Summer time is here and so are the sweltering temperatures. While I love to cook, I do not like the extra heat from the stove and oven. During the summer months, thanks to all the fresh garden produce available, we eat lighter meals like salads and sandwiches. I also use the slow cooker and grill more often. When I do cook, it’s usually during the cooler parts of the day. If you don’t like cooking in the heat, then perhaps this summer you might try a few no-cook meal ideas.
Here are over 25+ no-cook meal ideas for the summer — including a few sides and desserts — because you don’t want to slave over a hot stove if you don’t have to.
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No-Cook Meal Ideas
Spinach Strawberry Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette by me! — This is my favorite summer time salad. I like to use the fresh greens from my garden. Toasting the pecans gives it a nice touch.
Southwestern Chopped Salad with Cilantro Dressing from The Garden Grazer — This salad features every color of the rainbow, and the avocado, cilantro and lime dressing is to die for! Plus, since it’s gluten-free and vegan, it’s the perfect meal for guests with dietary restrictions.
Pesto Pasta Salad with Grilled Chicken from Spiced — Cook your pasta the night before or cook it in your microwave to avoid heating up the stove. Served cold this salad is light tasting yet very filling. Or you can nuke it in the microwave if you’d prefer a warm meal.
Cucumber Tomato Salad by The Blond Cook — Another summer-y salad that’s perfect for using all those excess cukes and tomatoes from the garden. It’s light and cool, so refreshing — a perfect accompaniment to grilled burgers, chicken, or steaks.
Chicken Caesar Wraps from Six Sisters’ Stuff — A great no-cook solution are these wraps from Six Sisters’ Stuff. You can either cook your chicken in the cooler parts of the day or at night or pick up a rotisserie chicken from the store.
Pan Bagnat from Lavender & Lovage — Pan Bagnat is French, meaning “wet bread.” Essentially, it’s a sandwich stuffed with veggies. In this recipe, there are roasted red peppers, green olives, red onions, basil, mozzarella, and ham. Bon appetit!
Pressed Picnic Sandwich from Tater Tots & Jello — Summer time is the perfect time for a picnic at the lake, beach or pool. Add some chips and fruit with this filling deli-style sandwich, and you’re all set!
In the Slow Cooker
Crockpot Hawaiian Barbecue Chicken Tacos with Pineapple Slaw from Host the Toast — I’m definitely planning to try out this recipe soon. Very unique yet flavorful!
Crockpot Baked Potatoes from Cook and Craft Me Crazy — Having company over? Set up a baked potato bar, and let everyone add their own toppings. The slow cooker does all the work for you, and the potatoes are ready just in time to eat!
Crockpot Sourdough Bread from The Kitchn — Did you know you can make bread in a slow cooker? I did not. During the summer months, I usually take a hiatus from bread baking because of the heat, but with this recipe, we can have bread and not heat up the whole house in the process! Serve with this gazpacho for a satisfying meal.
On the Grill
Mini Grilled Pizzas by Tablespoon — Have you ever made pizzas on the grill? My sister-in-law makes them all the time and they’re delicious! Plus, you can let each family member customize their own for a personal pizza.
Grilled Summer Vegetable Salad from A Family Feast — Use whatever veggies you have on hand to make this grilled salad. The smokey flavor of the veggies coupled with the cheese, herb-infused oil, and lemon juice make this a perfect summer meal.
Grilled Seafood Foil Packets with Lemon-Chive Butter by Betty Crocker — If you’ve never cooked anything in aluminum foil, then you are missing out! It makes less mess and is so simple! This recipe serves 8.
Grilled Vegetable Quesadilla with Goat Cheese & Pesto from Domesticate Me — Serve these up as an appetizer or a main course. A great way to use up all that extra produce from the garden!
Yes, technically desserts are not meals but these no-bake desserts are worth mentioning because they’re easy, inexpensive, and the perfect summer time treats!