7 Recipes for a Perfect Picnic

posted: 06/03/15
by: Blythe Copeland
A picnic basket on the grass on a sunny day

Summer isn't summer without picnics--whether at the beach, the pool, the Little League game, or in your own backyard. This year, pep up your picnic routine by trading traditional sandwiches and side salads for something new: roasted shrimp and pasta, handheld desserts, unique sandwiches, and more.

1. Roasted Shrimp and Orzo

As a side salad or main dish, Ina Garten's roasted shrimp and orzo is a crowdpleaser: It's quick and easy to prep ahead (roasting the shrimp takes only five minutes), and the fresh flavors of dill, parsley, and feta brighten up the standard picnic menu.

2. Jarred Salads

Not sure how to keep your green salad from getting soggy on the road? Try prepping it in jars or cups. Layer the dressing, toppings, and lettuce, and toss it all in a big bowl when you arrive--or choose small plastic cups with lids and make individual salads for each of your guests.

3. Quick and Easy Raspberry Tart

This four-ingredient dessert from food writer Nigel Slater lets you show off the sweet flavor of summer's best raspberries, paired with a simple puff pastry base and homemade whipped cream. It's a light and delicious dessert that will taste even better than those store-bought brownies you usually rely on.

4. Strawberry Hand Pies

Here's another easy-to-transport dessert: Strawberry hand pies. These folded mini pies are just as flavorful as the real thing--but much easier for your guests to eat with their hands while mingling instead of worrying about forks and knives.

5. Grilled Veggie and Hummus Wraps

Offer a vegetarian option that even burger devotees will go for with these grilled veggie and hummus wraps. If you're cooking on-site, bring the onions, peppers, and eggplant with you and serve the sandwiches hot; you can also prepare the filling the night before and serve at room temperature.

6. Roasted Green Bean, Apple, and Bacon Sandwiches

They may seem like an unlikely combination, but the editors at Southern Living promise that roasted green beans, thick bacon, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, Red Delicious apples, and Dijon mustard belong together at your next picnic.

7. Light and Fresh Potato Salad

A potato salad without mayo? Your grandmother would turn up her nose, but this vinaigrette-based version is healthier--and much more appetizing on hot summer days. Cucumber, tomatoes, peppers, and olives give it extra crunch.