When the sun is shining and the weather is warm, it is lovely to be able to get out of the kitchen, bypass the dining room, and enjoy a meal outdoors. Whether it’s eaten at an old fashioned picnic table or sitting on a blanket under the shade of a tree, picnic food has certain requirements. It should be easy to transport, not too messy and should never sacrifice flavor for any reason.
We made a list of some picnic classics and provided you with links to recipes that will be sure to inspire your next alfresco dining experience.
Brownies are a perfect picnic dessert. They taste delicious, satisfy a sweet craving, and can be easily transported without any risk of damaging them beyond the point of eating. (Does that point exist at all?) Bake your brownies and simply wrap them, cake tin and all, once they have cooled down completely.
Poor coleslaw, it gets such bad press. These days all you need to do is type coleslaw into any search engine and you will be faced with thousands of recipes to suit any taste. So don’t settle for that gloppy, anemic looking pile of soggy cabbage that has been masquerading as coleslaw for far too long, make a slaw that is delicious and watch people go back to the Tupperware container for seconds and thirds!
There are people who don’t like devilled eggs, but I think they are few and far between. What’s not to love about a boiled egg that is then stuffed with a creamy, zingy filling? To transport eggs, make sure they are in a single layer and that they travel on the top of the picnic basket. Even if they get a little messy, they will still taste wonderful. For an even prettier dish, you can boil the eggs in beetroot brine and transform them into pink eggs!
Fried chicken has some magic in it that other fried foods simply do not possess — it is delicious hot as well as cold. For a satisfying dish to bring along on any picnic, go to all the trouble of frying chicken the night before and let it sit, patiently waiting, in the fridge until you set out on your journey.
For something sweet that won’t weigh anyone down, a salad made from the best of the season’s fruits is a great way to go. For a more grownup approach to fruit salad, try sangria fruit salad — a dessert that takes its inspiration from the wine-soaked fruit at the bottom of a glass of sangria.
Refreshing lemonade has such wonderful whimsy and can make you feel like you are in the middle of summer even if the weather is misbehaving. Make an adult and oh-so-enjoyable version by adding prosecco!
Here we have another hearty cold dish that, like coleslaw, might not have the best reputation. But since you can really add anything you desire to a pasta salad, there is absolutely no reason not to make (and eat, and thoroughly enjoy) a version that you love.
For young children especially, pinwheel sandwiches really liven up what can sometimes be a rather square classic. Turn any of your favorite sandwich fillings and combinations into fun pinwheels that can be enjoyed by young and old (er) picnic guests.
Instead of weighing down your potato salad with mounds of mayonnaise, dress perfectly cooked potatoes in a light dressing that enhances their flavor instead of masking it. Use herbs like dill and parsley to add lovely freshness when enjoying the great outdoors!
A sandwich is one of the most traditional foods to find at a picnic, but sometimes they can be a little dull. Instead of making individual sandwiches, why not make one enormous sandwich that can be sliced and shared by everyone?
Watermelon is a great and very versatile ingredient when it comes to picnics. You can eat it as is, sliced and sweet, at the end of a meal. You can turn it into a salad and pair the crisp watermelon with mint and feta. You can even turn watermelon into a summery picnic cocktail. It is totally up to you!