10 Grocery Store Buys for Easy No-Cook Suppers

updated Jun 21, 2019
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No-cook suppers are an essential part of my summertime meal plan. They keep the oven and stove off when it feels too hot to cook, but they’re also my answer to cooking quick dinners when I’m pressed for time or just don’t feel like cooking. To make it easy on myself, I always stock the fridge and pantry with these 10 items.

1. Rotisserie Chicken

Rotisserie chicken is the king of no-cook suppers, and one of my favorite options. Pair it with a simple side salad and you’re good to go. It can also be folded into tacos, layered on a sandwich, added to salads and noodle bowls, and used for so much more.

No-Cook Suppers with Rotisserie Chicken

2. Smoked Salmon

You love it on your bagels and breakfast sandwiches, and now it’s time to add it to your grocery list for easy, no-heat summer suppers. Drizzled with a squeeze of lemon and perhaps a spoonful of capers, it is luxurious as is — especially if it involves a few saltines. It’s also the protein boost your noodle bowls and salads have been missing.

How To Make a Sandwich for a Crowd (Image credit: Maria Midoes)

3. Deli and Cured Meats

This is an important one: Don’t forget a stop at the deli counter. Keep it simple with sliced deli meats like turkey, ham, and roast beef or take it up a notch with cured meats, like salty prosciutto or speck. The bottom line is, whether you roll them up, layer them on a sandwich, or add them to a salad, these meats give you a guarantee of an easy no-cook dinner.

No-Cook Suppers Sourced from the Deli Counter

4. Cheese

In case you needed confirmation, cheese is a perfectly acceptable supper on those nights you just don’t want to cook. Bulk it up with some deli or cured meat, a knob of crusty baguette, and a glass of rosé and you’re good to go.

5. Riced Cauliflower

Pre-riced bagged cauliflower is all about convenience — it saves time and means less dishes to clean up after dinner. The beauty of riced cauliflower is its versatility. Mix it into a lettuce-free salad, swap it for grains when making tabbouleh, or use it as the base of your burrito bowl on Taco Tuesday.

No-Cook Recipes with Riced Cauliflower

6. Tofu

Tofu is always a good choice when you want a no-cook supper with an extra boost of protein. Firm and extra-firm tofu can be sliced or cubed and added to salads, wraps, sandwiches, and summer rolls. Use it as is, or marinate it for some extra flavor. Pick up a package of silken tofu for blending into smoothies, salad dressings, and dips.

7. Canned Beans

Summer is a wonderful time to use canned beans. Drained and rinsed, they are a humble workhorse that get tacos on the table in a matter minutes. They’re also the key to a quick, hearty salad tossed together for lunch or dinner.

No-Cook Recipes with Canned Beans

8. Frozen Cooked Shrimp

Consider this the freezer staple you didn’t know you needed. Frozen cooked shrimp is a smart shortcut for those nights you want to keep the oven off. They thaw quickly and make a nice addition to a bowl of zucchini noodles, a fresh farmers market salad, or summer rolls.

9. Rice Paper Wrappers

Rice paper wrappers are such a helpful ingredient to keep on hand — especially during the summer months. Once soaked in water, these pliable wrappers can be used to make fresh summer rolls filled with pre-cooked chicken, shrimp, veggies, or really any ingredients you like. It’s a light and refreshing summer dinner with no cooking required.

Recipes with Rice Paper

10. Dried Rice Noodles

Unlike your standard pasta or soba noodles, this pantry ingredient is dinner-ready after soaking in boiling water for a few minutes. Once the noodles are tender and drained, use them for salads, noodle bowls, or summer rolls.