How to Never Turn On Your Oven: A Whole Day of No-Cook Recipes

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We’ve learned a valuable lesson this summer: Turning on the oven or stove during a heat wave is no way to live. Then again, neither is a diet of straight salads. If you’ve resigned yourself to choose between sweaty, miserable meal prep and monotonous bowls of leafy greens, we’re here to throw you a lifesaver. We’ve been hard at work planning no-cook summer meals to keep you cool and satisfied throughout the day. Here’s a sample menu to keep on hand for the next time temperatures rise:

Breakfast

You don’t need fried eggs and bacon to give yourself a morning energy boost. Rachael Ray’s Yogurt and Fruit Parfaits will fill you with protein and fiber without requiring you to fire up your griddle. If you have an abundance of fresh fruit on hand, try Ina Garten’s Fruit Salad with Limoncello; the silky lemon yogurt topping comes together in mere seconds.

Lunch

We’re choosing to see oppressive summer heat as an opportunity to eat more sandwiches, and Jeff Mauro’s Monster Muffaletta is life-giving. Pair it with a side Tomato Mozzarella and Basil Salad for a well-rounded, no-cook summer lunch.

Snack Time

Tide yourself over until dinner with easy, no-cook dips. The short ingredient list, the minimal prep work and the ability to skirt your oven are just a few of the reasons why we adore Ina’s homemade Hummus. As an alternative, this Pea and Avocado Dip offers all the creamy texture of hummus, but in a brilliant shade of green. And, of course, you can never go wrong with a classic cheese plate when attempting to stave off midday hunger.

Dinner

Dinner is the hardest meal to pull off without the help of your oven or stove top, so we recommend turning to refrigerated leftovers and hidden treasures in your freezer. Keep it light with Jeff’s tangy Chicken Salad, a mix of leftover cooked chicken breasts, walnuts and cranberries served in delicate Bibb lettuce cups. Zoodles are always a wise choice when a heat wave refuses to break; try them as a spaghetti replacement served with leftover, defrosted meatballs. And if that’s not enough to curb your hunger, whip up a batch of Tyler Florence’s 15-minute Watermelon Gazpacho topped with salty crumbles of feta cheese.

INDIVIDUAL_NO_BAKE_STRAWBERRY_CHEESECAKE
Individual No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecakes

Dessert

If you’ve managed to get through a whole day without turning your oven, don’t give in now. Food Network Magazine’s Red Velvet-Blueberry Ice Cream Pie is topped off with whipped cream and red velvet cupcake crumbs. For something lighter, try Rachael Ray’s Individual No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecakes, which take just 10 minutes to prepare.