Over 30 Easy Recipes for Delicious Picnic Food

Did you know that April 23 happens to be National Picnic Day? It seems fitting that it would fall just about the time when we’re all quite ready to get outside and enjoy a bit of warm sunshine and a slower pace. And, let’s be honest, pretty much any day without rain or freezing temperatures ia a good day for some al fresco dining! I’m not sure what your picnic traditions include, or if you even have any but, there’s just something special about a picnic. It’s not that the food is fancier than most days, it’s the change of scenery and being in the middle of the budding and blooming color all around us. Just to make it easier for you to celebrate, I’ve gathered up over 30 recipes for delicious (and easy!) picnic food for you to try with your family.

To get you started, you’ll find 6 Tips and Menu Ideas for a Day at the Zoo or Park that may include several picnic opportunities. If you are traveling and need some ideas for picnicking on the road, this post could help, too!  Some of these sandwiches are often served hot, but I think they’d be fine cold, or the meat could be put in a thermal container to keep it warm. Others could be made at home and wrapped up to take with you, like the Hawaiian BBQ or Chicken Bacon Ranch Sandwiches.

Pita Pockets Make Perfect Picnic Food

One of the best perks of these recipes is that the meats can be cooked in the crock pot and they all freeze well, which means if you make up an extra large batch now, you’ll be ready for weeks of impromptu picnics. And let’s face it, there are literally endless ways to fill pita pockets

  • Greek Chicken Pitas from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.
  • These Greek Pita Sandwiches start with meatballs and just get better and better from there.
  • Chicken Gyros from Kate’s Recipe Box.
  • Beef Gyros are a great way to serve steak on a picnic.
  • We enjoy serving our Beef Shwarma with a cucumber-yogurt sauce instead of the traditional tahini sauce.
  • You can prep and freeze the meat for these Chicken Broccoli Picnic Pitas and add all the veggies to be served in the pita as a chicken salad. A perfectly tasty and tidy picnic option.

Shredded Meat Sandwiches are easy to make ahead and so filling

Chicken Salads & Sandwiches are always a hit

  • My Peach Chutney Chicken Salad Sandwich uses cooked chicken and a delightful combination of ingredients that taste great and come together quickly.

Summer Picnic Classics never fail to impress

  • Slow Cooker Beer Brats are a classic summer grill idea with only 2 ingredients that can actually be made in the slow cooker.
  • 70s Fried Baloney Sandwich and other such sandwiches are sure to make the kids happy with their classic simplicity.
  • Gina’s Club Sandwiches were named for my sister, and as you would imagine, it’s a tasty club sandwich for any day of the week, especially if a picnic is involved.
  • Tomato Sandwiches are perfect when those fresh tomatoes start showing up in the garden or your local farmer’s market. Nothing says summer like a thick sliced juicy fresh tomato.
  • The secret to these PBJ on Depression Era Bread is the tasty Depression Era Bread. It just takes the classic PBJ up a notch or two.
  • These Egg Salad Sandwiches are a classic recipe that includes how to boil the eggs, and a great little item to have the kids help whip up.

  • Loaded Hot Dogs can be made with 3-ingredient “Cheater Chili” and a little slaw.

Classics with a Twist keep things fun and interesting

Roulades, Frittata Bites & Chicken Legs are too good to pass up

  • These Ham & Swiss Roulades from Carmella at Assortment Blog are made using handmade or store-bought pizza dough and can be filled with a variety of meats and cheeses based on what sort of mood you’re in.
  • This Bacon Spinach Frittata Bites recipe from Jessica at Life as a Mom would be perfect for a breakfast picnic with some fresh fruit because picnics aren’t just for lunch and dinner!
  • Chili Sauce Chicken Legs are a tasty warm option that is easy to eat and slightly messy in a good way, making them perfect picnic food.

And there you have it, over 30 recipes for celebrating National Picnic Day on April 23 or any day you like!

Do you have a favorite picnic food? What about a favorite picnic spot, whether it’s one you go to now or one you enjoyed as a child?

