Photo: Jennifer Causey

Why heat up your kitchen in the summertime when you can enjoy the sunshine? Ditch the flames but keep the flavor with these ten super easy no-cook summer meals.

June 16, 2017

Let's be honest: After a long day at work and then running errands, the last thing I want to do is wait for the oven to preheat, stand over the hot stove, and eat dinner an hour or more later. And I'd venture to say that I'm not the only one who feels this way about summertime cooking. We're here to help, though! Whether you've got a busy schedule or just want a quick (and still delicious!) dinner, we've got ten no-cook meals you can enjoy all summer long. Because the only heat you should be getting is from the sun, not the oven.

These recipes are great for all comers, whether you're without access to a full kitchen, travel frequently, or are just looking for a healthy, fast meal. Here, no-cook meals go way beyond your conventional PB&J sandwich. The secret weapons in these recipes? Ready-to-go proteins (rotisserie chicken, canned tuna, chickpeas) and ready-to-eat fresh vegetables (tomatoes, radishes, cucumbers). Toss in some spices and dinner is served!

 Photo: Jennifer Causey

Shredded Chicken and Avocado Nacho Salad
Rotisserie chicken is the secret to this easy recipe. Throw some pico de gallo in a food processor, assemble your nachos, and voila—a crowd-pleasing dinner is served. 

 Photo: Jennifer Causey

Green Gazpacho with Corn and Radish Salad
Green tomatoes, honeydew, avocado, AND radishes?! This may be the perfect gazpacho for any hot summer day. 

Tomato and Prosciutto Sandwiches with Pea Pesto
This gorgeous sandwich is ready in a breeze, and without a stovetop in sight. Adding mint gives this sandwich a fresh-bite feel to combat the heat. 

Arugula, Italian Tuna, and White Bean Salad
Canned tuna is the unsung hero of this recipe. With a great shelf life, inexpensive price, and good versatility, it's an ideal ingredient for quick recipes. 

Hummus-Stuffed Pitas
Pita is perfect for a quick and simple lunch or light dinner. We stuff ours with cool cukes and crisp radishes for some tasty summer crunchiness.

Watermelon and Arugula Chicken Salad

 Photo: Erin Kunkel


Once again, rotisserie chicken takes center stage, saving the day (and cook time) in this recipe, while the watermelon adds a delightfully refreshing sweetness. 

Mashed Chickpea Pitas

 Photo: John Autry


Use the rest of those leftover pita pockets and then add some creamy Greek yogurt and crunchy carrots for a great dinner—or lunch.

Crab and Heirloom Tomato Salad
This easy entrée is a light-yet-filling summer salad. Pick up a few ripe tomatoes and toss in lump crabmeat and the only thing missing is a beach and a frosty piña colada!

Moroccan Chicken Salad Pitas
This recipe is the ultimate no-cook meal. Use up that rotisserie chicken, utilize the food processor, stuff the pitas, and enjoy. It's that simple. 

Chicken and Guacamole Tostadas
The trick to getting rich, smoky tostadas without the grill? Add a little smoked paprika to the chicken. Bonus: homemade guac elevates these tostadas to make them worthy for any meal.

Moral of the story: If you have a game plan, healthy no-cook meals can be easy and delicious. No oven required! Not only are these recipes effortless, but they can also be incorporated into your own customizable meal plan (tostadas on a diet?! Absolutely!). All of these no-cook meals and more can be found on the Cooking Light Diet. If you'd like to learn more, visit CookingLightDiet.com, or email your questions to feedback@cookinglightdiet.com. We'd love to hear from you. Cheers, and happy summer cooking—or non-cooking!