25 No-Cook Dinners

Give the grill and oven a break and beat the heat by serving dinners that don't require any cooking.

  • Crab, Corn, and Tomato Salad with Lemon-Basil Dressing
    Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Jan Gautro

    Crab, Corn, and Tomato Salad with Lemon-Basil Dressing

    Serve the best of summer veggies in a colorful salad that's packed with flavor. Lemon, honey, Dijon mustard, and fresh basil form a tart dressing that's drizzled on a fresh corn, succulent crabmeat, and hearty tomato salad. Both light and fresh, this meal is the perfect meal for a warm summer day.
  • Rachel's Farro Salad
    Photo: Leigh Beisch; Styling: Emma Star Jensen

    Rachel's Farro Salad

    Nutty-tasting farro adds a boost of protein and whole grains in your summer salads.
  • <p>Shrimp, Watermelon, and Feta Salad</p>

    Shrimp, Watermelon, and Feta Salad

    Mint and watermelon make a refreshing base for beautiful jumbo cooked shrimp in this delicious no-cook salad.
  • <p>Pan Bagnat</p>

    Pan Bagnat

    As a specialty of Nice, France this Pan Bagnat makes the perfect picnic sandwich or outdoor summer dinner because the combination of ingredients packs in and stays together for a punch of flavor and a clean meal.
  • <p>Thai Roast Beef Salad</p>

    Thai Roast Beef Salad

    Deli meats such as roast beef makes summertime meals a breeze. Just whisk together ingredients and you have a healthy easy meal in no time.
  • <p>Lobster Salad with Mango and Red Onion</p>

    Lobster Salad with Mango and Red Onion

    Jalapeño peppers combined with fresh jicama and mango gives cooked lobster tails a sweet and spicy twist for a delightful summer salad.
  • Farro, Cherry, and Walnut Salad

    Farro, Cherry, and Walnut Salad

    Farro is a quick-cooking grain with a mild flavor, perfect for a summer salad. Add juicy cherries, crunchy celery, and a mustardy dressing for the perfect accompaniment to grilled meat, poultry, or fish. If you can't find farro, you can substitute wheat berries, barley, or quinoa.
  • Hummus-Stuffed Pitas
    Photo: José Picayo

    Hummus-Stuffed Pitas

    All you need is 15 minutes to make this quick and easy Mediterranean-inspired dish, the perfect grab-and-go meal or no-fuss dinner at home.
  • Tomato "Bruschetta" with Tuna and Cannellini Salad
    Photo: Annabelle Brakey; Styling: Dan Becker

    Tomato "Bruschetta" with Tuna and Cannellini Salad

    No bread is involved, but this is hearty enough for a quick weeknight meal--and makes great use of vine-ripened tomatoes.
  • Mediterranean Garden Wraps
    Photo: Annabelle Breakey; Styling:Randy Mon

    Mediterranean Garden Wraps

    Here's a simple yet satisfying way to get more vegetables into your day. Feel free to experiment, changing up the vegetables you use based on what's in season, as well as the bread. Tortillas make good wraps, and the fillings are excellent in pita bread.
  • Tuna, Arugula, and Egg Salad with Pita Chips
    Photo: John Autry; Styling: Lindsey Ellis Beatty

    Tuna, Arugula, and Egg Salad with Pita Chips

    Boiling a dozen of eggs at the beginning of each week makes for a fast dinner solution and a delicious snack on-the-go.
  • Rotisserie Chicken with Peaches, Walnuts, and Basil
    Photo: Annabelle Brakey; Styling: Dan Becker

    Rotisserie Chicken with Peaches, Walnuts, and Basil

    Store-bought cooked chicken takes on a whole new dimension in this light and very flavorful dish.Worthy of a special occasion.
  • Prosciutto, Peach, and Sweet Lettuce Salad
    Photo: John Autry; Styling: Lindsey Ellis Beatty

    Prosciutto, Peach, and Sweet Lettuce Salad

    Serve this light main-course salad with a hunk of crusty baguette and a glass of chilled riesling.
  • Bloody Mary Tomato Salad with Quick Pickled Shrimp
    Photo: Hector Sanchez; Stylist: Buffy Hargett

