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50 No-Cook Meals That’ll Keep the Kitchen Cool

When the dog days of summer roll in and it's just too hot to turn on the oven, keep cool with a no-cook dinner. Enjoy these light salads, sandwiches and soups—all made without breaking a sweat.

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DIY Salad in a Jar

Our farm-fresh salad is layered with gorgeous garden veggies. And we built in a homemade dressing flavored with fresh herbs. Just shake it up to eat the rainbow. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Smoked Salmon Egg Salad Exps Bfcbbz19 39099 E01 11 1b 2

Smoked Salmon Egg Salad

Served on croissants, these grown-up sandwiches offer a great way to use leftover Easter eggs. Salmon adds smoky flavor. —Cathy Tang, Redmond, Washington
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Red White And Blue Summer Salad  Exps Sdjj19 233539 B02 05 3b 2

Red, White and Blue Summer Salad

Caprese and fresh fruit always remind me of summer. In this no-cook meal, I combine traditional Caprese flavors with summer blueberries and peaches. I also add prosciutto for saltiness, creating a balanced, flavor-packed dish. —Emily Falke, Santa Barbara, California

At the start of summer, pair this dish with one of our favorite Memorial Day sandwiches.

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Hasselback Tomato Clubs

This no-fuss, no-bread riff on a classic is perfect during tomato season. Make it for lunch or pair with pasta salad for a light dinner. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Easy Citrus Seafood Salad Exps Tohjj20 242786 E02 05 1b 6

Easy Seafood Salad

This easy seafood salad was inspired by a dish I had in the Bahamas that featured conch. I substituted crab and shrimp and like it even more! —Cindy Heyd, Edmond, Oklahoma
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Chicken Cucumber Pitas Exps Sdjj18 73927 C02 08 4b 8

Chicken Cucumber Pitas

I wanted a good recipe for pita stuffing. Seeing the large stack of garden-fresh cucumbers on my counter, I decided to improvise and create my own no-cook meal. It was a huge hit. —Sheena Wellard, Nampa, Idaho
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Chicken Nectarine And Avocado Salad Exps Bfbz19 200496 B01 16 1b 1

Chicken, Nectarine and Avocado Salad

This salad is really summery and comes together very quickly. Using granola adds crunch and makes it different. I've tried using a various types of granola, and our favorites have been those that aren't overly sweet but have lots of nuts. —Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grove, Utah
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Cobb Salad Wrap Sandwiches

These wraps are easy for a summer night—and even better, I don't have to turn on my oven. It's smiles all around when I make this for dinner. —Bonnie Hawkins, Elkhorn, Wisconsin
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Watermelon Shrimp Salad

Sweet, spicy and easy to make, this salad travels well in a cooler to picnics and summer gatherings. I love the combination of flavors, the colorful presentation, and of course, I love to see the happy faces of my guests once they've tried it. —Judy Batson, Tampa, Florida
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Focaccia Sandwiches Exps Mtbz19 30931 E03 08 4b Rms 3

Focaccia Sandwiches

Slices of this pretty no-cook meal make any casual get-together more special. Add or change ingredients to your taste. —Peggy Woodward, Shullsburg, Wisconsin
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Cherry Chicken Croissants

I had a similar chicken salad at a restaurant and created my own version. It may seem like an odd combination, but the ingredients work really well together. My children love it, and it only takes a few minutes to cut everything up—so easy! —Katrina Gladdish, Grawn, Michigan
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Tarragon Tuna Salad Exps Sdfm19 27561 E10 19 2b 3

Tarragon Tuna Salad

It's surprising how a few herbs can brighten up tuna salad. Made with reduced-fat mayonnaise, this version gets its zip from mustard. It makes a terrific light lunch or Sunday brunch dish. —Billie Moss, Walnut Creek, California
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Dilly Chickpea Salad Sandwiches Exps Tohjj20 190103 B02 06 10b 15

Dilly Chickpea Salad Sandwiches

These chickpea salad sandwiches are super flavorful and contain less fat and cholesterol than chicken salad. They make delightful picnic sandwiches. —Deanna McDonald, Muskegon, Michigan
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Turkey Pitas with Creamy Slaw

Pack these pockets ‘o’ fun for school, work or a weekend picnic—or just eat them at home. Toss in a few slices of red pepper for extra color and crunch. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Shrimp Avocado Salad Exps Hc16 192652 C07 01 2b 6

Shrimp Avocado Salad

This salad can be served as a cool and satisfying dinner or lunch. The delicious taste and smooth texture of avocados mixed with the crisp shrimp salad is heavenly. —Teri Rasey, Cadillac, Michigan
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Ham Potato Salad Sandwiches Exps172283 Th133086d07 18 3bc Rms 7

Ham & Potato Salad Sandwiches

These little sandwiches with zingy toppings are super simple to pull together. This classic version originated in a deli in Prague, where they're a really popular winter party food. —Cara McDonald, Winter Park, Colorado
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Roast Beef Tomato Sandwich Pizza Exps56383 Th2379800b04 27 5b Rms 2

