Oven-Free Summer Menu Plan

The summer heat waves in Austin are no joke. Once August hits, it’s time to camp out by a pool with icy cold drinks on constant rotation. As for dinner plans, I like to keep things fresh and simple with as little oven use as possible. This month, I decided to get creative with a completely oven-free menu plan that includes five dinners, a dessert, and a seasonal drink. I’m even sharing my recipe for Shrimp Cocktail Ceviche, which has become somewhat legendary in the Casey household.

Read on for all the details and let’s get cooking.

oven-free menu plan


recipe via The Identite Collective

Shrimp Cocktail Ceviche

Back in the day, I dated a boy whose mom made the most incredible shrimp cocktail ceviche. It hit all the notes of citrus and spice, and I still crave it whenever an extra hot day comes around. Luckily, I learned the perfect my own version, and it’s become my go-to for summer hosting. Just add salty tortilla chips or club crackers, and it’s basically a meal in and of itself.


  • 1lb bag pre-cooked frozen shrimp (thawed)
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 1/2 sweet yellow onion
  • 1 Persian cucumber
  • 4 lemons
  • 2 limes + 2 for garnish
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 4 tablespoons Tapatillo hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • Salt + Pepper to taste
  • 2 avocados
  • club crackers


  • Dice onion, cucumber, and tomato and combine in large mixing bowl.
  • Squeeze juice of four lemons and two limes into mixing bowl, stirring in.
  • Combine ketchup, vinegar, and Tapatillo into mixing bowl, stirring in.
  • Mix in thawed shrimp.
  • Roughly chop cilantro and mix in.
  • Cube 1 avocado and carefully stir into bowl, thoroughly coating the avocado cubes in the sauce.
  • Cover and store overnight in the fridge.
  • Garnish with lime wedge, fresh cilantro and avocado slices topped with a dollop of sour cream.
  • Serve with club crackers or tortilla chips.

recipe & photo via Inspired With a Twist

Grilled Chicken Skewers with Garlicky Whipped Ricotta

As a loyal reader of Inspired With a Twist, I try pretty much any new recipe that hits the blog, and it’s a smash hit every time. These chicken and bell pepper skewers are perfect for the nights you want to make dinner without heating up the house. But the real magic is in that whipped ricotta flavored with honey, garlic, red pepper flakes, and all the fresh herbs. Serve with warmed pita bread and dip to your heart’s content.

recipe & photo via Bon Appetit

Grilled Vegetable Panzanella

Panzanella is essentially a fancy term for bread salad, and it’s one of my favorite summer meals. The classic version features heirloom tomatoes, but this one takes a slight twist. You’ll make this Panzanella feel like a complete meal with grilled bell peppers, summer squash, and red onions. You could also try grilled eggplant for a fun addition. Whip up a simple homemade dressing, toss it together, and enjoy.

recipe & photo via All the Healthy Things

Chopped Italian Salad

Oven-free dinners require a little creativity, but this chopped salad makes it easy. The only real cooking involves chopping veggies, whisking a dressing, and assembling. I love how filling this salad feels, and if you keep dressing on the side, it makes fantastic leftovers for lunch the next day.

recipe & photo via Cooking With Cocktail Rings

Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl

When it’s too hot to consider turning on the oven, poke bowls save the day. This variation is made with raw ahi tuna tossed in a simple soy sauce and served over sushi rice with sliced avocado. I know raw fish is out of some people’s comfort zones, but don’t be intimated. Buy the highest quality, freshest fish from your local market and make your poke bowls the very same day.


recipe & photo via Half Baked Harvest

Greek Yogurt Fruit Tart

I’m always on the lookout for lightened-up desserts that still wow a crowd and this fresh berry tart does exactly that. You’ll use pecans and dates to make the crust, whole milk plain Greek yogurt for your filling, and a medley of summer berries arranged on top. Drizzle with honey for added sweetness, and the best part? You can slice and serve immediately.


recipe & photo via What’s Gaby Cooking

Crushed Blackberry Moscow Mules

I’m not too fussy when it comes to summer cocktails. My only real requirement is minimal ingredients and maximum seasonal flavor. I particularly love a good Moscow Mule, especially when fresh blackberries are involved. This one comes together in no time, and you can easily batch it up for a crowd.



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