10 No-Cook Summer Meals to Chill Out a Heat Wave
Because you're cool like that.
If you can't stand the heat, why make things hotter by cooking? Try these ideas for refreshing no-cook summer meals instead.
Pre-cooked shrimp saves you from heating up your kitchen when you make these fresh Asian wraps. Cool tip: "Cook" the rice noodles by soaking them in hot water from your tea kettle for a few minutes until they're soft but not mushy.
Canned tuna goes fancy pants when it gets stuffed into rich, creamy avocado halves. Cool tip: Learn how to tell if an avocado is perfectly ripe, and how to slice it to remove the seed.
It seems like everyone's wild about zucchini "noodles." Here, they get tossed with raw tomato sauce for the ultimate fresh-from-the-garden dinner. Cool tip: No spiralizer? No problem. Use these everyday gadgets to make vegetable "noodles."
Stop by the deli to pick up a roasted chicken, and you're well on your way to making a satisfying dinner without breaking a sweat. Cool tip: Choose a flexible lettuce for your wraps, such as iceberg, Boston, or butter lettuce.
Spring for real crabmeat instead of imitation if your budget allows. If not, you can make this salad with cooked shrimp. Cool tip: The Washington Post has an informative article about the difference between canned and fresh crabmeat. Spoiler alert: They say go for fresh crab in eight- or 16-ounce tubs.
"Everything in this salad is fresh except the bread," says Tamara. "Prepare this salad with a loaf of artisan bread or rosemary bread that is a touch stale." Cool tip: "If your bread is too fresh, toast it until it is about half as dried and crunchy as a crouton."
Another great no-cook option with leftover or grocery-store rotisserie chicken. "This is a very simple-to-make salad with bold flavors," says Jia T. Cool tip: "The salad can be refrigerated overnight and still taste good the next day."
8. Raw Pad Thai
Strips of zucchini "noodles" and thinly sliced cabbage combine with a savory sauce featuring almond butter, honey, ginger, soy sauce, miso, garlic, and cayenne pepper. Cool tip: Use a veggie peeler to sllice zucchini lengthwise to create long thin 'noodles.'
Hummus and arugula combine with chopped dates, and pumpkin seeds over rounds of naan bread. Finish with a generous drizzle balsamic vinegar. Cool tip: If you prefer, substitute pita rounds for the naan.
This classic no-cook summer soup will only taste as good as the produce you use, so save this recipe for the peak of tomato season. Although it takes just a few minutes to make, be sure to let it chill in the fridge for the recommended two hours to let the flavors fully blossom. Some reviewers topped theirs with avocado, sour cream, or cooked shrimp. You go ahead and dish it up your way.
More Ways to Keep Your Summer Cool
- Find out why rice noodle salad is summer's perfect meal.
- Learn the trick for colder than ice-cold summer drinks.
- Give your oven the summer off and dig into these no-bake summer desserts instead.
- Dip into our entire collection of summer recipes, including appetizers and side dishes to complete your meal.