Get out your red-checkered tablecloth and your biggest basket because April 23rd is National Picnic Day! Picnics have been beloved social gatherings for centuries with people getting together and sharing dishes. They’re like potlucks, but they take place outside. What better way to take advantage of the nice weather than to dine outdoors with delicious food?
Going to a restaurant is great but having a picnic and eating outside in a casual setting is special and fun. So what food should you bring on a picnic? Well, we have lots of suggestions. Take a look at these 10 Quick Raw Snacks Perfect for Picnics and BBQs and these 50 Vegan Recipe Ideas for the Perfect Picnic. Then try these 20 recipes that will make your spring picnic perfectly delicious.
1. Roasted Balsamic Carrot Hummus
As soon as you’ve dipped your first pita chip into this unique Roasted Balsamic Carrot Hummus, you’ll be in love. It’s the perfect balance of the savory flavors of chickpeas and tahini mixed with the slightly sweet, caramelized balsamic carrots. Serve with homemade pita chips, tortilla chips, or fresh vegetables.
2. Parmesan Roasted Potato Salad
Roasted potato salads generally make a great side dish for all sorts of meals like veggie burgers, hot dogs, and sandwiches. This Parmesan Roasted Potato Salad takes the usual dish to the next level by adding some delicious Brazil nut Parmesan cheese and a walnut caper vinaigrette.
3. Roasted Tofu, Mushroom, and Rice Vermicelli Salad
This Roasted Tofu, Mushroom, and Rice Vermicelli Salad is a great option for when you’re craving a light dish, but actually want to stay full for longer than an hour. Rice vermicelli is a gluten-free pasta that adds bulk to salads in an easy and tasty way. Along with roasted tofu, mushrooms, fresh cilantro, mint, and basil, this entrée is fragrant, refreshing, and protein-rich.
4. ‘Egg’ Salad Sandwich
If you like tofu scrambles, you’re going to love this ‘Egg’ Salad Sandwich recipe. Unlike the warm and savory scramble, this sandwich is served cold and contains two different types of mustard and relish, for added flavor. Whip one up for breakfast, or take some on your next picnic with no worries about it being out in the heat.
5. Roasted Radish and Brussels Sprout Salad
Raw radishes can be very spicy, but roasting radishes mellows them out and brings out their sweetness. In this Roasted Radish and Brussels Sprout Salad, radishes are paired with Brussels sprouts that are roasted until crispy and tossed with bright lemon juice and thyme. This is the perfect side dish for a springtime picnic.
6. Hazelnut Sandwich Cookies
Picnics also need desserts and these Hazelnut Sandwich Cookies should definitely make their way into the picnic basket. These tiny treats have a creamy hazelnut and chocolate spread sandwiched in between two soft, vanilla cookies. Who says you can’t have sandwiches for dessert?
7. Pesto Pasta With Roasted Vegetables
Pesto with pasta is a classic combination and this Pesto Pasta With Roasted Vegetables will show you why. Savory sun-dried tomatoes and roasted zucchini are balanced with a bright and refreshing pesto sauce. This dish tastes amazing hot or cold so it’s a great choice for a weeknight dinner or an outdoor picnic.
8. Raw Mushroom Kale Rice
This Raw Mushroom Kale Rice is a healthy substitute for when you want the texture of rice without the carbs. Mushrooms, celeriac, and kale are tossed with rich walnut butter and a little cheesy nooch. Garlic and fresh herbs add flavor while hemp seeds add a healthy crunch. This is a perfect take-along dish for any outing.
9. Spicy Spring Garden Pitas
These Spicy Spring Garden Pitas are perfect for picnics because they look like you’re eating a garden. Filled with homemade hummus, greens, and spicy radishes, these pita sandwiches will give you lots of satisfying flavors while also being a treat for your eyes. These are great for a light picnic lunch that won’t weigh you down.
