50+ No-Cook Recipes for Lunch and Dinner

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Discover easy, No-Cook Meals for busy days! When it’s too hot or you’re tired of cooking, these dishes are perfect. Feed your family without using the stove or oven with 50+ simple recipes for quick dinners or easy work lunches. Enjoy delicious meals with minimal effort without heating up the kitchen!

A collage of the Best No Cook Meals including chicken rollups, chicken salad, spinach salad, shrimp spring rolls, Greek zoodles salad, and lettuce wraps

What can I make for dinner without cooking?

When it comes to no-cook meals, the first thing you might think about is basic sandwiches. But you can definitely think outside the bread AND the box. Here are some easy ideas:

  • Sandwiches: The obvious choice, but there’s more than just peanut butter and jelly or lunchmeat. You can make chicken salad, chickpea salad, and even veggies with yummy spreads like hummus.
  • Salads: These also come to mind, but besides lettuce, you can make zoodle salads, tomato salads, seafood salads, and quinoa salads.
  • Wraps: Another option, but don’t limit yourself to the basic tortillas. Wrap those filling in lettuce for lettuce wraps or rice paper for spring rolls.
  • Other Lunch and Dinner Ideas: Get creative with things like stuffed avocados, ceviche, and cold soups like gazpacho.

Of course, I mentioned things like chicken and quinoa. So I know you are thinking to yourself, “Wait, I thought these were supposed to be no-cook meals!” Soooo…

collage of a chicken salad sandwich, spinach salad with strawberries, and shrimp spring rolls

Tips for No Cook Recipes

  • Chicken: For chicken, you can cook extra when you are making grilled chicken breasts. Throw a few chicken breasts in your Instant Pot or slow cooker, and keep chopped or shredded chicken in your freezer. Or pick up a roasted chicken from the grocery store. There are tons of leftover rotisserie chicken recipes, and some don’t require cooking.
  • Shrimp: You can buy pre-cooked frozen shrimp that you just have to thaw to toss on top of a salad or other recipes.
  • Steak: It takes the same amount of time to grill steak for one night as it does to grill steak for two. When we make a flank steak or flat iron steak, I usually buy a really big one or I buy two so we can make salads or wraps another night.
  • Grains: For grain salads, cook a big batch on a day that isn’t too hot and you can keep it in the fridge or freezer.
  • Bacon and Eggs: Pre-cooked bacon is available in the grocery store, and hard boiled eggs can be found in the refrigerator section or on the salad bar. But you can also cook bacon or make hard boiled eggs and keep them on hand in the fridge when you don’t want to cook.
  • Don’t want to cook any meat at all? You can always get your protein from beans and lentils and chickpeas! Try swapping the chicken in some of these salads with a lovely legume!

Meal Prep Directions

As I mentioned, there are a number of items that can be prepped ahead of time. Then keep them in the fridge or freezer so you can easily make lunches for work that don’t have to be heated or just throw together a no-cook dinner. Here are instructions for 5 or 6 different methods to prepare each of these basics:

No-Cook Meals for Lunch or Dinner

Recipes for sandwiches, salads, wraps, and more. No cooking required for these simple lunch and dinner ideas.

Greek Zoodles Salad

With juicy tomatoes, briny olives, crumbly feta cheese, all brought together with bright and zesty lemon and oregano dressing, this makes a fresh and healthy light meal.
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Healthy Tuna Stuffed Avocado

Healthy Tuna Stuffed Avocado

Stuffed with a flavorful southwest mixture of tuna, bell pepper, jalapeno, and cilantro, no mayo necessary for this healthy meal.
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Tzatziki Chicken Salad in a bowl topped with a sprig of fresh dill

Tzatziki Chicken Salad

A fresh and healthy Greek-inspired twist on the classic chicken salad recipe with the bright flavors of lemon and dill, salty feta, and it’s lightened up with Greek yogurt instead of mayo.
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Chickpea Salad Recipe

Chickpea Salad

Loaded with crisp cucumbers, juicy tomatoes, creamy avocado, and feta cheese, it is easy to make and comes together fast.
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A table shot with a bowl of strawberry spinach salad and fork to its left and a napkin to the right.

