5 No Fuss Recipes for the Perfect Picnic

  • 4 min read

Picnic foods are often the easiest and healthiest foods to make. By using simple, fresh ingredients you can make a combination of sandwiches and salads that will keep your family happy at the upcoming picnic. Use your mom’s favorite, or mix it up with a few new ingredients as well.

Pasta Salad

Pasta salad is one of my favorite things to make. It’s easy, it’s cheap and it’s healthy. You don’t always have to follow a particular recipe either. You can mix it up with different vegetables and spices.

  • 1 package of rotini pasta
  • 1 bottle of Italian dressing
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1 package of grape tomatoes
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 1 can of black olives
  • 1 package of feta cheese
  • Parmesan cheese to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and mix your pasta in. While your pasta is cooking, you can chop your vegetables to your liking. After your pasta is done cooking, let it cool for about 20 minutes. Gently mix in your vegetables, cheese and seasonings, cover and refrigerate for at least another 20 minutes before serving.

Quinoa Salad

Quinoa is the latest, popular “super grain” that foodies are putting into all their salads and soups. Believe it or not, there are even some tasty quinoa burgers you can make if you’re truly feeling adventurous. People really love quinoa because it’s packed with protein, and you can put it in just about anything.

  • 1 ½ cups quinoa
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup Second Nature California Almonds
  • 1 lemon wedge
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, bring 3 ½ cups water to a boil. Stir in the quinoa and let the quinoa simmer for about 20 minutes. While the quinoa is cooking, chop your vegetables. In a food processor, chop your California Almonds. Once the quinoa is soft, place it in a large mixing bowl. Let it cool for another 20 minutes before you add your other ingredients. Simple mix, squeeze your lemon wedge over the salad for a little zest and serve.

Fruit Salad

Making a fruit salad is one of the easiest options out there. However, it can be a little pricey. If you’re on a budget, opt for apples and bananas first rather than going for the kiwi and blueberries. Of course, anyone can make a fruit salad just by tossing some fruit in a bowl, but there are a few ways that you can really dress it up.

  • 1 apple
  • 1 banana
  • 1 package blueberries
  • 1 kiwi
  • 1-2 handfuls of grapes
  • 1 can of pineapple (save the juice)
  • 1 lemon wedge
  • 1 orange wedge

You can simply add all of these ingredients in a large serving bowl if you’d like. Or while you add in the juice of your lemon and orange, you can get out a grater to create a zest with the rind. Use the pineapple juice sparingly. ¼ cup should be more than enough.

Potato Salad

You might still favor the potato salad recipe that came from the back of the mayonnaise jar. I don’t blame you. It’s simple and it’s tasty. But if you want to liven things up a bit at your picnic, you can try just a few alternative ingredients.

  • 8 potatoes
  • 3 celery stalks
  • ¼ red onion
  • ¼ bunch kale
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Dice and boil your potatoes in a large pot of water. A lot of people might tell you to peel the potatoes. Personally, I really like red skin potatoes and I prefer my potato salad with the skins still on. That’s the beauty of cooking. Do what’s right for you. While your potatoes are cooling, you can mix you other ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Mix the mayonnaise, mustard, garlic, vinegar, salt and pepper together in a bowl. Then stir in your chopped potatoes, celery, onion, kale and fresh basil.

Veggie Panini

If you have two skillets or a grill, paninis can be a lot of fun to make. As long as you have some good ciabatta bread, half your recipe is taken care of. They’re quick, simple and delicious.

For one sandwich:

  • 2 slices of ciabatta bread
  • 2 tablespoons of hummus
  • 1 handful of fresh spinach
  • 1 slice of provolone cheese
  • 1 slice of tomato

First, build your sandwich by spreading the hummus on one piece of bread and placing the cheese on the other. Then you can add the spinach and tomato on the inside. You can even get more creative and add more ingredients if you like. Take two hot skillets and press the panini together until the cheese is melted. Let it cool for just a few minutes before packing for your perfect picnic. Enjoy!