14 No-Cook Recipes That Actually Taste Good
Have you ever scrolled through a food blogger's website and been mesmerized by the beautiful dishes they create? 'Cause like, same. I marvel at the effort it must take to come up with recipes, painstakingly test each one, and then take gorgeous photos of every step along the way. Meanwhile, I'm over here like, "Do those frozen chicken nuggets cook on 350 or 375 degrees??" If you're a mom like me, one who just can't seem to find the time and energy to cook everyday, then these no-cook recipes for busy families are sure to serve you well.
Listen, I would love to tell you that all of these recipes are "kid-friendly" but the truth is, there's no way to know for sure until your kid tries it. Some of these dishes are a bit on the adventurous side, and depending on your little one's palette they may dive in, or they may turn their nose like a snooty food critic. However, I'm quite convinced that this collection of no-cook recipes are perfect for you, allowing you to eat something nutritious and easy to prepare, instead of cleaning up the crumbs from your kid's plate, or shoving a bunch of cheese down your pie-hole after the kids go to bed (just me?).
So, dear non-cooking friends, go forth and try one of these 14 recipes for breakfast, lunch, or dinner that requires absolutely no ovens, stoves, or grills for preparation. Then take a picture and show off your impressive (non)cooking skills.
1. Overnight Oatmeal
Let's be honest, mornings are rough with kids. And while it may be easier to toss a waffle in the toaster or fill them up with cereal, this incredibly easy overnight refrigerator oatmeal from Kitchen Confidante will get them, and you, off to a great start with zero cooking. Simply mix all the ingredients the night before and let them sit in the fridge overnight. This is a staple in our house and you can customize for even the pickiest of eaters.
2. Strawberry Banana Smoothie
Smoothies are my number one parenting hack for getting my kids to eat healthy. This strawberry banana smoothie from Love & Lemons can be made with fresh or frozen fruit and is just sweet enough (from honey, not refined sugar) that your kids will think you're being extra nice by giving them a "treat" for breakfast.
3. Blood Orange Avocado Salad
I'm sorry but have you ever seen a more beautiful salad? This blood orange and avocado salad recipe from Cookie + Kate is the perfect summer dish to add some color (and healthy fat) into your family's diet.
4. Shrimp and Mango Lettuce Wraps
Admittedly, you have to cheat a bit on this shrimp and mango lettuce wrap recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe if you want to make it truly "no-cook," but hey, we're all rule-breakers here, right? Instead of cooking the shrimp yourself, pick up some fresh pre-cooked shrimp from your local seafood restaurant or grocery store and then dress them up with the rest of the fixings. Yummy and oh-so-easy.
5. Zucchini Noodles With Pesto
Hear me out on this one; your kids might actually love these zucchini noodles with pesto from Two Peas & Their Pod, especially if you let them help in the preparation. And if they don't bite, no worries, there'll be more leftovers for you to nosh on!
6. Sweet and Spicy Tuna Salad
If your pantry is anything like mine, you've likely got a bunch of canned tuna you're storing away for an emergency in which no other food is available. But with this sweet and spicy tuna salad from Budget Bytes, you can break those cans free and actually make something delicious (and inexpensive) that will change the way you think of canned tuna (or is it chicken?) for good.
7. Herbed Ricotta and Tomato Crostini
Okay, so technically you have to toast the bread in this herbed ricotta and tomato crostini from GoodLifeEats, but I still think it counts as no-cook. This quick crostini is the perfect weeknight recipe for elevating plain old toast into a delicious, satisfying dish.
8. Mediterranean Chickpea Tuna Pittas
These vegan (the "tuna" is from chickpeas) and gluten-free mediterranean chickpea tuna pittas from Rhian's Recipes are packed full of plant-based nutrition. I cannot wait to try these (and see if my kids can guess what's in them).
9. Thai Peanut Wraps
Colorful, crunchy, and completely cook-free (that's a lot of "c" words), these Thai peanut wraps from Spiced will require you to do some chopping, but that's a small price to pay for the deliciousness you'll taste in return. Don't trust your knife skills? David from Spiced notes you can also buy a bag of cole slaw mix instead of cutting your own cabbage.
10. Classic Gazpacho
You can't do a no-cook recipe roundup without including a cold soup — it's in the rules! This classic gazpacho recipe from Foodie Crush is described as "a mix of fresh vegetables and store-bought tomato based vegetable juice for a perfect blend of smooth and chunky vegetable flavors." Even if your kids only take a few bites, they'll likely get more vegetables than they have all week.
11. Buffalo Chicken Spring Rolls
Before you start huffing and puffing about the cooked chicken you need for this recipe, I have four words for you: pre-cooked, store-bought rotisserie chicken. I use it all the time, and am definitely going to add this fun buffalo chicken spring rolls recipe from Cupcakes and Kale Chips (dying over that name!) into my repertoire.
12. Vegan Asian Swiss Chard Wraps
These colorful vegan Asian Swiss chard wraps from Jessica in the Kitchen are made with something I've never heard of before: walnut meat (say what?). Topped with a sweet sriracha sauce, my tastebuds are on over-drive just thinking about what this is going to taste like!
13. Spicy Tuna Roll Bowl
We love making bowls in our house. They're so easy to customize based on everyone's preferences and make us feel all hip because bowls are all the rage at restaurants these days. This spicy tuna roll bowl from Show Me the Yummy does need cooked brown rice, but hello, you can buy that on the cheap from your local to-go spot and then put the rest together yourself. The spicy mayo dressing from this recipe has my mouth watering just reading it.
14. Chilled Cream of Avocado Soup with Dungeness Crab
This paleo-friendly chilled cream of avocado soup with Dungeness crab from Nom Nom Paleo can become completely cook-free if you substitute cooking the Dungeness crab with canned crab meat (or without the crab altogether). But the delicious base, made with avocado and coconut cream, is sure to be a filling, cool soup whether you're a paleo pro or not.