Strawberry Avocado Spinach Salad

Enjoy a refreshing twist on the classic Cobb salad with this recipe. Packed with chicken, bacon, avocado, egg, strawberries, and oranges, this vibrant and flavorful dish, drizzled with your choice of poppyseed dressing, makes for a delightful lunch or dinner option.
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Italian Sub Salad

Italian Sub Salad

Everything you love about an Italian sub without the gluten or carbs. Packed with fresh meats, cheeses, and a homemade vinaigrette dressing, it's a flavorful alternative.
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Chef Salad Lettuce Wraps

Turning your favorite salad recipe into finger food makes it even more fun and delicious. It's perfectly cool and crisp for warm days.
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Caprese Stuffed Avocado

Caprese Stuffed Avocado

Filled with a delightful combination of grape/cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella balls, basil pesto, and a touch of garlic, these stuffed avocado halves make a fantastic light lunch or snack. Finish it off with a drizzle of balsamic glaze for an incredible burst of flavors.
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Rice paper rolls filled with shrimp and veggies on a cutting board with a set of chopsticks and more summer rolls on a plate.

Shrimp Rice Paper Rolls

Combining succulent shrimp, crisp veggies, and a simple sauce rolled in rice paper wrappers, these healthy rolls are fresh and flavorful. Pair with your favorite dipping sauces.
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Chicken pinwheel sandwiches with veggies on a cutting board.

Mediterranean Chicken Pinwheels

All you need are a few ingredients and leftover rotisserie chicken to make this easy lunch or appetizer. It bursts with delicious flavors from olives, roasted red peppers, and more.
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Chef Salad on a Stick appetizers on a wooden platter with a bowl of honey mustard.

Chef Salad on a Stick

Turn the usual salad into a fun picnic lunch or party appetizer. Pair it with your favorite salad dressing or dip.
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Garden Veggie Chickpea Salad Sandwich

Garden Veggie Chickpea Salad Sandwich

Here's a a wholesome plant-based lunch option that's both delicious and nutritious. Whether prepared ahead for gatherings or packed for a convenient weekday lunch at work or school, it's a satisfying meal that will leave you energized throughout the day.
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No Bread Sandwich on apple slices with turkey, ham and cheese on a green plate

Turkey, Ham, and Cheese Apple Sandwiches

Try the fun and healthy breadless lunch idea that's perfect for kids and anyone in need of a gluten-free option or a delicious twist. Simply layer turkey, ham, and cheese between apple slices for a quick and easy meal!
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Easy Tomato Gazpacho

Easy Tomato Gazpacho

Beat the heat with this simple and refreshing chilled Spanish soup. It is the perfect way to cool down during hot days.
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Chicken salad with grapes in a blue bowl that has a polka dot rim.

Waldorf Chicken Salad

This recipe puts a twist on the classic Waldorf salad, using Greek yogurt instead of mayo, and filled with grapes and walnuts. It can be enjoyed in sandwiches, wraps, lettuce wraps, or on top of a refreshing green salad.
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Mediterranean Veggie Hummus Toast

Mediterranean Veggie Hummus Toast

A nutritious and delicious vegetarian snack or light lunch. This delightful treat features a wonderful combination of veggies on top of a humble slice of toast, making it a delightful option for everyone to savor.
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Sesame Peanut Zucchini Noodles on a green plate with wooden chopsticks on a blue napkin on the side.

Sesame Zoodles Salad

Enjoy a light and healthy twist on an Asian-style salad. Toss spiralized zucchini noodles in a delicious peanut sauce for a flavorful side dish or satisfying meatless meal that's gluten-free, low carb, and vegan.
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Vegetable Cream Cheese Roll Ups

Vegetable Cream Cheese Roll Ups

Enjoy these delicious pinwheels packed with crunchy vegetables, tasty herbs, and creamy cream cheese. Perfect for lunch or a snack!
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Peach, Tomato, Chicken and Blue Cheese Salad

Embrace the lingering summer vibes with a refreshing salad featuring an abundance of late summer produce. This light and cooling dinner option combines salad greens with the vibrant flavors of peaches, tomatoes, and blue cheese for a delightful meal.
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Mango Shrimp Ceviche with Pineapple

Mango Shrimp Ceviche with Pineapple

Put a tropical twist on a classic Mexican dish with a sweet burst of pineapple. Marinating the fish in lime juice cooks it without turning on the stove, grill, or oven.
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Cucumber and Tomato Salad with Marinated Garbanzo Beans

