I don’t think I will ever get sick of no-cook recipes using tomatoes and basil. I play them on repeat during the summer months because I know that although the ingredients are widely available year-round, it’s this time, right now in August, where the taste of garden-fresh tomatoes and basil is unparalleled.
I also just don’t want to turn on the stove. Or do a lot of dishes.
So here’s some tomato-basil inspiration that goes beyond Caprese salad — but don’t worry, I still included one of those too.
And okay, a few of the recipes have a small cooking component. But they’re so good and easy, I don’t think you’ll mind. Don’t @ me.
Top image: © Jane Sweeney for Cool Mom Eats
6 favorite no-cook recipes using tomatoes and basil
Mediterranean Caprese Salad | Me and The Moose
I’m head over heels for this gorgeous twist on the traditional Caprese salad. Using the best tomatoes and herbs you can find, make this dish for your next alfresco dinner. Mint and crumbled feta are simple additions, but certainly help this dish stand out from the version you’re used to. And heed Rebecca’s advice please: bring the mozzarella to room temp before serving!
BLT bar | What’s Gaby Cooking
I actually love a straight-up tomato, basil, and mayonnaise sandwich – preferably open-faced on toasted sourdough, enhanced with a little flaky salt. But I get that doesn’t always fit the bill for hungry tweens. So once you get your hands on perfect August tomatoes, build a BLT bar and let everyone choose their own ingredients.
You can go all out as Gaby does (of course she makes it look beautiful!) by serving a few flavored mayos and different types of bacon. I love that her idea works as well for a lunch party as it does a weeknight.
Tomato Basil Chickpea Salad Sandwich | Peas and Crayons
I’ve only recently started making smashed chickpea sandwiches and I’m hooked. I’ve even got one kid on board, though still working on the other.
I’ve made a version of Jenn’s Tomato Basil Chickpea Salad Sandwiches and love how adaptable the recipe is. We didn’t have any red peppers, and I subbed some chopped, toasted walnuts for the sunflower seeds — the sandwiches were still a hit. Bonus: the recipe works well for both vegans and vegetarians.
Photo is of Trader Joe’s cheese ravioli, but the spinach tortellini is actually our favorite!
Quickest Summer Tortellini | Jane Sweeney for Cool Mom Eats
This is my kids’ favorite summer dish. They always tell me how good it is and I smile knowing it took just three easy steps. The key is to use a fresh pasta, like Trader Joe’s spinach or cheese tortellini that cooks in under five minutes.
1.) Dump a package of Trader Joe’s spinach tortellini in boiling water and cook
2.) Chop some tomatoes and basil
3.) Drizzle everything with good olive oil, salt and pepper, and cheese, if you wish.
Yes, you have to boil water and that’s technically “cooking,” but you won’t be mad at me when dinner is on the table in fifteen minutes and everyone is happy.
Grilled Shrimp, Corn and Avocado Salad | My Cape Cod Kitchen
This mouthwatering dish features one of my favorite summer combinations. I’m a big fan of how seasonal and healthy Jenny’s recipe is, especially the simple dressing. And you don’t even need to grill the shrimp here! In fact, I’ve made something similar with good quality cooked shrimp from the store and I promise, it was just as delicious.
Image: FoodieFactor via Pixabay
Creamy Tomato Gazpacho | Melissa Clark for The New York Times
Truthfully, I’m not a big gazpacho eater, but where Melissa Clark goes, I follow. Her Creamy Tomato Gazpacho (not shown above, but close) is the right balance of flavor and ease — it’s conveniently made in a blender!
I’ve never bothered frying the cheese for this recipe, but I bet it’s wonderful. Try this on a hot, lazy summer day and relish in the fact that you’re enjoying soup that is fresh, chilled and tastes like summer.