70+ Ovenless Dinners for When It's REALLY Hot Outside
Sometimes, in the sweltering heat of summer, the absolute last thing you want to do is crank up the oven. For those days, we have the one-pot, skillet, Instant Pot, slow cooker, and completely no-cook dinner ideas for you. These ovenless recipes are sure to help you beat the heat.
Summer Vegetable Chowder
This vegetable chowder is bursting with vibrant farmers’ market fresh flavors. Although the soup its inspired by peak season summer produce, it’s could be made year-round with frozen vegetables.
Roasted Tomato, Salami, and Mozzarella Pasta
This recipe gives you all the favorite flavors of a baked pasta dish without heating up the oven. Round out this easy weeknight meal with a simple and satisfying dessert.
Pasta with Green Peas and Almond Gremolata
Chickpea pasta can be a nice change from whole wheat—it has a mild flavor and higher fiber content. The gremolata topping (a chopped herb condiment made with lemon zest and parsley) truly makes the dish. It’s crunchy, herby, fragrant, and citrusy. Serve the pasta immediately for the best texture and taste.
Pasta with Shaved Asparagus and Pea Pesto
Thick asparagus stalks are best for this dish because they’re easier to shave. The trick to this recipe? We cook the pasta in as little water as possible so the resulting pasta water becomes viscous with starch. Adding a little of the water to the sauce makes it extra creamy and helps it cling to the noodles.
Tomato, Basil, and Chicken Pasta
Think of this as a lighter, fresher take on chicken Parmesan: We ditch the breading on the poultry and let juicy cherry tomatoes stand in for jarred pasta sauce. A little grated carrot adds just enough sweetness to round out the acidity in the tomatoes.
Garden Greens Pasta
A little bit of pancetta pulls more than its weight in this recipe. Kale and spinach cook in the rendered drippings for rich, salty flavor throughout the dish, and the crisped pork bits make a delicious finishing touch for the pasta.
One-Pot Pasta with Spinach and Tomatoes
This one-pot pasta dinner is simple, fresh, and healthy—what's not to love? Cooking the pasta right in the sauce saves time and cleanup while infusing the noodles with more flavor. This speedy recipe is also endlessly adaptable, and lends itself to plenty of easy ingredient swaps.
One-Pot Chicken with Farro
This easy dish is perfect for a casual get-together with friends. Inspired by arroz con pollo, it is hearty with satisfying complexity. Cumin, saffron, and oregano season rich chicken thighs and nutty farro as the dish simmers.
Skillet Chicken Breast with Beans and Greens
Our Skillet Chicken Breast with Beans and Greens is truly a one pan wonder. Our Test Kitchen came up with this tasty, family friendly chicken dinner which comes together in a single skillet. Packed with protein, loaded with fiber, and just 390 calories per serving, Skillet Chicken with Beans and Greens makes a healthy dinner any night of the week.
Greek Eggplant Skillet Dinner
Protein-rich tofu teams up with meaty eggplant in this Greek-inspired skillet supper. Pick up San Marzano tomatoes if you can find them; their sweet flavor and low acidity balance the flavors of this dish. Crush them gently with your hands before chopping to release any excess juices.
Skillet Fajita Pitas
Cooking over high heat without stirring gives the chicken and peppers a smoky, charred crust. The whole thing comes together in less than half an hour.
Creamy Chicken-Tomato Skillet
Yes! You can make chicken and rice in 20 minutes. When a craving for comfort food hits and you need it in a hurry, this fast take on chicken and rice hits the spot. Stirring chopped baby spinach into warm brown rice is a smart way to get more vegetables and jazz up an otherwise plain starchy side.
Pork Tenderloin and Collards Skillet
The Southern tradition of eating black-eyed peas and collard greens in the New Year is a delicious one, though not remotely quick enough for a weeknight. Until now, that is. Collards fair nicely in a quick sauté; slice into thin ribbons so they wilt quickly and stay tender.
Turnip Green Salad
If you think turnip greens are only edible if they are simmered in a pot of liquid and seasoned with a ham hock, check out this recipe. This summer salad makes delicious use of abundant produce such as fresh turnip greens, heirloom grape tomatoes, and colorful watermelon radishes.
