29 Easy, No-Cook Recipes to Make for Lunch or Dinner

Try a cold soup, crisp salad, or sandwich for a simple no-cook meal.

Top View of Five White Bowls of Green Gazpacho With Grapes, Honeydew, and Cucumber and Three Metal Spoons for Eating

These refreshingly easy, no-cook recipes are perfect lunch and dinner ideas for days you're not in the mood to cook. (Or for hot days when the last thing you want to do is add to the misery by lighting up a burner to cook.)

These meals are super simple to put together, often using rotisserie chicken, pre-cooked shrimp, fresh produce, or meatless proteins to make them more hearty. Read on for nearly a month's worth of no-cook meals to add to your menu plan.

01 of 29

Nicoise-Inspired Summer Salad

Serving Platter of Nicoise-Inspired Summer Salad With Smoked Trout, Sugar Snap Peas, Chickpeas, Cherry Tomatoes, Olives, and Boiled Eggs and a Side Dressing
Caitlin Bensel

With a mix of pre-cooked fish, fresh produce, and canned chickpeas, this colorful take on the classic French salad is super-easy to assemble. Buy pre-cooked hard-boiled eggs to make this recipe no-cook.

02 of 29

Fancy Tomato Sandwiches

Fancy tomato sandwiches on a wooden board displayed on a table with fruit juice, sunglasses, and a potted plant.
Greg DuPree

Optimize your use of fresh produce by putting tomatoes front and center on these sandwiches. A little arugula gives it a peppery bite, while store-bought fried onions provide crunch.

03 of 29

Summer Tacos With Scallion-Peanut Relish

Summer Tacos With Scallion-Peanut Relish on a Serving Platter and Plates for Eating
Jen Causey

Quick pickles and a fresh spicy peanut relish dress up shredded rotisserie chicken to create this flavorful recipe. While warm tortillas are best, you can skip this step for a no-heat-required meal.

04 of 29

Japanese-Style Shrimp Salad

Japanese-Style Shrimp Salad With Avocado and Cucumbers in a Serving Bowl
Greg DuPree

A soy sauce and sesame oil dressing freshen up this tasty Asian-inspired salad. Fresh produce and pre-cooked shrimp round out this healthy and filling meal.

05 of 29

Chickpea-Tuna Salad

Chickpea-Tuna Salad served on a bed of arugula on a plate with a metal fork for eating
Photo by: Victor Protasio

Standard tuna salad gets an upgrade in this recipe, which is vinegar-based instead of mayonnaise-centric. Here, canned chickpeas are marinated in oil and vinegar to infuse them with flavor. The pulses are then joined by oil-packed tuna, radicchio, red onion, kalamata olives, and capers, creating an easy lunch or light dinner you'll want to make every week.

06 of 29

Nectarine-and-Burrata Salad

Nectarine-and-Burrata Salad on a White Serving Platter Displayed on a Blue-Tiled Patio Table
Greg DuPree

Quick-pickling the onions technically requires 30 seconds of microwaving—but it's worth it for this fresh and healthy no-cook salad. It's a delightful combination of creamy cheese and sweet nectarines.

If you don't love nectarines, try it with peaches, cherries, apricots—or a combo of what's best from the farmers market.

07 of 29

Tangy Shrimp Salad With Summer Vegetables

Tangy Shrimp Salad With Summer Vegetables Served in Two White Bowls
Con Poulos

Use pre-cooked shrimp, and this no-cook recipe comes together in minutes. A jalapeño adds a bit of heat, while fresh produce gives this salad a beautiful taste—and color.

08 of 29

Herby Chicken Salad Tartines

Four Herby Chicken Salad Tartines Topped With Radishes Displayed on a White Board Next to a Green Towel and Small Knife
Victor Protasio

Rotisserie chicken to the rescue (again)! In this recipe, you'll use a store-bought bird to create an elegant yet easy tartine, which is basically an open-faced sandwich.

The chicken is joined by Dijon mustard for sharp heat, apple cider vinegar for punch, celery seeds for savory depth, almonds for crunch, honey for a touch of sweetness, and fresh tarragon and chives for herbal balance.

