These make-ahead masterpieces are perfect for alfresco eating, and all are highly rated by readers.
This recipe gets healthful flavor by roasting the potatoes and using a tangy no-mayo dressing―teresamichelsen's favorite part. "I really enjoyed this potato salad―nice to find one that has a light sauce. The amount of sauce looks like
it's not going to be enough, but it really is. Easy to make, too."
View Recipe: Roasted Potato Salad (pictured with Grilled Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches)
These mini-sandwiches bring a note of elegance to any picnic. Try stacecz's variation if crab's not your favorite: "I used shrimp instead of crab and it was still delicious. I defrosted frozen shrimp
and ran them through the food processor and it turned out extremely well!"
View Recipe: Summer Crab Rolls
Roxanne is a big fan of this recipe. "This is a great―and super easy―side dish or entrée! I added the feta as suggested, because
what DOESN'T taste better with feta? I'll definitely make this a regular dinner recipe." On a picnic, try bell pepper halves
instead of lettuce leaves―they're a sturdier container.
View Recipe: Couscous Salad Cups
Store-bought desserts are par for the course on a picnic, but these are easy to make ahead, taste better, and are better for
you. With at least 10 five-star reviews, this is a sure winner. Take litkrry's word for it: "Excellent! Made these for a party last weekend and they were a big hit! Would never guess they were light!"
View Recipe: Marble Cheesecake Squares
Gina loved the many flavors in this simple salad. "Great dish! Easy to make, delicious on crackers and croissants. I loved the
texture of this chicken salad and it had all my favorites- a dash of spice, a little salt, and something sweet." Any leftover
chicken will do for this dish.
View Recipe: Curried Chicken Salad with Apples and Raisins
Next time you grill burgers, pull out these homemade pickles and impress everyone. Jenn uses the recipe with her own garden's bounty. "These are my daughter's favorite. We grow our own cucumbers, and I make these
all summer, sometimes I experiment with other light colored vinegars to make them slightly different. My 17-year-old won't
pack a lunch without them."
View Recipe: Easy Refrigerator Pickles
You can make this dish up to three days in advance; the longer the chickpeas marinate, the more flavor they acquire. But they're
so good you might run into the same problem as From Virginia Beach: "LOVE this recipe. My only regret was that it was gone so fast the flavors didn't get to marry as well as they could have."
View Recipe: Marinated Chickpeas
Stuffed with a sweet marshmallow cream filling, these homemade chocolate sandwich cookies are lighter than they taste. Package
them individually in plastic wrap to take along on a picnic.
View Recipe: Chocolate Sandwich Cookies with Marshmallow Cream Filling
Lobster rolls are ideal for picnics, especially our lighter version. To cut the calories, we use canola mayonnaise instead
of regular. This classic New England sandwich comes together in a snap if you purchase lobster tails and have them steamed
at the fish counter.
View Recipe: Picnic-Perfect Lobster Rolls
Whip up a side salad of this potato salad for your next picnic. Made with sour cream, Greek yogurt, cucumber, and fresh dill,
it's ready in 20 minutes.
View Recipe: Sour Cream-Dill Potato Salad
This herby pasta salad is perfect for a picnic or potluck gathering; double the recipe to serve a crowd. Medium shell-shaped
pasta will also work in place of orecchiette.
View Recipe: Orecchiette with Peas, Shrimp, and Buttermilk-Herb Dressing
Whip up a batch of these easy lemon square recipe in a matter of minutes for a light picnic dessert that's deliciously sweet
View Recipe: Easy Lemon Squares
Ideal for a quick weeknight dinner or a picnic lunch, this warm, melty sandwich pairs well with sliced fruit or a bunch of
grapes. Purchase roasted chicken breasts to save on preparation time.
View Recipe: Antipasto Chicken Sandwich
Lemony dressing and fresh mint add vibrant flavor to this pasta salad. Pack some mint leaves in your picnic basket to garnish
it, if desired.
View Recipe: Orzo Salad with Radish and Fennel
Make the most of summer's fresh vegetables and grilling by preparing these wraps to take along on a picnic. Serve them up
with a side of potato or pasta salad.
View Recipe: Grilled Veggie and Hummus Wraps
Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies add some color to your picnic spread. These jam-filled thumbprints are sweet, and a healthier
alternative to most other desserts.
View Recipe: Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies
If you're not a chocolate fan, trade in brownies for a batch of these Butterscotch Blondie dessert bars. They can be stored
unrefrigerated in an airtight container for up to three days.
View Recipe: Butterscotch Blondies
Our Chicken Muffuletta is a lighter take on an old New Orleans favorite. Packed full with chicken, salami, olives, onions,
and spices, it's a great make-ahead sandwich for a summer picnic.
View Recipe: Chicken Muffuletta
These colorful grilled summer kebabs are perfect for a light picnic, and they have less than 200 calories per serving. Sautéed
chard makes a simple side.
View Recipe: Tuscan Pork Kebabs
True to its name, this brownie recipe is a classic choice for a picnic dessert. A decadent treat, large chocolate chunks create
big, luxurious pockets of melty chocolate in the middle.
View Recipe: Classic Fudge-Walnut Brownies