Instant Pot Keto Adobo Pork
When paired with the Instant Pot, pork shoulder is foolproof and feeds a group of people on a budget. The meat melts in your mouth, while the bright green veggies and fresh lime cut the richness, making a perfect partner for pork. The whole family will love this dish.
Instant Pot Keto Bolognese
This is the perfect recipe for when you want a comfort meal but don’t have all day to prepare one. The Instant Pot gives it that cooked-all-day feel, with tender, satisfying meats and rich, but not too thick sauce. Taking out the traditional sugar and carrots makes this keto-approved, but the tomatoes make up for the lack in natural sweetness.
Easy Taco Salad
Perfect for hectic weeknights, this easy taco salad recipe is something both kids and adults will love. The beauty of taco salad is that it’s entirely customizable to your favorite taco components, so feel free to stray from the recipe to accommodate whatever you’re craving and/or the ingredients you already have on hand.
Air-Fried Shrimp Fried Rice
This fried rice is so deliciously savory, nobody will believe you made it with an air fryer. It’s full of toasted, crunchy rice bits that add a great contrast to the chewy interior. The shrimp is tender and juicy, and the bites of peas burst in your mouth.
Easy Slow-Cooker Jambalaya
Have dinner ready when you come home with this ultimate, slow-cooker Jambalaya. Featuring chicken, shrimp and smoked sausage, this classic Creole rice dish is perfect for the slow-cooker as all the flavors blend together over time in a marvelous way.
Crock Pot Easy Pot Roast
Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint
There’s more than one way to enjoy the classic sweet flavor of fresh watermelon besides eating it right off the rind. This watermelon feta salad is a light and refreshing complement to any summer meal, no matter if it’s for a cookout, potluck, or regular weeknight dinner.
Chicken Cutlets with Spring Vegetable Salad and Herb Vinaigrette
Every component brings something special to the table in a salad like this: Your greens create a sweet, crunchy base with a peppery hit from arugula, radishes contribute a pleasant bitter-edged brightness, cucumbers offer a clean crunch, potatoes pack the buttery richness, and a tangy, herbaceous vinaigrette is everything you need to tie everything together.
Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs
Barbecue season is here, but we'll let you in on a secret: All you really need for crowd-pleasing baby back ribs is the right recipe and a slow cooker. Savory, tender, juicy, and slow-cooked to perfection, this recipe for Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs is our newest and best.
Quick Chicken Fajitas
For a casual, fun get-together, set up a make-your-own-fajitas bar with the chicken filling, avocado cream, sour cream, and any other toppings you love, like pico de gallo, sliced fresh jalapeños, or crisp radish slices. The recipe serves 4, but you can easily double it to feed a larger crowd.
Clementine-and-Collard Greens Salad
This healthy yet hearty salad makes a great winter meal, just when you’re in need of something bright and sunny. Sweet and juicy clementines, a favorite citrus down South, liven up this mix of chicken, collard greens, pecans, and crumbled goat cheese. Massage some of the dressing into the collards to tenderize the greens and make them more flavorful.
Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice
In the mood for Cajun food, but don't have the time to cook up a traditional New Orleans meal? The classic Creole dish, updated so you can make it in a quarter of the time thanks to the Instant Pot.
Instant Pot Kheer
No need to wait hours for whole milk to thicken: Using half-and-half and cooking in the Instant Pot gives this rice pudding a head start. The delicate and lovely rose syrup highlights the floral notes in the cardamom, while the tart apricots tame the richness in the pudding.
Instant Pot Beef and Barley Soup
This Instant Pot soup comes together in 60 mins and is full of flavor. No Instant Pot? No problem! Prepare the recipe as directed in Steps 1 and 2, substituting a Dutch oven (perfect for making comforting soups and stews), over medium-high for an Instant Pot.
Slow Cooker Vegetable Soup with Bacon
Packed with veggies and flavored with a little bacon, this recipe will warm you up on a chilly day. This hearty soup is as versatile as it is delicious. Substitute collards for the kale, use another type of small dried beans, or add heat with red pepper flakes.
Orzo Salad with Shrimp and Lemon Dressing
This simple shrimp and orzo salad is tossed with seasonal veggies and a bright, tangy dressing. Delicious at room temperature or chilled, it also makes a tasty lunch the next day if you have leftovers. You’ll need three cups of vegetables for this dish, but you can adjust the amounts of asparagus, sugar snap peas, and English peas.
