22 Fresh No-Cook Meals (and Desserts!) to Make on Repeat This Summer

Santa Fe Turkey Wraps Cut in Half
Photo: Andy Lyons

Fit family meals into your busy summer schedule with these easy no-cook summer recipes. These fresh, quick, and tasty no-cook meals are perfect for summer. We have plenty of no-cook summer dinner ideas, picnic lunch recipes, and decadent no-cook desserts to choose from so you can use your oven as little as possible when the temperature starts climbing.

01 of 22

Cobb Salad Sub

Cobb Salad Sub
Andy Lyons

This is what picnic perfection looks like. If you love the flavors and textures of classic Cobb salad, try stuffing the mixture in a hollowed-out French loaf to make it an extra-filling and easy no-cook summer recipe. Shred the meat from a rotisserie chicken and add leftover (or precooked) bacon and purchased hard-boiled eggs for a delicious and easy no-cook dinner that comes together in a snap.

02 of 22

Santa Fe Turkey Wraps

Santa Fe Turkey Wraps Cut in Half
Andy Lyons

No-cook potluck ideas can go beyond standard chain restaurant sub sandwiches. Start with store-bought or leftover turkey, then dress it up with tasty fillings like corn, tomato slices, avocado, and lettuce. Keep the spicy Southwest dressing on the side for dipping, so you can chill the wraps up to four hours before serving without them getting soggy.

03 of 22

Fresh Taco Salad

Fresh Taco Salad
Jason Donnelly

Jalapeños add kick, black beans offer plenty of protein, and avocados finish this salad with the creaminess it needs. This no-cook recipe is ideal for a summer side and filling enough to be a main dish by itself. Who needs taco shells with no-cook summer dinners like this?

04 of 22

Caprese Salad Pita Pockets

Caprese Salad Pita Pockets
Jason Donnelly

Transform the classic Italian salad into a full meal in a flash. The traditional Caprese salad ingredients of tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil get dressed up into full meal fashion with chopped cucumber and salad greens. Serve your veggies and cheese nestled inside a whole wheat pita pocket for an easy no-cook summer recipe you can enjoy on-the-go.

05 of 22

Classic Creamy Coleslaw

Classic Creamy Coleslaw
Andy Lyons Cameraworks LTD

It's not an official warm-weather potluck unless there's coleslaw. You can toss together this easy no-cook summer recipe in a jiffy; it takes only 20 minutes to mix up the whole batch. (Just plan ahead enough to allow at least two hours of chill time before you start spooning it onto plates.) If you want to put a spin on classic coleslaw, turn it into Tex-Mex coleslaw by adding salsa, red pepper, and corn to the bowl.

06 of 22

New Orleans-Style Muffuletta

New Orleans-Style Muffuletta
Blaine Moats

For all those who question whether a sandwich is really a meal, check out this edible work of art. Stacked with deli meat, cheese, and a zingy olive topper, the heaping sandwich is a Southern fan-fave for a reason: There's no heat required to score loads of flavor. You can't do much better than this when you need easy no-cook dinner ideas. Plus, it takes just 10 minutes to toss the whole sandwich together.

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07 of 22

Blackberry Icebox Cake

Blackberry Icebox Cake

Yep, it's possible to still enjoy a slice of summer cake even if you're determined to take a hiatus from cooking with heat. Instead of grabbing the flour and sugar, mix together whipped cream, blackberries, and cream cheese, then layer between graham crackers. That's it! Oh, yes, and a bit of patience: let the easy no-cook recipe freeze for a few hours before slicing and sharing the dessert.

08 of 22

Asian Ramen Noodle Slaw

Asian Ramen Noodle Slaw
Blaine Moats

To make this slaw-style salad stand out, skip the croutons. Instead, use uncooked ramen noodles to crank up the crunch factor in this easy no-cook recipe. We repurposed the seasoning packet, too; instead of flavoring noodles, it helps make the dressing for this cabbage and carrot slaw a little more savory.

09 of 22

Chickpea-Herb Flatbreads

Chickpea-Herb Flatbreads pizza recipe
Jason Donnelly

Give pizza a Greek makeover. Instead of marinara sauce, this no-cook meal showcases a "sauce" that's like a heartier play on hummus. Toss on fresh veggies and herbs, shower it all with a healthy dose of tahini (sesame seed paste), and all this flatbread recipe needs to be complete is a big squeeze of lemon.

10 of 22

Sweet Ricotta and Strawberry Parfaits

Sweet Ricotta and Strawberry Parfaits
Kritsada Panichgul

If you're a strawberry shortcake fan, then you'll be sweet on this no-cook recipe that works as an afternoon snack or a light dessert. Creamy ricotta and fresh strawberries play off a hint of vanilla and mint. This simple, stress-free treat is a fresh way to show off some of the season's best garden goodies.