10. Easy Caponata
Caponata is a traditional dish hailing from Southern Italy, made with cooked eggplant, celery, capers, and other vegetables like olives or bell pepper. This Easy Caponata is rich, hearty, and savory. In this version, green and Kalamata olives are thrown into the mix.
11. Veggie Coleslaw With Avocado and Cashew Sour Cream
Cole slaw made with regular mayo can easily be swapped with this delicious and creamy Veggie Coleslaw With Avocado Mayo and Cashew Sour Cream. The richness of the avocado and the nuttiness of the cashews give this coleslaw the same consistency as the traditional version but it’s healthier and you won’t have to worry about it being outside in the sun.
12. Herb and Rice Salad With Beet Chips
This Herb and Rice Salad With Beet Chips is a show-stopper. Vibrant greens and carrots, creamy agave-miso dressing, beet chips, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds for crunch, and fresh herbs make up this lovely dish. This delicious rice-based salad is extremely satisfying, yet so refreshing and exciting. Try this recipe out the next time you feel like stepping out of your salad comfort zone.
13. No-Bake Chocolate Raspberry Coconut Bars
Dark chocolate and sweet, gooey raspberry filling sit atop a crumbly coconut flour crust in these No-Bake Chocolate Raspberry Coconut Bars. These treats are chewy and soft, and the trio of flavors go perfectly together. The chill they maintain from being set in the freezer makes them a refreshing and sweet option to go in your picnic basket.
14. Raw Mushroom Burgers
These Raw Mushroom Burgers are perfect for a picnic. First of all, the Portobello mushroom caps act as the bun. Secondly, the burgers are smeared with creamy cashew cheese and adorned with fresh tomato, onion, and parsley. Finally, since they’re raw, you don’t have to worry about serving them cold. They’re perfect just the way they are.
15. Dill Edamame Snack
Forget the chips and pack these Dill Edamame Snacks in your picnic basket instead. This edamame dish is brought to the next level with its eclectic mix of herbs including cinnamon powder, cardamom, turmeric, and fresh dill. This is a great protein-filled snack that is also super fun to eat.
16. Thai Tempeh Collard Greens Wrap
In these Thai Tempeh Collard Greens Wraps, vibrant veggies and toasted tempeh flavored with ginger, garlic, and soy, are wrapped up in a luscious leaf! They’re crunchy, flavorful, and refreshing! These wraps make a fantastic lunch on a warm and breezy spring day, where the weather is perfect for eating outdoors.
17. Freekeh and Turmeric Chickpea Salad
Freekeh is an ancient grain that provides ample nutrition while tasting great. In this Freekeh and Turmeric Chickpea Salad, the young, green wheat is lightly cooked, and served with garlicky mushrooms and toasted turmeric-infused chickpeas. Dress it up with extra-virgin olive oil and vinegar or any dressing of your choice.
18. Mini Fruit Tarts With Cream Cheese Frosting
Fruit tarts are delicious but these Mini Fruit Tarts With Cream Cheese Frosting takes the spirit of the traditional dessert and makes it healthier. The crust is sweetened with dates, the cream cheese frosting is sweetened with agave, and the fruit is left without the sugary glaze. The result is a bright and colorful treat with only a fraction of the guilt. So, go ahead, have seconds!
19. UnTuna Wraps
Tuna isn’t usually picnic-friendly but these UnTuna Wraps are perfect for your outdoor lunch. Made with celery, olives, and walnuts, this salad looks like tuna, tastes like tuna but is so much better. Spread on romaine leaves, wrap in a collard green, or spread on your favorite bread.
20. Vegetable Noodle Pad Thai
This Vegetable Noodle Pad Thai provides a low-carb alternative that is colorful, tasty and healthy. The homemade peanut sauce adds such a wholesome, spicy, and delicious flavor that complements the cool, crisp noodles. This dish just goes to show you that even with minimal ingredients, you can have a meal that’s full-flavored and delicious.
What could be better than fresh air, good friends and lots of yummy food? Picnics are so much fun, you’ll wonder why you ever eat inside at all.
Lead image source: Spicy Spring Garden Pitas