When you live in an apartment where just five steps will take you from the kitchen to the couch, attempting to keep the place cool through the summer months is serious business. That means I really have to limit the use of my oven and stove on the hottest days — although I did once try to make pizza on an 100°F day with the oven cranked up to 500°F, hoping I'd survive it in the name of pizza, but I failed miserably. So it's no-cook, simple summer suppers on repeat in this house. Here's what I've been churning out lately.
This is my go-to meal in the hot summer months. Using already-stale bread means I don't have to toast it first. However, if I don't have that on hand, I'll toast the bread cubes in the toaster oven so it won't heat up the house. Paired with a ball of creamy burrata cheese and some thinly sliced prosciutto, it's a meal that's hard to grow tired of.
Summer rolls are a cool, refreshing choice for both lunch or a light dinner. I opt for pre-cooked shrimp and skip the rice noodles, which means making the summer rolls is a truly no-cook affair.
Even if that crowd is just me and my fiancé, this extra-large sandwich is a win. I can assemble it at the start of the week and we can reach for a wedge as we need it over a few days. Wrapping up a couple to-go wedges also makes for a quick, impromptu picnic.
Yes, this requires boiling pasta, but I'll suffer through those eight to 10 minutes to get my fix of this ultimate summer dish. If it's really, truly too hot to quickly cook the pasta, this bright no-cook tomato sauce gets piled on good bread along with fresh mozzarella or crumbled goat cheese to become bruschetta.
Gazpacho is a classic summer dish for a reason — toss everything into a blender and in minutes you have the most refreshing chilled soup. It's also a great way to use up the odds and ends left over from your farmers market haul, like cucumber halves, bruised tomatoes, and more.
6. Pan Bagna
Okay, so you have to boil the eggs for this sandwich, but trust me — it won't heat up your house! If you're really serious about not cooking, boil them at night when the heat's dropped and tuck them in the fridge for when you need them. You'll be rewarded for your efforts with this very French tuna sandwich that's begging to be enjoyed with a crisp glass of rosé.
Reach for rotisserie chicken to make this a no-cook salad. I also very often lean on store-bought zucchini noodles to make this hearty, blue cheese dressing-laced salad come together in next to no time.