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My Daily Green Smoothie Recipe

Easy Every day green smoothie recipe

Every day since the beginning of the year, our breakfast has included a green smoothie.  It’s a small change, but it gets more fresh fruit and veggies in our diet in an easy way.  We even packed the blender for our beach vacation, along with a Costco sized box of oranges, several bunches of bananas and a big box of spinach.

It took a while to land on a combination that we really like.  I tend to get hooked on one thing for breakfast and repeat it over and over.  Smoothies can be made a kajillion ways, but keeping it consistent means I always know what I need to pick up at the grocery and putting the ingredients in the blender becomes an easy routine.

green smoothie ingr blender

 

I make enough for two servings every morning.  I’ve found that if we have a little extra, it can be frozen and added to the next day’s blender of ingredients.  If I’m adding smoothie from the previous day, I just cut back on some of the ingredients so we don’t end up with leftovers again.

The first few times I tried adding pineapple, I didn’t care for it.  I think I may have been experimenting with carrots and apples at that time too, and those may have been the texture issue instead of the pineapple.  Now we love having pineapple in the smoothies.  I buy bags of frozen pineapple chunks from Costco to keep it easy.

Daily Green Smoothie Recipe

Serves: 2 servings

Ingredients
  • ½ cup apple or orange juice or water
  • 1 orange, peeled
  • 1 banana, peeled
  • 1 large handful of spinach
  • ½ cup frozen pineapple chunks
  • ½ cup ice cubes
Instructions
  1. Blend in a blender until smooth.
  2. If using a Vitamix, add ingredients in the order given.
  3. If using a regular blender, blend juice and spinach first, then add remaining ingredients.

 

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Quick and Healthy Carrot Smoothie

This quick and healthy Carrot Smoothie is the perfect drink to serve on Easter morning. Naturally sweet carrot juice is a surprising hit with the kiddos, and if you call it “Bunny Juice” like we do, of course they are apt to like it even a little bit more.

Morning smoothies are a staple in our house. They are so easy to throw together and it is amazing how much nutrition you can pack into one single serving. Smoothies are also a great after school snack. If we ever have appointments right after school, they are easy to transport and drink on the way.

If you’ve never had carrot juice, it is surprisingly sweet. When paired with frozen pineapple and orange juice, it makes a delicious smoothie your kids will ask for again and again. You can find carrot juice in the produce department of any grocery store.

Of course, the beauty of smoothies is you can vary and alter the recipe to your family’s taste. If you have more adventuresome eaters, you can throw in a little spinach. If you have a ripe banana lying about, toss it in too. I love the taste of ginger with carrot, so I’ve been known to add a bit of it. Maybe it isn’t fair to call this a recipe? Maybe it should be called a starting point?

Quick and Healthy Carrot Smoothie
Ingredients
  • 2 cups carrot juice
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 2 cups frozen pineapple
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and puree until desired consistency. Serve immediately.

One last note: this recipe makes a full blender and serves 4. You can halve the ingredients to make just two servings.

What do you think: Will your kiddos enjoy “Bunny Juice” on Easter morning?  Leave a comment and tell me your Easter morning tradition.

Andrea has been married to Peter for 20 years, and together they have two teenage daughters. You can also find her  and her whole food recipes at The Greenbacks Gal where she finds organic deals, green steals and cooks real food meals.

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Cranberry Banana Smoothie

My daughters both love smoothies.  And my sons love juice.

So when I was asked to try Ocean Spray Diet Cranberry Juice, I was in.  Juice of any kind doesn’t last long around here and the girls are always looking for new flavors to add to smoothies.  My oldest son has already polished off a big portion of this bottle of cranberry juice.

This time, we made a pretty pink smoothie with banana, vanilla yogurt and Ocean Spray Diet Cranberry Juice.  The cranberry juice added a sweet/tart contrast to the yogurt and banana.  It made for a fantastic smoothie.