09 of 29

Green Gazpacho With Grapes, Honeydew, and Cucumber

Top View of Five White Bowls of Green Gazpacho With Grapes, Honeydew, and Cucumber and Three Metal Spoons for Eating
Greg DuPree

While this green gazpacho is served with toast, you can easily skip that step if you're in the market for a recipe that requires absolutely no cooking. To make the vibrant, chilled soup, all you need is a blender to combine cucumber, melon, grapes, scallions, and salt with lime juice and vinegar-soaked bread.

10 of 29

Crispy Chicken-And-Cheddar Sandwich With Pickle Dijon

Crispy Chicken-And-Cheddar Sandwich With Pickle Dijon, Cut in Half and Served With a Glass of Beer
Jennifer Causey

If you have an extra-crispy chicken cutlet leftover from last night's dinner, this is the meal for you! Throw that chicken between two pieces of a baguette, add romaine lettuce leaves, grated Cheddar cheese, and a spread of pickle relish, Dijon mustard, and mayonnaise for a tasty sandwich.

11 of 29

Hazelnut Bushwacker Cake

No-Bake Hazelnut Bushwacker Cake on a Blue Plate Displayed on a Blue Table

Need a sweet treat to finish off your no-cook meal? Layers of cookies and Nutella-infused whipped cream make a super-easy (and super-impressive) no-bake dessert.

12 of 29

Ginger-Lime Melon Salad

Ginger-Lime Melon Salad With Watermelon, Honeydew, and Cantaloupe Served on a White Serving Platter
Jennifer Causey

For a light lunch that's packed with flavor, give this no-cook fruit salad a whirl. While you won't find any lettuce here, this dish is packed with fresh watermelon, honeydew, and cantaloupe. The melon trio gets a tasty boost courtesy of lime zest and grated fresh ginger.

13 of 29

Spicy Street Corn Salad

Spicy Street Corn Salad in a white serving dish with a wooden serving spoon.
Jen Causey

This fresh take on the classic Mexican street food elote features a hint of spice—and makes a perfect no-cook dinner. A little chopping and some mixing are all the work required to assemble this filling salad.

14 of 29

Coconut-Marinated Shrimp With Cucumber and Jicama

Coconut-Marinated Shrimp With Cucumber and Jicama on a White Serving Platter With a Metal Serving Spoon
Jen Causey

This super-easy no-cook shrimp meal is the perfect take-along for a picnic or get-together. Infused with coconut, lime, and cilantro flavors, you can serve this dish as-is or with a side.

15 of 29

Crab Rolls

Crab Roll Sandwich Served With Dill Pickles and Chips
Marcus Nilsson

Crisp radishes, celery, and apples provide a satisfying crunch that contrasts with the creamy mayo in this classic sandwich recipe. Using already-cooked crab meat keeps this easy sandwich recipe heat-free.

16 of 29

Baby Kale and Chicken Caesar Salad

Baby Kale and Chicken Caesar Salad on a White Serving Platter With Bronze Serving Utensils
Caitlin Bensel

Thanks to shredded rotisserie chicken, this salad requires just 15 minutes of hands-on work. And while you do need to pop some bread pieces in the oven for a bit, we think the result—crispy croutons!—is more than worth it but optional.

From there, whip up the dressing (made with mayo instead of an egg yolk) and toss it with the Brussels sprouts, chicken, and kale so everything gets evenly coated. Top the salad with the croutons, and dinner (or lunch) is served!

17 of 29

Zucchini and Bean Salad With Bulgur

Zucchini and Red Bean Salad With Bulgur Served in a White Bowl
Marcus Nilsson

Nutritious bulgur makes a hearty base for this delicious meatless salad. While you'll need a bit of boiled water for the bulgur, the rest of this meal only requires assembly.

18 of 29

Spring Green Salad

Spring green salad displayed on a white serving platter with metal serving utensils and served with a green dressing.
Greg DuPree

Empty out your produce drawer with this healthy salad, which boasts a base of romaine lettuce hearts with chopped cucumber, snap peas, and edamame mixed in. Add chives and mint, plus pistachios for crunch, and you've got a practically perfect salad on your hands.

19 of 29

Tex-Mex Gazpacho

Tex-Mex Gazpacho Served in Two White Bowls With Warm Tortillas
Romulo Yanes

Put your fresh tomatoes to good use with this chilled soup, which also calls for Kirby cucumbers, a red bell pepper, a poblano pepper, and a red onion. Fresh lime juice and olive oil add depth of flavor, while a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of roasted pepitas deliver creaminess and texture, respectively.

