6 oven-free summer meals


Now that the sun has started to show its face for more than a few hours a day, the last thing you want to do is spend the hours after work slaving away in the kitchen. You probably don’t want to fire up your oven, either, or the A/C will just have to do that much more work. Instead of cooking this summer, throw together these easy, healthy, and oven-free meals for lunch or dinner.

  1. Texas Caviar rice and beans [MyRecipes]. If you’ve ever been to Texas, you’ve probably tried Texas Caviar—it’s basically a juiced up version of salsa. You can make your own at home and transform it into a full dish by simply filling your plate with beans, roasted red peppers, chopped poblanos, and black-eyed peas microwaved in Texas Vinaigrette plus a slew of colorful extras like rice and cheese.
  2. Crab rolls [Real Simple]. You’re probably used to eating your seafood hot, but crab rolls are actually served cold. Buy fully cooked crab meat and mix it together with mayo, chopped radish and celery, chunks of tart Granny Smith apples, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Once everything is combined, dole out the mixture into fresh hot dog buns and put some pickles and chips on the side.
  3. Picnic in a Glass [MyRecipes]. Summer is the season to enjoy fresh fruits and veggies, which is why this Picnic in a Glass is basically a prettier version of a summer salad. You can build yours in a large class or mason jar, just add layers of chickpeas seasoned with mint, lemon, and parsley; chopped radishes and red onion; cucumbers and tomatoes; and a yogurt-based dressing. Add crushed pita chips for some crunch.
  4. Sesame-lime chicken salad [Real Simple]. Buy a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store or throw some frozen chicken in the crockpot for this recipe, which embraces the flavors of summer with its lime-based, sesame-infused marinade. The marinade packs just a bit of heat with some chili and black pepper, but when the cooked chicken mingles with lettuce and carrots, the cool veggies will help balance out the heat.
  5. Farro, cherry and walnut salad [MyRecipes]. Don’t get stuck in the same old salad rut; try a new ancient grain with this farro-based salad. You should be able to find it at your grocery store, probably in the health food aisle. Paired with tart cherries, crunchy walnuts, and a homemade dressing with lemon, mustard, honey, and pepper, the farro makes for a unique salad distinguished by an unexpected combo of flavors.
  6. Hummus-stuffed pitas [MyRecipes]. An easy way to get your protein without cooking any meat? Just add hummus. These hummus-stuffed pitas overflow with the creamy chickpea-based spread as well as lettuce, cucumber, fresh radishes and onion, and cheese. You’ll get bonus points if you make your own hummus in the food processor instead of picking up a container at the store!