Create the Perfect Picnic with These 25 Recipe Ideas

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Weight loss is no walk in the park—especially in spring and summer, when it seems like you're constantly surrounded by calorie-packed cookouts and patio parties. But there's no reason your healthy lifestyle has to wilt in the sun. With some smart pre-planning, you can stick to your nutrition plan at the park, the pool, the beach or your own backyard.
 
The best way to go about picnic planning is to think outside the bun. Instead of opting for the usual high-calorie culprits like burgers, hot dogs and potato salad, try one of these nutritious, delicious and sunshine-friendly recipes for your next picnic.
 
1. BLT Summer Roll with Avocado: The classic BLT is reconstructed and offered in new form, made with only six ingredients—and no bread to distract you from the full flavors of the real stars in the standard sandwich.


Image courtesy of Avocado Pesto

2. Healthy Chicken Salad: Seasoned chicken, fresh herbs and a simple yogurt-based dressing are great paired with whole-grain crackers, fresh grapes and crispy veggie sticks.


Image courtesy of Simply Sissom

3. Light and Creamy Greek Pasta Salad: Loaded with fresh veggies, olives, artichoke hearts and feta cheese and dressed in a yogurt-based garlic and cucumber Tzatziki Sauce, it's perfect for picnics, potlucks and make-ahead lunches.


Image courtesy of The Seasoned Mom

4. Rosemary and Sea Salt Kale Chips: Kale chips are twice as delicious when you make them at home (in just 15 minutes) and serve with your favorite dip.


Image courtesy of Foraged Dish

5. Warm Lentil Salad: A fragrant blend of spices, veggies and green lentils topped with fresh feta cheese.


Image courtesy of Simply Stacie

6. Thai Veggie Quinoa Bowl: A perfect one-pot meal, it's packed with crunchy flavors and a tangy, Asian-inspired dressing.


Image courtesy of Avocado Pesto

7. Grains and Greens Detox Salad: With tons of fresh greens, nutty quinoa, pomegranate seeds and a simple lemon vinaigrette, healthy has never tasted better.


Image courtesy of Simply Sissom

8. Jicama-Pineapple Slaw: This bright salad goes well with tacos, burgers and even BBQ chicken. Make it ahead of time for a fresh dish at your next picnic!


Image courtesy of Foraged Dish

9. Quick Mexican Tuna Salad: This protein-packed recipe skips the heavy mayo in favor of flavorful avocado.


Image courtesy of Avocado Pesto

10. Healthy No-Bake Cereal Bars: Whole grains, protein and plenty of fiber make these the perfect grab-and-go snack.


Image courtesy of Simply Sissom

11. Fully Loaded Guacamole: Way beyond guacamole, this dip is stuffed with everything from bacon to fresh tomatoes and pumpkin seeds—simply serve with your favorite chips or veggie sticks.


Image courtesy of Foraged Dish

12. Homemade Apple Chips: These naturally sweet snacks are super simple to make, requiring only three ingredients and one baking sheet.


Image courtesy of Simply Sissom

13. Southwestern Chicken Ramen Salad: Loaded with veggies and dressed in a homemade Southwestern lime vinaigrette, this light, fresh salad is an easy side dish for cookouts or picnics.


Image courtesy of The Seasoned Mom

14. Cheesy Vegan Mushroom Quinoa: Although hearty enough to satisfy meat-eaters, this dish is completely vegan and veggie-packed!


Image courtesy of Fannetastic Food

15. Coconut Almond Date Energy Balls: Five ingredients come together in under 15 minutes for a zesty, refreshing snack or dessert that's also gluten-free, vegan and refined sugar free.


Image courtesy of Avocado Pesto

16. Tangy Veggie Wrap: This refreshing and tangy summer veggie wrap is easy to make and perfect for when you’re on the go.


Image courtesy of Hurry the Food Up
 
17. Peach-Tomato Salad with Basil and Feta: Sweet peaches and tangy tomatoes pair perfectly in this simple summer salad.


 
18. Vegan Wild Rice Salad: Walnuts, lemons, parsley and nutritional yeast make for a super-filling cold or room-temperature salad.


Image courtesy of Avocado Pesto

19. Apricot, Goat Cheese and Prosciutto Bites: These little no-cook bites go well with a hot afternoon, a glass of white wine or a bottle of sparkling water.


Image courtesy of Foraged Dish

20. Healthy Chicken Taco Mason Jar Salads: Requiring only about 10 minutes of prep (and no cooking!), these perfectly portable salads are loaded with fresh veggies, cheese and almost 40 grams of protein.


Image courtesy of The Seasoned Mom

21. Healthy Deviled Eggs: They're made with yogurt and Dijon mustard, but they taste so good that your guests won't know the difference!


Image courtesy of Fannetastic Food

22. Asian Rice Noodle Salad: Tender rice noodles are tossed in a quick, Asian-inspired sauce and studded with crispy peanuts.


Image courtesy of Simply Sissom
 
23. Katie's Summer Peach Crisp: Stick this in the cooler for a naturally sweet summer treat.



24. Nutty Maple Baked Brie: Baked brie is nothing short of indulgent, but you can serve this nutty-maple version with fresh apple or cucumber slices to lighten it up.


