9 al fresco recipes for summer picnic perfection

One of my favorite things about summer is dining al fresco. Backyard meals, beachside bakes, picnics in the park: you name it, I’m in. If you’re grilling your eats, try one of these delectable 8 summer BBQ recipes. But if you’re planning an outdoor feast with no fire source, prep these easy recipes at home for a killer picnic spread.

With your basket full of these picnic dishes, all you need to do is grab your pretty waterproof picnic blanket, portable speakers and, of course, the kids. No dinner clean-up required!

Sandwiches are the obvious move for a picnic, but these Pressed Italian Sandwiches (above) from Seasons and Suppers are anything but obvious. They’re a welcome switch from the standard turkey sandwich and just as easy to make.

 

Stuffed Vegetarian Sandwich at Cool Mom Picks

Not a meat eater? Try these Vegetarian Stuffed Picnic Sandwiches from Lavender and Lovage. With layers of egg salad, cornichons, herbs, tomatoes and red onion, this sandwich looks delectable, even to this omnivore.

Tomato and Corn Picnic Salad at Cool Mom Picks

Every picnic needs a salad…or three. Greens don’t travel well, but this super simple and super yummy Tomato and Corn Picnic Salad from Running with Tweezers will hold up brilliantly in the heat or on the go.

Quinoa Greek Salad at Cool Mom Picks

Grain salads are another great picnic option. This Quinoa Greek Salad from Cookin’ Canuck is a healthy, filling take on a classic Greek salad. And it only takes 10 minutes to prep.

Amish Macaroni Salad at Cool Mom Picks

Hankering for a more traditional picnic salad? This classic Amish Macaroni Salad from Chocolate Moosey is just the ticket. Elbow mac, mayo, chopped eggs: yup, it doesn’t get more picnicky (or more satisfying) than this.

Caprese Salad Skewers at Cool Mom Picks

Nothing says summer like yummy stuff on sticks, right? These Caprese Salad Skewers from my own site, One Hungry Mama, offer all the deliciousness of a traditional Caprese salad, but in a way more fun (and way more portable) presentation. I’m betting your kids will dig these as much as mine do.

Gazpacho recipes on Cool Mom Picks

Soup isn’t usually a go-to picnic food. But on a hot day? I’ve found nothing cools you down and fills you up quite like gazpacho. Sound messy? Not when packed in individually portioned mason jars. Choose from one of these 6 great gazpacho recipes, pour, then sip away. Ahhhhh.

Fried chicken and waffle sandwich on Cool Mom Picks

Not gonna lie: this Fried Chicken and Cheddar Scallion Waffle Sandwich from The Candid Appetite is labor-intensive. But how can I talk picnic foods and not share this outrageously mouthwatering recipe? So consider breaking the recipe down. Just make the waffles (don’t crumble the bacon in the batter–instead use strips to make waffle BLTs) or just make the fried chicken cutlets, perfect picnic food all on its own.

Slutty Brownies on Cool Mom Picks

What’s a picnic without dessert? Whip up some Naturally Nora brownie mix, our favorite all-natural line of cake, brownie and icing mixes, or go all out with these Slutty Brownies from What’s Gaby Cooking. What are Slutty Brownies, you ask? Read the recipe and weep, my friends.

Stacie

Stacie Billis is a popular food blogger known for focus on nutrition and organics, and her non-judgy approach that does not preclude Nutella.

1 Comment

  • Reply July 25, 2013

    Cookin Canuck

    This is a great list of summer recipes. Thank you for including my Greek quinoa salad!

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