30 Must-Try No Bake Recipes—Because It’s Summer & That Heat Index Is No Joke

July 31, 2017

Maybe you’re busy jetting between vacations and staycations, or maybe you’re sacrificing for the good of the planet by not running an air conditioner: wherever you find yourself this August, it’s likely to be getting a little steamy. Even the most eco-friendly cooling systems can have a limited effect on our internal body temperatures (especially if you’re blessed with a focused but fiery pitta dosha), which introduces an interesting complication to summertime eating and meal prep. I found myself crowned by beads of perspiration one recent Saturday night as I roasted broccoli and a sweet potato at 400 degrees for 40 minutes—required for a (delicious) bowl recipe I’d been craving. While the meal was ultimately a success, I was so hot and tired by the end of it I said no mas to the oven and gave myself a challenge to keep it off for the remainder of the season and opt for no bake recipes instead.


Putting aside the debate over raw diets (which are an obvious solution to the no-cooking problem), finding ways to creatively prepare un- or minimally cooked foods for yourself, friends, and family can drive even the biggest foodie mad. It’s easy fall into a rut of salads and smoothies without the diversity in flavor and texture that cooking techniques like roasting and baking provide plant-based ingredients of all sorts. And for many (like me), a diet of exclusively raw produce can be taxing on the digestive system even when you’re craving something cool and crunchy.

Fear not: Here at PD, we’ve been compiling a slew of options for you to try yourself, or to share with friends and family, that won’t make you any more sweaty than you already are—and may even provide an ounce of cool relief. From breakfast to dessert, drinks to sides, and everything your summertime cravings call for, here’s a comprehensive guide to making this your coolest oven-free, no bake August yet.

No Bake Drinks & Smoothies

High Protein Tahini Date Shake

Creamy and delicious, an unconventional combo of tahini and cauliflower (!) make this a year-round fav.

Low-Sugar Super Green Smoothie

Just the right amount of sweet for your morning veggies.


Maca Cacao Smoothie

An antioxidant powerhouse.

Peach Ginger Smoothie

Heat making you sluggish? This smoothie has a kick of sweet and spicy to get you back in summertime gear.


Refreshing Vegan Cucumber Mule

A mocktail that will *actually* take the edge off with refreshing ingredients like lime and ginger.

No Bake Breakfast Bowls

Cooling Dragon Fruit Bowl

This one will get you tons of <3s on Instagram—if you can remember to snap a pic before you dive in spoon-first.


Creamy Cauliflower Overnight Oats

Say what? Yes, this breakfast staple just got a cruciferous makeover


Strawberry Lemon Blended Chia Pudding

A gateway to chia pudding for the skeptics among us—disguised as pink lemonade in a jar.

Sweet Citrus Smoothie Bowl

A tropical and energizing way to start your day with endless topping options.

Vegan Triple Berry & Seed Museli

A classic twist on overnight oats, direct from the Swiss Alps to your table.


No Bake Salads

Classic Tabouleh Salad

A Mediterranean fave that gets better the longer it lasts—if it lasts, that is.


Daikon Sushi Salad with Ginger Soy Dressing

Deconstructed sushi means more veggies, less bloat, same flavor.

Pistachio Pesto Potato Salad

Delight your fellow vegan party-goers with a classic they can actually eat!


Spiralized Beet and Blood Orange Salad

Hydrating and colorful (tip: opt to cook your beets stove-top per the original or go raw)


Summer Salad Bowl

A little bit bitter, a little bit crunchy, all satisfying in a mix of late-summer ingredients (tip: trade the broiler for the grill if you can!).

Veggie-Filled Greek Hummus Power Bowl

Turn hot hot hot into chop chop chop.


No Bake Sides & Snacks

Arugala Cilantro Hummus

Because homemade is *always* better than store-bought, whip up this easy and detoxifying dip to serve with everything from apples to zucchini, or if you’re as much of a hummus addict as I am, just enjoy as a main itself!


Eggplant Caponata

Bring this along to your next picnic or cookout and you’ll be the guest of honor—a savory, satisfying taste of Italy in every bite.

Homemade Beetroot Sauerkraut

An unexpected way to get in your daily dose of probiotics, and the perfect condiment for your next VBQ.

Spring Rolls

These beautiful rolls are completely customizable and turn up perfectly crisped in minutes for the ultimate hors d’oeuvres indulgence when it’s been one of those weeks.


No Bake Mains

Avocado Toast, 3 Ways

Make this brunch staple appropriate for any time of day with curated toppings


Vegetable Rolls with Thai Peanut Sauce

Invite your friends over for a roll-up party with these better-than-restaurant wraps and a versatile dipping sauce.

High Protein Cucumber Gazpacho

No soup for summer? Think again with this filling, cooling bowl of yum.


Lime Coconut Carrot Soup

Imagine eating this with a bendy straw and tiny umbrella: the ultimate soup-cation!

Tropical Gazpacho

When your smoothie has an identity crisis and thinks it’s soup.


No Bake Sweets

Banana Cream Pudding

An un-crusted version of a pie lover’s creamy, super sweet favorite.

No-Churn Coconut Cashew Ice Cream

If making homemade ice cream intimidates you, this quick and easy recipe is for you—and just like the real thing.


Pappadam Dessert Bowls with Banana Pudding

Enjoy every last bite—yes, including the bowl!

Raw Vegan Donut Holes

Here’s everything you loved about Entenmann’s Pop ‘Ems, veganized

Stovetop Apple Crumble

Just the right combination of ooey-gooey and crispy, and a perfect transition into fall for cool late-summer nights


 Have you tried any of these no bake recipes? What are your favorite ways to stay cool in the kitchen?

Also by Jen: 7 Diverse Mantras for a Balanced Week

Related: Ready For A Dreamy Vegan Picnic? Make These 6 Easy Recipes (#ForTheWin)

9 Irresistible Gluten Free Dairy Free Desserts & Life Was Not The Same Ever Again

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Photo: Pixabay; Peaceful Dumpling Contributors (Molly Lansdowne, Jennifer Kurdyla, Mary Hood Luttrell, Lauren Kirchmaier, Quincy Malesovas, Juhea Kim, Lauren Sacerdote)

Features Editor Jennifer Kurdyla is a New York City girl with Jersey roots and a propensity for getting lost in the urban jungle. An experienced publishing professional, yoga instructor, home chef, sometimes-runner, and writer, she adopted a vegetarian lifestyle in 2008 and became vegan in 2013. She has written for The Harvard Review Online, The Rumpus, and Music & Literature and maintains a wellness-based website, Be Nourished, which features original writing and recipes. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram @jenniferkurdyla, Twitter @jenniferkurdyla, and Pinterest.


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