Cucumber and Tomato Salad with Marinated Garbanzo Beans, Feta, and Herbs

Enjoy a simple and refreshing summer lunch. Packed with garbanzo beans, this salad is perfect for those who appreciate a tasty and effortless protein-packed meal.
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a small bowl of strawberry poppyseed dressing which has been drizzle on the two bowls of salad next to it

Fruity Summer Shrimp Salad

Indulge in a light and refreshing salad that's perfect for summer. With succulent shrimp, fresh fruit, tangy goat cheese, and a zesty Strawberry Lime Poppyseed Vinaigrette, this dish is bursting with flavor while still being satisfying.
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Mango Avocado Quinoa Chicken Salad

Mango Avocado Quinoa Chicken Salad

With the creaminess of avocado, sweetness of mango, juicy tomatoes, and a hint of warmth and tang, this tasty recipe is a family favorite that will satisfy your taste buds. It's colorful, flavorful, and delicious.
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Two Doubled-Up Bowls Containing Greek Salad with Pita Bread and Spoons Beside Them

Greek Salad

Get ready to savor vibrant cherry tomatoes, crisp cucumber slices, and tangy feta cheese. Tossed in a zesty garlic lemon dressing, it's a flavor-packed delight that will leave you craving more, and you can even add a protein to make it more satisfying.
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Copycat Northstar Chopped Salad with Goat Cheese and Dates

Northstar Chopped Salad

Elevate your salad game with a delicious combination of goat cheese, dates, and avocado. You can create restaurant-quality salads in the comfort of your own home.
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Avocado Ranch Steak Salad with Mango on white rectangular plates

Steak Salad with Mango.

A hearty salad that makes a satisfying meal for even the biggest appetites. This recipe uses leftover cooked steak, but you can use any type of protein you want, then make it extra delicious with Avocado Ranch Dressing.
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Healthy Chicken Salad Sliders

Healthy Chicken Salad Sliders

These are perfect for summer gatherings, parties, or showers. Made with a base of Greek yogurt, these sliders are not only fun to eat, but also a delightful way to savor a guilt-free and tasty chicken salad sandwich.
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Overhead horizontal image of grilled chicken salad with strawberries and mango

Strawberry Mango Avocado Salad

Experience the delightful flavors of strawberries and mangoes with the creaminess of avocado. Topped with goat cheese, pine nuts, and a creamy citrus dressing, this salad is a healthy and satisfying option for a light lunch or side dish, or you can add your preferred protein to make it a complete meal.
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a bowl of bbq chicken salad in the middle with a sandwich on a plate to the left and lettuce wraps on a plate to the right

Honey BBQ Chicken Salad

Get ready to enjoy this delectable filling for sandwiches, lettuce wraps, and more. Made with creamy and light Greek yogurt infused with the savory goodness of barbecue sauce, this unique twist on chicken salad will introduce a delightful change to your lunch routine.
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A stack of colored bowls, the top bowl holds pineapple chicken salad.

Tropical Chicken Salad

Try this delightful recipe featuring juicy pineapple, crunchy macadamia nuts, and a creamy Greek yogurt base. Enjoy it on sandwiches, wraps, or salads for a perfect no-cook dinner or convenient lunches throughout the week.
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Chicken Caesar Salad in a white salad bowl with a fork

Healthy Chicken Caesar Salad

Make this classic homemade and healthy. Toss crisp romaine lettuce in a creamy, light Caesar dressing made with Greek yogurt, and add grilled chicken for a fresh and satisfying meal.
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Greek Vegetable Sandwich with Feta Spread

Greek Vegetable Sandwich with Feta Spread

Enjoy this sensational and flavorful sandwich creation by combining fresh onion, sprouts, lettuce, tomato, and cucumber. Enhance the flavors with tangy pepperoncini and kalamata olives, and finish it off with a creamy spread made of Greek yogurt and feta cheese.
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A buffalo chicken summer roll cut in half on a plate with whole rolls piled on a green platter.

Buffalo Chicken Spring Rolls

For a tasty meal, these flavorful and easy-to-make finger foods offer a delightful combination of hot sauce for a little kick and cool ingredients. A perfect choice for those who crave a balance of flavors.
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Greek Panzanella Salad

Greek Panzanella Salad

Enjoy the fresh flavor of this wonderful main course salad for the warmer months. Combining crisp vegetables, seasoned croutons, and a zesty lemon vinaigrette, this salad is sure to be loved by everyone.
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An orange bowl full of bacon ranch quinoa chicken salad.

