Poolside parties. Backyard luaus. Outdoor concerts. Like peanut butter melds with jelly, certain soirées 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, 10 prototypical picnic foods that fit the bill for a reason.
Picnic season is in full swing, and while convenience is crucial, you also want to be sure to avoid creating excess waste. If your idea of eco-friendly picnic fare conjures visions of tan hemp napkins and outdated designs, then think again. You're going to be surprised by what's available these days. We've combed the web to pull together picnic products that are so cute, you might not even believe they're eco-friendly.
— Additional reporting by Miranda Jones
Looking to add a dose of fresh flavor to your picnic spread? Now that Summer is here, try a sturdy salad that'll stay crisp throughout an afternoon of sipping wine and sunbathing (no leafy greens need apply). From a light and lovely pea and mint salad to heartier noodle-based options, we've got you covered.
Rosé may be the quintessential Summer wine. It goes with just about any food from spicy appetizers to grilled meats to cheese plates, but it isn't so acidic that it can't be sipped alone. We tried a whole slew of Rosés, from bone-dry to syrupy sweet, but these five are just right, plus they have an affordable price tag to match. Keep reading to find your next picnic wine.
Pack for a picnic and head to the park; it's time for an adventure. The quintessential Summer activity (at least according to the movies), we found everything you need to make a picnic with the kids fun and memorable. Leaving nothing out, we've included it all, from easy recipes to outdoor toys the little ones are sure to love. Click through and start planning — this is the ultimate picnic checklist!
Bust out your best picnic blanket and sunhat, as you're bound to be inspired to take your next meal outdoors after a glimpse of our favorite snaps of alfresco-friendly fare on Instagram. From ultra-classic (think cheese plate, wine, and charcuterie) to unconventional (California rolls and wakame salad, anyone?), these nibbles are grumble inducing. Don't say we didn't warn you! Take a look at a few of the snaps that caught our eye, and then tag your own bites #savorysight on Twitter and Instagram to join in on the fun.
Do you, like me, equate sun-filled May days with outdoor eating and drinking? If so, then you'll spring for this speedy, supersimple, no-cook bean salad.
Macaroni and potato salads may get most of the love, but I'd argue the unsung hero of the picnic is actually the bean salad: it's light, full of wholesome ingredients, and satisfying. This six-bean version in particular boasts a symphony of flavors; it's sweet, savory, tangy, a little bit spicy, and bright (thanks to the addition of fresh dill). Best of all, it's free of any cream or mayonnaise, so you'll never have to worry about it baking in the Summer sun.
Get the effortless bean salad recipe now.
At the mere mention the word "picnic," my ears perk up. So when I was flipping through Heather Christo's Generous Table and came across a menu plan for a lakeshore picnic, I knew I'd have to make at least one recipe from her spread. Add an early and bountiful cherry season to the mix — my local farmers market suddenly became overrun with them last week — and it was settled. Quinoa salad with cherries and feta would make it to my table, and soon.
Thankfully, Christo's palate is spot-on. Juicy cherries play off salty feta like old friends. Add grassy parsley, sharp minced shallot, and nutty toasted almonds to the mix, and the result is a hearty grain-based salad perfect for picnics, brown-bag lunches, or just because. As long as cherries keep finding their way into my farmers market tote, this delightful dish will be on my table.
Burgers — a beloved backyard, picnic, and barbecue staple — aren't the easiest food to transport, but it can be done. If you're planning on packing patties to grill at a remote location, here's how to pull off the stunt with ease.
- Several hours or the night before, prep any condiments for the burger. Slice toppings that won't spoil quickly, like tomatoes or lettuce leaves.
- Shape ground meat into patties and place on a baking sheet lined with plastic wrap.
- Cut parchment paper into squares slightly larger than your burger (4 inches by 5 inches should do the trick for most). The number of squares you'll need, of course, depends on how many patties you make, so allot need one less square than the number of patties patties (for example, if you're grilling 16 patties, then cut 15 parchment paper squares).
- Spread a large sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil on a work surface.
Keep reading to see our tricks for packing burger patties perfectly.