Greek Chicken Salad Wedges
This simple salad packs in big flavor in under 25 minutes. For a creamier texture to this Greek Chicken Salad Wedge, stir the crumbled feta into the chicken salad mixture instead of sprinkling it over the finished wedge. This recipe calls for just two cups of white meat from a deli-chicken.
Crunchy Chicken-Peanut Chopped Salad
Adding deli-fried chicken tenders to a fresh green salad not only adds interest and taste to an ordinary bowl of salad, but it turns a side dish into a main dish. This recipe, a fresh spin on the much-loved Asian-flavored coleslaw, requires only a few minutes of chopping and mixing; no cooking involved.
Mini Shrimp Rolls
Only 15 minutes to a tasty shrimp sandwich? We can roll with that. This delicious seafood recipe tastes like it takes WAY longer than it really does.
Classic Salmon Cakes
Classic Salmon Cakes are so tasty, they don't even need a sauce. A simple squeeze of lemon or lime does the trick for these fantastic Salmon Cakes. The best part? They come together in less than half an hour.
Spicy Thai Coconut Chicken Soup
In the mood for something spicy? Coconut milk tames the heat and combines deliciously with shredded chicken breast in Spicy Thai Coconut Chicken Soup.
Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad
A Caprese salad—tomatoes, basil, and fresh mozzarella cheese—is one of the easiest and most delicious ways to show off peak-season Southern-grown tomatoes. Give this salad a fun new look by using a mix of multicolored cherry tomatoes and small fresh mozzarella balls (also called “bocconcini”) tossed in a simple vinaigrette.
Pasta Primavera with Shrimp
Many healthy eaters are quick to cut pasta out of their diets, but dishes like this have plenty of good-for-you benefits. This Pasta Primavera is filled with colorful veggies and light shrimp, and the homemade sauce isn’t heavy like its jarred or cream-filled counterparts.
Black Bean Quinoa Salad with Chipotle Steak
This salad-in-a-bowl meal comes together in under 30 minutes, and is quite hearty thanks to protein-packed quinoa and steak. We love the chipotle-rubbed sirloin, but this salad is a wonderful use for any leftover steak.
This recipe uses half the oil than the classic without sacrificing any of the flavor. If you don't have a meat mallet or small heavy skillet, try using a wooden rolling pin, making sure all the chicken's pounded into an even thinness so it cooks evenly.
Creamy Four-Cheese Pasta With Spinach
Pasta night perfection. Four cheeses team up with gluten-free pasta to deliver a wholesome indulgence and the whole thing comes together in about 15 minutes.
Slow Cooker Tex-Mex Chicken and Black Bean Soup
This filling and flavorful soup is ideal for a chilly evening. Freeze leftover chipotle chiles and adobe sauce in a flattened Ziploc bag for future use. Want to make it in your Instant Pot? Click here for the recipe.
Instant Pot Tuscan White Bean and Lentil Soup
Pantry staples like dried lentils and canned beans make up the bulk of this soup and boost the fiber to cover more than half your daily goal. Want to make it in your slow cooker? Click here for the recipe.
Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage
Enjoy all of the rich, warm flavors of traditional corned beef and cabbage in a fraction of the time—not to mention, with a fraction of the clean-up—with this flavor-packed recipe developed specifically for the Instant Pot. Our easy Instant Pot corned beef recipe is sure to be a fast family favorite.
Slow Cooker Lazy Lasagna Soup
Beef and Cabbage Stir-Fry
This crunchy and filling skillet meal delivers big flavor with a nutritional punch: Flank steak contains blood-enriching iron, and cabbage has a whopping dose of vitamin C. Microwavable brown rice makes a great time-saver.
Lemon-Dill Salmon Salad
Broccoli Fried Rice with Kimchi Cream
Coveted for its subtly sweet flowering heads, broccoli delivers crunch and a hefty dose of potassium, which supports blood pressure. Save the stalks for stir-fries or slaws; they’re rich in the gut-friendly fiber cellulose. For fullest flavor, make sure you use the darker toasted sesame oil. The lighter variety won't have the same rich taste.
Pesto Shrimp and Broccoli Fettuccine
Put your knife away—store-bought pesto and precut broccoli florets mean no chopping required. Your Dutch oven pulls triple duty in this recipe by cooking the pasta, blanching the broccoli, and bringing the whole dish together, all in one pot.
