5 No-Cook Dinners for When It’s Too Hot to Cook

Mid-July can only mean one thing: It’s hot, hot, hot almost everywhere. We’ve seen about 100-degree temperatures at home and are headed to a family vacation in sticky-hot Georgia.

As you can imagine, this week’s meal plan is all about keeping cool in the kitchen. Dinners will be all about assembly rather than cooking, and we will be eating cold oats, yogurt, and smoothies for breakfasts and lunch. Here’s a week of no-sweat dinners when it is honestly just too damn hot to cook.

Welcome to This Week’s Meal Plan

I believe meal planning is the secret to stress-free weeknight dinners. Since I’m frequently asked by friends and family what I’m cooking for dinner each week, I share my weekly meal plan here. Whether you’re just learning to meal plan and looking for a real-life example of how this works or you’re an old pro on the hunt for inspiration, here’s a peek at how I’m feeding my family this week.

New to meal planning? Start here.

Monday: Ice Cream for Dinner

Look, we put ice cream for dinner on our summer bucket list and I believe that Monday July 16 is actually National Ice Cream day, so why not? We’ll have a snack board of cheese, crackers, cut-up vegetables, and store-bought hummus before we head out for ice cream (and no doubt that I’m having a double scoop!).

Tuesday: Vietnamese-Style Chicken & Noodle Salad

Here’s how to truly make this salad a no-cook dinner: Pick up a bottle of your favorite marinade or sauce and a rotisserie chicken from the market. Then you’ve just got some chopping and assembling to do. And if you chop a ton of vegetables tonight you’ll have minimal prep tomorrow night.

Wednesday: Build-Your-Own Summer Rolls

My family is obsessed with making their own summer rolls for dinners right now and they truly are perfect for these too-hot nights. You can buy pre-cooked shrimp from the freezer or ask your seafood counter to do it for you, or use yesterday’s leftover chicken as part of the filling.

Thursday: Summer Vegetables Sub Sandwich with Garlic Cream Cheese

These sandwiches will accompany us to a late afternoon spent at the pool. Veggie-heavy sandwiches partnered with the inevitable bags of chips and Popsicles will be absolutely perfect poolside.

Friday: Greek Panzanella

We’re skipping our Friday pizza tradition for a cook-out with friends, and I’m bringing this bread salad to share. If this is dinner, bulk it up with a can of chickpeas and enjoy a no-cook salad that hits all the pizza flavors without heating up your kitchen.

Click below to get more tips, insights, and ideas from our Meal Plan Club crew and readers like you.



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