When I say “summer meal” most people automatically think of grilling or light chicken and salmon dishes. Trust me I will never turn down a yummy kabab or grilled eggplant, but I think that one of my favorite things to make during summer is no-cook meals! They are easy, quick, and sweat-free. It does not have to be simple salads either! There are lots of different types of no-cook meals that the French LOVE.
I love that no-cook meals are fresh and light but I also love the atmosphere that they create. Instead of spending hours in the kitchen, the quick 45-min dinner is over before you know it! Having little nibbles to snack on makes the preparation easy, the fun part (eating!) lasts longer, and it makes for easier conversations with family and friends. You do not need to convert to ONLY having no-cook dinners the entire summer, but it’s a great way to switch things up and enjoy a little more relaxed dinner.
One reason that these types of meals in France are so popular is that prepared foods are usually of great quality and are not very expensive. Pâté or terrines made of meat are super popular in the south of France. If you are visiting you have to check out the indoor markets. The colors and array of the meat, fish, produce, and prepared foods are jaw-droopingly gorgeous. You will find some of the best-prepared foods there! If you are in the US, look to your local grocer or cheese store (think tapenades and other dips) for some great prepared foods.
An absolute must for your no-cook meal is bread and cheese. Well, to be honest, all you really need is bread, cheese, and a handful of fruit and you have a meal! A charcuterie board is ALWAYS an amazing and easy meal. Want tips of how to make your own charcuterie board? Check out this post!
Perfect Dishes For No-Cook Meals
I think that a no-cook meal is best in courses. I like to start with a bread and cheese board first and then move into some more little bites. Here are some ideas for course 2:
- Carrot chips
- Homemade guacamole and chips
- Slices of melon
You can move on to a third course with meats or include them in the second course! Here are my favorite additions.
- Spanish-style ham
- Pâté of duck
- Pork rillettes
Additional Accessories That You Need!
I love no-cook meals because they are super customizable. Butcher having a special on a certain salami? Perfect! Your local grocer just whipped up a yummy batch of dip? Love it! Let me know what your favorite no-cook foods are in the comments below or on instagram @ouiplease.