Photo: Getty Images
Easy, breezy meals
At the height of summer, the last thing you want to be doing is slaving away over a hot stove while the temperature outside is already almost to much to bear. That's why we came up with these tasty no-cook meals that are simple to put together and don't require the use of any tools that'll add more heat to the equation. So instead of worrying about cooking your next meal, you can spend your time taking a refreshing dip in the pool or enjoying a summery cocktail with friends.
RELATED: No-Cook Meals You'll Love
Full disclosure: Some of these recipes literally require no cooking (and almost no work), but a few call for a quick zap in the microwave, the use of leftovers (like rotisserie chicken), or freezing. So, when the temperature soars and fresh produce is at its crisp, juicy best, these no-cook recipes will help you whip up fast, fresh, delicious meals and snacks in just minutes.
The key to making these fruit-packed yogurt cups delicious enough to serve for dessert? Whisking a drop of honey into the yogurt to make it slightly sweet and oh so creamy. We love this dish with fresh berries, but feel free to use cherries or any fruit you like. Nuts deliver a hit of protein and healthy fats, so don’t skip them unless you are allergic!
Try this recipe: Yogurt-Berry Cups
Photo: Tina Rupp
Cantaloupe Soup with Mint
At the peak of summer, when fresh melon is at its juiciest and you've got mint growing in the garden, this almost fool-proof soup is a dish you have to try. At less than 150 calories a serving, it would make the perfect lunch paired with a light salad.
Try this recipe: Cantaloupe Soup with Mint
The ultimate detox smoothie packs in every power food your body needs to stay strong, healthy, and slim: greens, wheatgrass, heart-healthy avocado, even flax seeds and a kick of green tea! If this smoothie leans a little too healthy even for you, try these other delicious smoothies and milkshakes. Your body will thank you!
Try this recipe: Spring Salad Smoothie
Photo: Tina Rupp
Green Tomato Gazpacho
Gazpacho is like salad in a bowl, and this recipe is one of our favorite versions. Vitamin C-packed green tomatoes give this cold soup a tangy, almost lemony pucker, but if you want a meatier flavor go ahead and use red tomatoes. Note: if you’re cutting carbs, go ahead and omit the bread. You’ll get a soupier gazpacho but it will be even more flavorful.
Try this recipe: Green Tomato Gazpacho
Shredded Root Salad
Raw, shredded root vegetables are incredibly healthy and full of sweet crunchy flavor! The trick here is not to overthink the shredding process; you can use a food processor or a mandolin, but be sure to shred the beets last so you don’t turn the whole salad pink.
Try this recipe: Shredded Root Salad
Photo: Kerry Hosford
Garlic and Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus
Hummus is our favorite snack or appetizer, because it’s delicious, filling, and made with chickpeas, one of the healthiest beans on the planet. Also known as garbanzo beans, chickpeas are loaded with fiber, vitamins and minerals, and easy-to-digest plant proteins. Sun-dried tomatoes lend rich sweetness and a huge dose of potassium to this creamy dip.
Try this recipe: Garlic and Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus
Cool Southwestern Salad With Corn and Avocado
You can have this sweet, crunchy, 100% vegetarian meal, with a whopping 14 grams of protein per serving, ready in less than 20 minutes. We love the healthy fats from the avocado and that you can make the entire meal in one big bowl. Best of all, it packs nearly half your daily fiber needs!
Try this recipe: Cool Southwestern Salad With Corn and Avocado
Photo: Levi Brown
Chilled Tutti Frutti Poppy Seed Salad
So much prettier and more festive than your average fruit salad, this stunningly beautiful version packs loads of succulent fruit, including berries, tropical pineapple and mango, and tosses it with a not-too-sweet dressing and poppy seeds.
Try this recipe: Chilled Tutti Frutti Poppy Seed Salad
Photo: Con Poulos
Tuscan Kale with Almonds, Plums, and Goat Cheese
Kale couldn’t be any hotter right now, but we think this bitter Superfood tastes best in this salad, mellowed with juicy fruit and creamy goat cheese. Remove the tough ribs by folding the kale sideways, slicing off the tough rib, then roughly chopping the tender leaves.
Try this recipe: Tuscan Kale with Almonds, Plums, and Goat Cheese
Roast Beef Pumpernickel Sandwich with Roasted Red Pepper, Arugula and Goat Cheese
When you crave a hearty, meaty sandwich, your best bet is to make your own. This version packs lean meat, healthy greens, vitamin-rich red peppers, and light but creamy goat cheese. It tastes best on fiber-rich pumpernickel, but you can also serve it on a wrap or on whole wheat bread.
