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9 No-Cook Summer Meals to Chill Out a Heat Wave

If you can't stand the heat, why make things hotter by cooking? Try these ideas for refreshing no-cook summer meals instead. Because you're cool like that.

1. Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Pre-cooked shrimp saves you from heating up your kitchen when you make these fresh Asian wraps. Cool tip: "Cook" the rice noodles by soaking them in hot water from your tea kettle for a few minutes until they're soft but not mushy.


Fresh Spring Rolls

Photo by Meredith

2. Avocado and Tuna Tapas

Canned tuna goes fancy pants when it gets stuffed into rich, creamy avocado halves. Cool tip: Learn how to tell if an avocado is perfectly ripe, and how to slice it to remove the seed.


Avocado and Tuna Tapas

Photo by bd.weld

3. Zucchini Spaghetti alla Marinara

It seems like everyone's wild about zucchini "noodles." Here, they get tossed with raw tomato sauce for the ultimate fresh-from-the-garden dinner. Cool tip: No spiralizer? No problem. Use these everyday gadgets to make vegetable "noodles."


Zucchini Spaghetti alla Marina

Photo by bd.weld

4. Chicken, Avocado and Mango Salad

Stop by the deli to pick up a roasted chicken, and you're well on your way to making a satisfying dinner without breaking a sweat. Cool tip: Choose a flexible lettuce for your wraps, such as iceberg, Boston, or butter lettuce.


Chicken, Avocado and Mango Salad

Photo by Renee Paj

Related: Get 8 more no-cook meals you can make from rotisserie chicken.

5. Crab & Avocado Salad with Fruit Salsa

Spring for real crabmeat instead of imitation if your budget allows. If not, you can make this salad with cooked shrimp. Cool tip: The Washington Post has an informative article about the difference between canned and fresh crabmeat. Spoiler alert: They say go for fresh crab in eight- or 16-ounce tubs.


Crab Avocado Salad with Fruit Salsa

Photo by LatinaCook

6. Mid-Summer Italian Bread Salad

"Everything in this salad is fresh except the bread," says Tamara. "Prepare this salad with a loaf of artisan bread or rosemary bread that is a touch stale." Cool tip: "If your bread is too fresh, toast it until it is about half as dried and crunchy as a crouton."

Mid-Summer Italian Bread Salad

Photo by House of Aqua

7. Vietnamese Chicken Salad

Another great no-cook option with leftover or grocery-store rotisserie chicken. "This is a very simple-to-make salad with bold flavors," says Jia T. Cool tip: "The salad can be refrigerated overnight and still taste good the next day."

Vietnamese Chicken Salad

8. Raw Pad Thai

Strips of zucchini "noodles" and thinly sliced cabbage combine with a savory sauce featuring almond butter, honey, ginger, soy sauce, miso, garlic, and cayenne pepper. Cool tip: Use a veggie peeler to sllice zucchini lengthwise to create long thin 'noodles.'

Raw Pad Thai

Photo by Eroshound

9. Arugula and Hummus Mini Pizzas

Hummus and arugula combine with chopped dates, and pumpkin seeds over rounds of naan bread. Finish with a generous drizzle balsamic vinegar. Cool tip: If you prefer, substitute pita rounds for the naan.

Arugula and Hummus Mini Pizzas

Arugula and Hummus Mini Pizzas |  Photo by Kim's Cooking Now!

Related: Check out 12 fruit salsas you're going to want on everything.

More Ways to Keep Your Summer Cool


About Vanessa Greaves

Good food, friends, and fun are always on the menu. Find me as foodelicious on Allrecipes and vanny.gee on Instagram (but only if you don't mind cat pics and cocktails).