20 No-Oven-Necessary Recipes
Keep the kitchen cool this summer as you prepare vibrant dishes without preheating the oven. That's right, we are nixing the oven all season long to take advantage of the grill, seasonal produce, and a few supermarket shortcuts for easy, cookout-ready meals. Grab your sunglasses and head outdoors; with these trusty recipes, there's no reason you should be sweating it out in the kitchen.
No-Cook Shrimp Noodle Bowl with Peanut-Ginger Sauce
Picking up already steamed shrimp from the seafood counter of your favorite grocery store is a great time saving trick—and it can help keep your oven turned off during the summer months. Thus, these no-cook noodle bowls are packed with fresh flavors and textures, but take mere minutes to assemble. They’re just the low-effort, highly refreshing weeknight-friendly recipe you need during the hottest days of the year.
Creamy Watercress-Cucumber Soup
Cool, creamy, and loaded with fresh flavor, this is just about the most perfect summer soup we could imagine. Plus, it’s a great no-cook recipe for when the heat of summer hits and you want to keep your kitchen cool. While a large blender helps here, you could certainly prepare the soup in two batches and stir them together at the end. Serve as a light lunch or appetizer with crusty bread—or for a more substantial meal, this chilled watercress-cucumber soup is a delicious partner to our Ultimate Grilled Tomato Sandwich. In order to get sour cream that “swirls” into the soup (instead of sinking to the bottom), you’ll need to thin it out with a bit of water. In a small bowl, simply whisk together a 2-to-1 ratio of sour cream and water, and you’ll be good to go.
Ultimate Grilled Tomato Sandwiches
Toasty bread, juicy tomatoes, melty cheese, and smoky bacon—what’s not to love? These decadent grilled sandwiches are the perfect place to put your ripe summer tomatoes, and pair beautifully with a light, refreshing summer soup. While you could certainly prepare them in a skillet on the stove, going to the grill takes these superb summer sandwiches to the next level.
Southwestern Pork Lettuce Wraps
These easy lettuce wraps make for a perfectly light and lovely summer supper that won’t heat up your kitchen. We use a quickly grilled pork tenderloin here, but you could easily substitute any other protein you feel like tossing on the grill (like steak, chicken, or shrimp) or even smoked, pulled pork leftover from yesterday’s barbecue. Simply set out your components in separate bowls and let everyone assemble their lettuce wraps as they please for a fun family meal.
Zoodles with Shrimp and Green Goddess Dressing
Using a blend of spiralized summer squash and zucchini “noodles,” this light and bright summer entree is as refreshing as they come. We absolutely love the fresh flavors this simple green goddess dressing packs into the dish; any leftover dressing would be great for dipping veggies into for an easy snack. Taking advantage of already steamed shrimp from the seafood counter of your favorite grocery store keeps this vibrant dish entirely no-cook and incredibly speedy. And to save a few extra minutes, you can grab containers of pre-spiralized vegetables from the produce section. In order to prevent sogginess, wait until it’s time to eat before assembling the components of your zoodle bowl.
Heirloom Tomato Salad with Chicken and Couscous
Not only does this vibrant salad taste like summer on a plate, but it’s also a fantastic make-ahead recipe that doesn’t require heating up the kitchen. While this is certainly not a meal that will weigh you down, store-bought rotisserie chicken makes the tomato salad hearty enough to serve as a satisfying entree. Soaking the couscous is a genius trick that yields a perfect fluffy texture—no cooking necessary. Plus, the overnight soaking means your couscous will be chilled and ready to go when you’re ready to assemble the salad. Plan ahead to take advantage of this savvy meal prep move.
Orange-Almond Chicken-and-Cabbage Bowls
Make these low-calorie, no-cook bowls ahead for an easy lunch or dinner when time is tight. Change up the fruit, nut, or protein for whatever you have on hand.
Blueberry Sorbet “Cupcakes”
These sweet “cupcakes” made of fresh blueberry sorbet are a delightful, cooling lemon-berry treat with a cookie crunch on the bottom and fluffy whipped cream on top. They’re the perfect dessert for any summer gathering. The cupcakes can be made well in advance, simply top with fresh whipped cream right before serving.
Easy Tomato Salad with Basil Chimichurri and Ricotta
For a simple and elegant way to serve your summer farmers' market tomatoes, this speedy salad is perfect. Dressed in a basil chimichurri and speckled with creamy dollops of ricotta cheese, this show-stopping side is perfect for effortless entertaining.
