Easy, Oven-Free Recipes Roundup

I HATE cooking in the summer. I’m hot, I’m tired and I don’t feel like doing or eating anything. Not to mention the fact that my kitchen is probably the least energy-efficient room on earth.  If you even think about pre-heating the oven the temperature in that room rises by at least 5 degrees.

This summer we have been getting creative with easy, fast, oven-free recipes.

But the summer is coming to a close and I am running out of ideas! You can only have hot dogs so many times in a 90-day period.

If you have any great EASY, inexpensive and fairly “normal” ideas, I need them! (Notice I said easy recipes. We all know that I struggle in the kitchen.)

I thought it would be fun if we all share a couple of our family’s favorites with each other. Please post in the comments section below.

Here are a few of our oven-free favorites:

Tangy Ranch Chicken –

2/3 cups Ranch
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/3 cup yellow mustard
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Mix the dressing, mustard and sugar in a bowl to make a sauce.
Pour 2/3 cup of the mixed sauce over the chicken.
Marinate the chicken in the fridge (I usually put mine in a plastic bag) for 30 minutes.
Grill or broil the chicken 10-15 minutes until done. (You could also bake the chicken at 350 for 25 minutes if you want but I wouldn’t recommend it in the summer.)
Serve the remaining mustard sauce with chicken.

Barbecue Ribs and Baked Potatoes –

4 or 5 boneless pork ribs
1 small bottle of honey barbecue sauce

I take my small, slow Crockpot and put the meat inside. Then I pour the bottle of barbecue sauce over the chicken and let it cook all day. Meanwhile I scrub a bunch of potatoes, poke holes in them with a fork and place them in my large Crockpot. I cook them on high for a couple of hours and then low for a few more hours (until they are tender).

Crunchy Ranch Chicken Tacos –

2 to 4 boneless chicken breasts or tenders
¼ cup ranch dressing
2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
A handful of tortilla chips
Shredded cheese

I put the frozen chicken breasts in to my small, slow Crockpot cooker. I let them cook for a few hours until done. Then I cut the chicken into cubes and set it aside. Next I mix the ranch dressing and barbecue sauce in a bowl. In a separate bowl I crunch up a handful of tortilla chips. I take a tortilla, line it with the ranch/barbecue sauce and then spread chicken, cheese and chips in the middle. Then I roll up the tortilla and set it on a small baking tray. I do that for the remainder of the sauce and chicken. Then I put the tray in my toaster oven and toast until the tops of the tacos are barely brown. You could also serve with lettuce, tomatoes or sour cream inside the tacos.

Shredded Roast Tacos –

3 to 6 pounds boneless pork or beef rump roast
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup salsa

Put the roast in a large Crockpot (Sometimes I brown the edges of the roast in a pan on my stove before putting it in the Crockpot, sometimes I don’t). Then pour the salsa and sprinkle the brown sugar over the meat. Cook on high in the Crockpot for 8 hours. Shred before serving. We like to eat the meat on tortillas with sour cream.

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Joanel Whinham
    Sep 09, 2011 @ 10:10:34

    I cook everything out on the grill in the summer cause it is just too darn hot to use the oven… or the range for that matter. I use the microwave for heating veggies. We eat a lot of chicken, burgers and hobo type dinners.


    • Natalie
      Sep 09, 2011 @ 13:39:16

      I knew you were good with a grill! You are going to have to teach me some grilling tricks. I’ll also have to get some hobo-style recipes from you. We love tin foil dinners with hamburger, potatoes, carrots, onion and cream of mushroom soup. Also, I don’t know why I didn’t think about the microwave for veggies?! That’s such a great idea. Duh!


  2. Jaclyn
    Oct 05, 2011 @ 14:31:38

    Okay, so now that it is not summer any more…I finally found the time to send a few summer recipes. Ha! Sorry! I love getting new recipes, so thanks for doing this. What a fun idea. : ) I have more recipes too, but now the baby is crying again, so I will have to share them later.
    My new favorite recipe this summer has been one from Giada from the Food Network (Linguine with Sun Dried Tomatoes, Olives and Lemon). I could eat a ton of it. My kids love it too. AND it is super easy!

    This is a recipe my sister recently gave me. It is SO delicious! My kids asked for seconds.

    Aisan BBQ Chicken

    1/4 c brown sugar
    1/4 c soy sauce
    2 T lime juice
    1/4 t cayenne pepper
    1/4 t curry powder
    3-4 garlic cloves
    1 t grated fresh ginger
    8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

    Combine everything but the chicken in a small bowl. Whisk to dissolve brown sugar. Place marinade and chicken in a zip-lock bag. Pop that bag in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours, or longer if you have it (even overnight).


  3. Trackback: Crock Pot Dinner Rolls | Boogers on the Wall

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