    Bloody Mary Tomato Salad with Quick Pickled Shrimp

    Mix and match colorful assorted tomatoes, such as 'Beefsteak,' 'Brandywine,' and 'Cherokee Purple.' Their rich, meaty flavor counters the dressing's tang and zip.
  • Zucchini-Mushroom "Linguine"
    Photo: Hector Sanchez; Stylist: Buffy Hargett

    Zucchini-Mushroom "Linguine"

    Cutting zucchini into thin strips is easy and makes a fresh substitute for pasta. Add thinly sliced ribbons of salami for a meatier meal.
  • Picnic in a Glass
    Photo: Hector Sanchez; Stylist: Buffy Hargett

    Picnic in a Glass

    This Southern spin on Middle Eastern fattoush salad can be assembled in the morning before taking off to your picnic, tailgate, or work so the flavors meld and pita chips soften.
  • Brisket and Rice Noodles with Pineapple Salsa
    Photo: Hector Sanchez; Stylist: Lydia Degaris Pursell

    Family-Style Muffuletta

    Porchetta, a seasoned boneless pork roast, can be found in the deli case, but you can use any cold cuts here. For a make-ahead twist, wrap the sandwich tightly with plastic wrap, and chill under the weight of a heavy cast-iron skillet up to 8 hours.
  • <p>Farro Salad with Cherry Tomato, Onion, and Almonds</p>

    Farro Salad with Cherry Tomato, Onion, and Almonds

    Cooking a batch of whole grains, such as farro at the beginning of the week makes dishes like these a breeze on busy summer nights.
  • Peruvian Ceviche
    Leigh Beisch

    Peruvian Ceviche

    Immersing delicate raw fish in aromatic citrus juices is an innovative way to slowly cook fresh fish. Habanero chiles add a spicy kick to the dish, but are balanced out by a mixture of sweet potatoes, corn, and butter lettuce. The citrus juices "cook" the fish in about an hour, so put this recipe together when you get home then enjoy some downtime on the porch before dinner.
  • Apricot-Nut Turkey-Salad Sandwiches
    Photo: Howard L. Puckett; Styling: Lydia E. DeGaris

    Apricot-Nut Turkey-Salad Sandwiches

    Use pre-cooked turkey breast to update the classic salad sandwich. The combination of crunchy cashews, sweet apricots, and low-fat yogurt adds a great finishing touch to this delicious sandwich. Serve on pumpernickel bread for extra flavor.
  • Smoked Salmon Bagel
    James Carrier

    Smoked Salmon Bagel

    Bagel stackers aren't just for brunch anymore, especially when you pile them high with tasty ingredients. Rich, buttery smoked salmon not only makes the perfect accompaniment to a warm bagel, but it's rich in protein, healthy fats, and vitamin D. Finish the bagel with chive cream cheese, crunchy red onion, cucumber, and salty capers.
  • Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad
    Lee Harrelson

    Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad

    Serve a zesty salad packed with a chipotle chile, cumin, and cilantro dressing. The smokiness of the chipotle brings out the rich flavors of the roasted chicken breasts. Using pre-cooked chicken breasts means this Mexican-inspired salad can go from kitchen to table in just minutes.
  • Chunky Gazpacho
    Photo: Howard L. Puckett; Styling: Cindy Manning Barr

    Chunky Gazpacho

    Crunchy cucumbers, sweet Vidalia onions, and three vinegars combine to form this traditional Spanish soup. Serve the soup cold for a light refreshing lunch or with a mixed green salad for a filling dinner. Put the soup together the night before you plan to serve it and let it chill, covered, until it's time to eat.
  • Mango Avocado Shrimp Salad
    Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Dan Becker

    Mango Avocado Shrimp Salad

    Zesty and filling, this no-cook salad combines fresh summer ingredients–mangoes and avocadoes, with a quick three-ingredient dressing. Fresh chiles add a bright kick of spice to the finished dish. Chill for about an hour to let the flavors marry.
  • White Bean and Roasted Chicken Salad
    Randy Mayor; Melanie J. Clarke

    White Bean and Roasted Chicken Salad

    Users raved about this 5-ingredient salad that combines pre-cooked chicken breasts with white beans and fresh basil. For a quick finishing touch, drizzle with a lemon, vinegar, and Dijon mustard dressing and serve with a glass of iced tea or white wine.

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