No-Heat Summer Meals

Stay cool and check out this awesome collection of lunch or dinner ideas that involve no cooking at all

10 Tasty No-Heat Summer Meals

This collection of summer dishes requires zero heat. That’s right: no oven, no grill, no stove, no microwave, not even boiling water allowed!

Caprese Salad

There is nothing better than a summer tomato at its peak of flavor; it’s so good that you can eat it out of hand like an apple. This kind of tomato is ideal for a Caprese salad.

Click here for the recipe for Caprese Salad!

Our recipe calls for layering fresh basil with slices of fresh mozzarella and tomato, but you could also drizzle basil pesto on top or add a garnish of extra-virgin olive oil and syrupy balsamic vinegar. Be sure to serve this with fresh bread so you can mop up the leftover juices.

Cheese and Charcuterie Plate

Cheese Board


This is a wonderful way to enjoy a meal, and creating an antipasto platter couldn’t be easier.

Click here for ideas and inspirations for your next Cheese and Charcuterie Board.

Pick a few of your favorite cheese and cured meats, track down some excellent, crusty bread, and add other accoutrements like marinated olives, honey, jams, or compotes. Dine alfresco (or in front of your AC unit) with a chilled glass of wine to complete the experience. 

Chilled Avocado and Cucumber Soup

Cold, creamy, and full of fresh vegetables, this velvety soup is perfect for a hot summer night.

Click here to find the recipe for Chilled Avocado and Cucumber Soup

Avocados are full of good fats, making the soup filling, and the cucumber will add a refreshing touch. Try serving it with a crusty, multi-grain baguette.


Gazpacho is a famous chilled Spanish soup traditionally made with a base of tomatoes and bread. This ultra-simple recipe comes from eight-time James Beard Award winner (and Daily Meal Editorial Director) Colman Andrews, so you can be sure that it’s a good one!

Find the recipe for Classic Spanish Gazpacho here!

Mediterranean Platter

When it's too hot to cook, a platter of dips, vegetables, and flatbreads is a great way to make a nourishing and healthy meal.

Click here for the recipe for Israeli Hummus Tehina.

You can make fresh hummus with canned chickpeas and eat it with fresh pita or store-bought pita crisps. You can also dip freshly cut bell peppers, carrots, and cucumber slices into the hummus or other cool Mediterranean dips like tzatziki or muhammara, or the spice mixture called dukkah


Panzanella is a Tuscan tomato and bread salad that is loaded with fresh summer flavors.

Click through for this recipe for Panzanella with Tomatoes and Mozzarella

This version has some celery thrown in for a bit of crunch, and lemon zest and mint for a refreshing kick.

Salmon Ceviche with Avocado and Ginger Recipe

salmon ceviche

Valaer Murray

In this salmon ceviche recipe, the salmon is lightly cured in a mixture of lime and lemon juice. This process denatures the fish, or “cooks” it, firming up the texture. Tossed with ripe avocado, this ceviche is a winner.

Find the recipe for Salmon Ceviche with Avocado and Ginger here.


Strawberry Soup



A touch of sour cream is swirled into blended ripe strawberries, making a bright and creamy soup. Try topping it with mint or basil leaves and a drizzle of sherry vinegar, olive oil, and cracked black pepper. Serve with good, crusty bread.

Fine this Strawberry Soup recipe here!

Tuna Ceviche


Alison Beck

In this recipe, cubed fresh sushi-grade tuna is tossed with lime zest and juice to gently “cook” a portion of the fish.

Click here for this recipe for Tuna Ceviche

Finely chopped jalapeños give the tuna a kick while avocado offers a creaminess that cools the heat of the pepper. This recipe is great over salad greens or paired with tortilla or plantain chips. 

Watermelon, Mint, and Feta Salad



Served with a hunk of fresh bread, plenty of feta, and good olive oil for dipping, this is a refreshing dinner option that is super satisfying to eat at the end of a scorching hot day.

Find the recipe for Watermelon, Mint, and Feta Salad here!