These make-ahead masterpieces are perfect for alfresco eating, and all are highly rated by readers.
April 16, 2009
1 of 20Becky Luigart-Stayner
Roasted Potato Salad
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."
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!"
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.
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!"
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.
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."
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."
Chocolate Sandwich Cookies with Marshmallow Cream Filling
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.
9 of 20John Autry
Picnic-Perfect Lobster Rolls
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.