Food just tastes better when it’s eaten outdoors.
With flip-flop season in full swing, it’s officially eat-outside season. So head to the park, the hiking trail or the beach with a picnic basket and blanket and enjoy a tasty meal with friends and family. This delicious menu is easy to prepare ahead and it travels well. It’s guaranteed to make picnicking a highlight of your summer. P.S. Don’t forget the sunscreen.
PREP: 35 minutes
COOK: 10 minutes
MAKES 6 SERVINGS.
Pasta salad is a picnic classic. This crowd-pleasing recipe ups the ante with a punchy pesto, salty cured meat and exciting vegetables. Cherries provide just the right amount of seasonal sweetness.
Each serving contains 641 calories, 21g total fat, 5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 34mg cholesterol, 757mg sodium, 93g carbohydrate, 8g fiber, 11g sugars, 19g protein, 56Est GL.
PREP: 35 minutes
GRILL: 10 minutes
MAKES 4 SERVINGS.
Why not combine your sandwich and dip? This veggie-centric wrap is a bundle of delicious flavors, textures and colors—and it’s ultra-healthy. The hummus and grilled vegetables can be prepared in advance. Assemble the wraps on the day of your picnic.
Each wrap with hummus contains 505 calories, 23g total fat, 4g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 765mg sodium, 71g carbohydrate, 17g fiber, 17g sugars, 19g protein, 29Est GL.
PREP: 30 minutes
GRILL: 12 minutes
MAKES 4 SERVINGS.
This salad tastes like summer sunshine in a jar. Layering ingredients in single-serving jars means you can make this salad ahead without the risk of soggy greens. For ease of eating, bring along some bowls.
Each serving (with vinaigrette) contains 453 calories, 21g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 65mg cholesterol, 271mg sodium, 34g carbohydrate, 6g fiber, 10g sugars, 33g protein, 12Est GL.
PREP: 20 minutes (not including cooling time)
MAKES 6 CUPS.
This thirst-quenching drink is sure to become a summer sweetheart. Serve it straight-up or dilute it with seltzer water. If you can’t find loose-leaf rooibos, use 5 rooibos tea bags.
Each cup contains 26 calories, 0g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 1mg sodium, 7g carbohydrate, 0g fiber, 6g sugars, 0g protein, 4Est GL.
PREP: 20 minutes
BAKE: 20 minutes
MAKES 12 SERVINGS.
This whimsical play on yogurt and granola makes a sweet ending to an outdoor meal. To keep the granola base from turning soft, add yogurt to the cups shortly before heading out the door.
Each serving contains 230 calories, 10g total fat, 5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 1mg cholesterol, 65mg sodium, 32g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 17g sugars, 6g protein, 16Est GL.
These fun items will upgrade your picnic.
Ditch the plastic wraps. Each Abeego wrap is made from an earth-friendly combo of beeswax, hemp and organic cotton and is cleverly designed to be self-adhesive, malleable and reusable. Use them to hold picnic wraps, sliced veggies, fruit, olives, cheese and more. $18 for 3 wraps.
Serve in style. These fashionable bowls are made with recycled materials including flax husk in a zero-waste American factory. $19.99 for set of 4.
Roomy enough for a picnic, this parachute nylon blanket is durable, folds to the size of a softball and comes with sand pockets to keep it grounded on windy beaches. $39.95.
This stylish and lightweight felt bag cleverly includes a bamboo cutting board base to support heavier items and doubles as a serving tray. Built-in elastic straps secure wine bottles for an upscale picnic. $49.95.
Available in an array of cheery colors and sizes, these insulated stainless steel containers keep cold beverages frosty and hot foods steamy for several hours. The voluminous 64-ounce Oasis flask transports everything from a big batch of pasta salad to enough ice cream to feed a crowd. Price varies by flask type.
Make your picnic pretty and greener with these firm biodegradable plates, produced from fallen palm leaves. $14 for 25 plates.
Contributing chef Matthew Kadey, RD is a registered dietitian and food writer. He is author of The Muffin Tin Chef (Ulysses Press), The No-Cook, No-Bake Cookbook (Ulysses Press) and Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sports and Adventure (VeloPress).