Air-Fried General Tso’s Chicken
This air-fryer riff on the Chinese takeout classic saves the day with nearly half the saturated fat of restaurant versions and loads less clean-up than deep frying at home. Air fryer sizes vary (hence the cook time’s wide range); if you have a smaller air fryer, commit to cooking in batches so that there’s plenty of room for the air to circulate and crisp up the chicken.
Perfectly Seared Scallops
Scallops may be a little intimidating to cook at home—but trust us, once you nail the perfect sear once, you’ll be gunning to cook them any chance you get. Follow this foolproof method for perfectly seared scallops to nail the technique.
Thai Sweet Potato-Coconut Soup
This simple vegetarian dish hits the perfect balance of sweet and savory. Serve this Thai-inspired sweet potato soup with a fresh salad for a light and lovely meal.
Cherry Tomato Pasta With Proscuitto and Asiago
This blistered cherry tomato pasta (with delicous prosciutto and asiago, of course) is everything a quick and easy pasta should be. We love how all the ingredients work together to create a wonderful textural experience. Hungry for more? Check out Our Best One-Pot Pasta Recipes Ever and Our Favorite Cozy Pasta Casseroles next.
Couscous Tabbouleh Bowls
There are a lot of words you could use to describe these Couscous Tabbouleh Bowls (including “fresh,” “vibrant,” “delicious,” “nutritious”), but “cumbersome” is not one of them. This bright and flavorful quick-fix meal deserves a regular spot in your recipe rotation.
French Onion One-Pot Pasta
Inspired by the deeply savory flavors of French onion soup, this single-pan pasta is a surefire crowd please—and better still, it couldn’t be easier to make. You start by caramelizing your onions to create a deeply flavorful base, then simply add your cooking liquid, aromatic flavorings, and dried pasta to the pan—bring everything to a boil and cook until your pasta is tender and the liquid is largely absorbed. This French Onion Pasta is here to prove that all you need for an incredible meal is one pan and a plan.
Ramen Foo Young
Looking for an exciting way to use up some ramen noodles? Your hunt stops here. Everyone’s favorite instant noodles add a playful twist to this flavor-packed egg foo young recipe the whole family will love.
Teriyaki Steak Skillet
This single-skillet steak supper maximizes flavor while minimizing effort—that’s what we call a win-win. Plus, here’s a great way to stretch a single ribeye, which is a pricier cut of meat, to feed four people. That said, you can definitely substitute the ribeye for your favorite cut of steak, but you may need to adjust the cook time accordingly.
Crunchy Ramen Chicken Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing
If you never thought you’d be reaching for a package of instant ramen to create an impressive (even company-worthy!) meal—think again. This crunchy noodle chicken salad is loaded with vibrant flavor and dynamic texture that everyone will love, and the salty-sweet peanut dressing definitely seals the deal.
Taco Pasta Salad
Taco night, meet pasta. Adding chorizo and taco seasoning give our Taco Pasta Salad an unmistakable taco feel and taste. The chorizo and taco seasoning give the pasta an unmistakable taco feel and taste. Riffing off of a classic cilantro garnish, the cilantro vinaigrette adds color and a ton of flavor to the pasta. The bell pepper, corn, onion, and tomato complement all of the other flavors present in the dish, and sprinkling some queso fresco on top adds a burst of salt and some textural contrast. This dish makes a great side at a weeknight dinner or a foolproof potluck contribution. If you can’t find uncased ground chorizo, you can use chorizo in links and just take it out of the casing. Be sure to drain the chorizo so the pasta won’t get too greasy.
Bougie Grilled Ham & Cheese
This isn't your average deli sandwich. Take your lunch hour up a notch with a decadent grilled ham and cheese sandwich, featuring sweet caramelized onions, Gruyère cheese, and goat cheese.
Tuna Nicoise Pasta Salad
Think you can’t make a classy meal out of pantry staples? Think again. Canned tuna, dry pasta, and navy beans unite with shelf-stable powerhouses like artichoke hearts, Castelvetrano olives, and honey to form this French-inspired salad. You only need a little bit of produce to make this dish feel fresh, and like other oil-based pasta salads, it gets more flavorful the longer it sits. Canned tuna never looked so good.
