31 No-Cook Dinners Grandma Made in Her Summer Kitchen

Updated: Feb. 01, 2024

Enjoy those lazy days of summer with these cool, vintage recipes. We have old-fashioned ideas for salads, sandwiches and more.

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Pear Waldorf Pitas

Here's a guaranteed table brightener for a shower, luncheon or party. Just stand back and watch these sandwiches vanish. For an eye-catching presentation, I tuck each one into a colorful folded napkin. —Roxann Parker, Dover, Delaware

Find more no-cook dinner ideas. (They keep the kitchen cool!)

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Loaded Avocado BLT

My husband invented this twist on a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. I like to make it with extra slices of bacon; if you want, you can leave the Gorgonzola cheese out of the avocado spread. —Lori Grant, Kingsport, Tennessee
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Refreshing Shrimp Salad

Avocado, strawberries and shrimp are wonderful together in this filling yet light salad. Balsamic or raspberry vinaigrette dressings go well with the salad, as do Asian-inspired dressings. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Old-Fashioned Egg Salad

Here's a pared-down version of a classic egg salad recipe. You can also add a little cream cheese for an extra-creamy spread. —Linda Braun, American Egg Board, Park Ridge, Illinois
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Classic Cobb Salad

Making this salad is a lot like putting in a garden. I plant everything in nice, neat sections, just as I do with seedlings. —Patricia Kile, Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania
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Crunchy Tuna Salad with Tomatoes

On a hot summer day, there's nothing more refreshing than this salad. I grow a few tomato plants in my garden and the fresh-picked taste makes the dish even more of a treat. —Diane Selich, Vassar, Michigan
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Muffuletta

Muffuletta, which originated in New Orleans, is named after the round, crusty Sicilian loaf of bread it's traditionally served on. While I favor my own olive salad, there are several good versions available in most supermarkets. —Lou Sansevero, Ferron, Utah
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Ham Salad

I first made this ham salad recipe for a shower, and everyone raved about it. Now when I go to a potluck, I take it—along with copies of the recipe. —Patricia Reed, Pine Bluff, Arkansas
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Peanut Butter, Chicken and Basil Sandwich

Stay with me, here. These classic Thai flavors work on so much more than noodles...try 'em on a sandwich and you won't be disappointed. —James Schend, Dairy Freed
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Fruity Chicken Salad Mini Sandwiches

Chicken salad ranks among the classics, and this version is a hit at parties of all kinds. Feel free to substitute green grapes for the red, or toss in extra strawberries when they're in season. The filling can also be served on a bed of salad greens. —Marcy Kamery, Blasdell, New York
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Tuna and White Bean Lettuce Wraps

Here's a fabulous way to dress up ordinary tuna salad. This easy recipe makes a quick dinner or lunch at the office, and it's good for you. —Heather Senger, Madison, Wisconsin
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Cobb Salad Sub

When we need a quick meal to share, we turn Cobb salad into a sandwich masterpiece. Sometimes I substitute tortillas for the bread and make wraps instead. —Kimberly Grusendorf, Medina, Ohio
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The Elvis Sandwich

Like the King himself sang, you'll be "all shook up" when you taste this savory-sweet sandwich. —James Schend, Dairy Freed
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Cool & Crunchy Chicken Salad

When the weather sizzles, get your chill on with a cool chicken salad. Mine uses grapes, pecans and celery for that signature crunch. —Sarah Smiley, Bangor, Maine
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Chunky Chicken Salad with Grapes and Pecans

This chicken salad with grapes is ready in a snap when using rotisserie chicken and a few quick chops of pecans, sweet onion and celery. —Julie Sterchi, Jackson, Missouri
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Chicken Salad Party Sandwiches

My famous chicken salad arrives at the party chilled in a plastic container. When it’s time to set out the food, I stir in the pecans and assemble the sandwiches. They’re a hit at buffet-style potlucks. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho
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Cucumber Salad Boats

Scoop out the seeds and fill fresh cucumbers with your favorite salad for a crunchy and refreshing light lunch. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Swiss Cobb Salad

Topped with ham, roast beef, bacon and other fixings, this hearty salad has an excellent blend of flavors. A from-scratch vinaigrette adds the refreshing final touch. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Lobster Rolls

Mayonnaise infused with dill and lemon lends refreshing flavor to these super sandwiches. Try pan-toasting the buns in butter for something extra special. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Cherry Chicken Croissants

I had a similar chicken salad at a restaurant and created my own version. It may seem like an odd combination, but the ingredients work really well together. My children love it, and it only takes a few minutes to cut everything up—so easy!
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Turkey Pinto Bean Salad with Southern Molasses Dressing

This salad is a welcome alternative to the usual post-Thanksgiving fare. It's a tasty main dish loaded with good-for-you protein. —Lily Julow, Lawrenceville, Georgia
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Tarragon Tuna Salad

It's surprising how a few herbs can brighten up tuna salad. Made with reduced-fat mayonnaise, this version gets its zip from mustard. It makes a terrific light lunch or Sunday brunch dish. —Billie Moss, Walnut Creek, California
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Cobb Salad Wraps

A homemade dressing lightens up these refreshing tortilla wraps. The avocado, bacon, blue cheese and tomato deliver the flavors I enjoy most while keeping me on my healthy eating plan. -Lynne Van Wagenen of Salt Lake City, Utah
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Italian Submarine

My Italian husband grew up eating this flavorful sandwich, which his mother used to make it after Saturday chores were finished. Put the sub together a few hours ahead and refrigerate, then serve with chips, veggies and dip for a delicious meal. —Christine Lupella, Fifty Lakes, Minnesota
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Shrimp Avocado Salad

The delicious taste and smooth texture of avocados and the crisp shrimp salad create a heavenly combination. Serve it as a cool and satisfying lunch or a light, quick and easy dinner. —Teri Rasey, Cadillac, Michigan
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Summer Splash Chicken Salad

When it’s too hot to eat inside, I head out to the patio. Shred some rotisserie chicken and toss with mango, watermelon and grapes for an ooh-ahh healthy chicken salad. —Barbara Spitzer, Lodi, California
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Southern Peanut Butter Mayo Sandwich

Yep, Southerners love the combo of peanut butter and mayo. The mayonnaise flavor disappears into the peanut butter, just making it creamier and more delicious. I add cheddar to mine because, hey, I'm from Wisconsin. —James Schend, Dairy Freed
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Focaccia Sandwiches

Slices of this pretty sandwich make any casual get-together more special. Add or change ingredients to your taste. —Peggy Woodward, Shullsburg, Wisconsin
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Smoked Salmon Egg Salad

Served on croissants, these grown-up sandwiches offer a great way to use leftover Easter eggs. Salmon adds smoky flavor. —Cathy Tang, Redmond, Washington
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Mint-Cucumber Tomato Sandwiches

I jazzed up the quintessential teatime cucumber sandwich to suit my family's tastes. This was my absolute go-to sandwich last summer when I was pregnant. It hit all the right spots! —Namrata Telugu, Terre Haute, Indiana