We love having warm weather year round… except maybe during summer, when it gets really warm. Whether you choose to chill in one of our pools or maybe just crank up your air conditioner, you might want to add these easy, no-bake summer recipes to your arsenal of cool-down tricks.
Panzanella. (Photo via The New York Times)
No-Bake Summer Recipes to Beat the Heat
Mexican Shrimp Cocktail — A spin on the traditional shrimp cocktail, this version calls for creamy, cool avocado and Cholula hot sauce (though we bet you could substitute with Crystal). It also happens to pair perfectly with frozen margaritas!
- 10 jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined, and steamed
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup Cholula hot sauce
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup pico de gallo
- 1/2 avocado, cut into chunks
- 2 cilantro sprigs
- tortilla chips to serve
- Whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, ketchup, and hot sauce.
- Add salt, pepper, pico de gallo, avocado, and shrimp. Stir gently to combine.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve with tortilla chips.
Italian Panzanella — This no-cook salad is full of texture and pairs well with a variety of main dishes. You can serve it at room temperature or chilled.
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 2 15-oz cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 cups cubed country bread
- 1 pound plum tomatoes cut into small pieces
- 1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1/4 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 4 ounces provolone cheese, diced
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
- Whisk together oil and vinegar; season with salt and pepper.
- Add all ingredients except basil and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (but no more than 8 hours).
- Stir in fresh basil just before serving.
Cantaloupe, Lime & Chili Soup — Complex flavors and a gorgeous color make this the most elegant dish on your summer menu. Plus, it only takes four ingredients!
- 3-pound cantaloupe
- 3/4 teaspoon sambal oelek (Asian chili paste)
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
- Cut cantaloupe flesh into large chunks and puree with sambal oelek, lime juice, and salt until smooth.
- Refrigerate at least one hour until thoroughly chilled. Serve in a chilled bowl with more sambal oelek, to taste.
No-Bake Peanut Butter Nutella Cookies — The recipe pretty much says it all. Yum!
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup margarine
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 1/4 cup Nutella
- 3 cups quick oats
- Over medium heat, cook sugar, cocoa, milk and margarine. Boil one minute. Remove from heat.
- Stir in vanilla, salt, peanut butter, Nutella and oats. Stir until combined. Drop by teaspoon on wax paper and cool. Refrigerate until chilled, and enjoy.
Ice Cream with Honey-Poached Apricots — Fruity and refreshing.
- 1 pint vanilla ice cream
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 strips peeled lemon zest
- 4 apricots, pitted and quartered
- 1/4 cup toasted coconut
- Bring water, honey, and lemon zest to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, add apricots and poach until fork tender, about 2-5 minutes.
- Drain apricots, reserving the syrup (remove lemon peels)
- Serve apricots with vanilla ice cream and top with syrup.
No-Bake Strawberry Tart — This elegant dessert is deceptively easy to make.
- 32 Oreo cookies
- 1/2 stick melted butter
- 7 ounces milk chocolate
- 3.5 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- 7 ounces heavy cream
- 10 ounces fresh strawberries
- Chopped nuts (almonds, pistachios, etc), optional, for serving
- Place Oreo cookies into the bowl of a food processor and blend until crumbs form. Add melted butter and pour over the crushed cookies. Process until evenly moistened. Press cookie mixture with the back of the spoon or fingers into the bottom and edges of a rectangular 5×14 inch tart pan. Freeze until you prepare the filling, just for few minutes.
- In a small saucepan, place cream over medium-low heat for a few minutes to get hot. No boiling or simmering needed. Remove from heat, pour over chopped chocolate and let rest for 1-2 minutes. Stir until dissolved.
- Pour chocolate filling over Oreo crust, and top with fresh strawberries.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight before serving.