Roast Beef & Tomato Sandwich Pizza

The great thing about this pizza is it has all the makings of my favorite roast beef sandwich. If time allows, I like to marinate the veggies in balsamic vinaigrette just before topping the pizza. —Seth Murdoch, Red Rock, Texas
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Mint-Cucumber Tomato Sandwiches

I jazzed up the quintessential teatime cucumber sandwich to suit my family's tastes. This was my absolute go-to sandwich last summer when I was pregnant. It hit all the right spots! —Namrata Telugu, Terre Haute, Indiana
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Meat Lover's Bread Salad

Growing up, we loved visiting a sandwich joint in Nebraska. The awesome sandwiches inspired my salad of bread and cold cuts for meat lovers everywhere. —Molly Atherton, Kansas City, Missouri
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So Easy Gazpacho Exps39101 Th1999637a03 30 3b 4

So-Easy Gazpacho

My daughter got this recipe from a college friend and shared it with me. Now I serve it often as an appetizer. It certainly is the talk of the table. —Lorna Sirtoli, Cortland, New York
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Tomato Avocado Sandwiches Exps144054 Sd143205a01 31 4bc Rms 6

Tomato & Avocado Sandwiches

I'm a vegetarian, and this is a tasty, quick and healthy lunch I could eat for every meal. At my house, we call these sandwiches HATS: hummus, avocado, tomato and shallots. These are ingredients I almost always have on hand. —Sarah Jaraha, Moorestown, New Jersey
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Zesty Chicken Soft Tacos Exps143813 Th143191b11 26 6bc Rms 4

Zesty Chicken Soft Tacos

We’ve made these tacos with corn and flour tortillas, but naan flatbread is our favorite. Set out toppings and let people make their own. —Jessie Grearson-Sapat, Falmouth, Maine
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Tuna and White Bean Lettuce Wraps

Say bye-bye to ho-hum tuna salad. Here's a recipe we actually look forward to eating. —Heather Senger, Madison, Wisconsin
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Cobb Salad Sub

When we need a quick meal to share, we turn Cobb salad into a sandwich masterpiece. Sometimes I substitute tortillas for the bread and make wraps instead. —Kimberly Grusendorf, Medina, Ohio
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Ham & Mandarin Salad

I created this salad at the request of all the men in our house. They asked for something tangy, sweet, spicy and manly. This fit the bill. —Patricia Swart, Galloway, New Jersey
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Raspberry Pecan Chicken Salad

I gave this sweet-savory chicken salad a little zip with Chinese five-spice powder, which tastes a bit like pumpkin pie spice. Sprinkle some on roasted carrots for an awesome meal. —Lisa Renshaw, Kansas City, Missouri
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Sesame Ginger Cucumber Salad Exps Sdjj17 201093 B02 17 6b 1

Sesame-Ginger Cucumber Salad

I love the marinated sides and salads that come with meals at Japanese restaurants and wanted to try them at home. After some research, I came up with this cool, crisp salad. —Kimberly Ludvick, Newburgh, New York
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Dilled Seafood Salad Sandwiches Exps44707 Sd143203d10  25 5b Rms 5

Dilled Seafood Salad Sandwiches

In California, we fell in love with a deli's seafood salad. After we moved to Iowa, I went to work recreating it. —Tanna Richard, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
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Garden Fresh Chef Salad Exps100711 Sd143204b12 04 2bc Rms 1

Garden-Fresh Chef Salad

For much of the year, I can use my garden's produce when I make this cool salad. In spring, the salad mix and radishes come from my crop. In summer, I use the tomatoes, cabbage and carrots. What a good feeling! —Evelyn Gubernath, Bucyrus, Ohio
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Turkey Club Sandwich with Chipotle

We’re crazy for turkey club sandwiches. A nearby roadside stand carries gorgeous tomatoes every summer. We load up, then stuff our sandwiches with the usual suspects, plus smoked turkey and cheese. —Pamela Shank, Parkersburg, West Virginia
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Italian-Style Veggie Wraps

Yummy! There are so many great flavors and textures in these wraps. Feel free to experiment with the ingredients—use mozzarella, pepperoni or any combo you like. —Maria Simmons, Rio Rancho, New Mexico
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Muffuletta Exps Hca20 202154 E11 14 8b 3

Muffuletta

Muffuletta, which originated in New Orleans, is named after the round, crusty Sicilian loaf of bread it's traditionally served on. While I favor my own olive salad, there are several good versions available in most supermarkets. —Lou Sansevero, Ferron, Utah
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Chicken Apple Salad With Greens Exps105290 Sd132778b04 16 2b Rms 3

