Our best fast and fresh healthy no-cook entrées for the hottest days in summer.
All start with smart supermarket choices—precooked eggs, canned or jarred tuna, rotisserie chickens, and steamed lump crabmeat. All these meals are also ideal for people who live in dorm rooms or other small spaces without full kitchens.
Rotisserie chicken is your best friend when it comes to no-cook fare. Here are some tips for getting the most of the pre-cooked time-saver: 1) Pick up a rotisserie at the end of your shopped trip so it stays hot until you get home. 2) Serve or refrigerate within two hours. 3) Cut, shred, or chop chicken, and store it, uncovered, in a shallow container in the refrigerator to help it cool quickly. Cover the container when the chicken has cooled. 4) An average 2-pound rotisserie chicken yields 3 to 3½ cups of meat.
One online reviewer raved: “Silky, luscious, and decadent! I made it for guests and we ate every drop. I used one seeded serrano pepper, and wouldn't have minded a little more spice. We had it for an appetizer before some grilled shrimp salad—rave reviews!”
They are an online hit. One reviewer said: “These were not only easy to put together, but delicious. I was looking for something quick after a long, hot day, and these really hit the spot. I served the rolls bias-sliced with oranges and extra mint to garnish, and it was a pretty dish. Even the eye appeal garnered an "ooooh" from my 2-year-old who devoured hers without leaving a crumb. She said, ‘You're a good cooker mommy!’ The beauty of it is that I didn't have to cook a thing.” We agree…a no-cook, kid-friendly recipe is a beautiful thing!
Look for tostada shells (fried, flat corn tortillas) near the flour and corn tortillas or in the Mexican food section of your grocery store. Serve with lime wedges and an extra sprinkling of chopped cilantro for even more fresh flavor.
Making a homemade sandwich spread is an easy way to add a punch of flavor without turning on the heat. You can quickly turn low-fat or light mayonnaise into a gourmet spread by stirring in herbs, citrus juices, and freshly ground black pepper. Vary the herbs according to your taste preferences. Fresh chives and lemon add flavor to this recipe, while fresh tarragon and rosemary would complement a chicken sandwich and fresh dill would work nicely with fish.
Use vine-ripened tomatoes, fresh summer corn, and other offerings from your garden (or the local farmers’ market) for a go-to seasonal dish you’ll lean on year after year.
Pair with a quick no-cook watermelon-mango salad: Combine 2 cups cubed, seeded watermelon and 1 cup sliced, peeled mango in a medium bowl. Combine 1-1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, 2 teaspoons honey, and a pinch of salt, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle juice mixture over fruit; toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon chopped mint. Serve with a crunchy baked tortilla chips, and dinner is served.
When going the no-cook route, adding flavor-packed ingredients really contribute to the success of the dish. That’s why we like shaving the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese instead of grating for a salty, nutty punch.
The salad is moderately spicy; reduce the chile paste by 1 teaspoon or omit for a milder dish. A sprinkling of dry-roasted peanuts make a crunchy, satisfying topping.
For a flavor variation, try arugula and basil in place of watercress and dill. You can also substitute chopped rotisserie chicken for shrimp.