40 Perfect Side Dishes for Summer Picnics

A few weeks ago I shared a collection of Over 30 Delicious Recipes for Easy Picnic Food with you, just in time for National Picnic Day.

With summer warming up, we’re already in summer picnic mode and couldn’t be happier about that! Not only are picnics a great way to enjoy the outdoors, they are a fun way to enjoy family time most months out of the year. Which means the more picnic food options we have, the better! So today I figured you could use 40 Perfect Picnic Sides to add to your picnic menu options. Enjoy!

 Quick Dips and Spreads for Crackers and Fruits and Veggies, Oh my!

  1. Pesto Bruschetta Spread
  2. Sun Dried Tomato Artichoke Hummus
  3. White Bean and Garlic Hummus
  4. Roasted Garlic Hummus
  5. 7 Layer Dip (In little jars)
  6. Guacamole for Chips
  7. Homemade Salsa
  8. Fusion Dip for Veggies
  9. Tomato Basil Dip for Crackers
  10. Honey Peanut Butter dip
  11. Cream Cheese Trio Appetizers for crackers

Appetizers & Snacks & Tasty Little Treats

  1. Hard Boiled Eggs
  2. Huli Huli Bacon Chicken Bites
  3. Almost Homemade Pickles
  4. Kale Chips
  5. Sweet Heat Slow Cooker Chex Mix
  6. Country Bob’s Tangy Chex Mix

A few More Traditional Picnic Favorites

  1. Chicken Salad
  2. Potato Salad
  3. Baked Beans

Pasta & Grain Salads for Light Summer Dining

  1. Perfect Pasta Salad + Tips and Tricks
  2. Another version of Pasta Salad
  3. Broccoli Tomato Tortellini Salad
  4. Bacon Tomato Ranch Pasta Salad
  5. Wild Rice Salad

Veggies Salads for those who prefer Healthy Picnicking

  1. Asian Broccoli Salad
  2. Ranch Veggie Salad
  3. Tomato Artichoke Heart Salad
  4. Summer Corn Salad
  5. Orange Red Onion Salad
  6. Cucumbers and Onions
  7. Cucumber Tomato Salad
  8. Green bean and Tomato Salad
  9. Creamy Italian Herb Cucumbers & Tomatoes

Slaws for Days

  1. Hawaiian Coleslaw
  2. Quick Coleslaw
  3. Tomato Jalapeno Slaw

Fruit Salads as sweet as dessert

  1. Easy Apple Salad
  2. Easy Fruit Salad
  3. Sliced Apples (with a no-browning trick!)
  4. Wild Watermelon

So how about you? Do you have a favorite side dish that you always have to make for picnics? I would love to hear what it is in the comments below. And in the meantime … Happy Picnicking!

More Picnicking Resources



Roasted Garlic Hummus

Are you looking for some healthier apps for game day? In planning our Super Bowl Menu (b/c for me, it’s all about the food and commercials!), I thought this Roasted Garlic Hummus would make a perfect addition. I’m not a fan of beans in general, but I have found that I love hummus and other recipes with chickpeas. I also discovered with this recipe how easy it is to make hummus at home! Now the flavor combos are endless.

It may look a little bland and boring, but the roasted garlic makes this anything but!  Garlic takes on a whole new flavor dimension when roasted.

Roasted Garlic Hummus
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 bulb roasted garlic
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • Red pepper flakes/hot sauce/sriracha (to taste; optional)
  1. Squeeze the garlic cloves from the bulb of roasted garlic.
  2. Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth.
  3. Serve with additional red pepper flakes or hot sauce or sriracha on top.

I keep the spice down on mine since my middle child loves hummus too, but you can make this as spicy as you like.  Hummus makes a great dip for crackers and veggies, and is something I feel good about eating and serving.
For more great recipes with roasted garlic, check out the Ingredient Spotlight: Garlic, a recipe link up hosted here at Eat at Home, and Parmesan, Roasted Garlic and Basil Bread over on my blog.
So what’s on your Super Bowl menu?  I need more ideas!
KimM is a contributing writer for Eat at Home and can be found at her personal blog Makin’ it Mo’Betta, on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.