The holidays: Now that’s a time when kitchen stress is justified, but summer? You need the warm months to relax, slow down, take advantage of vacation-dividend commute traffic, and go on holiday yourself. Here are 10 recipes that act as the perfect edible soundtrack for your summer of chill: a minimal number of steps, and minimal indoor cooking time.
1. Vietnamese Grilled Eggplant Salad
You can make the dressing days in advance, and the grilling can happen out on the deck, drink in hand, while you chat with your guests. Get our Vietnamese Grilled Eggplant Salad recipe.
2. Tomato Confit
These slow-roasted tomatoes with a fancy name are a breeze to prepare. They’re great to have around to add last-minute glamour to a burger, sandwich, salad, or pizza. Get our Tomato Confit recipe.
3. Slow Cooker Summer Squash
Farmers’ market zucchini and yellow summer squash, an onion, and some slow cooker time—that’s all you need to produce this healthy, delicious side. Get our Slow Cooker Summer Squash recipe.
4. Smoky Cucumber, Tomato, and Onion Salad
You’re just 30 minutes and a little knife-work away from a healthy, crunchy side salad. Get our Smoky Cucumber, Tomato, and Onion Salad recipe.
5. Halibut Ceviche with Watermelon
The great thing about ceviche is the no-cooking part. Prep the ingredients, toss in a bowl, and wait for time to effect the cure. All that’s left is scooping onto chips or crackers. Get our Halibut Ceviche with Watermelon recipe.
6. Aperol Spritz
We admit, the labor involved in cocktail mixing is pretty low. This classic spritz recipe, however, is the easiest ever: ice, and three ingredients, mixed right in the serving glass. Get our Aperol Spritz recipe.
7. Grilled Chicken Breasts with Easy Lemon Marinade
The most burdensome step here is mixing the marinade, which—honestly—is very easy. After that, you let the chicken marinate and give it a quick grilling outdoors. Get our Grilled Chicken Breasts with Easy Lemon Marinade recipe.
8. Summer Berry Salad
Make the syrup days in advance. Then, next time you’re back from the farmers’ market with a berry haul, toss everything together and that’s it: Arguably the best salad of summer, and minimal cutting. Get our Summer Berry Salad recipe.
9. Chicken and Greens Salad with Tahini Dressing
This entrée-scale salad starts with a cooked rotisserie chicken, so no cooking flames are necessary—just simple cold prep. Get our Chicken and Greens Salad with Tahini Dressing recipe.
10. Desperation Spaghetti Carbonara
This is the most stripped-down version of carbonara you’ll ever see, a recipe you can turn to when there’s nothing in the fridge and you’re desperate for dinner. Twenty minutes later, you’ll be twirling spaghetti on a fork. Get our Desperation Spaghetti Carbonara recipe.