Mozzarella and Tomato Salad
Farm-fresh tomatoes and creamy mozzarella are an inspired no-cook combo you can serve for lunch or dinner. The key to this dish is to use the best-quality ingredients—don’t skimp on the extra virgin olive oil—and adapt it to your taste. We love it with a sprinkling of fresh basil and a few olives.
Try this recipe: Mozzarella and Tomato Salad
Photo: Getty Images
Chinese Chicken-Cabbage Salad with Peanut Sauce
Bottled peanut sauce and leftover chicken are all you need to pull off this hearty, Asian-spiced main dish salad. Cabbage is an incredibly healing Superfood that lends crunch, antioxidants, and loads of vitamin C to every recipe.
Try this recipe: Chinese Chicken-Cabbage Salad with Peanut Sauce
Photo: Andrew Macpherson
Chicken, Bibb, and Arugula Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette
The ultimate low-carb, high-protein lunch or dinner, this delicious main dish salad can be made with last night’s chicken breast or thighs. To make your own sweet, tangy raspberry vinaigrette use fresh or frozen fruit and a little honey, olive oil, and fresh lemon juice.
Try this recipe: Chicken, Bibb, and Arugula Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette
Green Goddess Pasta Salad
Possibly the most delicious use of leftover pasta we’ve ever tasted, this salad is a meal made with crispy arugula or watercress, peas and asparagus, and a protein punch from Parmesan cheese and almond slivers. So light, yet so incredibly filling.
Try this recipe: Green Goddess Pasta Salad
Photo: Travis Rathbone
Egg and Rice Salad to Go
Every ingredient in this healthy lunch packs a powerful nutritional punch: protein from the eggs, fiber from the brown rice, potassium and antioxidants from the green beans, and healthy fats from the walnuts. Ok, so this no-cook meal calls for cooked rice and hard-cooked eggs, and assuming you have both on hand you really have to try this incredibly filling, healthy lunch!
Try this recipe: Egg and Rice Salad to Go
Red Pepper, Goat Cheese, and Fresh Mint Wraps
Not only do these wraps come together in a snap, you can mix and match the kind of wrap you use (spinach, whole grain, red pepper) to create a stunning presentation. We love to cut them on a diagonal and serve them upright.
Try this recipe: Red Pepper, Goat Cheese, and Fresh Mint Wraps
Photo: Melissa Punch
Banana-Nut Elvis Wrap
You don’t have to be an Elvis fan to love this classic pairing. Bananas are a great source of potassium and Resistant Starch, a type of slow-burning fiber that fills you up and keeps you feeling energized all day. If you’re bored with peanut butter, swap in other nut butters, like almond or cashew.
Try this recipe: Banana-Nut Elvis Wrap
ALT (Avocado, Lettuce, and Tomato) Sandwiches
The classic Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato sandwich gets a vegetarian makeover. Avocados are an amazing Superfood packed with fiber and heart healthy fats. And they’re so rich, mayonnaise is completely optional!
Try this recipe: ALT (Avocado, Lettuce, and Tomato) Sandwiches
Persimmon and Blue Cheese Salad With Walnuts
If you ever see persimmons at the grocery store, grab one and try this sweet, tangy, 100% delicious salad. Sweet, juicy persimmons are loaded with vitamin A and lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent heart disease. Walnuts and pomegranates, two of our favorite Superfoods, both keep you feeling full and energized.
Try this recipe: Persimmon and Blue Cheese Salad With Walnuts
Almond Butter Cookies
When you crave something sweet, rich, and satisfying, these no-cook cookies deliver in spades. Packed with protein and healthy fats from the nuts, fiber from the oats, and antioxidants from the sweet dried cherries, they’re the healthiest way we know to satisfy a sweet tooth.
Try this recipe: Almond Butter Cookies
When it comes to fiber and antioxidants, blackberries rank higher than just about any other fruit. And they pair so well with tart lemon rind and low-fat ice cream. Tip: If you’re watching your weight and want a kick of healthy probiotics, swap the ice cream for frozen Greek yogurt.
Try this recipe: Lemon-Blackberry Parfait
Photo: Jim Bathie
Chocolate-Dipped Banana Bites
Frozen chocolate bananas are a classic flavor pairing, and now we’ve made them bite-sized. Ok, this simple, 2-ingredient recipe isn’t literally no-cook, because you do have to zap the chocolate in the microwave for a few minute or two, but otherwise these rich treats could not be any simpler or more delicious!
Try this recipe: Chocolate-Dipped Banana Bites
Related video: Chocolate Banana Bites
Banana Ice Cream
There's no cream in this "ice cream," just three super-healthy ingredients.
Bonus: you don’t need an ice cream maker. Just freeze and whip it up in your blender.
Try this recipe: Banana Ice Cream