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No-Cook Dinners for Hot Summer Nights

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photo: Scott Phillips

Even the most die-hard cooks have their limits: those stifling, humid nights when you just can’t bear to turn on the stove or step outside to grill. That’s the time to turn to your deli for roast beef or smoked salmon, or your seafood counter for cooked shrimp or lobster to make these easy but flavor-packed salads and sandwiches. A few recipes call for toast, but you can even skip toasting the bread. Pair the meals with a tall iced drink and stay cool!

  • Recipe

    Lemony Hummus Sandwich with Cucumber, Radish Sprouts, and Red Onion

    The hummus in this sandwich incorporates whole chickpeas, which add great texture, and a pinch of cumin, which makes it especially interesting and flavorful. The recipe makes about twice as much as you will need for the four sandwiches, but the leftover makes a terrific dip for crudités and crackers.

  • Recipe

    Brazilian Chicken Salad Sandwich

    This easy take on a sandwich sold by vendors along Rio de Janeiro’s beaches is packed with grated vegetables, sweet raisins, fresh lime juice, and cilantro. It’s like no chicken salad sandwich you’ve had before.

  • Recipe

    Cool Rice Noodle Salad with Shrimp and Ginger-Lime Dressing

    While this recipe is for just one person, it can easily be doubled or tripled to serve more. Cooked shrimp make this an easy, no-cook option, but this Vietnamese-inspired salad is also a great vehicle for using leftover grilled steak or chicken. Some chopped, unsalted and dry-roasted peanuts make a great garnish.

  • Recipe

    Spinach and White Bean Salad with Tuna

    The bright, fresh combination of endive and spinach makes this salad an elegant lunch or light dinner. Water-packed canned tuna works fine, but oil-packed tuna has a richer, more satisfying flavor.

  • Recipe

    Smoked Salmon Club Sandwich

    Move over, turkey club—this triple-decker sandwich stars a fresh combination of salty smoked salmon, creamy avocado, and spicy mayo. Toasted white sandwich bread is traditional for club sandwiches, but feel free to substitute any thinly sliced sandwich bread.

  • Recipe

    Greek Salad Pitas with Olive-Garlic Tapenade

    This is the perfect sandwich for a picnic—or for anytime you're craving picnic food. The tapenade is a cinch to make and the salad mixture is portable, so feel free to pack it up; just be sure to put the salad mixture in a container and add it to the pitas just before eating so they don't get soggy.

  • Recipe

    Spicy Italian Ham and Salami Sandwich

    This “sitting sandwich” is great picnic fare because it only gets better as it sits. Pack it at the bottom of the basket so any weight on top will compress it, making it easier to eat. A mojo-like sauce made with fresh lime juice, garlic, and lots of fresh oregano perks up the flavor of a classic Italian sub.

  • Recipe

    Vietnamese Zoodle Salad with Fragrant Herbs and Roasted Peanuts

    A tool called a spiralizer turns zucchini and other vegetables into long, curly, noodles. Turn this no-cook side into a main dish by topping with cooked shrimp.
  • Recipe

    Dill-Lemon-Caper Lobster Rolls

    Cooked lobster tossed in a creamy dressing punctuated with dill, capers, and lemon offers a new take on the traditional lobster roll.

  • Recipe

    Cobb-Style Salad with Roast Beef and Fresh Herb Dressing

    There’s nothing wrong with a cold supper when it’s bursting with as much color and flavor as this composed salad. While the ingredient list may look long, the prep is simple, and you can even buy hard-cooked eggs to save a step.

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