9 Perfect Picnic Recipes

Photo: BiteMeMore

Take your meal outdoors with these perfect-for-picnic recipes.

Make sure everyone stays hydrated with these cool combos for fruit-infused water.

1. Tofu & Peach Salad Rolls (above)

Looking for the perfect healthy bite? You’ve found it with this recipe for fresh, delicious and healthy Tofu and Peach Salad rolls, a handheld combination of crispy tofu, juicy peaches, crunchy cucumber, mint and basil, along with a creamy peanut dipping sauce. What are you waiting for? Get rolling!


Peanut Sauce

½ cup smooth peanut butter
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp Sriracha sauce

Tofu Salad Rolls

1 (350g) pkg extra firm tofu, pat dry with paper towels, cut into 20 long, thin strips
2 tsp vegetable oil
10 round rice paper sheets
10 soft green lettuce leaves
2 large ripe peaches, thinly sliced
½ cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
½ cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
2 tsp black sesame seeds
1 English cucumber, peeled, seeded and julienned


1) For the peanut sauce, in a medium bowl, whisk peanut butter, lime juice, honey, soy sauce, vegetable oil and Sriracha sauce together. Set aside.

2) To prepare the tofu, in a large skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add tofu strips in a single layer and cook 3 minutes per side until golden. Remove from heat and let cool before assembling.

3) Place 1 rice paper sheet in a shallow bowl of warm water until just pliable, about 30-60 seconds. Lay rice paper sheet on a clean tea towel. Place lettuce leaf down the center of the rice sheet leaving a 1-inch border at the top and bottom. Place 2 tsp peanut sauce down the center of the lettuce leaf. Arrange peach slices over sauce, followed by a sprinkling of both chopped mint and basil. Lay 2 strips of tofu over top, sprinkle with a pinch of sesame seeds and finish with 4 slices of cucumber. Fold up the bottom 1-inch border of rice paper placing it over the filling. Fold in the right side, followed by the left side and then the top, forming a tight cylinder. Repeat with remaining rice paper sheets and filling. Serve with remaining peanut sauce.

Makes 10 large tofu salad rolls


2. Garden Pasta Salad

How do you jazz up your plain old pasta salad? Ditch it and start over with this delicious and easy one, a Garden Fresh Pasta Salad chock full of crunchy vegetables and tender pasta, all tossed in a zesty Italian dressing. In fact, this pasta salad is so delicious, we’ve been known to add chicken and make a meal of it!


1lb uncooked fusilli pasta
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1 cup English cucumber, seeded and chopped

Zesty Italian Dressing

¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp Italian seasoning blend
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp sugar

¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to toss before serving


1) Cook the pasta according to package directions, just until tender. Drain pasta and rinse with cold water.

2) In a large salad bowl, combine pasta, cherry tomatoes, red and yellow peppers and cucumber.

3) For the dressing, in a medium glass jar, combine olive oil, vegetable oil, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, red and white wine vinegars, Italian seasoning, salt and sugar. Shake dressing well. Pour dressing over pasta salad and toss to coat. Just before serving, toss with remaining ¼ cup Parmesan cheese. Can be served chilled or at room temperature.

Serves 8-10


3. Seven Bean Salad

While a three bean salads are fine and five bean salads are swell, there’s nothing as spectacularly simple and delicious as this (Lucky) Seven Bean Salad. This quick, easy and healthy salad, a combination of tasty beans tossed in a tangy Lemon Dijon dressing, is guaranteed to become a staple at your table.


Lemon Dijon Dressing

6 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp champagne vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp lemon zest
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Seven Bean Salad

2 cups fresh green beans, ends snipped
1½ cups frozen edamame, thawed
2 cups snow peas
1 cup fresh green peas
1½ cups canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1½ cups baby lima beans, rinsed and drained
1½ cups white (cannellini) beans, rinsed and drained
1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tsp fresh thyme
1 tsp lemon zest
¼ tsp kosher salt, or more to taste


1) For the Lemon Dijon dressing, in a food processor or blender, combine olive oil, champagne vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic, mustard seeds, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Pulse 2-3 times, until well combines. Set aside.

2) For the salad, bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add green beans and edamame. Turn heat to low and cook 1 minute. Add snow peas and fresh green peas and continue cooking 1 minute more. Drain and immediately plunge into a bowl of ice water to stop cooking. Once cold, drain again and dry out completely. Place in a large bowl along with chickpeas, lima beans, white beans, parsley, thyme, lemon zest and salt. Pour dressing over salad, toss well and refrigerate covered until ready to serve.

Serves 8-10


4. Watermelon Panzanella Salad

Keep cool with this super easy Watermelon Panzanella Salad, the perfect summer salad of juicy watermelon, crunchy bread, tangy feta and peppery arugula, all tossed in a scrumptious honey lime dressing.


3 cups cubed French bread
1 tbsp + 2 tsp olive oil
½ tsp kosher salt
3 cups arugula-baby spinach mix, packed
3 cups cubed seedless watermelon
½ cup cubed feta cheese
6 fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
½ cup walnut halves, toasted

Honey Lime Dressing

¼ cup fresh lime juice
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ cup olive oil


1) For the bread, preheat oven to 400ºF. Toss bread cubes in a bowl with olive oil and salt. Spread bread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes until golden, tossing once halfway through baking. Remove from oven and set aside until ready to assemble salad.

2) For the Honey Lime Dressing, in a medium bowl, whisk together lime juice, honey, Dijon mustard, salt, cumin and pepper. Slowly pour in olive oil while continuously whisking.

