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No Cook Meals are definitely an important staple to have in your back pocket. Whether you are super busy, it’s too hot turn on the stove or oven, or you are just plain tired of cooking, these are the dishes you need! Feed the family without heating up the kitchen with over 50 of the best no-cook recipes you can make for fast dinners or easy lunch ideas for work!
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…
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:
- How to Cook White Rice (Stove, Microwave, Slow Cooker, Instant Pot, Rice Cooker)
- How to Cook Brown Rice (Stove, Microwave, Slow Cooker, Instant Pot, Rice Cooker)
- How to Cook Quinoa (Stove, Microwave, Slow Cooker, Instant Pot, Rice Cooker)
- How to Cook Bacon (Stove, Microwave, Oven, Instant Pot, Air Fryer, Grill)
- How to Make Hard Boiled Eggs (Stove, Microwave, Oven, Instant Pot, Air Fryer, Grill)