There’s no better way to enjoy fine weather and beautiful nature than a picnic with good company, family of friends, and delicious picnic food to round up a beautiful day. When juggling picnic food ideas, keep in mind that picnic food needs to be fresh, light and nutritious. For those looking for an alternative to the picnic BBQ and prefer a healthier option, we’ve gathered some picnic recipe ideas that you’ll love.
Here are five quick and easy picnic recipes to brighten up your outing to the local park or countryside.
1. Green Goodness Hummus Sandwich
For the sandwich:
- 2 slices whole grain bread (toasted by preference)
- ¼ cup hummus
- 1-2 leafs of lettuce
- 4-5 slices cucumber
- Pickles, to taste (sliced into thin strips)
- Quick-pickled carrots and onions
For the quick-pickled carrots and onions:
- 1 small to medium red onion
- 5 to 7 medium to large carrots
- 1 cup water
- 2½ teaspoons salt
- 1 cup plain white vinegar/white wine vinegar/apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup honey/maple syrup/sugar
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
To prepare the quick-pickled vegetables, peel the carrots and then using a regular vegetable peeler slice the carrots into thin slices, and slice the onion into thin rounds. Put the carrots and onion in two different mason jars.
In a saucepan, mix the water, vinegar, sweetener, salt and the optional pepper flakes (to get spicy pickles). Boil the mixture and add half into each jar. Press the vegetables into the liquid, using a spoon and let them cool. Depending on how thin the vegetable slices are, they should be ready in about half an hour.
To prepare your sandwich, spread a thick layer of hummus on both slices of bread. Top once slice of bread with cucumbers, lettuce, and pickles. Put the other slice on top of the pickles.
2. Caesar Pasta Salad
- 1/2 kg penne pasta, cooked al dente and rinsed with cool water
- 2 grilled chicken breasts, diced
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
- 6 large lettuce leaves, thinly sliced
- 1 large clove garlic, pressed
- 1½ cups grape tomatoes
- 2 anchovies, finely minced (if omitted double up the Worchester sauce)
- 1½ cups croutons
- 4 green onions, sliced
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
In a bowl, mix together the Worchester sauce and mayonnaise.
Add half of the dressing to the pasta, mixing it well, and put in the fridge for half an hour.
In a separate large bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients, including the other half of the dressing, making sure the pasta and chicken are well-coated.
3. Strawberry Oat Bars
Serves: 9-12 bars
For the filling:
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 cups finely diced strawberries
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
For the oatmeal base and topping:
- 2 and 1/4 cup quick oats
- 1 cup almond butter/peanut butter/sunflower seed butter
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1/4 cup apple butter*
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
To make the strawberry filling, mix the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons warm water until it dissolves and there are no clumps. You’ll know it’s done when it starts resembling milk. Set aside.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, mix the strawberries, sugar and maple syrup. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir well. Remove from heat and stir in the cornstarch. Whisk until there are no clumps and set aside to cool and thicken.
Preheat the oven to 160F degrees. Line a baking pan with alfoil and leave some extra on the sides for easy removal. Set aside.
To make the oat crust/topping, combine the quick oats, beaten egg, almond butter, maple syrup, apple butter, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Mix well until the mixture is evenly combined. Put 1/2 cup of the oat mixture aside. Firmly press the remaining mixture into the baking pan making sure it’s even and top it with the strawberry filling. Add sliced almonds to the reserved 1/2 cup oat mixture. Sprinkle over the strawberry filling and, with a spatula, press it down firmly into the strawberry filling making sure it sticks well.
Bake for about half an hour. It’s fine if the topping becomes browned. Let it cool completely before cutting into bars.
Depending on the size, you can make 9-12 bars. If covered tightly or in the refrigerator they stay fresh for up to 5 days or freeze and use them within 2 months.
4. Antipasti Skewers
- cheese tortellini
- 1 cup mozzarella balls, small
- 1 can medium black olives
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 150g salami, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves
- balsamic glaze, for drizzling
- Cook the tortellini al dente according to directions on the package. Once ready, drain and set aside.
- Line up all the ingredients and pierce each one onto the skewer, sliding down towards the bottom of the skewer.
- Decide the order of ingredients so that colors and shapes complement each other. You can fold the salami twice into a triangle shape so it doesn’t stick out. If your skewers are long, put two of each ingredient.
- Arrange antipasti skewers onto a platter and serve drizzled with balsamic glaze.
5. Rockmelon Berry Salad
- 1/2 rockmelon, scooped with melon baller
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 cup strawberries, thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons chopped mint leaves
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon lime zest
In a large bowl, mix rockmelon, blueberries, strawberries, lime juice and zest, and mint.
Put in the refrigerator for at least half an hour before serving.
These tasty and balanced recipes for picnic are going to make your al fresco dining experience so much more enjoyable. Let our picnic recipe list save you some time planning and preparing your meal, so you can spend it making plans for a memorable day out appreciating nature with your family.