7/9/2020 | By Seniors Guide Staff

Summer means picnics. Whether you’re planning a portable feast or only travelling to your backyard, here are 10 easy picnic dishes, from snacks to start off the picnic to desserts to finish it off.

1. Smoky Snack Mix

Start your picnic off right by setting out a big bowl of snack mix. Southern Living’s recipe, (online here: combines chipotle powder and smoked paprika for a new flavor with the traditional crunch.

2. Cheddar Pecan Wafers

The flavor of these cheese crackers is reminiscent of the cheese straws you find at parties in the South, but they’re much easier to make. To make the wafers, you can either form the stiff dough into a log and slice it, or you can roll out the dough and use small cookie cutters to cut out shapes. These look great on a platter with fresh fruit like grapes and strawberries. Find the recipe here.

3. Lime Fizz

This refreshing, sparkling drink is an interesting alternative to lemonade. Find Southern Living’s recipe here. Make it an adult beverage by adding 2/3 cup of vodka to the pitcher-sized recipe.

4. Greek Yogurt Dip and Vegetables

Greek yogurt is a perfect – and healthy – base for a dip. It’s thicker than plain yogurt, meaning it can stand up to crunchy vegetables like cucumbers, celery, and carrots. Slice up some seasonal vegetables like yellow squash and zucchini, to dip, too. Mix Greek yogurt with a generous amount of chopped fresh herbs like dill, garlic, a little lemon juice, salt, and a splash of olive oil. Feel free to improvise on herbs, but here are a few ideas from Bon Appetit.

5. Chicken Satay

For an Asian twist on grilled chicken, serve these grilled chicken skewers with a coconut-peanut dipping sauce. You can grill the chicken at home and then take them on the road. If you’re eating close to home, serve the skewers hot, but if they have to travel, wrap them in foil to stay warm until you’re ready to eat. Find an easy version here.

6. Turkey Salad

A fun twist on chicken salad sandwiches, turkey salad makes a cool, refreshing sandwich. If you’re taking the picnic on the road, pack the turkey salad in the cooler, and assemble sandwiches at the picnic site. Serve between two slices of bread, on crackers, or on a bed of mixed greens. Try Southern Living’s basic recipe for turkey salad here, or try one of their interesting variations.

7. Pesto Pasta Salad

Pasta salad is a hearty side dish that travels well (and requires very little actual cooking, other than boiling water for pasta). This version from Simply Recipes, combines spiral pasta with jarred pesto, cherry tomatoes, peas, olives, and pine nuts.

8. Black Bean and Mango Salad

This salad is packed with healthy ingredients like black beans, peppers, and green onions. Mango and lime juice make this salad summery, tropical, and refreshing. Get the recipe here.

9. Snickers Salad

A salad in name only, this apple, cream cheese, and candy bar concoction is definitely a picnic dessert. If you’re curious, check out the recipe here.

10. Hand Pies

You may not want to haul a whole pie to a picnic, but hand pies travel well, and are easy to eat outdoors. Try Taste of Home’s apple hand-held pies here or Ree Drummond’s blueberry ones here. Feel free to use pre-made pie crust. It works great for hand pies, just like it does for full-sized ones.

Find more Seniors Guide-approved recipes here!

Seniors Guide Staff

Seniors Guide has been addressing traditional topics and upcoming trends in the senior living industry since 1999. We strive to educate seniors and their loved ones in an approachable manner, and aim to provide them with the right information to make the best decisions possible.

Seniors Guide Staff