Oven Off, Dinner On: Our Favorite No-Cook Party Menu

Host a summer dinner party without having to turn your kitchen into a furnace

Photo Modified: Flickr / PortoBay Hotels & Resorts / CC BY 4.0

Ceviche is the most flavorful and impressive no-cook dinner party dish.

As we make our way towards summer and the days are getting warmer and warmer, the idea of turning the oven on becomes almost unbearable. Your apartment already resembles a sauna, so there’s no need to turn it into a furnace by heating the oven to 350 degrees F. But this doesn’t mean that we have to eat nothing but salad and fresh fruit for the next few months, and it doesn’t mean that you have to stop hosting dinner parties throughout these searing hot weeks. Follow this no-cook party menu, and you’ll be able to host a chilled, tasty, and filling party, without going anywhere near that oven.

Hors d’Oeuvres

Before you sit down for dinner, enjoy some fresh avocado tartines alongside your ice cold cocktail or chilled glass of wine. Add a sprinkling of fresh herbs, a squeeze of lemon juice, or a teaspoon of miso paste to your smashed avocado to mix up these pre-dinner treats: There’s no end of variations that can be made to this no-cook appetizer.                                                                                                                      

For the Herbed Avocado Tartine recipe, click here.


Begin your dinner with a cooling heirloom tomato gazpacho. Made by simply blending together fresh tomatoes, celery, cucumbers, peppers, garlic, and onions, this Spanish soup will cool everyone down, while also highlighting the flavors of the ripe heirloom tomatoes.

For the Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho recipe, click here.


Ceviche is the ultimate summer dinner party dish. It’s simple to make, looks impressive, is packed full of flavor and doesn’t require any cooking, just plenty of marinating. The gently spicy, citrus flavors perfectly match the sunny weather: This dish comes together to create the tastiest, most elegant summer dinner.

For the Ceviche de Aguja With Ginger and Mezcal, click here.


Cool down with the ultimate summer dessert: an ice cream pie. Using peanut butter and Rice Krispies to make a crunchy base means this pie requires absolutely no cooking at all. Select your favorite ice cream flavor to make the filling, and top it with fresh fruit or shards of dark chocolate.

For the 4-Ingredient Ice Cream Pie recipe, click here.

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