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12 No Cook Dinner Ideas for Hot Summer Nights

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When the weather starts heating up, I’m on the hunt for easy dinner ideas. You know, the kind that don’t involve cooking on hot summer nights. I mean, who wants to stand over a hot stove in a hot kitchen and make dinner?

Not me, that’s for sure. But we still have to eat. So no-cook meals are a great solution to this dilemma. Not only does this style of meal preparation keep the house cooler, but it also makes for lighter meals which is very welcome when it’s hot out. Not to mention it doesn’t feel good to eat heavy, rich meals in the summertime as it does in the winter.

charcuterie board with text overlay

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Even without cooking, there are plenty of delicious and exciting meals we can enjoy on hot summer days.

Here are a few ideas to check out next time it’s too hot to cook! Most of them are built around fresh vegetables and fruits, making them both nutritious and delicious.

The Best No Cook Dinner Ideas for Hot Summer Nights

cucumber and tomato salad with feta cheese in a white bowl

1. Cucumber Tomato Salad

This light and refreshing salad is perfect for a hot Summer day. It’s easy to make and can be served as a side dish or a main course if you add a protein. The cucumbers and tomatoes have a high water content, so they’ll help you stay hydrated.

To make it, simply chop up some cucumbers and tomatoes, then mix them together with a drizzle of olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Top with a bit of crumbled feta or mozzarella cheese. You can add a bit of rotisserie chicken to make this a main dish meal.

I also love this Panera Greek Salad & Dressing {Copycat}. It’s refreshing and much cheaper than getting takeout.

2. Gazpacho

This classic Spanish soup is perfect for a hot summer day. Made from puréed vegetables and served cold, it’s the ideal meal for cooling off.

There are many different recipes for gazpacho, so feel free to experiment until you find one you like. And making gazpacho is a great way to use some of the fresh produce from your garden or the farmer’s market.

homemade chicken salad in a white bowl

3. Chicken Salad

This no-cook chicken salad is perfect for a summer picnic or barbecue. It’s easy to make and can be served as a sandwich, in a wrap, or on crackers. You can use pre-cooked chicken breast or canned chicken – it is delicious either way.

Simply combine the following ingredients in a large bowl:

  • 16 ounces of cooked chicken breast meat (if you are using canned chicken be sure to drain it first)
  • 1/2 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • 1 stalk of celery, diced
  • 1-2 tablespoons of sweet pickle relish
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Looking for more easy meals? Try these 15 Easy Recipes with Canned Chicken Breast.

4. Tuna Salad

This no-cook tuna salad is perfect for a summer picnic or barbecue. It’s another easy filling for sandwiches or wraps or eaten with crackers.

Combine these ingredients in a large bowl:

  • 10 ounces canned tuna, drained
  • 1/3 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup of chopped onion
  • 1 hard boiled egg, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of capers
two ham and cheese wraps on a white plate

5. Ham and Cheese Wraps

Ham and cheese wraps are perfect for hot summer days. They’re quick to make and can be eaten on the go, making them a fun choice for picnics. Use flavored wraps like spinach or sun-dried tomato to jazz them up.

Spread cream cheese on one half of the wrap, then top with deli ham and provolone cheese slices. Add lettuce, tomato or pickles if desired, then just roll it up.

6. Chickpea Salad

This vegetarian salad is hearty enough to be a meal on its own but can be served as a side dish. It’s packed with protein and healthy fats to keep you full and satisfied.

To make, simply combine the ingredients in a medium bowl:

  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup of cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

7. Buddah Bowls

Highly nutritious and filling, Buddha bowls make a great meal on hot days and nights. Buddha bowls are basically hearty salads with grains and nuts incorporated and typically have an Asian flavor profile.

You can put just about anything you want in them, but some good options include quinoa or rice, beans, sprouts, sliced vegetables, nuts, avocado, and a light dressing. Use pre-cooked packs of quinoa or rice to make it a truly no-cook meal.

caprese skewers drizzled with balsamic on a white plate

8. Caprese Skewers

These skewers are easy to make and so refreshing. They make a great appetizer or light meal. Simply thread cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella balls, and basil leaves onto skewers.

Drizzle the skewers with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then season with salt and pepper. Serve with a crusty loaf of bread and pesto to make it a meal.

9. Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Flatbread

This easy meal can be made quickly and eaten on the go. Simply spread a bit of cream cheese on a flatbread and top it with smoked salmon.

You can add some chopped red onion or capers to pump up the flavor. Cut it into squares or triangles and it’s ready to go.

10. Italian Subs

If you’re looking for a hearty no-cook meal, Italian subs are a great choice. Top a sub roll with assorted Italian meats (salami, ham or pepperoni), sliced cheese, and vegetables (lettuce, tomatoes, onions).

Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar or bottled Italian dressing. Add a bit of crushed red pepper for a spicy kick if you like.

charcuterie board with meat, cheese, crackers, and veggies

11. Charcuterie Board

If you’ve been here for a while you know my love of charcuterie boards runs deep. They are hugely popular right now and for good reason. They’re simple to put together with unlimited ingredient and styling options.

You can include salami, prosciutto ham, smoked cheese, pickles, fresh fruits, vegetables, olives and nuts. And don’t forget to include your favorite dips and sauces on the side. Serve with bread and a variety of crackers.

More Charcuterie Ideas:

12. No Cook Burrito Bowls

Burrito bowls are always a filling meal. This no-cook version is just like a regular burrito bowl but without the bother of heating up the stovetop.

Use pre-cooked rice or quinoa, canned beans or lentils, fresh vegetables, salsa, cheese, sour cream or guacamole to top it. Slice up some rotisserie chicken for a heartier bowl. The possibilities are endless!

You can eat the bowl cold or you can cook it in the microwave if you prefer to eat a warm bowl. Burrito bowls are fun to serve buffet style so everyone can choose their favorite ingredients.

So, tell me, what are your favorite dinner ideas for hot summer nights and days?

**Save No Cook Dinner Ideas for Hot Summer Nights**

charcuterie board with meat, cheeses, crackers, with text overlay
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