Spicy Sausage Tacos with Zucchini and Poblanos
If you’ve never made your own tortillas, prepare to feel accomplished. Corn tortillas aren’t difficult to make, but fresh and warm out of the pan… there’s nothing store-bought that can compare. Of course, this sausage and veggie filling is sure to make any tortilla look and taste its best.
Carnitas Tacos With Chipotle Crema
Taco Tuesday doesn’t always have to revolve around ground beef. Trust us, once you see how easy it is to make homemade carnitas, this will be a meal prep move you come back to again and again. Braised Boston butt is the star of this taco spread, and once you set it to simmering in a mixture of fresh citrus juices, garlic, and spices—the work is done. Drizzled with a vibrantly smoky Chipotle Crema, the assembled carnitas tacos will be a surefire hit.
Air Fryer Marinated Pork Tenderloin
You might think that sticking meat in the air fryer would dry it out, but this Air Fryer Marinated Pork Tenderloin proves just the opposite. The results are nothing short of perfect. The sweet, savory, and flavor-rich marinade gives the tenderloin a slightly crisp and salty exterior that’s the perfect complement to the juicy, tender interior. It’s surprisingly reminiscent of a grilled marinated pork tenderloin. Feel free to use any marinade you love, but be sure it includes some sweetness so the exterior will caramelize. The honey in our marinade, for example, aids caramelization to yield the tastiest end product. Flipping the pork throughout the cooking process guarantees even browning. Leftovers are great chopped and incorporated into fried rice or barbecue for sandwiches.
Perfect Prime Rib Roast
What’s the secret to an extra succulent prime rib roast? Your slow cooker. You may not believe us, and we understand why you’d hesitate to throw a top dollar cut of meat in a Crock-Pot. This is a revolution that must be tasted. And of course, you don’t just season the meat and toss it in the slow cooker, set it and forget it style. First, you’ve got to achieve the perfect crust. We seasoned our prime rib in salt, pepper, and herbs de Provence to give it a slight floral hint and let it sit overnight—at least 12 hours—and then given it another hour of sitting at room temperature. Then we pan sear the roast until it’s browned on all sides and can lock all those flavors and juices in. Only after achieving the perfect crust is the roast ready for hours in the slow cooker. And this is not your average roast. Sure, the slow cooker bypasses any messes and allows you to cook hands off, but it also yields results that will make you a believer. You cannot truthfully understand until you try—have we sold you on this yet? This prime rib roast makes a perfect centerpiece for your holiday lunch or dinner. Serve with red wine and immense satisfaction.
Easy Instant Pot Crab Legs
Here’s yet another great use for your Instant Pot—easy pressure-cooked crab legs. It’s a quick, simple, and elegant dinner for two, or a fun spin on a seafood boil. Depending on the size of your Instant Pot, the amount of crab leg clusters you can cook at a time is limited, but the prep and cleanup is so easy and the result is so delicious and tender you’ll never want them any other way.
Buffalo Chicken Chili
This Buffalo Chicken Chili is one the best soups that’s come out of our test kitchen. We’ve combined two of the best foods around to make one ultimate dish. It’s hearty, full of chicken and veggies, and has a subtly spiced buffalo flavor. The vegetables, especially the corn, add a bit of sweetness, while the beans offer creaminess that stands out from the cream cheese enriched broth. Lemon pepper adds a nice tang and contrast to the chili, and sprinkling blue cheese crumbles and scallions on top rounds everything out. Keep a quart or two of this in the freezer for a quick dinner on a cold night, or take a batch to your next potluck or tailgate. Serve with carrot and celery sticks, tortilla chips, and jalapeño cornbread sticks.
Grown-Up Pasta Salad
You know that pasta salad from childhood (you know the one—rotini, canned olives, underripe grape tomatoes, cubed cheese)? It showed up at cookouts, sleepovers and every occasion in between, and it holds a special place in hearts a plenty—or at least it does around our office. So, we made a few swaps to create a fully grown uptake that still hits all the nostalgic notes we crave. Think a more sophisticated nood (we went orecchiette, but you can go with whatever you like!), buttery Castelvatrano olives (i.e. the best olives), juicy-sweet heirloom cherry tomatoes for dynamic color, hunks of savory salami, rich and creamy mozzarella pearls, radishes for fresh crunch, and an easy, from-scratch Italian dressing. Sure, it may require a trip to the grocery store’s olive bar, but trust us, it’s so worth it.