Making creative and healthy meals at home doesn’t have to mean slaving over a hot stove for hours—or even turning on the stove at all! With a handful of great ingredients and a little bit of imagination, making a no-cook feast is a complete cinch—and we’re not talking limp green salads and boring sandwiches.
Whether you don’t feel like cooking with fire (or sweating your a** off in a hot kitchen), or you’re eating a raw food diet, this mix of meals for every time of the day is sure to satisfy and keep things interesting. Who knew you could make chili, pancakes, and brownies without cooking?
No, this recipe isn’t for batter (which can be tasty, but often ends in a stomachache). Instead, combine five wholesome ingredients, form into cakes, and breakfast is served. The flaxseed base is a good source of protein and fiber, so these flour-free cakes will fill you up. Finally, a pancake recipe that’s practical for the middle of the week!
Picking up a muffin on the way to work is definitely appealing on hectic mornings, but they’re usually massive and loaded with sugar. This no-bake version is healthier and super easy to make at home. Oats, strawberries, and nut butter pack these morning treats with fiber, vitamins, and protein. Think of these as PB&J for breakfast.
When an early morning meeting means dashing out the door, a speedy breakfast is a must. High in fiber, protein, and antioxidants, chia seeds are a great a make-ahead option. Combine the seeds with almond milk, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and cocoa powder in a jar before bed, and you’ll have a healthy dessert-like meal ready to go when your alarm goes off.
Microwaving oatmeal may be a no-brainer for a hearty morning meal, but sometimes even that feels like too much effort. This overnight recipe uses blueberries and bananas for natural sweetness and loads of fruity flavor. The best part? Throw a lid on the mason jar, grab a spoon, and this turns into a portable breakfast.
It’s hard to resist the urge to gulp a glass of chocolate milk for a dose of nostalgia and sugary goodness, but we prefer this smoothie that offers more filling protein and potassium to help your body build muscle. Doesn’t hurt that this tastes like a milkshake!
Sticking to raw foods means most yogurt is out of the equation, but it’s possible to get that same dreamy texture with this parfait. Puréeing cashews with a bit of agave, cinnamon, and vanilla makes a protein-packed sub that might even taste better than that Greek stuff everyone keeps raving about. Layer it with fresh fruit and nuts for a parfait that’s as pretty as it is tasty.
Enjoy the convenience of breakfast bars without baking or questionable ingredients. These are packed with nuts and seeds (three of each!) for loads of crunch and some serious staying power. Feel free to swap in any other type of dried fruit for the blueberries, and switch up the nuts and seeds too.
Mashed avocado with a pinch of salt and lemon always tastes great, but this filling fruit also works well with a little bit of sweetness. With a mere five ingredients and a super speedy prep time, this should definitely be on the docket for tomorrow. Avocados are loaded with good fats and fiber to keep you full, plus they could help lower cholesterol and reduce inflammation.
What’s an easier breakfast than a porridge made from soaking some nuts and buckwheat overnight and then blending them with some apple and orange juice in the morning? OK, maybe a banana and a handful of almonds. But this creamy meal is hardly any more effort and is so much more delicious. Topping choices are endless, but keep in mind that a combo of healthy almonds, coconut flakes, and cocao nibs tastes just like a candy bar.
10. Macro Bowl
Grain bowls are the darling of the lunch world, so it can seem like an impossible feat to find something as good when cooked grains are out of the question. Two words: cauliflower rice. Simply chop the cruciferous vegetable in the food processor with a few seasonings for a base that’s every bit as satisfying as the real deal. Top with a whole mess of produce and some tahini for a complete meal that might even be better than a traditional bowl. (Scroll down on the blog page for the raw version.)
Deli wraps seem like a healthy lunch option, but too often the person behind the counter slathers on the condiments like spackle and only puts two leaves of spinach on top. Take control and make these easy, gluten-free, vegan, and raw wraps. Collard greens replace the usual tortilla for a wrapper that’s packed with antioxidants, while a simple pecan and tamari mixture makes a satisfying and addictively savory spread.
Some red pepper soups are more cream than vegetable. So much for a healthy lunch! This version gets a creamy texture from avocado and a light sweetness from the pepper and a bit of carrot. Just throw everything into a blender for a whirl, and lunch for today and tomorrow is ready to go. Sure, you could share the extra, but you might not want to once you get a taste!
As much as we adore sushi, sometimes we wish it wasn’t so heavy on the rice that we can’t taste the veggies and fish. This no-cook version rolls up sprouts, carrots, zucchini, bell pepper, and avocado in some nori for lunch that’s filling and fantastic. And with so much great nutrition from the veggies, you can feel good about eating the whole roll.
Whipping up a stir-fry is great for when you’re short on time—and it doesn’t even need to require heating up the frying pan. This dish gets the same flavors by marinating veggies in a mixture of coconut aminos, rice vinegar, garlic, and a little bit of chili flake. A few hours in the fridge lets the vegetables soak up that great sauce, but overnight is even better.
