunch Spreads

  • Grilled Brats with Sriracha Mayo — Best served on a toasted bun, this bratwurst dish is made even tastier by first boiling the brat in your beer of choice. Grilled to perfection and topped with homemade sriracha sauce, this one’s a crowd pleaser!
  • Chicken Caesar Wrap — Easy to make, this classic chicken wrap is elevated with freshly grated parmesan, sliced grape tomatoes, creole seasoning, and quality Caesar dressing. And it pairs perfectly with homemade chips. 
  • Strawberry Salsa — When you just need a little something to get you through or fancy laying out a variety of dips as a treat, this salsa is the perfect go-to, with fresh  cilantro, red onion, jalapeño, lime, honey, and strawberries!

Delectably Delicious Dinners

  • Summer Faro Salad with Grilled Steak — Juicy steak atop a healthy salad, what could be better for a summer supper at the cabin? Just toss farro, kale leaves, corn, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper, then lay grilled slices of steak and peppers on top.
  • Blackened Fish Tacos with Creamy Avocado Sauce — These Cajun seasoned tilapia filets are nestled in a corn or flour tortilla, topped with shredded cabbage, pico de gallo, and an avocado plus cilantro tartar sauce, and eaten in a flash!
  • Basil Balsamic Chicken — Cherry tomatoes, zucchini slices, and well-marinated chicken thighs come together for a filling meal that soothes the soul. And for a little extra pizzaz, make fresh parmesan and basil the finishing touch.

Sinfully Sweet Desserts

  • Fresh Peach Cake — Cake is good. Homemade cake is better. Freshly homemade peach cake is best! With bites of soft peaches, crunches of pecans, and sprinkles of cinnamon, your palate will be hankering for more in no time. And don’t forget the ice cream!
  • Gourmet S’mores — Summertime is filled will chats, stories, and s’mores by the firepit, and your cabin getaway is no different. But what if we added sliced strawberries, dark chocolate squares, peanut butter, chocolate wafers, and the like?
  • Meyer Lemon Semifreddo with Summer Berries — Keep cool with this semi frozen dessert with strong savors of lemon balancing the fresh sweetness of accompanying berries and the nuttiness of toasted almond slices.

Found something tasty? Follow the respective link for full summer recipe details and get cookin’ at your Smoky Mountain cabin rental! Need some great seasonal dishes to try? 

Fall Favorites for the Cabin 

Savory Pumpkin and Sage Soup | Good Housekeeping 
Warmth and comfort in a bowl, this pumpkin and sage soup is a delectable appetizer or lunch in fall. Spices and onions sautéed, with pure pumpkin and flavorful broth added later. Simmered, blended, then infused with lemon juice, this soup is finally garnished lightly fried sage and shiitake mushrooms. After one sip, your bowl will need a refill faster than you can say delicious!

Main Ingredients

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 sliced sweet onions (large)
  • 3 chopped cloves garlic
  • 2 chopped sage leaves (large)
  • 2 teaspoons grated and peeled fresh ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 quarts lower-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 3 cans pure pumpkin (15 ounces each)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Garnish Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 24 small sage leaves
  • kosher salt
  • 7 ounces steamed and very thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms

Directions

1. In 5-quart sauce pot, heat oil on medium. Add onions and salt. Cook 40 minutes or until deep golden brown, stirring occasionally. 

2. Add garlic, sage, ginger, and nutmeg. Cook 5 minutes or until garlic is golden, stirring occasionally. 

3. Add broth and pumpkin. Heat to simmering on high, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pot. Reduce heat to maintain simmer; cook 20 minutes stirring occasionally.

4. With immersion blender or in batches in blender, puree soup until smooth. Stir in lemon juice, salt, and black pepper. 

5. In 2-quart saucepan, heat oil on high until hot but not smoking. Add sage leaves to oil. Fry 1 to 2 minutes or until leaves are browned, stirring occasionally. 

6. With slotted spoon, transfer sage leaves to large paper-towel-lined plate; sprinkle with pinch of salt. 

7. In batches, add shiitake mushrooms to hot oil. Fry 2 minutes or until deep golden brown, stirring occasionally. 

8. Transfer shiitake mushrooms to same plate as sage; sprinkle with pinch of salt. Cool completely. Let stand at room temperature.

9. Top soup with fried and seasoned sage leaves and shiitake mushrooms.

Note: Soup can be made and refrigerated up to 2 days ahead (makes about 10 cups). Reheat on medium. (If soup is too thick, add water or broth for desired consistency. Season to taste.) Garnish can be made up to 3 hours ahead.

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Rosemary-Sage Butter | Rachel Ray 
Filling (pun intended) and delightful, this autumn ravioli is great for lunchtime or supper in the evening on a brisk fall day. The tender squash nestles within the pasta pocket as it cooks until al dente, eagerly awaiting a blanket of buttery sauce infused with sage, rosemary, and parmesan. For those who like their pasta extra cheesy, sprinkle more parmesan on top! This easy cabin recipe is a tasty go-to in fall for sure.

