Few things are more enjoyable than packing up some of your favorite foods and beverages and enjoying them in the great outdoors. There's just something about substituting a formal table for a picnic blanket that makes the activity more fun. If you usually purchase snacks to take on a picnic, it's time to up your game and consider making them from scratch.
There are some basic aspects to consider before you choose a recipe: Each meal needs to be easy to transport, last in the sun, and require minimal utensils. (Trust us: Your picnic basket will be packed enough.) The general rule is that finger foods or any meals you can make in a mason jar or plastic container are ideal. Below, we've rounded up some of the top picnic foods for your next outdoor adventure.
The Drink: Lavender Basil Lemonade
Is a picnic truly a picnic without lemonade? A lavender and basil infusion gives the classic summer beverage a new spin. It's not overly bitter with lemon or too sweet either (in fact, honey is substituted for sugar, so it's much healthier). Chill the mixture in a pitcher with a screw-on lid, and pour into glasses of your choice once you arrive.
The Appetizer: Homemade Tzatziki
The light Greek yogurt dipping sauce is a perfect picnic recipe to pack as a starter in a jar (you can dip garlic naan or fresh veggies right in the container). To whip up this spread, simply stir together Greek yogurt, chopped cucumber, lemon juice, garlic, and white wine vinegar. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil on top.
The Salad: Grilled Zucchini and Green Beans
Just because you're eating picnic recipes doesn't mean you can forget about your greens. A totally simple green bean and grilled zucchini salad topped with Roma tomatoes is tasty and travels well (you can dress it beforehand). This homemade balsamic vinaigrette is fancied up with the addition of dates.
The Main: Tuna Tuscan Sandwich
You already know how we feel about finger foods, but they especially rock when it comes to picnics. You don't want to have to cut your meal (or even really break out a fork, for that matter) while enjoying the sunshine. And in walks this hearty sandwich: ciabatta layered with basil mayo, tuna with sun-dried tomatoes and kalamata olives, slices of avocado and cucumber, slivers of hard-boiled egg, feta, plus fresh arugula and purple cabbage. Done and done.
The Dessert: Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Few desserts pack better than a stack of cookies. Just wrap them in aluminum foil or seal the treats in a plastic bag. This almond butter cookie recipe also calls for coconut oil, coconut sugar, aquafaba, and almond flour, with shredded coconut for a base. They're grain-free and airier than most other cookies, so you won't feel so bad having seconds (or thirds).