From pasta to potato to coleslaw, a good salad makes a picnic or backyard barbecue, but they’re often swimming in mayo. With a creamy sauce made from cashews, this broccoli salad is like no other. Simply blend the dressing and then toss with the florets, red onion, sunflower seeds, and raisins. No need to tell anyone it’s healthy. That can be your secret.
One of the best parts of eating at an Italian restaurant is loading up on the delicious antipasto salad. Sadly, all that meat and cheese makes for one salad that can leave you feeling seriously stuffed. This recipe keeps the basil and olives but swaps in cauliflower and Swiss chard. Pine nuts add crunch, and a simple lemon dressing whisks together in no time. It may not be a typical antipasto salad, but it sure is tasty.
For an updated take on a favorite casserole, toss green beans with a creamy cashew dressing, some sliced mushrooms, and sun-dried tomatoes. Miss the crunchy onion topping? Toss a few extra cashews on top for healthy fats (the canned onions are made with saturated-fat-heavy palm oil) and energy-boosting magnesium.
Just when you thought cauliflower mash couldn’t get any better, now you don’t even need to cook the vegetable! Throw it in the food processor with some soaked cashews, herbs, and a bit of olive oil, and you’ve got a creamy dish that’s every good as those spuds. With more vitamins and fewer calories that mashed potatoes, it’s also a healthier choice.
No Thanksgiving table would be complete without stuffing, and it’s so delicious that most of us want to see it more than once a year. This recipe is healthy and easy enough to enjoy any season and with any entree. Mix the standard herbs and seasonings with a base made of mushrooms and nuts for a side dish that’s ready in a matter of minutes.
Stuffed peppers are pretty much the ultimate comfort food. They’re kind of a process to make, though, and usually have loads of rice and cheese. This no-bake recipe stuffs the crunchy peppers with a mixture made from mushrooms, tomatoes, carrots, and sunflower seeds. Whir everything in the food processor and stuff into red bell pepper halves for some vitamin C.
Some mashed sweet potatoes taste like a big hug thanks to lots of butter and brown sugar. To make this dish healthy for everyday life, the vibrant tuber (a source of manganese and potassium) goes on a trip through the food processor with some water and dates. Top with almonds and raisins for a little extra flourish, and you’ve got a hug that’s as good for the body as it is for the soul.
Pepper strips and cucumber noodles go for a swim in a super easy coconut curry broth in this vibrant, satisfying soup. Top it with cilantro for freshness and a few slices of chili for even more spice and a gourmet touch that’s almost too pretty to eat.
For a twist on an Italian classic, this manicotti can’t be beat. A cashew purée replaces the typical cheese for a filling that’s packed with good fat, protein, and plenty of magnesium to help regulate blood sugar. Roll it up is some zucchini and top the whole thing off with a tomato and pepper sauce. It’s healthier and easier than traditional manicotti. Plus, the colors make it look just like the Italian flag.
Who doesn’t love a taco (or three)? For a no-cook version that’s packed with filling fiber and a good dose of omega-3s, this recipe really hits the spot. The filling is made from spices and walnuts pulsed together in the food processor. Tuck it into some red cabbage leaves and top with a simple peach and cucumber salsa for a real fiesta.
Chili without firing up the stove? Oh yes, it can happen. Each veggie—mushrooms, carrots and celery, and then pepper—gets a ride in a food processor and then is combined in a bowl with the spices and other seasonings. It’s tasty as is, but toppings like diced onion, sliced radishes, and cilantro send it over the top.
Vegetable noodles are all the rage, and they can be topped with so much more than marinara or Alfredo. Break out that spiralizer and give some carrots a whirl for no-cook noodles that taste just as good as takeout when tossed with a peanut and coconut milk sauce. Bonus: This meal won’t leave you in a carb coma.
Delicious as cheesecake is, the huge time commitment to make it can make it seem worthless to DIY. This recipe miniaturizes that beloved dessert and streamlines the process. An almond and date crust makes the perfect base for a creamy filling made from puréed cashews, lime, and coconut oil. Store these in the freezer for treats that are ready whenever.
No need to fire up the oven for decadent cupcakes with rich, creamy frosting. Simply pulse a walnut, date, and cocoa mixture to form the cake. Stick them in the fridge, and then frost with avocado and cocoa icing. Our favorite portion-controlled dessert just got easier.
This recipe pretty much gives permission to eat cookie dough batter. Oats, coconut, applesauce, and some coconut oil get a quick blend in the food processor. After stirring in the raisins, all that’s left is forming the cookies and popping them into the fridge. These are great as is, but we think a touch of cinnamon would make them even better (if possible).
Requiring just one more ingredient than a boxed mix, this recipe proves that whole foods are as easy as packaged ones—and much better for you! Since these fudgy dreams are ready in minutes, they’re good for last-minute guests. Plus, they have no added sugars, so go ahead, have a second.
31. Easy Chocolate Mousse
Chocolate mousse is a completely luxurious dessert, but it’s such a pain to make. This version is so easy, it almost seems like cheating. A blend of avocado, dates, cocoa, and almond milk is just as creamy and chocolate-y as the original, plus it has tons of antioxidants and fiber to do a body good.