Beach Picnic Menu

Break out the beach blanket and snack on these recipes that make beachside feasting a breeze.
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Photo by: Kathryn Cooper

Kathryn Cooper

Nothing's better during the summer than spending a lazy, leisurely day at the beach. But during all those hours in the sun, your hunger and thirst are bound to spike, and the offerings at nearby concessions stands are usually limited (and expensive). Instead, pack this delicious menu of easily totable treats, lather up with the SPF of your choice and don't forget the pina colada straws.

Fruity Fare

Eating there is one of the best parts of going to the beach. But what makes good beach picnic food? It’s got to have the sort of cool, citrus and fruit flavors that you crave on a hot summer day, and it has to be practical for eating on the beach. Dishes like berry-speckled salads or tropical wraps work well, as do fruity summer pies for dessert.

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Snacks That Relax

Remember that anything you bring will have to be easy to carry out to the beach, and it's going to have to sit in the sun for a few hours once you're there –– so go for dishes that work well cold or at room temperature. A hummus dip, peach and tomato salad, and farro caprese salad are all great ideas. With that said, a small cooler wouldn't hurt: they're inexpensive and come in handy for countless other events. Use it for food or to keep frozen pina coladas nice and chilly.

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Go Plateless

Portability (and ease of eating) is also key. Opt for foods that are easy to hold and don't require plates, like mini chicken salad sandwiches and lettuce wraps. For community items like salads and dips, plastic containers are essential so you can seamlessly take out a side like couscous and snap a lid on it once you're done. Containers also make carrying everything easier and will keep sand out of your food. To take dessert with you, choose from cleverly packaged and bite-size treats like pie in jarspie bites and bars, and satisfy your sweet tooth sand-free.

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