Image courtesy of Foraged Dish

25. Lemony Spinach Quinoa Bean Salad: This simple and quick salad comes together in no time.


Image courtesy of Fannetastic Food
 
When dining outside in warm weather, you should take precautions to ensure food safety. Foods that can spoil quickly in the sun—such as salads or casseroles, dishes with mayonnaise, cheeses and meats—should be wrapped and stored in a cooler. The FDA offers more tips for handling and serving food safely when eating outdoors.
 
What are your favorite healthy recipes to enjoy outdoors?

Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints

Comments

NANAW12001 3/28/2018
Thanks. Report
MNABOY 3/10/2018
Thanks Report
SADIEMYERS 9/23/2017
Great ideas, thank you. Report
4CONNIESHEALTH 8/4/2017
looks like great ideas! Report
JVANAM 7/3/2017
The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.
- Vince Lombardi Report
JANTHEBLONDE 7/2/2017
Great recipes to pack on a picnic. Report
PLCHAPPELL 7/2/2017
Some very creative ideas Report
LRJUSTUS1 7/1/2017
These are fantastic! I wouldn't necessarily put them in a picnic basket, but maybe for a cookout or pot luck. Many healthy options. Refreshing change from the sugar filled stuff that's usually pushed. Report
DJ4HEALTH 7/1/2017
love the recipes and will try some of them Report
PATRICIA-CR 7/1/2017
Fun, healthy yummy fun outdoors! Report
JANET552 7/1/2017
Lots of great ideas!! Thanks. Report
VIRGINIAGIRL 5/22/2017
Thanks for some great ideas! Report
MT-MOONCHASER 5/20/2017
I checked out the website and recipe for the BLT rolls and sure enough they claimed 2223 cal per serving - 1/2 the recipe. I'm not sure how they came up with that number. I went through the ingredients and plugged them into my Spark tracker and came up with about 280 cal per roll (or 560 per serving as they defined a serving). I guess this reinforces the fact that you need to double check calorie counts if possible. Report
MCFITZ2 5/20/2017
so many choices Report
HOLLYM48 5/20/2017
I can't wait to try some of these recipes! Report
JANTHEBLONDE 5/20/2017
I can't wait to try the BLT summer avocado roll! Report
MEXGAL1 5/20/2017
Love these recipes! I definitely will be making somes! Report
SHOAPIE 5/20/2017
I'll try a few of these. Report
JSTETSER 5/19/2017
I'm going to try the BLT Summer Roll with Avocado Report
BARCELONAME 5/19/2017
Awesome collection Report
ELONKA1 5/19/2017
Some excellent recipes for potlucks and dinner or lunch at home in the summer! Report
AQUAGIRL08 5/19/2017
Thanks for all of the ideas! Report
NEPTUNE1939 5/19/2017
great Report
RHOOK20047 5/19/2017
Some good ideas here for the next picnic. Report
SWALSH80 5/19/2017
Look at the website for BLT rolls.....2223 calories, 120g fat, 233 carbs, 50 g protein. Hardly a "healthy" meal. The calories are more than I have for an entire day. Report
JVANAM 5/19/2017
Smile. It's contagious! Report
AMYROSEC 5/19/2017
Thank you! There are quite a few recipes here that I can make for my Relay meetings. Report
SUSANBEAMON 5/2/2017
I'm not sure many of these items would go in my picnic basket. They seem more suited to the back deck instead, with a kitchen near by. Report
WWWDOTJOHN 5/1/2017
I sometimes think this site is sponsored by the avocado and yogurt industries. Report
DEE107 4/30/2017
salads yummy Report
LIFEGOALS2017 4/29/2017
Wow! These are some great recipe ideas. I love spring rolls so I'll definitely try the blt. Report
PATRICIAANN46 4/29/2017
Thank You for the great suggestions. Report
JOHNMARTINMILES 4/29/2017
Healthy picnic? That sounds like an oxymoron if ever there was one! Report
JIACOLO 4/28/2017
I am always looking for good, easy recipes for entertaining. Love these! Report
JAMER123 4/27/2017
Excellent thoughts for a picnic. Thanks! Report
2DAWN4 4/27/2017
Now, all I need is some nice weather for a picnic. Report
ZRIE014 4/27/2017
very good Report
LEANJEAN6 4/26/2017
very good! Report
LOSER05 4/26/2017
great! Report
RSKMOM 4/26/2017
These look yummy! Report
DEE107 4/26/2017
love a new look on picinic ideas Report
ZRIE014 4/26/2017
great. Report
DENNYJO25 4/25/2017
Some really good ideas Report
JANTHEBLONDE 4/25/2017
I Love the recipes for an outdoor picnic! Report
97MONTY 4/25/2017
great looking dishes, thanks for the suggestions Report
JUNETTA2002 4/24/2017
Good Information Report
DESIGNLADY 4/24/2017
I love the variety of the recipes you've curated here, Melissa. Nice to see some new quinoa recipes included - yum! Thank you. Report
ALWAYSSTARTING 4/24/2017
These look wonderful! Report
ALILDUCKLING 4/24/2017
A lot of these look good, but I was hoping they were already a part of the Spark recipe system for easy use with Nutrition counting facts. Also, it would have been nice if brief intro had said which ones were gluten free. Report
INGRIDSLIM 4/24/2017
yummy! Report
 
Close email sign up
Our best articles, delivered Join the millions of people already subscribed Get a weekly summary of our diet and fitness advice We will never sell, rent or redistribute your email address.

Magic Link Sent!

A magic link was sent to Click on that link to login. The link is only good for 24 hours.