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Are steamy temps making you dread cooking in the kitchen? You don’t have to!

When temps are soaring and you can wring out the humidity like a sponge, the last thing most people want to do is turn on the oven or stove – and there’s no reason to do so. Not only is it usually preferable to eat something light and cold when you feel hot, but so many delicious meals don’t require cooking.

Here are 7 no-cook meals that will fill you up but won’t drag you down:
  1. Charcuterie boards – There’s nothing like munching on a beautiful charcuterie board, and there’s no reason you can’t enjoy one even if you’re following a healthy diet. Instead of filling the board with lots of cheese and processed meats, arrange an assortment of colorful veggies, dips like hummus and baba ganoush, whole grain crackers, in-season fruit, olives and nuts. The sky’s the limit on what you can pull together for an eye-catching and delicious meal.
  2. Wraps or sandwiches – Have some cold cuts in the fridge or leftover chicken? Make a flavorful wrap or sandwich! You can also make wraps from canned tuna, canned beans, hummus and an assortment of veggies. Get creative and keep it light.
  3. Cold soups – Just as a bowl of hot soup can warm you up on a cold day, so too can a bowl of cold soup cool you off when it’s hot outside. Make a tasty gazpacho or a chilled soup from summer fruits or vegetables, like this Cold Zucchini Soup.
  4. Salads – The ultimate no-cook meal is a salad. There are so many ways you can create the perfect summer salad. Combine in-season veggies, add fruit for sweetness, sprinkle with nuts for some healthy fat, include a source of protein (beans, leftover chicken, canned tuna, etc.) and dress it with a light but flavorful dressing.
  5. Overnight oats – If you love eating oatmeal, there’s no reason to cook it. Simply combine oats in a jar with a plant-based milk of your choice, add some Greek yogurt and then customize it to your liking with fruit, nuts, chia or flax seeds, and spices. There are plenty of delicious overnight oat recipes and all you need is a few hours for the oat mixture to sit before eating it.
  6. Nachos – Unless you must have ground beef or chili on your nachos, there’s no reason to turn on the stove. Top baked tortilla chips with a mix of canned beans, avocado, pico de gallo, lettuce, scallions and jalapeno peppers. Top with a dollop of low-fat Greek yogurt instead of sour cream and a sprinkle of cheese and dig in!
  7. Smoothies – Who said smoothies were just for breakfast? You can whip up a smoothie that has enough protein to get you through any meal of the day! Combine your favorite fruits, add in some low-fat dairy or plant-based milk and up the protein level with ingredients such as peanut butter, protein powder or Greek yogurt. You’ll wind up with a gut-filling meal with staying power that will also help to cool you off.

If you just have to have a cooked meal but don’t want to heat your kitchen, use the grill outdoors. Or consider making a cooked meal in your slow cooker, air fryer or microwave.


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Date Last Reviewed: May 9, 2024

Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Medical Review: Jane Schwartz, RDN, CLT

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