17 No-Cook Dinners For Busy Weeknights When You Just Can’t

17 No-Cook Dinners For Busy Weeknights When You Just Can’t
Photo: Courtesy of Minimalist Baker.

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Even if you go into the week with the best intentions, it’s likely that you’ll finish at least one day way too tired—or, if we’re being honest, not in the mood—to cook dinner. Takeout and make-ahead freezer meals (if you have the forethought to prep them, of course) are always good options, but it’s also great to have an arsenal of quick, no-cook dinner recipes to pull from in times of need. Because sometimes it just takes too much effort to even put some water in a pot and make a bowl of ramen. It might sound a tad dramatic, but it’s definitely true.

Of course, no-cook dinner recipes do require a bit of grocery prep—considering they often call upon pre-cooked staples like rotisserie chicken, canned fish and bread products—but honestly, many of the items in the 17 recipes below are made from items you already have in your fridge or pantry. In general, though, it’s definitely worth stocking at least a few of these in your kitchen at all times. After all, the possibilities for using them are pretty endless—even beyond quick, no-cook recipes.

Browse the recipes below for some major no-cook dinner inspiration. There’s everything from raw salads to easy sandwiches, and nothing takes much time or skill to make. So even those who have only once (or maybe twice) stepped foot in the kitchen to do more than grab a fork can whip up something spectacular for dinner. Whether you’re planning for a busy week or trying to cut back on your takeout spending, these simple recipes are here to help.

 

1. Salmon & Kale Caesar Wraps

STYLECASTER | 17 No-Cook Dinners For Busy Weeknights | Salmon and Kale Caesar Wraps

Courtesy of The Kitchn.

Chicken Caesar wraps are great, but these kale and salmon wraps (made with canned salmon!) are a nice way to switch it up.

 

2. Avocado Toast With Smoked Salmon

STYLECASTER | 17 No-Cook Dinners For Busy Weeknights | Avocado Toast With Smoked Salmon

Two Healthy Kitchens.

You’ll need to fire up your toaster for this tasty avocado and smoked salmon on toast option, but that hardly counts as cooking.

 

3. Chinese Chicken Salad Spring Rolls

STYLECASTER | 17 No-Cook Dinners For Busy Weeknights | Chinese Chicken Salad Spring Rolls

The Kitchn.

Thanks to rotisserie chicken and easy-to-soak rice paper wraps, these fresh spring rolls don’t require any heat.

 

4. No-Cook Burrito Bowls

STYLECASTER | 17 No-Cook Dinners For Busy Weeknights | No-Cook Burrito Bowls

Everyday Meal Prep.

These no-cook burrito bowls are an obvious choice for packed lunches, but they also make a great quick dinner.

 

5. Cold Lentil Salad With Cucumbers and Olives

STYLECASTER | 17 No-Cook Dinners For Busy Weeknights | Cold Lentil Salad With Cucumbers and Olives

The Kitchn.

This salty, crunchy lentil salad not only makes a great party side dish, it also works as an easy no-cook dinner.

 

6. Black Bean Succotash

STYLECASTER | 17 No-Cook Dinners For Busy Weeknights | Black Bean Succotash

Eating Bird Food.

Corn and beans might seem too simple to be satisfying, but one bite of this black bean succotash and you’ll know otherwise.

 

7. Quinoa Tabouleh With Tahini Dressing

STYLECASTER | 17 No-Cook Dinners For Busy Weeknights | Quinoa Tabouleh With Tahini Dressing

Two Purple Figs.

The key to this quinoa salad is the salty, creamy, practically drinkable tahini dressing.

 

8. Rainbow Veggie Spring Rolls

STYLECASTER | 17 No-Cook Dinners For Busy Weeknights | Rainbow Veggie Spring Rolls

Minimalist Baker.

What makes these colorful veggie spring rolls so fantastic is the easy, nutty dipping sauce that goes alongside them.

 

9. Greek-Style Tuna Salad

STYLECASTER | 17 No-Cook Dinners For Busy Weeknights | Greek-Style Tuna Salad

The Kitchn.

Fans of Greek salad will love this variation, which is bulked up with canned tuna.

 

10. White Bean Kale Salad With Tahini Dressing

STYLECASTER | 17 No-Cook Dinners For Busy Weeknights | White Bean Kale Salad With Tahini Dressing

Minimalist Baker.

You don’t need to add meat to turn a salad into a filling meal. Instead, this kale salad calls for protein- and fiber-rich white beans, plus a creamy seed-based dressing.

 

11. White Bean Caprese

STYLECASTER | 17 No-Cook Dinners For Busy Weeknights | White Bean Caprese

Skinny Taste.

Pro tip: This caprese salad tastes great alongside a nice chunk of baguette.

 

12. Beet Noodle, Pea and Arugula Salad with Lemon-Garlic Tahini Sauce

STYLECASTER | 17 No-Cook Dinners For Busy Weeknights | Beet Noodle, Pea and Arugula Salad with Lemon-Garlic Tahini Sauce

Inspiralized.

No-cook doesn’t always need to mean simple. If you want to go the extra mile (without turning on your stove or oven), this colorful, multi-texture vegetable salad is worth a try.

 

13. Crunchy Ramen Salad

STYLECASTER | 17 No-Cook Dinners For Busy Weeknights | Crunchy Ramen Salad

Sugar and Soul.

Ever tried using dry ramen noodles as salad croutons? No? Give it a shot!

 

14. Easy Chicken Gyros

STYLECASTER | 17 No-Cook Dinners For Busy Weeknights | Easy Chicken Gyros

Peas and Crayons.

Nobody will ever know that these chicken gyros (made with shredded rotisserie chicken) are no-cook.

 

15. Healthy Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

STYLECASTER | 17 No-Cook Dinners For Busy Weeknights | Healthy Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

Fit Foodie Finds.

Trade greasy, messy Buffalo wings for a simple, equally flavorful buffalo chicken sandwich.

 

16. Raw Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad With Tahini Dressing

STYLECASTER | 17 No-Cook Dinners For Busy Weeknights | Raw Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad With Tahini Dressing

Cookie and Kate.

If you’re sick of roasting Brussels sprouts, go an alternative route with this raw salad. You’ll shave the sprouts small enough that they’ll soften a bit when dressed.

 

17. Raw Pad Thai With Spicy Almond Sauce

STYLECASTER | 17 No-Cook Dinners For Busy Weeknights | Raw Pad Thai With Spicy Almond Sauce

Turnip the Oven.

This zoodle-based Pad Thai is great for days when you’re craving something crunchy and refreshing.

A version of this article was originally published on September 3, 2019.

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