Backyard Picnic Menu

Pack these recipes in your picnic basket and head out the backdoor for outdoor eats conveniently close to home. 

Photo by: Kathryn Cooper

Kathryn Cooper

Backyard picnics are the perfect way to do something different for dinner with your friends and family without breaking the bank. It's easy to grab an old blanket, walk out the backdoor and dine in the summer sunshine. These chosen recipes will minimize your workload with food that's easy to carry, consume and clean up.

Dips, Salads and Sandwiches

Dips and salads are easy to transport and share, making them great backyard picnic starters. Try a white bean dip or a juicy watermelon and tomato salad; they're both quick and refreshing. For the next course, have a sandwich –– the compact shape and portability of sandwiches make them an ideal picnic entree item. Plus, you're only a couple yards away from your kitchen, so you can still enjoy the warmth of hot panini or a beef patty melt.


Make-Ahead Sides and Desserts

If your entree is going to take time, aim for sides and desserts that you can make beforehand, so you can relax and enjoy the picnic. Pasta salad, quick pickles and coleslaw can all be made way in advance and are cool accompaniments to warm summers and warm food. For dessert, try some s'mores bars or pie pops — s'mores are basically mandatory in summertime and berries are at their peak. 


Toast to Summer

Backyard picnics can be as simple or elaborate as you want them to be. Whether you plan yours 5 minutes or 5 days in advance, have a great time! All you really need is the outdoors, good food and good company (and maybe a bellini or two).


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