Try These Simple, No-Cook Meals

As temperatures heat up, the last thing you want to do on a gorgeous summer evening is spend it in a hot kitchen. These no-cook recipes get a healthy, delicious meal on the table without even turning on the oven.

Start the meal with this sweet-and-spicy appetizer. The sweetness of the orange juice, mango, and cantaloupe contrasts with the savory tomato juice, bell peppers, and cilantro to make a delicious, vitamin C-rich dish.


  • 3 cups orange juice
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped peeled mango
  • 2 cups finely diced peeled cantaloupe
  • 1 cup finely diced peeled jicama
  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • 3/4 cup finely diced yellow bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


Simply dump all the ingredients in a bowl, chill, and serve.

01 of 03

Creamy Caesar Salad With White Beans


Get the rich taste of a Caesar salad with only 6 grams of fat! Instead of mayo, the recipe uses folate-rich white beans (plus lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce) as a base for a tangy dressing. And anchovy-haters, take note: This salad is made without the salty fish. Tomatoes, red onion, and romaine lettuce add plenty of fiber and vitamin C, and taste oh-so-refreshing!


  • 6 cups torn romaine lettuce
  • 1 (15- to 16-ounce) can Great Northern or navy beans, rinsed, drained, and divided
  • 1 cup diced plum tomato
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion, separated into rings
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup low-fat garlic-flavored croutons


  1. Combine lettuce, 1 cup beans, tomato, and onion in a large bowl.
  2. Drop garlic through food chute of a mini-food processor with motor running; process until minced. Add remaining beans, oil, Worcestershire sauce, juice, salt, and pepper; process until well-blended.
  3. Pour dressing over salad, tossing gently to coat. Divide among 4 plates; top each serving with 1 tablespoon cheese and 1/4 cup croutons.
02 of 03

Updated Waldorf salad


This light and crisp salad makes the perfect side dish for an outdoor event. Use low-fat mayo to make a guilt-free, creamy coating for the apples, grapes, and celery. Toss in some walnuts, and get the multiple health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids.


  • 2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 small (Gala or Fuji) apples, cubed
  • 1 cup seedless red grapes, halved
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced celery (about 1 stalk)
  • 8 Boston or Bibb lettuce leaves


  1. Combine mayonnaise and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Add apples, grapes, and cranberries; mix well.
  2. Add the walnuts and celery, and mix well. Serve it on a bed of 2 lettuce leaves. The salad can be refrigerated up to 2 hours before serving.
03 of 03

Lemon-Blackberry Parfait


Cool down with this low-cal ice cream dessert. Tart blackberries and lemon rind add an antioxidant kick to this basic dessert, while amaretti cookies bring a distinctive almond taste. These parfaits are a cinch to throw together and will be the perfect end to a summer meal.


  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  • 3 cups vanilla reduced-fat ice cream (such as Healthy Choice), softened slightly
  • 2 (6-ounce) containers fresh blackberries, rinsed and drained
  • 4 amaretti cookies, crushed


  1. Stir lemon rind into ice cream until well-blended. Cover ice cream, and return to freezer 20 minutes or until almost firm.
  2. To assemble parfait, reserve 4 berries for garnish. Remove ice cream from freezer.
  3. Distribute half of remaining berries evenly into the bottoms of four parfait glasses. Distribute half of crushed cookies among the glasses.
  4. Distribute half of ice cream among the glasses. Repeat layers, starting with berries and ending with ice cream. Top with reserved berries.
Was this page helpful?
Related Articles