3) To assemble the salad, in a large serving bowl, place arugula-spinach mixture, watermelon cubes, feta cheese and toasted bread cubes. Toss with a few tablespoons of honey lime dressing. Sprinkle with chopped basil and toasted walnuts. Drizzle more dressing over top and serve immediately.

Serves 4


5. Chilled Poached Salmon with Lemon Dill Sauce

Say “Mrs. Smith’s Fish Sauce Shop” five times fast…I can’t do it twice. But rather than taking 10 minutes to untwist your tongue, you could pull together this super-easy poached fish dish. By the time you can utter “Fisherman Fritz fishes fresh fish, fresh fish does fisherman Fritz fish,” this salmon will be perfectly chilled and ready to be smothered in the zesty dill sauce.


Poached Salmon

1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1 1/2 cups water
1 lemon, sliced
2 sprigs fresh dill
1 dried bay leaf
1/2 tbsp whole black peppercorns
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
6 (6oz) salmon fillets, skin removed

Lemon Dill Sauce

1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp grainy mustard
1/2 tsp lemon zest


1) In a large skillet, combine wine, water, lemon slices, dill sprigs, bay leaf and peppercorns. Bring to a boil over high heat.

2) Season salmon fillets with salt and pepper. Once the water has boiled, add salmon to skillet, cover and turn the heat off, letting the fish poach for 10 minutes or until flaky. Remove salmon from liquid and transfer to plate, refrigerating for at least 2 hours before serving.

3) For the sauce, in a medium bowl, whisk mayonnaise, buttermilk, chopped dill, lemon juice, mustard and lemon zest. Chill and serve with poached salmon.

Serves 6


6. Stacked Mediterranean Sandwich

Want to avoid lunchtime letdown? You can, with this super healthy, soaring sandwich with avocado hummus-smothered multigrain bread, oven-roasted tomatoes, Feta, onions, cucumbers and arugula. This scrumptious sandwich is guaranteed to make your midday meal a winner.


Oven Roasted Tomatoes

8 plum tomatoes, halved, core and seeds removed
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
¼ tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Avocado Hummus

1 large ripe avocado, chopped
½ cup canned chickpea, rinsed and drained
¼ cup olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, minced
¼ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

8 thick slices multigrain bread
½ cup crumbled Feta cheese
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
16 slices, English cucumber
1 cup packed baby arugula


1) For the roasted tomatoes, preheat oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange tomato halves, cut side up on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with fresh thyme, salt and pepper. Roast tomatoes until tender and slightly charred on the edges, 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

2) For the avocado hummus, in a food processor, combine avocado, chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Blend until smooth or your preferred consistency.

3) To assemble sandwiches, spread 1 heaping tbsp of avocado hummus on one side of each slice of bread. Layer roasted tomatoes, crumbled feta, sliced red onions, sliced cucumbers, arugula and bread to form a stacked sandwich. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Serves 4


7. Soft Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

How does the cookie crumble? It doesn’t when you bake up these chewy, delicious Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.


3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 tbsp water
3/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 cups old fashioned large flake oats (not quick cooking)
1 1/2 cups raisins or chocolate chips


1) Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2) In an electric mixer, cream butter, brown sugar and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add egg and water, beating at medium speed until well mixed.

3) Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, oats and raisins, mixing on low speed just until the flour disappears.

4) Drop dough by 1/4 cup at a time on prepared baking sheet. Bake 12-14 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden. Cool slightly on the baking sheet before transferring the cookies to a wire rack.

Yield: 15 large cookies


8. Cookies & Cream Rice Krispie Squares

How does the cookie crumble? Deliciously, as evidenced in these Oreo and marshmallow-filled Cookies ‘n’ Cream Rice Krispie Squares!


½ cup butter
1 (10 oz) package regular marshmallows
2 cups mini marshmallows
7 cups Rice Krispies Cereal
2½ cups coarsely chopped Oreo Cookies
3 (1.55 oz) Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Cream Candy Bars, chopped

½ cup chopped Oreo Cookies, for topping


1) Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat. Add regular marshmallows and stir until melted and well-blended. Cook 2 minutes longer, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

2) Add Rice Krispies. Stir until well coated. Fold in the mini marshmallows, chopped Oreos and chopped Cookies ‘n’ Cream Candy Bars.

3) Using buttered spatula or waxed paper, press mixture evenly and firmly in buttered 13×9 inch pan. Top with chopped Oreos. Cut into 2 x 2 inch squares when cool.

Makes 24 squares


9. Sweet & Spicy Snack Mix

Satisfy your next snack attack with this delicious baked Sweet and Spicy Snack Mix, a crunchy combo of pecans, almonds, pretzels, cereal and dried cranberries.


3 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme, divided
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 cup pecan halves or 1 (75g) package of pecan halves
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 1/2 tbsp melted butter
3 cups tiny unsalted pretzels
1 cup crispy rice cereal squares (such as Rice Chex)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 tbsp maple syrup


1) Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine brown sugar, 1 tsp of thyme, salt, cinnamon and cayenne pepper in a small bowl.

2) Combine pecans and almond slivers on a parchment lined pan. Bake at 350°F for 9 minutes or until the nuts begin to brown. Combine the pecan mixture and butter in a medium bowl, stirring until butter melts. Gently stir in pretzels, cereal, cranberries and maple syrup. Sprinkle the sugar mixture evenly over pretzel mixture and toss gently to coat.

3) Spread pretzel mixture in a single layer on pan. Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes, stirring once. Sprinkle with the remaining tsp of thyme. Cool completely.

Authors of bestselling cookbooks Bite Me, Bite Me Too and Lick Your Plate, saucy sisters Julie Albert and Lisa Gnat love eating, feeding, entertaining and dishing up easy recipes at BiteMeMore.com.