May 19, 2024

20+ 3-Step No-Cook Dinner Recipes

Keep the kitchen cool with these no-cook dinner recipes you can make tonight. Whether you’re in the mood for a salad, sandwich or grain bowl, these delicious dishes have it all and can be made in 3 steps or less. Try our Green Goddess Sandwich and Chopped Power Salad with Chicken for a healthy and refreshing meal to end out the night.


Chopped Power Salad with Chicken


Jason Donnelly

Enjoy this filling and colorful salad for lunch or dinner. The dressing gets made in the same bowl that the salad is tossed in, so the greens absorb every bit of flavor.



Salmon & Avocado Poke Bowl


Poke (pronounced poh-kay), the bite-size marinated fish salad famous in Hawaii, is so popular that it’s sold by the pound in supermarkets. Now it has crossed the Pacific to become the meal-in-a-bowl du jour, served in eateries from Los Angeles to New York. But it’s easy to make at home with this quick recipe. Sriracha and Chinese-style mustard add a touch of heat to the classic poke seasoning of soy sauce and sesame oil. Serving it over a brown rice salad makes it a meal.



Green Goddess Sandwich


Victor Protasio

This green goddess sandwich is a fresh and satisfying sandwich. The dressing packs a flavorful punch with capers and lemon juice. The cucumber and sprouts add nice crunch, and the seasoned avocado brings in the creaminess.



Chickpea, Artichoke & Avocado Salad with Apple-Cider Dressing


This delicious 400-calorie salad is a helpful tool for weight loss because it provides a good balance of fiber, protein and healthy fats from loads of veggies and beans, all tossed in a tangy apple-cider vinaigrette. To meal-prep these for lunch throughout the week, pack the dressing and the salad separately and make sure your veggies are thoroughly dried before packing them together.



Loaded Cucumber & Avocado Sandwich


Jacob Fox

This loaded cucumber-and-avocado sandwich is filled with creamy avocado and crispy cucumbers. Ricotta cheese mixed with extra-sharp Cheddar adds flavor while sliced red peppers offer a splash of color.



Creamy Avocado & White Bean Wrap


White beans mashed with ripe avocado and blended with sharp Cheddar and onion makes an incredibly rich, flavorful filling for this wrap. The tangy, spicy slaw adds crunch. A pinch (or more) of ground chipotle pepper and an extra dash of cider vinegar can be used in place of the canned chipotles in adobo sauce. Wrap these up to take as a healthy and portable lunch for work.



Chicken & Kale Taco Salad with Jalapeño-Avocado Ranch


This healthy, super-fast salad recipe swaps out romaine for kale, giving you more than 10 times the vitamin C. Easy flavor hacks like store-bought ranch and pickled jalapeños help make a creamy, tangy and spicy dressing you’ll want to drizzle on everything from salad to sliced veggies and shredded poached chicken.



Caprese Sandwich


Photographer / Jennifer Causey, Food Stylist / Karen Rankin, Prop Stylist / Christine Keely

This caprese sandwich is fresh from the basil and hearty from thick, crusty ciabatta. The sun-dried tomatoes deepen the flavor. Topping the bread with a layer of basil leaves and using toasted bread helps to keep the sandwich from getting soggy if you need to make it a few hours ahead.



Watermelon & Goat Cheese Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette


Jason Donnelly

In this watermelon and goat cheese salad, the contrasting flavors and textures of crisp, sweet melon and creamy, tangy goat cheese are magical partners. Top with sliced grilled chicken to make it a meal.



No-Cook Black Bean Salad


The dressing for this vegan black bean salad gets its creaminess from blended avocado. Any mix of salad greens will work well, but try arugula if you want to give this hearty salad a peppery kick.



3-Ingredient Chicken Salad Tostadas


Carolyn Hodges, M.S., RDN

For this three-ingredient dinner, a premade salad kit is the perfect shortcut because it has everything you need in one bag, including the dressing. Swap in canned black beans for the chicken to make this vegetarian.



Chicken, Brussels Sprouts & Mushroom Salad


Shaving the vegetables for this easy salad recipe makes them deliciously tender-crisp without having to cook anything and helps them stand up to the bright homemade vinaigrette and salty Parmesan cheese.



Brown Rice Shrimp Bowl with Tomatoes & Avocado


This quick and easy bowl pairs brown rice with cooked shrimp, tossed in a ginger-soy-sesame sauce, to create a flavorful dish in no time. Topping with tomatoes and avocado adds color and nutrients. Use leftover brown rice or pick up a package of pre-cooked brown rice from the grocery store to keep this meal no-cook.



Tofu Poke


This fast vegan version of poke (the traditional Hawaiian salad of diced raw fish tossed in a soy-sesame sauce) swaps in extra-firm tofu for fish while loading your bowl with vegetables and crunchy toppers like pea shoots and peanuts. Serve over brown rice instead of the zucchini noodles to add a hearty boost of fiber.



Chickpea Salad Sandwich


Photography / Caitlin Bensel, Food Styling / Ruth Blackburn

This vegan chickpea salad sandwich is lemony, bright and surprisingly delicious. It’s got all the flavors of a classic tuna salad sandwich—dill, lemon and a bit of garlic—but with chickpeas instead to add a vegan source of protein and a healthy boost of fiber. Celery brings a nice crunch.



Avocado Tuna Spinach Salad


Greg DuPree

Avocado adds creaminess while sunflower seeds provide texture and crunch in this easy tuna-spinach salad.



Tuna Poke


Poke (pronounced poke-ay), a Hawaiian word meaning “to chop” or “to cut,” refers to a traditional Hawaiian salad of diced raw fish in a simple, soy-based sauce with punchy seasonings like toasted sesame and chopped scallion greens. These tuna poke bowls feature seasoned brown rice and fresh veggies for a healthy, satisfying meal packed with protein and fiber.



Cucumber Caprese Sandwich


Brie Passano

We added cucumber and greens to the tomato to make this refreshing cucumber caprese sandwich flavored with pesto, fresh mozzarella and a sweet balsamic glaze.



Greek Salad Wraps


Zesty Greek salad packed with tomatoes, cucumber and olives–plus chickpeas for a protein punch–gets tucked into a whole-wheat wrap for a healthy vegan lunch that’s easy to pack for work. It’s so flavorful and satisfying, you won’t miss the feta!



Mason Jar Power Salad with Chickpeas & Tuna


This power salad will keep you fueled for hours, thanks to 26 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber. Tossing the dressing and kale, and then letting it stand in the jar, softens it enough so you don’t need to massage or cook it to make it tender.



White Bean & Veggie Salad


This meatless main-dish salad combines creamy, satisfying white beans and avocado. Try mixing it up with different seasonal vegetables.



Mediterranean Veggie Wrap with Cilantro Hummus


These healthy multi-grain wraps are filled with mixed greens, chopped cucumber, tomato and red onion, as well as feta cheese and a homemade cilantro hummus. As a time saver, the hummus can be prepared up to 3 days ahead, and chilled until you’re ready to make the wraps.



Tomato, Cucumber & White-Bean Salad with Basil Vinaigrette


This no-cook bean salad is a delicious way to use summer’s best cherry or grape tomatoes and juicy cucumbers for a light dinner or lunch. Fresh basil elevates an easy vinaigrette recipe that dresses up this simple salad into something extraordinary.



Green Goddess Salad with Chickpeas


In this cucumber, tomato, Swiss cheese and chickpea salad recipe, a healthy green goddess dressing is made from avocado, buttermilk and herbs. The extra dressing is delicious served with grilled vegetables.