Sun Gold Tomato Caprese Salad
We use young heirloom Cherokee Purple tomatoes to balance the intense sweetness of Sun Golds with a little acid and umami depth, but other red cherry tomatoes will work well also.
Shrimp and Marinated Peach Salad with Blue Cheese and Caramelized Shallot Vinaigrette
Achieve bold and bright flavors within minutes in this colorful, summery-toned salad. The Old Bay Seasoning delivers a kick of signature spice and a beautiful red hue to cocktail shrimp. Plump and juicy peaches are marinated in olive oil and dill to create a delicately sweet and herbaceous base for the salad. And blue cheese adds a sharp, creamy, and delightfully funky element that partners well with the a caramelized shallots in the vinaigrette. Despite its impressive appearance, this summer salad is simple to assemble, but do so right before you plan to serve it for peak freshness.
Summer Melon Salad with Ham and Mint Vinaigrette
Caesar Brussels Sprouts Salad with Almonds
Sturdy shaved Brussels sprouts hold the crunchy almonds and a garlicky Parmesan vinaigrette without wilting. Serve with roast chicken or lamb.
Green Gazpacho with Corn and Radish Salad
Green (unripe) tomatoes have more vitamin C and calcium than the more popular ripe red ones, and they are rich in B vitamins, vitamin A, and vitamin K. They make a deliciously tart, tangy addition to a chilled gazpacho.
Slow Cooker Shrimp Boil
For a classic summery meal without a fuss, look no further than this slow cooker shrimp boil. With a simple ingredient list and a largely hands-off cooking method, this easy seafood boil is a perfect recipe to plan on for casual warm weather entertaining or even as a low-effort meal to make at the rental house during a beach vacation. We opted to pull the corn out after 30 minutes of cooking as we preferred it on the crisp side, but as long as your slow cooker is large enough, feel free to leave it in the pot as the shrimp and sausage cook.
Pan Seared Scallops with Mustard-Caper Sauce
Sea scallops are perfect for speedy (yet totally elegant) weeknight dinners, as they cook to perfection in no time flat. In fact, this ideal dinner for two can be ready on your table in 30 minutes. The capers in this recipe deliver a delicious punch of briny salinity that we absolutely love paired with fresh shellfish. The whole-grain Dijon mustard adds delicate texture to the sauce and the lemon zest delivers an extra touch of brightness. Stirring in the butter at the very end of cooking creates a touch of velvety richness, in that special way only butter can do. Serve this dish over a bed of leafy greens, mashed potatoes, or rice. Feel free to swap basil or cilantro for the chopped fresh parsley we call for here.
Pomegranate, Avocado, and Citrus Brussels Sprouts Salad
Be sure to toss the salad gently so the pieces of orange and avocado keep their shape. Pair with a fall chili or tacos.
Sesame, Tomato, and Cucumber Salad
Serve a slice of summer with a tomato and cucumber salad. The vinaigrette is made with salty soy sauce, but berfore serving, sprinkle a pinch of flaky sea salt to add texture to the fresh tomatoes.
Tomato Salad with Herbed Ricotta and Balsamic Vinaigrette
Sliced heirloom tomatoes are wow-worthy on their own--a simple vinaigrette and dollops of basil-flecked ricotta take them over the top. Serve with toasted baguette slices to sop up any tomato juices.
Poached Chicken Noodle Bowl
There’s no better way to describe this poached chicken dish than wellness in a bowl. The delicate and delicious noodle bowl is a shining example of how to make and use poached chicken like a pro. Gently poaching chicken breasts in a liquid thats lightly flavored with aromatics, such as ginger and lemongrass, leads to wonderfully succulent, tender meat with a lovely level of flavoring. In this wholesome dish, we also use the poaching liquid both to cook the noodles and create the light coconut broth. The key to successful poaching is temperature control; once you’ve added your chicken to the pot, you want to keep your poaching liquid from ever reaching a boil. In fact, you should aim to keep the water at a state of releasing wispy spouts of steam from the surface, but never bubbling, throughout the entirety of the cooking process. (It’s not nearly as intense/difficult as it seems.) You should also try to purchase chicken breasts that are roughly the same size so that they cook at the same rate.