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash (about 1¾ pound)
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons parmesan (plus even more for serving)
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon salt 
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound egg pasta dough
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh sage
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 425°. 

2. Halve the squash lengthwise and place cut side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until fork-tender, 45 minutes; let cool. 

3. Scoop out and discard the seeds and fleshy strands. Measure out 1½ cups of squash flesh into a medium bowl, reserving any extra squash for another use. 

4. Mix in the egg, 2 tablespoons parmesan, the brown sugar, salt, and pepper.

5. Using the pasta dough and squash filling, make the ravioli.

6. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the ravioli, stirring, until al dente, about 5 minutes.

7. Meanwhile, in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the sage and rosemary for 1 to 2 minutes. 

8. Using a spider or small strainer, transfer the pasta from the pot of water to the skillet. Simmer, shaking the pan, for 1 minute.

9. Sprinkle with ¾ cup parmesan and simmer for 1 minute. Stir in ½ cup of the pasta cooking water if desired to thin the sauce. 

10. Serve with more parmesan to your heart’s content!

Summer Recipes for YOUR Cabin

Grilled Steak with Rosemary and Garlic | Anne Burrell, Food Network | serves 4
Ingredients

  • 3 sprigs rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, plus high quality finishing oil, for garnish
  • 2 (20 oz) porterhouse steaks or other large steaks with a bone
  • Kosher salt, plus coarse sea salt, for garnish

Directions
In a small bowl, combine the rosemary leaves, garlic, crushed red pepper and enough olive oil to make a loose paste. Slather the steaks with the mixture and sprinkle them generously with salt.

Let the steaks hang out outside the fridge to come to room temperature.

Preheat the grill to medium-high. Use a wire grill brush to loosen and clean off. 

Put the steaks on a hot spot on the grill to get a great sear and really create BROWN FOOD! Once both sides of the steak are really nice and brown, move the steak to a cooler part of the grill to allow the steaks to cook to desired temperature. About 5 to 6 minutes on each side for medium-rare.

Remove the steaks from the grill and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Cut the steak off the bone, slice across the grain and divide among 4 serving plates. Drizzle the steak with a little big fat finishing oil and a sprinkling of sea salt.

Sticky Grilled Chicken | Delish | serves 4
Ingredients

  • ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 lb chicken drumsticks
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, for garnish

Directions
Make marinade; in a large bowl, whisk together soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, honey, garlic, and green onions. Reserve ½ cup marinade for basting chicken after grilling. Add chicken to a large Ziploc bag or baking dish and pour over marinade. Let marinate in the refrigerator at least 3 hours, or up to overnight.

When ready to grill, heat grill to high. Oil grates and add chicken, then periodically baste with marinade and grill until cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes per side. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve.

Mediterranean Salmon Skewers | Delish | serves 4
Ingredients

  • 1 lb salmon filets, preferably wild, cut into 2” pieces
  • 3 lemons, sliced
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Torn fresh dill, for garnish

Directions
Heat grill to high. Skewer salmon and lemon slices, then brush with olive oil and season all over with salt and pepper. Grill skewers until salmon is cooked through, turning once, 6 to 8 minutes. Garnish with dill and serve.

Corn with Cilantro-lime Butter | Taste of Home | serves 12
Ingredients

  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ¼ cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons grated lime peel
  • 12 medium ears sweet corn, husks removed
  • Grated cotija cheese, optional

Directions
In a small bowl, mix butter, cilantro, lime juice, and lime peel. Shape into a log; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until firm. Wrap each ear of corn with a piece of heavy-duty foil (about 14-in square).

Grill corn, covered, over medium heat 15 – 20 minutes or until tender, turning occasionally. Meanwhile, cut lime butter into 12 slices. Remove corn from grill. Carefully open foil, allowing steam to escape. Serve corn with butter and, if desired, cheese.

Fully Equipped Kitchens + Grills with Pigeon Forge, TN Cabins 
At Pigeon Forge, TN Cabins, not only will you have a comfortable and inviting place to stay with fun amenities — like a hot tub, private pool, theater, or games — throughout your Smoky Mountain vacation, but you’ll also have the convenience of a fully equipped kitchen and possibly a charcoal or gas grill. Meal prep is made easy with major appliances, cookware, cutlery, and more. Just bring anything out of the ordinary, like large pots, a crockpot, or specialty gadgets, if needed. Combined with these fresh cabin recipes, your getaway for 2, family vacay, or trip with friends will be delightful!

Get ready to WOW your taste buds in the Smokies with fresh summer cabin recipes prepared and served throughout your memorable stay!