Best recipes that don’t require an oven

Last Updated September 2020
By Sian Babish

Did you know that turning on the oven can raise the temperature of your kitchen by almost 10 degrees? In fact, if your kitchen doesn’t have doors, the temperature also rises throughout your home as the heat disperses. 

Summer is here, and as much as we love roast dinners and baked goods, it’s simply too hot to cook with the oven. 

In an attempt to stay cool while still enjoying delectable meals, we assembled this quick and easy list of oven-free recipes. Whether you’re looking for morning-fresh breakfast options or a savory side dish, we’re sure you’ll find something delicious to sink your teeth into — all without breaking a sweat. 

No-oven breakfast recipes

 

Overnight oats

 

Take the heat and the hassle out of breakfast with overnight oats. Kickstart your day with a sweet variety, or power up before a morning workout with a protein-infused version. 

Ingredients: 1/3 cup each of oats, yogurt, and milk, 1 teaspoon chia seeds (optional add-ins: protein powder, honey, agave syrup, or liquid sweetener)

Tools: Mason jar or glass bowl with lid

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients until blended well.

  2. Cover mixture with a lid or plastic wrap and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight.

 

Breakfast egg bites

 

Instead of sweating over a hot stove to make a morning omelet, try this cool and easy no-fuss alternative with hard-boiled eggs.

Ingredients: 2 hard-boiled eggs, 1/2 ripe avocado, 1/2 cup fresh tomatoes, 12 pitted kalamata olives, 1 ounce crumbled goat cheese, crostini or multigrain crackers, freshly-ground pepper to taste

Tools: Avocado slicer, egg slicer, pepper grinder

Directions:

  1. Slice hard-boiled eggs and gently set them aside so they maintain their shape with the yolk.

  2. Dice and combine diced avocado, fresh tomatoes, and kalamata olives. Add a tiny splash of olive brine for a bit of moisture and tang if you’d like.

  3. Arrange 12-16 crackers on a plate, layering ingredients atop them, beginning with the egg slices and followed by the avocado, tomato, and olive mixture.

  4. Drizzle egg bites with goat cheese crumble, followed by freshly-ground pepper.

 

No-oven lunch recipes

 

Gazpacho

 

Looking for a light veggie-packed delight? Enjoy a hearty bowl of gazpacho, a soup served cold featuring tomatoes and a few pantry staples.

Ingredients: 1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, 1/2 cup chopped onion, 1 cucumber, 1 shallot, 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 16-ounce jar roasted red peppers (drained), 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon white pepper

Tools: Blender or food processor

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients through roasted red peppers in a blender or food processor until the consistency is liquified with a slightly grainy texture.

  2. Add sugar, salt, and pepper, adjusting amounts to taste and mix well.

  3. Cover mixture and let sit in the refrigerator for no less than four to six hours.

 

No-oven dinner recipes

 

Simple sushi

 

Believe it or not, sushi doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated to prepare at home. With the right tools and proper ingredients, it’s easy to make your own sushi in time for dinner. 

Ingredients: 6 sheets of nori (sushi seaweed), sushi rice, 1 avocado, 4 ounces cream cheese, 1/2 pound raw salmon, sesame seeds, garlic-infused soy sauce, pickled ginger

Tools: Sushi mat kit, avocado slicer, rice maker

Directions: 

  1. Slice salmon, avocado, and cream cheese into thin slices of equal sizes.

  2. Set up bamboo mat on a clean, flat surface and cover it with a sheet of plastic wrap.

  3. Lay one sheet of nori across it, followed by a thin, even layer of rice flattened with the sushi paddle or a spoon.

  4. Arrange salmon, avocado, and cream cheese on the nori and roll it up, being careful not to crush ingredients in the process. 

  5. Hold the sushi roll while you remove the mat and plastic, and transfer the roll to a plate.

  6. Slice the sushi roll into neat and even pieces, then garnish with sesame seeds and pickled ginger. Serve with soy sauce.

 

Chickpea pasta salad

 

This staple summer pasta dish enjoyed cold will please palates as much as it turns heads, especially when you tell guests you’re using chickpea pasta.

Ingredients: 1 box chickpea pasta, 4 medium zucchini, 6 radishes, 1 pound halved cherry tomatoes, 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoon olive oil, 10 leaves fresh basil, salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 

Tools: 4-quart saucepot, spiralizer, colander, cheese grater

Directions:

  1. Bring water to a rolling boil in your saucepot and add the entire box of chickpea pasta. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes.