Here’s what you’ll need, but feel free to use berries with or instead of the banana.  You can also swap out any flavor of yogurt too.   [Read more…]

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Cinnamon Chip Scones and Light Iced Coffee

Ever since I first tasted International Delight Iced Coffee, I’ve loved it.  I have to be careful not to drink the whole container myself.  It’s so creamy and smooth and sweet and coffee tasting!

I was thrilled when they came out with new Light Iced Coffee.  I’m in love with the Vanilla, but it also comes in  Mocha.  And in June, you’ll be able to find it in Caramel Macchiato too.

What’s so great about Light Iced Coffee?  The fact that it only has 100 calories per serving!  That means I can indulge more often.  And I can enjoy it along side a sweet treat, like these Cinnamon Chip Scones.  It’s like having my own coffee house at home.

I’m not sure I’d ever made scones before, but these are so easy to make.  The dough comes together much like biscuits, but with the addition of an egg.

I used Hershey’s cinnamon chips in mine.  They added a lot of flavor (perfect with the Light Iced Coffee).  I also used the cinnamon chips to make a simple glaze for the top of the scones.  Super easy and oh, so good!

Here’s what you’ll need to make the scones:   [Read more…]

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Peanut Butter and Jelly Milkshake Recipe from Disney World

I have wanted to try PB&J milkshakes forever.  Of course, I’d like to have a chance to try them in their “home” at the 50’s Prime Time Cafe in Hollywood Studios.  But since that hasn’t happened, making them at home is a great way to get a little taste of Disney.

If you’ve read this blog very long at all, you know I love all things peanut butter and jelly.  Even so, these milkshakes do sound a little strange.  But they don’t taste like blending a sandwich into your shake (which is a bit what they sound like).

They taste like a vanilla shake with a good amount of peanut butter smoothed in and a hint of jelly.  I think the amount of jelly could even be increased for my taste.

Here’s what you’ll need:   [Read more…]

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Valentine Party! And Whipped Topping Hearts in Caramel and Raspberry Flavors (for hot cocoa)

I’m excited to be teaming up with 8 other bloggers to host the 2nd Annual Valentine Week Party! Last year’s week long event ended in a great party with 275 Valentine’s Day projects added!  At the end of this post is the linky for you to add your Valentine’s Day project.  You can add your Valentine’s projects on any of the blogs and be seen on ALL 9 of them! That’s over 100,000 readers that will see your projects!

Meet your hostesses…

[Read more…]

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Ice Cream Cappuccino and a Giveaway

You are going to want to make this as soon as you can. It’s cold, creamy coffee goodness. Summer treats don’t get any better.

I’m pretty sure I’ve already expressed how much I love ice cream. I really, really love it. I could eat it every day, even multiple times a day.

I’m also head over heels for International Delight Iced Coffee. It’s my favorite afternoon snack break. I’ve even made ice cream with it.

But this time I’ve combined vanilla ice cream with International Delight Iced Coffee into a marvelous Ice Cream Cappuccino.

Make this one for your friends. They will love you forever if you do.

Here’s what you’ll need:  [Read more…]

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Frozen Pink Lemonade

Need a way to beat the heat this summer?  This is the easiest thing ever.

Bake at 350 wrote a post about DIY Coke Icees that has been making the rounds of the internet.  I decided to try it, but I used pink lemonade instead of Coke.  I also made one with orange soda.  I’m thinking any kind of drink would be deliciously frosty…

Sweet tea, green tea, white grape peach juice, root beer… Endless possibilities.

To make one, just use a counter top ice cream maker.  Pour your beverage in.  Turn it on and let it go for about 20 minutes or until it looks sufficiently icy.  The End.

Happy Summer!

 

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Tea Basket

If you don’t already have a tea basket, pull out a pretty bowl or basket and fill it with your favorite teas, cocoa and coffee mixes.  It’s a simple way to do something nice for yourself.  And when a friend stops by, you can offer the basket to them to choose and then visit over mugs filled with your favorite steaming beverage.

I hope you have time to sit and relax with a cup of tea this weekend.

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