Healthy No-Cook Meal Ideas: Salads, Wraps, Lettuce Cups & More

Apr 29 2020
Question@2x Hi Hungry Girl,

I've been doing more cooking at home, which is great and I love it. But sometimes, I just do NOT have the energy. Do you have any no-cook meal wisdom I can turn to in a pinch?

Thanks,
Cook Me Not in Cook County
Answer@2x Hi Cook Me Not,

I get it! While we’re in quarantine mode, I'm loving all the extra time in the kitchen, but I'm also loving all the extra time OUTSIDE the kitchen. (I have hobbies other than food!) Here are some no-cook meal ideas that are so versatile, you can basically make them with whatever you have on hand…

Salads & Slaws

Cranberry Tuna Slaw
The great thing about salads and slaws? You can add ANYTHING. What’ve you got in the fridge or pantry? Teriyaki sauce, leftover chicken, chili beans, canned tuna, peanut dressing… Throw it over a salad or into a slaw! (Not everything at once, of course!) Salads are perfect impromptu meals, and I like to mix up a big bowl of slaw ahead of time… Slaw soaks up more flavor the longer it sits in the fridge.

The Essentials: salad greens or bagged slaw mix (broccoli or regular), dressing or sauce, some sort of protein 

Fruit & Yogurt Bowls

Strawberry Chia Yogurt Bowl
These can be as simple or as creative as you like. When it comes to fruit, use fresh, frozen, or canned… Just watch out for added sugars. My yogurt of choice is fat-free plain Greek -- sometimes I’ll sweeten it with a Truvia packet. (No yogurt? Try cottage cheese!) Have fun with mix-ins and toppers too: powdered peanut butter (get it on Amazon), crunchy cereal, chocolate chips (why not?)…

The Essentials: whatever fruit & yogurt (or cottage cheese) you’ve got on hand

Overnight Oats

Blueberry Muffin Overnight Oats
Everyone loves slow cookers because you just dump everything in and switch on the pot. Overnight oats are like that, only with nothing to switch on and no chance you'll overcook ‘em! Just mix up 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats with 1/2 cup liquid. (I use unsweetened vanilla almond milk.) Flavor it up with your choice of sweetener, extracts, etc., and pop it in the fridge for the night. Pro tip: Make a bunch of single servings at once, and you’ll have ready-to-eat breakfast for days.

The Essentials: old-fashioned oats, any kind of milk, sweetener

Lettuce Cups

Scoopy Asian Chicken Salad
Think of lettuce cups as little handheld salads, with the ratios tipping in favor of the toppings! Add a scoop of chicken salad, a pouch of seasoned tuna, last night's leftovers... If it's something you'd eat cold, you're probably gold. Cabbage leaves work too! Lightly steam ‘em for less crunch.

The Essentials: a head of lettuce (iceberg works great), dressing or sauce, some sort of protein

Sandwiches & Wraps

Spicy Black Bean & Avocado Turkey Wrap
It’s all about the better-for-you bread. I like whole-grain tortillas, light flatbreads, whole-wheat pitas, and lavash. These 50-calorie flatbreads are my latest favorites! Then reach for some deli meat, cheese, and tasty condiments. Try out new flavor combos, like tuna + honey mustard or turkey + BBQ sauce! Bonus points for extra veggies: cucumber slices, alfalfa sprouts, and more.

The Essentials: light/whole-grain bread of some sort, flavorful spread, stackable protein

Hungry for More No-Cook Meal Tips?

No-Cook Must-Have Ingredients

No-Cook Recipe Roundup

Happy no cooking!

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Chew on this:

Happy National Shrimp Scampi Day, April 29th! Make our Spaghetti Squash Shrimp Scampi, and feel free to swap in zucchini noodles or whatever pasta you’ve got.

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