Chicken & Apple Salad with Greens

My favorite memory of eating this dish was when my mom made it for lunch on weekends when we were home from school and could have something other than "brown bag" lunches. Happy memories of childhood and late summer days just make this salad extra special. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho
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Turkey-Jalapeno Sandwiches

When turkey sandwich meets modern Thai, it’s a fun mix of classic and trendy food. I love it when my mixing and matching turns out so tasty. —Stacy Mullens, Gresham, Oregon
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Cashew-Curry Chicken Salad

My husband and I fell hard for the curried chicken salad from our grocery store deli, and I knew I could find a way to make something similar. This greek yogurt chicken salad has become one of our favorites to take on trips to the beach. —Janine Cooper-Moren, Portland, Oregon
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Turkey Ranch Wraps Exps8189 Kac2379526d05 16 6b Rms 1

Turkey Ranch Wraps

Here’s a cool idea that’s ready to gobble up in no time. It’s a terrific use for deli turkey. Just add lettuce, tomato, green pepper, shredded cheese and ranch dressing for a flavorful blend. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Easy Asian Style Chicken Slaw Exps165287 Th143191b11 26 7bc Rms 5

Easy Asian-Style Chicken Slaw

From the first time I made this chicken dish, I knew it was a winner—the bowl came back to the kitchen scraped clean. This one-dish wonder works every time in my house! —Bess Blanco, Vail, Arizona
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Crunchy Tuna Wraps

Packed with protein-rich tuna and fresh, crunchy veggies, these colorful wraps have sensational flavor—and they're good for you, too. —Edie Farm, Farmington, New Mexico
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My Favorite Avocado Salad

Tangy lime dressing is the perfect topper for this avocado salad. Toasted walnuts make for crunchy goodness, but try it with any kind of nut you like. —Ilia Kaku, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Shrimp Gazpacho Exps Sdjj17 29782 B02 22 7b 12

Shrimp Gazpacho

Here’s a refreshing take on the classic chilled tomato soup. Our twist features shrimp, lime and plenty of avocado. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Turkey & Apricot Wraps

For these everyday wraps, I combined the traditional southern appetizer of jam and cream cheese on crackers with the turkey, apple and Brie sandwiches we ate at my bridal luncheon. I like to sneak fresh spinach into all sorts of recipes because it has such a mild flavor. —Kim Beavers, North August, South Carolina
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Tangy Cilantro Lime Confetti Salad Exps Tohas19 175298 E04 19 4b 10

Tangy Cilantro Lime Confetti Salad

I love standout salads that burst with flavor—the kind that make you feel as if you're splurging without having to eat that piece of chocolate cake. This is one of my very favorites, and everyone I serve it to loves it as well. —Jasey McBurnett, Rock Springs, Wyoming
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Chicken, Pecan & Cherry Salad

Already cooked chicken strips make this a super easy meal when I'm trying to get dinner on the table in a hurry. Grabbing a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store is another road to take when time is short and hungry family members surround the table! —Kellie Mulleavy, Lambertville, Michigan
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Fruity Chicken Salad Pitas Exps Tohas20 245804 F04 08 1b 3

Fruity Chicken Salad Pitas

I found this handwritten recipe tucked inside an old community cookbook I bought more than 40 years ago. I made a few changes over the years to suit my family’s tastes. —Kristine Chayes, Smithtown, New York
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Pork & Vegetable Spring Rolls

I thought rice paper wrappers would be a quick, fun way to put salad ingredients into a hand-held snack or meal. I also make this with shrimp or add in cranberries. Go ahead, experiment! —Marla Strader, Ozark, Missouri
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Crunchy Tuna Salad With Tomatoes Exps87145 Sd143205a01 31 3bc Rms 9

Crunchy Tuna Salad with Tomatoes

On a hot summer day, there's nothing more refreshing than this salad. I grow a few tomato plants in my garden and the fresh-picked taste makes the dish even more of a treat. —Diane Selich, Vassar, Michigan
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Turkey Ramen Noodle Salad

My husband and I make this awesome salad together—he does the chopping. When we bring it to go, we pack the ramen and almonds separately and toss them in right before it’s time to dish up. They stay nice and crunchy that way. —Kristen Pallant, Big Arm, Montana
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Waldorf Turkey Pitas

Living in New York City means not having a lot of time to prepare meals. This recipe is quick, easy and healthy, making it perfect for my lifestyle. —Kevin Sobotka, Staten Island, New York
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Spicy Crab Salad

My creamy crab salad gets a boost of heat from Sriracha and a tangy touch from lime. It’s ready fast, leaving me more time with guests. —Patti Lavell, Islamorada, Florida
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Pesto Dijon Egg Salad Sandwiches Exps165195 Sd2856494c12 03 1bc Rms 7

Pesto-Dijon Egg Salad Sandwiches

Turn your old-standby egg salad into your new lunch favorite. Honey Dijon mustard and pesto add a sensational, savory spin, and the celery and onion lend nice crunch. —Carrie Kenny, Batavia, Ohio

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