POPSUGAR Food

20 Prime Recipes to Pack on a Picnic

Jul 18 2014 - 10:51am

Poolside parties. Backyard luaus. Outdoor concerts. Like peanut butter melds with jelly, certain soirees seem to go hand in hand with Summer. But I'd argue that there's no better way to pass the long, balmy days than to gather friends for an impromptu picnic. In true spur-of-the-moment fashion, any fare goes — but there are some old favorites that come to mind. Here are 20 picnic foods that fit the bill for a reason.

— Additional reporting by Susannah Chen

Photos: Susannah Chen, Lizzie Fuhr, Nicole Perry, and Anna Monette Roberts

Fromager d'Affinois

Made in France from cow's milk, Fromager d'Affinois [1] is buttery — almost reminiscent of unsweetened whipped or clotted cream. Pair it with fig preserves and cookie-like biscuits for a sweet-salty bite.

Photo: Nicole Perry

Summer Fruit Salad

In this fruit salad [2], a sprinkle of sugar and some fresh mint add a cooling, clean finish to the season's most sought-after berries and apricots.

Photo: Anna Monette Roberts

Hummus Dip

Easy to make and even easier to store for a picnic excursion, a simple, creamy hummus dip [3] is a perfect pair with raw vegetables and pita bread.

Photo: Nicole Perry

Ramen-Crusted Chicken Wings

Some would argue it's not a picnic without pieces of fried chicken. Do it right — and make it an even better snack — by whipping up ramen-crusted chicken wings [4].

Source: POPSUGAR Studios

Pesto Pasta Salad

Don't think twice about pulling together a last-minute pasta salad [5]. What could be better than fusilli noodles tossed with olive oil, basil, fresh tomatoes, and feta?

Photo: Nicole Perry

Six-Bean Salad

This six-bean salad [6] boasts a multitude of flavors — from tangy and salty to sweet, savory, and even a bit spicy.

Photo: Susannah Chen

Classic BLT

When we think picnic, we think our favorite sandwich, and there is simply nothing better than a classic BLT [7] with toasted bread and crispy bacon.

Photo: Katie Sweeney

Quinoa Salad With Feta and Cherries

Whether it's the star of the picnic or a light complement to a meatier dish, a quinoa salad with feta and cherries [8] is a surefire crowd-pleaser.

Photo: Nicole Perry

Vegan Farro Salad

This vegan salad [9] calls for fibrous, al dente farro and a whole host of fruits, nuts, and veggies.

Photo: Anna Monette Roberts

Vegetarian Taco Salad

Vegetarians and meat-eaters alike will love this layered taco salad [10] with yogurt, beans, veggies, and cheese — it's easy to pack, and you can shake it up on site.

Photo: Jenny Sugar

Watermelon Salad

For a summery take on a Greek salad [11], toss juicy watermelon into the mix .

Source: POPSUGAR user Lucy Parissi

Chipotle-Tomatillo Salsa

A smoky chipotle-tomatillo salsa [12] will put your run-of-the-mill jarred salsa to shame.

Photo: Anna Monette Roberts

Chicken Salad

Nothing says outside entertainment like a cold, fruit-filled chicken salad [13]. For a different spin on the traditional dish, swap Greek yogurt for mayo and mix in sliced almonds for an added crunch.

Photo: Lizzie Fuhr

Black-Bean Salad

A no-cook black-bean salad [14] uses fresh Summer produce and pairs citrus with a hint of sweetness for an easy dish with plenty of flavor and crunch.

Photo: Anna Monette Roberts

Pico de Gallo

Pico de gallo [15] salsa stands alone as a refreshing dip with chips and can also add extra zest to taco or fish dishes.

Photo: Nicole Perry

Millet Salad

Legume-lovers will be lining up to get their hands on this fluffy millet salad [16] with lentil and pomegranate. Substitute dried cranberries if you can't find pomegranate at the store.

Photo: Anna Monette Roberts

Mediterranean Pasta

Toss tomatoes, olives, and feta in with orzo, and you've got a main dish [17] that's addictive when enjoyed cold or at room temperature.

Photo: Anna Monette Roberts

Platinum Blondies

One of these blondie bars [18] — chock-full of brown sugar, butter, and, best of all, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups — will have you going blond faster than a bottle of Sun In spray.

Photo: Nicole Perry

S'mores Snack Mix

Two outdoor favorites, s'mores and snack mix, come together in a minimallow- and chocolate-studded treat [19], proving that sometimes the whole really is greater than the sum of its parts.

Photo: Nicole Perry

Scottish Shortbread

Exceptionally easy to make and even easier to enjoy, Scottish shortbread [20] makes a perfect picnic dessert because it keeps great in containers, and its texture actually improves the day after baking it.

Photo: Nicole Perry


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