Bacon Ranch Quinoa Chicken Salad

Create a delicious and satisfying meal by tossing together creamy and comforting flavors. This healthy dish can be made ahead of time, offering a convenient and tasty option.
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Easy Turkey Wrap

Easy Turkey Wrap

Indulge in the ultimate healthy snack or light lunch with this easy 4-ingredient idea. With no tortilla, it's a great option for making healthier choices.
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Barbecue Ranch Quinoa Chicken Salad

Barbecue Ranch Quinoa Chicken Salad

With the classic seasonings of Ranch dressing, plus yogurt, barbecue sauce, shredded cheddar cheese, cooked quinoa, and leftover chicken, this is packed with flavor. Enjoy this whole grain, gluten-free, high-protein, and delicious dish for any meal!
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Crunchy Sweet Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Crunchy Sweet Chicken Salad Sandwiches

This wholesome lunch idea, suitable for all ages, combines shredded chicken and toasted walnuts with a delightful dressing. For convenience, prepare it the night before and refrigerate overnight to enhance the flavors.
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Lettuce Wrap Sandwich

Lettuce Wrap Sandwich

Discover how to make a lettuce wrap sandwich with these easy and delicious low-carb, keto, and healthy alternatives to traditional sandwiches. Enjoy all the goodness without the bread, and find them just as satisfying as deli sandwiches.
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Apple Blue Cheese Chicken Salad

Experience the tangy and creamy flavors lightened up with Greek yogurt instead of mayo. Enjoy the combination of chicken, apples, walnuts or pepitas, and blue cheese for a versatile and delicious option for quick and easy meals.
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Salmon Salad with Avocado and Spinach

Salmon Salad with Avocado and Spinach

Enjoy a light and healthy summer meal with the easy-to-make Salmon Avocado Salad. Featuring perfectly flaky roasted salmon on a bed of spinach, complemented by fresh radish, avocado, red onion, and a creamy dill dressing, it's a delicious and refreshing option.
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Apple Cheddar Chicken Salad on a Stick

Make lunchtime fun with this kid-friendly recipe featuring apple slices, chicken chunks, cheddar cheese, and crisp lettuce. Enjoy it dipped into an easy honey mustard dip.
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Peanut Butter and Jelly Roll-Ups

Peanut Butter and Jelly Roll-Ups

Add a twist to the classic PB&J sandwich with a fun and easy lunch idea. Enjoy the delightful combination of salty and sweet flavors, making it a more exciting and enjoyable alternative to the traditional sandwich.
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Vegetable Tortilla Roll Ups

Vegetable Tortilla Roll Ups

Try the delicious twist on the Midwestern classic veggie pizza. With the same flavorful filling spread on tortillas instead of crescent rolls, these roll-ups are even easier to make, and no need to turn on the oven.
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Summer Veggie Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce

You'll love these colorful bites filled with crunchy veggies and wrapped in rice paper. Dip them in a homemade spicy peanut sauce for a delightful nutty kick.
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Avocado Chicken Salad

Experience this flavorful and satisfying dish, which is creamy yet light thanks to the addition of avocado. Despite the absence of mayo, this recipe is still incredibly tasty and will leave you fully satisfied.
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Turkey Club Wrap

Turkey Club Wrap

Stay cool on warm days with delicious and family-friendly wraps that are quick to assemble, featuring cooked bacon and a variety of toppings. With the added bonus of being healthy and low-calorie, they make for a delightful and satisfying meal.
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Tomato Basil Feta Salad

Tomato Basil Feta Salad

Celebrate the vibrant flavors of summer with a refreshing combination of in-season tomatoes, basil, and feta cheese. Add a touch of mint for extra freshness and enjoy it as a summer staple that captures the essence of the season.
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Shrimp and

Skinny Shrimp and Crab Salad

On hot days, enjoy the versatility of this creamy dish by itself or with crackers as a dip, or over lettuce as a garden salad. It truly captures the essence of summertime flavors with all of that delicious seafood.
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a serving bowl of zoodles with tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil on a wooden table

Caprese Zoodles Salad

Experience the taste of summer with a fresh and healthy twist on the classic salad. By incorporating zucchini noodles with tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil, this simple recipe offers a delightful side dish or light lunch option.
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Now that you haven’t cooked dinner, you might also want to no-bake your sweets or snacks. So check out these Healthy No-Bake Snacks and No-Bake Dessert Recipes.

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