5 No-Cook Summer Meal Ideas From Trader Joe's—All Less Than $5

Photographed by Erica Gannett.
This story was originally published on May 24, 2017.
Hot food in cold weather makes sense. As does heating up our stove tops, ovens, and crockpots to make comforting dishes. But what about summer? Summertime happens to be that special season where ALL we want to do is eat out — because it's just too damn hot to cook. So our kitchens inevitably turn into an empty wasteland, complete with tumbleweeds of homemade meals past. The problem is, hitting up Seamless or our favorite restaurants every night of the week for three months straight isn't the most budget-friendly solution. So what's a hangry person to do?
Say hello to the no-cook meal: A dish that consists of absolutely no cooking (or heating) of any kind. And before you jump to strictly salad conclusions, just wait. Because we've created five fast, easy, delicious, AND different no-cook recipe variations ahead; from savory zoodles to fresh pita pouches and more. The best part? Each dish overlaps on ingredients, so you can knock out a week of homemade meals in one fell shopping swoop (we've included the full shopping list ahead!) Not to mention, each recipe yields plenty of leftovers — enough to feed a friend or for easily packable next day lunches. (You'll have enough extra ingredients to whip up repeats or bigger portions, too.) Oh, and did we mention each dish costs less than $5 per serving?!
Get, ready to say goodbye to sweating it out in the kitchen — well, at least for as long as these meals will last you.