15 No-Cook Summer Meals to Chill Out a Heat Wave
If you can't stand the heat, why make things hotter by cooking? Try these ideas for refreshing no-cook summer meals instead.
Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls
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.
Avocado and Tuna Tapas
Zucchini Spaghetti alla Marinara
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? Here are the eight best spiralizers to buy, according to thousands of reviews.
Chicken, Avocado and Mango Salad
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 flexible lettuce for your wraps, such as iceberg, Boston, or butter lettuce.
Crab & Avocado Salad with Fruit Salsa
"There's something to be said about a salad where the ingredients stand on their own for incredible flavor needing no more than salt, pepper, and a little fresh lime juice for dressing. Fresh and refreshing." — naples34102
Cool tip: Spring for real crab meat instead of imitation if your budget allows. If not, you can make this salad with cooked shrimp.
Mid-Summer Italian Bread Salad
"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."
Vietnamese Chicken Salad
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."
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 slice zucchini lengthwise to create long thin 'noodles.'
Arugula and Hummus Mini Pizzas
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.
Chef John's Gazpacho
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.
Cool tip: Some reviewers topped theirs with avocado, sour cream, or cooked shrimp. You go ahead and dish it up your way.
No-Cook Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Deli-roasted chicken to the rescue, once again. Mix Greek yogurt with your favorite store-bought Asian-style salad dressing for a wonderfully easy sauce.
Cool tip: Make extra sauce to serve with spring rolls.
"The combination of mustard with the cream cheese and chives was inspired! I used fresh spinach because I had it and we thought the wraps were fabulous! As a matter of fact, I may have to make them again tomorrow," Bibi says.
Cool tip: No need to heat the griddle. Just use pre-cooked bacon!
Ahi Shoyu Poke
"Quick, simple, and delicious! The only variations to this recipe that I made were using Hawaiian red salt in lieu of sea salt, going heavy on the sesame oil, and I added a little sriracha," Eric says.
Cool tip: Bulk up your poke bowl with veggies like arugula, avocado, cucumber, shredded carrots, and diced yellow peppers.
Mexican Mango and White Fish Ceviche
Citrus juice cures white fish in less than two hours. Together, the marinade and mangoes bring out the sweetness of the tomatoes.
Cool tip: "Serve with tortilla chips, avocado, lime wedges, and salt to garnish," recipe creator gem recommends.
Shrimp and Soba Noodle Salad
Pre-cooked shrimp tossed together with hearty soba noodles and garden-fresh vegetables get a big boost of flavor from an outstanding miso/ginger/rice vinegar dressing.