11 of 22

No-Cook Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

No-Cook Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Marty Baldwin

Make a restaurant favorite in your own kitchen! You're just 20 minutes away from these fresh chicken-and-veggie-filled butter lettuce wraps. Besides the lick-the-bowl-worthy savory dipping sauce, the key to this no-cook summer recipe is to start with leftover chicken so you don't have to heat up a pan.

12 of 22

Spicy Three-Meat Picnic Hero

Spicy Three-Meat Picnic Hero
Andy Lyons

Seeking an easy no-cook summer dinner idea that will truly satisfy? The layers stacked in these sandwiches will keep you full all night, no need for a midnight snack. Three different kinds of meat (ham, pepperoni, and salami) deliver plenty of protein, and you can dress these heroes up with any or all of your favorite toppings.

13 of 22

Italian Focaccia Sandwich

Italian Focaccia Sandwich
Andy Lyons Cameraworks LTD

Salad dressing isn't just for drizzling over greens. Dress up this no-cook summer dinner idea with your go-to salad topper (we adore Caesar or creamy Italian). To make the Italian salami and cheese sandwich recipe ultra-tasty and satisfying, stack focaccia slices (no plain white bread here!) with artichoke hearts, roasted red sweet peppers, capocollo, and provolone.

14 of 22

Pizza Lettuce Wraps

Pizza Lettuce Wraps
Blaine Moats

Ditch the hassle of baking a crust and instead opt for Bibb lettuce leaves to hold all your favorite pizza toppings. Fresh cherry tomatoes make a great replacement for sauce, and you can go ahead and pile on pepperoni, cannellini beans, and mozzarella cheese, too. This easy no-cook dinner idea is faster than takeout and a lot less work than kneading your own dough.

15 of 22

Dark Chocolate Banana Nut Pops

Dark Chocolate Banana Nut Pops
Karla Conrad

Enjoy a dressed-up version of frozen bananas with a peanut butter and chocolate coating. Rolled in crunchy peanuts or almonds, this frozen fruit is a blissfully easy no-cook summer recipe, and you don't even have to chase after an ice cream truck.

16 of 22

Mango, Tomato, and Avocado Salad

Mango, Tomato, and Avocado Salad
Blaine Moats

Guac gets a seasonal, just-a-hint-sweet upgrade in this bright and beautiful summer side dish, that features fresh tomato, avocado, and mango. The no-cook recipe is as simple as chop, mix, and serve. To reconstruct it into a no-cook meal, add leftover chicken, shrimp, or steak.

17 of 22

Smoked Salmon Flatbread

Smoked Salmon Flatbread
Andy Lyons

These pita wraps are so tasty, they'll probably become your go-to no-cook meal whenever you need a speedy lunch. Just slather the flatbreads with cream cheese, stack on the lettuce, then top with generous portions of smoked salmon. And to complete the bagels and lox-like experience, don't forget the capers.

18 of 22

Creamy Chocolate Pudding

Creamy Chocolate Pudding
Karla Conrad

Shh...don't tell the kids! This rich-tasting pudding gets its creaminess from ripe avocado. That means there's no constant stirring or monitoring needed, and the easy no-cook recipe is ready to satisfy your chocolate cravings in just 10 minutes.

19 of 22

All-Wrapped-Up Chef Salad

All-Wrapped-Up Chef Salad
Blaine Moats

Take a dinner salad recipe on the road by tightly wrapping your fresh ingredients in a whole grain tortilla. Then, no fork is needed for you to devour the romaine lettuce, avocado, and crunchy cucumber mix. Layer in a few slices of roast beef to give this no-cook dinner recipe a filling boost of protein.

20 of 22

Chilled Avocado Soup

Chilled Avocado Soup
Karla Conrad

Thick and creamy with just a bit of pepper, this cool soup is tasty enough for you to serve all summer long. If you've been sticking to serving avocados on toast and as a salad topper, this is the kind of deliciousness you've been missing.

Test Kitchen Tip: To make this easy no-cook summer recipe vegetarian, use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

21 of 22

Ginger-Lime Icebox Cheesecake

Ginger-Lime Icebox Cheesecake
Brie Passano

"I took this to a potluck and everyone asked for the recipe! Easy to make and a great summer dessert," raves one BH&G home cook of this key lime pie-inspired icebox cake. For the crust, hit the "easy" button and line the no-cook summer recipe with crushed gingersnap cookies.

22 of 22

Chopped Salad Taco

Chopped Salad Taco
Andy Lyons

If sweet corn and zucchini are burning a hole in your farmers market bag, it's time to whip up a batch of these veggie-filled tacos. Pinto beans serve as a delicious source of protein for this no-cook summer meal idea. Don't let the simple ingredients fool you, this vegetarian taco recipe will impress even the most dedicated meat-eaters.

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