6 Fast No-Cook Dinner Ideas

When you hear about a “no-cook” dinner, do you automatically think it means carrot sticks? While it certainly can, it doesn’t have to. With holidays coming or busy weekday or weekend nights when you don’t have time to cook over the stove, try some of these ideas.

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Here are 6 fast, no-cook dinner ideas.

1. Tuna Salad “Boats”

For this no-cook idea, you just need hotdog buns and your favorite tuna salad. Load up the buns with tuna salad and serve with a side of veggie chips and a pickle. If you like, line the buns with cheese slices and/or lettuce before putting in the tuna salad.

To make a quick tuna salad, mix 1 can of drained tuna with 2 tablespoons mayonnaise and 1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish.

Easy variation: chicken or turkey salad instead of tuna

2. Fruit Mix

Cut up some fresh fruit and ball some melons, and put it all in a bowl. Serve with a side of plain yogurt drizzled with honey and some whole-grain crackers. Add some sliced cheese for the crackers and it’s a fast, fresh meal.

3. Pita Wedges and Hummus

Even though these are no-cook ideas, you can toast the pita wedges to make pita chips for this meal. Simply serve the pita wedges with hummus, and as a side have sliced cucumber salad: mix sliced or chopped cucumbers, thinly sliced onions, and chopped tomatoes with your favorite Italian or Greek dressing.

4. Veggie Wraps

You can serve this buffet-style. Lay out your favorite tortillas or flatbread at one end of the counter or table, and have a variety of spreads and veggies along the way for filling. Here are some ideas:

-Hummus

-Mayonnaise

-Mustard

-Bean dip

-Horse radish

-Cucumbers

-Lettuce

-Tomatoes

-Cheese slices

-Avocado slices

-Apple slices

-Sliced ham, turkey, chicken, or roast beef

-Sliced onions

Everyone can make their own. Serve with a side of applesauce or mixed fruit.

5. Build-Your-Own Salad

You can raid the pantry for this one! Using lettuce as a base, let your family choose their salad toppings and sides. Put out a variety of dressings, too. Here are some ideas of things you can put out for the salads:

-Cold cuts or sliced, leftover meat from previous dinners

-Tomatoes

-Onions

-Scallions

-Raw mushrooms

-Carrot slices

-Croutons

-Grated cheeses (a variety is good, like cheddar, crumbled feta, mozzarella, Parmesan, etc.)

-Sliced cold boiled egg

-Raisins

-Dried currants or cranberries

-Slivered almonds or chopped peanuts

-Thawed frozen peas

-Olives

There’s something for everyone here, even if someone takes just cheese, olives, and raisins!

6. Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil Salad

To serve 4, chop 2 large, fresh tomatoes and add 1 cup of cubed mozzarella (you can use grated mozzarella too). Stir in about 1 tablespoon of minced fresh basil and 2 teaspoons olive oil. Mix well and serve with bread on the side.

As you can see, there are lots of no-cook dinner ideas out there. Hopefully, your family will enjoy some of these soon!