  2. Prepare vegetables by spiralizing zucchini, slicing radishes, halving tomatoes, and cutting basil into ribbons.

  3. Pour pasta into a colander in the sink, rinsing it with cold water until cool.

  4. Return pasta to the pot. Add olive oil, remaining ingredients, and freshly grated parmesan. Mix well. 

 

No-oven snack recipes

 

Watermelon smoothie

 

Cool down and unwind with this fruity non-alcoholic watermelon smoothie. With bright pink color and a refreshing flavor, it’s a perfect pick for an afternoon pick-me-up.

Ingredients: 2-3 cups seedless watermelon chunks, 1/2 medium seedless cucumber (sliced), 1 cup Greek yogurt (key lime flavor if possible), 1 1/2 cups dairy-free milk, sweetener to taste

Tools: Blender, freezer-safe drinkware

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender (except sweetener) and mix well, adding more Greek yogurt or milk as needed to achieve your preferred consistency.

  2. Taste and add sweetener to achieve desired sweetness, such as Stevia, honey, or coconut sugar.

  3. Serve immediately in a chilled glass.

 

Caprese wrap

 

This Caprese-inspired wrap a simple yet flavor-packed combination of rich ingredients that form the backbone of Italian cuisine.

Ingredients: 3-4 ounces fresh mozzarella, 1 large ripe tomato, 1 wrap, 6-10 leaves of fresh basil (sliced), dash of salt and freshly ground pepper, balsamic vinegar to taste

Tools: Serrated knife, pepper grinder

Directions:

  1. Slice mozzarella and tomatoes into slices one-eighth-inch thick and arrange across the wrap.

  2. Tuck basil leaves between mozzarella and tomatoes.

  3. Drizzle balsamic vinegar and add a dash of salt and freshly ground pepper.

  4. Fold wrap, tucking in the edges where possible, and serve immediately so ingredients stay cold. 

 

No-oven dessert recipes

 

Chocolate chia pudding

 

Satisfy your sweet tooth with this delicious chocolate chia pudding. Flavorful with plenty of texture, it’ll quickly become your go-to dessert of the summer (and perhaps the rest of the year).

Ingredients: 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 1/2 cups chocolate almond milk, and 1/2 cup chia seeds (optional add-ins: honey, agave syrup, Stevia, or coconut sugar to taste)

Tools: Mixing bowl, whisk, glass containers with lids

Directions:

  1. Whisk cocoa powder, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and chocolate almond milk until well-blended. 

  2. Add in preferred sweetener and mix well.

  3. Continue whisking and gradually add in chia seeds until the mixture reaches a thicker, more viscous consistency.

  4. Refrigerate overnight in a covered glass container.

 

Homemade ice cream

 

Can’t be bothered to go out in the heat, even to the ice cream shop? Save yourself a trip and invest in an ice cream maker to blend a batch of your own whenever you want.

Ingredients: Ice cream mix, heavy whipping cream, half and half (optional to add: cookie or candy bar crumbles, chocolate chips, nuts, dried fruit, caramel)

Tools: Ice cream maker, hand mixer with whisk, mixing bowl 

Directions: 

  1. Follow the instructions according to the ice cream mix box, adding ingredients to your ice cream maker in the proper order to achieve the right consistency.

  2. Once mixture is well-churned, add in any desired optional ingredients.

  3. Depending on your ice cream maker, you can enjoy ice cream within 20 minutes to two hours. 

 

Strawberry swirl icebox cake

 

Give the classic icebox cake a fun summer spin when you try this strawberry swirl variety. With fewer than five ingredients, including two flavors of wafers, you’ll love how easy it is to whip this one up.

Ingredients: 3 cups heavy cream, 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar, 1/2 pound hulled and sliced fresh strawberries, 1/2 package each of strawberry- and vanilla-flavored wafers 

Tools: Hand mixer with whisk, mixing bowl, springform pan

Directions:

  1. Whisk heavy cream and sugar in a mixing bowl until consistency thickens or peaks form.

  2. Crush both flavors of wafers inside a resealable plastic bag, either together or separately, and set aside.

  3. Layer cake into springform pan, beginning with a thin layer of the cream and sugar mixture. 

  4. Add a thin layer of crumbled wafers. Alternate layers until the pan is filled. The top and final layer should be the cream and sugar mixture.

  5. Arrange sliced strawberries across the top in a pattern of your choosing.

  6. Cover and refrigerate cake for four to six hours before serving. 


 

Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

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