20 of 29

Chickpea Salad Sandwich

Chickpea salad sandwich, cut in half and served on a white plate with a glass of lime water in the background
Alison Miksch

If you're looking for an easy vegetarian meal, this sandwich is it. Here, canned chickpeas are combined with chopped celery, a shallot, mayonnaise, fresh lemon juice, and Dijon mustard to create a meat-free take on chicken salad. We promise you won't even miss the real thing!

21 of 29

Pickled Tuna-Salad Sandwiches

A pickled tuna-salad sandwich cut in half and served on a white plate.
Mark Lund

Elevate your standard tuna sandwich recipe with pickle relish and fresh flat-leaf parsley. If you have a spare hard-boiled egg from meal prep or don't mind cooking one thing, we promise that adding the chopped egg to the sandwich is worth it.

22 of 29

Summer Squash With Scallions, Chile, and Parsley

Summer Squash With Scallions, Chile, and Parsley Served on a Pink Plate
Greg DuPree

If you've never eaten a raw squash salad before, you're in for a treat (and there's no need to cook a thing). Tossing the rounds with salt allows them to soften and absorb every bit of flavor, while vinegar adds just the right amount of acidity. The whole thing is topped with a chopped almond dressing, which helps tie the dish together.

23 of 29

Peach and Arugula Salad With Burrata

Peach and Arugula Salad With Burrata Served on a White Plate
Greg DuPree

Fresh peaches are one of the best summer fruits, and they truly shine when paired with creamy burrata. This recipe also calls for prosciutto, peppery arugula, and a zingy herb oil made with olive oil, basil, and chives, which means it's likely to become a lunch favorite.

24 of 29

Sliced-Tomato Salad With Dill Pickle Relish Vinaigrette

Sliced-Tomato Salad With Dill Pickle Relish Vinaigrette on a White Plate
Caitlin Bensel

Reach for some relish and turn it into a tangy dressing with the help of olive oil, lemon juice, honey, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Once your dressing is done, drizzle it over thick slabs of heirloom tomatoes and crisp cucumbers. To make this salad more filling, add some dollops of burrata, torn mozzarella, or shavings of Parmesan.

25 of 29

Avocado Toast

Whole grain avocado toast topped with tomatoes
Barcin/Getty Images

To no one's surprise, this brunch staple also makes for a great lunch or light dinner. Kick things up a notch by topping your toast with just about whatever you have in the fridge. We're partial to a fried egg or crumbled cheese and sliced tomato topping, but there are plenty of avocado toast ideas to choose from!

26 of 29

Chicken and Dill Souvlaki

Chicken and Dill Souvlaki served on a flat bread displayed on a blue plate
Anna Williams

Sliced cucumbers and onions add a refreshing crispness that brightens up the rotisserie chicken and creamy yogurt. Serve with either flatbread or pita or eat as-is for a lighter meal.

27 of 29

Tropical Fruit Salad

Tropical Fruit Salad With Papaya, Pineapple, Mango, and Kiwi on a White Serving Platter With Bronze Serving Utensils
Victor Protasio

This delicious salad features a mix of papaya, pineapple, mango, and kiwi with a touch of sugar, lime juice, and a pinch of salt, which softens the fruit, helps it release its juices, and concentrates its flavor.

The fruit rests on a bed of creamy coconut yogurt and gets a sprinkle of flaked coconut on top. If coconut isn't your jam, leave off the flakes and swap in vanilla Greek yogurt for the base.

28 of 29

French Ham and Cheese Sandwich

Side View of French Ham and Cheese Sandwich, with Layers of Ham, Gruyère Cheese, and a spread of cornichons, butter, Dijon mustard, and tarragon
Danny Kim

The classic ham and cheese sandwich gets a French upgrade with Dijon mustard, Gruyère cheese, and a cornichon spread. This quick sandwich goes great with a side salad for a balanced no-cook meal.

29 of 29

Chicken Satay Lettuce Wraps

Unassembled Chicken Satay Lettuce Wraps on a White Plate
Caitlin Bensel

Using store-bought rotisserie chicken will make this a no-cook recipe that's quick to put together. A peanut-coconut-flavored sauce helps bring these lettuce wraps together.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles