49 No-cook recipes for hot summer days

From apps to desserts ideas to keep you cool in the kitchen!
Published August 6, 2021

When it’s too hot to even think about turning on the oven, this collection of our all-time favourite no-cook recipes has got you covered — from appetizers to dessert.

No-cook appetizers

When temperatures spike and appetites are languishing, try serving a selection of these elegant no-cook appetizers in place of a main course. Arrange two or three of the following appetizers on a large platter and provide a medley of accompaniments to round out the meal (think fresh pita bread and crackers, sliced fruits and veggies, a small cheese and charcuterie course, or a bowl of mixed olives and pickles — anything that doesn’t require heat to serve.) Elevate bright and beautiful homemade ceviche or salsa by spooning it into halved mini sweet peppers or hollowed-out cucumber rounds before serving.

Simple summer salads

The meal-sized salads in this section make use of vibrant seasonal produce and unconventional ingredients to produce gorgeous no-cook results that are packed with flavour. Several of the recipes listed below come together with the help of lean proteins such as rotisserie chicken from the deli, hard boiled eggs, low fat dairy, canned beans, and firm tofu. Adding a small serving of heart-healthy fat to the salad, think olives, nuts, or seeds, will up the satiety factor without feeling heavy.

Warm weather sauces, dips and dressings

When even the smallest amount of effort feels like too much, these recipes for no-cook sauces, dips, and dressings will add big flavour to food on even the hottest days. Whether you’re in need of a homemade barbecue sauce that doesn’t require any stove top heating or a zippy salad dressing, you’ll find that each of these sauces have myriad uses that extend past the obvious. Try stirring a few tablespoons of barbecue sauce into plain low fat Greek yogurt for a smoky dip, drizzle creamy dressings over sandwiches and stuffed pitas or transform leftover cooled, cooked grains into a quick salad with the addition of a vinaigrette and fresh herbs.

Easy-to-assemble sandwiches and wraps

The ultimate no-cook staple, when you have all the fixings for a wrap or sandwich handy you’re never more than 10 minutes away from a light yet satisfying meal. These recipes make use of classic no-cook fillings such as canned tuna and pre-cooked turkey, as well as unconventional additions like pesto, fresh herbs, pre-cooked lobster meat, and hummus. Feel free to swap out the bread or wrap with your choice of ZeroPoint edible container; Swiss chard, collard greens, and iceberg or romaine lettuces are all sturdy and tasty options.

Cooling desserts for hot days

From delicate semi-frozen granitas to make-ahead strawberry layer cake (assembled using store bought angel food cake), there’s a no-bake and no-cook dessert recipe in this section for every level of sweet tooth. Instead of heating the whole house up with your oven (also factoring in the time it takes for a stove to heat up and cool down), leave the pies, crisps, and cobblers to the pros and buy warm weather-baked goods from your local bakery.