21 No-Cook Meals for When the Oven Just Isn’t Happening

Chelsea's Messy Apron

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When you’re sweating it out in the summer, the last thing you want to do is turn on the stove and make an elaborate dinner. We’ve whipped up a list of our favorite summer meals that don’t involve cooking, from refreshing salads and cold dinners to delicious wraps. Take a break from the oven and make one of these tasty no-cook meals!

Vegetable Summer Rolls

These fresh and delicious vegetable summer rolls are such an easy no-cook meal, you'll want to add them to your recipe rotation ASAP.

no-cook meals
Pinch of Yum

Chopped Thai-Inspired Chicken Salad

If you grab a bag of pre-shredded cabbage and carrots, a roast chicken, peanuts and other yummy ingredients like ginger, soy and of course, peanut butter, you'll be able to whip up this Thai-inspired chicken salad from Pinch of Yum without ever having to turn on the stove or oven.


Easy Summer Corn Salad

Great as a side or a delicious dinner, this summer corn salad is refreshing and light. Made with a homemade dressing, you can easily dress up this salad by adding a protein and make it easier, by chopping up everything the night before! Find the recipe at Hip2Save.

no-cook meals
Herbivoracious by Michael Natkin

Cucumber and Mango Salad

Meet your new favorite side dish (or main dish, even): this salad is unexpectedly refreshing and healthy to boot. It’s sweet, tangy and cooling, and even has a bit of kid-friendly spice. Click here to get the recipe.

no-cook meals

Mexican Bean Salad

Now, this is our kind of cooking: the most work you’ll have to do for this Mexican-inspired salad is chopping and opening a few cans of beans. And since letting it sit helps the flavors meld together, it tastes even better the day after you make it. To get the recipe, click here.

no-cook meals
Heather Ford via Unsplash

Tomato Marinara Sauce

Your mind will be blown when you try this tomato sauce that doesn’t require any cooking at all. Just throw all the ingredients into the blender or food processor and prepare to be impressed. Click here to grab the recipe.

no-cook meals
Sweet Veg Table

Buffalo Chickpea Salad Sandwich

Like a meatless chicken salad, this sandwich from Sweet Veg Table is totally kid-approved. Just mix the ingredients up with a fork and serve it up on bread or lettuce.

no-cook meals
Lisa’s Dinnertime Dish

Chicken Taco Pinwheels

These tasty pinwheels from Lisa’s Dinnertime Dish make the perfect lunch or light dinner. With an assist from a rotisserie chicken, a little spinach and a sprinkling of taco seasoning, they’re as tasty as they are healthy.

Cookie and Kate

No Noodle Pad Thai

It doesn’t get much more refreshing than this noodle-free pad Thai by Cookie and Kate. Fresh and crunchy veggies are coated with a sweet, tangy, slightly salty peanut sauce to make a fabulous light dinner.

no-cook meals
A Gourmet Food Blog

Open Sandwich with Cold Cut Salad

This Dutch recipe from A Gourmet Food Blog has all the makings of an instant kid favorite: crusty bread, lunchmeat and a little mayo. It’s a fun way to take your bologna sandwich to the next level.

no-cook meals
Minimalist Baker

Rainbow Raw-maine Taco Boats

For a super fresh and satisfying dinner, you’ve got to try this fun take on taco boats from Minimalist Baker. Veggies are nestled into leaves of romaine, then it’s all drizzled with hummus and a creamy tahini sauce.

no-cook meals
The View from Great Island

Bagel Toast

When it’s too hot to contemplate cooking, a bagel bar is THE way to go. There are a million delicious ways you can layer them up, and the results can be as hearty and healthy as you want. Get inspired to make your own over at The View from Great Island.

no-cook meals
Mom's Kitchen Handbook

Kiddie Cobb Salad

Here’s a win-win idea from Mom’s Kitchen Handbook: skip the over-complicated summer meal and get the kids to eat more greens. They’ll love this cobb salad, which sports delicious add-ons like avocado, smoked turkey and egg. Best of all? This is one of those no-cook meals that don't require any appliances!

No-Cook Meals
Bryony Elena via Unsplash

Mozzarella and Tomato Salad

When you need a summertime meal, keep it simple! Combine fresh mozzarella and tomatoes for an easy peasy, kid-approved salad. For the quick how-to, (courtesy of Chef Brendan Collins), click here.

no-cook meals

Gouda Rollups

These rollups from Arla are a great way to change up a lunch routine or give your usual summertime dinner a new spin. Use your favorite cheese, add in some extra veggies for a healthy kick, and you’re good to go!

no-cook meals
Dinner at the Zoo

Antipasto Salad

Psst! Looking for a salad that won’t trigger your picky eater’s veggie radar? This no-cook meal from Dinner at the Zoo is loaded with meat, cheese, olives and yes, veggies, so it’s got a range of tasty ingredients. You can even top it off with a homemade Italian-style dressing!

Sam Loyd/Unsplash

Super Easy Kebabs

Summertime is grilling time, which is a great way to avoid heating up the house with the stove or oven. Kebabs are the perfect customizable meal and you can always use the leftovers in salads or wraps. Get the recipe here.

no-cook meals
The View from Great Island

Rainbow Summer Rolls

Want to add color to your summer menu? This idea from The View from Great Island is the answer. It’s full of fresh ingredients and you can even use pre-cooked shrimp and your kids’ favorite veggies.

no-cook meals
Chelsea's Messy Apron

Southwestern Veggie Hummus Wrap

This delicious wrap idea from Chelsea’s Messy Apron is super flavorful and even includes hummus and a bunch of good-for-you vitamins and minerals. Eat it straight-up as a summertime salad or just have a tasty wrap for dinner!

no-cook meals
How to Feed a Loon

Best Ever Chicken Salad

Psst! The secret to this chicken salad from How to Feed a Loon—besides fresh and simple ingredients—is that it uses rotisserie chicken. It makes the prep work extra easy and the result extra delicious. Enjoy as a sandwich or on top of a bed of lettuce!

Jeffrey Betts/Unsplash

Greek Salad

For a summer dinner everyone will love, why not go the classic route of sweet tomatoes, crisp cucumber and tangy feta? This salad is a cinch for picky eaters—just arrange it on the table salad-bar style, which allows each family member to create their own unique dish. Snag the recipe for this no-cook meal here.

—Taylor Clifton, Abigail Matsumoto, Susie Foresman & Karly Wood


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