While we long for the sunshine and higher temperatures of summer all through winter, at the height of June, July and August, the heat has made us lose our will— the will to COOK, that is! Summer life is great and we’d never trade it away, but we’re also not about to ADD to the heat by turning on our oven. There’s just that one little problem of still needing to eat, and to feed our families. What to do? Simple— make it a summer of no-cook, no-heat meals! It’s totally possible, and POPSUGAR recently opened our eyes to just how many no-cook meals there are out there. Read on for our 25 favorite recipes we found. Your options are so much more than you know!
When you think no-cook you think salad, and when you think salad you think boring, right? No more! Freshen things up with dishes like this Lebanese classic, a superfood salad made with parsley, cucumber, tomatoes, onion, garlic, peppermint, quinoa, olive oil, lemon juice and allspice . . .
- Crab and Guacamole Salad
. . . this surprising combination of flavors that looks as gorgeous as it tastes . . .
- Avocado Caprese
. . . and this take on a classic caprese that adds some avocado for a more filling, flavorful boost.
- Ginger Tofu Watermelon Bowl Salad
Sometimes the best way to dress up salad is serve it in a fun way! This delicious tofu recipe incorporates watermelon into the dressing and the presentation . . .
- Tomato, Pepper, and Radish Salad in Avocado Shell
. . . while this bright, fresh salad is stuffed into an avocado! What’s better than getting to actually eat the bowl after not slaving over a hot stove?
- Vanilla Chia Pudding
You can still have breakfast for dinner without turning on the oven or filling up on hot, heavy foods. This vanilla chia pudding is absolutely satisfying and deliciously not-too-sweet.
- Guacamole Pretzel Tacos
This fun and tasty spin on tacos might result in bite-sized ones, but that just means built-in portion-control! They’re perfect for when you want an afternoon pick-me-up, a more substantial side dish, or a light dinner where you’re guaranteed not to over-eat.
- Taco Salad
Want another way to get that taco flavor without having to cook anything? Try this taco salad that’s not only full of protein and fiber, it’s totally vegetarian!
- Smashed White Bean and Avocado Club
This easy sandwich still feels totally indulgent, and between the beans and the avocado, you’ll leave the table feeling full and satisfied.
- Chocolate Banana Bites
No meal is complete without topping it off with something sweet! Keep it healthy, easy, and no-bake with these frozen chocolate banana bites . . .
- Banana Oat Energy Bites
. . . or these energy bites made with chocolate chips! They’re a great addition to a summer breakfast-for-dinner or as a morning pick-me-up.
- Lemon Tuna Salad
Tuna is light, refreshing, and pretty healthy, but the mayonnaise it’s most often paired and mixed with is usually not. Who wants to eat a mayo-based salad on a hot day? Not us! Go for something lighter and brighter with this Mediterranean twist. Serve it in a pita for extra satisfaction!
- Crab Rolls
When you want a little more than veggies in your no-heat cooking, seafood is your saving grace! It doesn’t get more classic or feel more indulgent than a well-made crab roll . . .
- Lobster Rolls
. . . unless it’s a lobster roll! This recipe is classic New England.
- Marinated Shrimp Mediterranean Salad
Of course, shrimp might just be the easiest seafood to work with and enjoy without having to cook it yourself. Grab some cooked shrimp from the grocery store and toss them into a salad . . .
- Creamy Shrimp Rolls
. . . or enjoy them creamy and on a roll!
- Roast Beef and Cheddar Roll-ups
Not a fan of seafood but still would like your summer meals to contain some protein? You can have meat! Just grab some roast beef from your local deli and make it into these easy roll-ups.
- Watermelon Caprese Salad
It sounds crazy, but watermelon tastes wonderful in a traditional caprese salad. Add some cubes of it to your next tomato-mozzarella-balsamic combo for an extra bit of special sweetness. You won’t regret it!
- Raw Zucchini Pasta
Raw pasta? Yes, it’s possible— when you make it with zucchini! Spiral cut it to make the “noodles,” and enjoy it with your favorite pasta sauce.
- Tomato Sauce
Not so sure about that last pasta dish because you don’t want to have to cook tomato sauce? No worries! We’ve got you covered with this no-cook, fresh tomato version.
- Chilled Avocado and Corn Soup
No, soup doesn’t have to be hot! This dish achieves its creamy factor without using any milk or cream. If you want to keep it vegan, you can, but you can also add lump crab meat for an extra flavorful, salty bonus.
- Cucumber Mint Soup
Another great soup option? This Cucumber Mint concoction that’ll hydrate you, soothe your stomach, help decrease bloating and cool you down.
- Classic Gazpacho
When the Spanish wanted soup in summertime, they turned to gazpacho, a chilled raw veggie soup with a light, delicious tomato base. Make it yourself with this classic recipe . . .
- Southeast Asian Gazpacho
. . . or try a Southeast Asian spin that adds Thai basil, ginger, and rice wine vinegar.
- Hydrating Salad
This incredibly refreshing, all-veggie salad includes cucumbers, black beans, corn, tomato and avocado for a dish that’s as satisfying as it is healthy. It’s under 300 calories, has 12 grams of fiber and 10 grams of protein, and will fill you up without bloating you up!
So many fantastic options! I love that there’s more than plain salad out there, and I can’t wait to get my seafood on! Which dish will you try first? Get even more inspiration by checking out POPSUGAR’s list, or this one from Real Simple. How do you beat the heat with dinner in summertime?