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5 No-Cook Summer Dinners

5 no cook summer dinnersWith summer fully upon us, the heat of South Carolina has settled over the midlands like a wool blanket.

While I am thrilled to have central air now, growing up in Minnesota, we didn’t have air conditioning. We closed windows during the day to keep the heat out and opened them to the cool breezes in the evenings. If it was at all possible, we avoided using our oven or stove so as not to make the house more miserable.

Needless to say, no cook recipes (or at least those with limited amounts of it) were huge in my house. Leftover bacon went into fresh BLT’s and chef salads were created out of whatever we could find in the fridge. Our outdoor grill was put into constant rotation. Whether you are pressed for time, or just want to keep the oppressive heat out of doors, this handful of no-cook dinners that do NOT require your oven or stove will come in extra handy this summer!

Carolina Cobb SaladCarolina Cobb Salad

Recipe via Brittany’s Pantry

Layer on individual plates:
lettuce (I happened to have romaine on hand when I photographed this but use whatever you like)
tart diced apples, such as granny smith or gala (I use 1/2 an apple per person)
crumbled bleu cheese
hard boiled egg
diced cooked chicken or turkey, such as from a rotisserie deli chicken
unsweetened, dried cranberries
cherry tomatoes, or whatever tomatoes look good at the time
Optional: bleu cheese dressing or ranch dressing


Salmon-SaladSalmon Salad

Recipe and Image via Back To Her Roots

7.5 ounce can salmon, drained and mashed with a fork
2 green onions, sliced thin
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/2 ripe avocado
Salt and pepper, to taste

Mix all ingredients together until well-combined. Serve salad over a bed of greens, with crackers for dipping or on a sandwich.


Thai-Beef-Rolls Thai Beef Rolls

Recipe and Image via Cooking Light

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon bottled ground fresh ginger (such as Spice World)
1 tablespoon bottled minced garlic
2 teaspoons fish sauce
3/4 teaspoon sugar
4 (8-inch) flour tortillas
2 cups torn Boston lettuce
12 ounces thinly sliced deli roast beef
1/2 cup matchstick-cut carrots
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

Combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Place tortillas on a work surface; brush lightly with 2 teaspoons juice mixture. Arrange 1/2 cup lettuce on each tortilla; top each with 3 ounces beef. Combine carrots and mint; arrange about 3 tablespoons carrot mixture over each serving. Drizzle each serving with about 1 tablespoon of remaining juice mixture; roll up.


Roast-Chicken-Waldorf-SaladRoast Chicken Waldorf Salad

Recipe an Image via Brittany’s Pantry

2 large roasted chicken breast, boned and skinned, and cubed into bite sized pieces
2 c of grapes (red or green) halved
2 stalks celery, sliced thin
2 large apples, cored and cut into bite sized pieces
1/4 c plain yogurt (I use fat free or low fat)
1/3 c good mayonnaise
1 heaping T of raw honey
1 T of red wine vinegar
pinch of salt
black pepper to taste
1/2 c chopped walnuts, optional
Spring greens

In a large serving bowl, add the first four ingredients and let sit covered in the fridge until the dressing is made. If you are concerned about the apples oxidizing, just wait until the end to add them at the last minute. Combine the mayo, yogurt, honey, vinegar, and seasoning. Pour over salad ingredients and gently toss until evenly coated. Serve over a bed of greens and garnish with a heavy pinch of walnuts, if desired.


Slow-Cooker-Summer-Chicken-ChiliSlow Cooker Summer Chicken Chili

Recipe and Image via Back To Her Roots

Note: Okay. So this last recipe isn’t no cook. But it IS made in the slow cooker and that is virtually the same thing!!

8 ounces tomato sauce
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
10 ounces frozen corn
1 medium onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, seeds removed, finely diced
2 pounds tomatoes, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons cumin
1 tablespoon oregano
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 large, boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound total)

Combine all ingredients except for the chicken breasts in the basin of a large slow cooker. Place chicken breasts on top and close slow cooker. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 8-10. 30 minutes before serving, remove chicken and shred using two forks. Return to chili and stir well.

Got a favorite no-cook recipe? Share in comments below!

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