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The Perfect Picnic Guide: Delicious Recipes For A Friends Picnic Date

best picnic recipes

This article was written by The Zillennial Zine’s summer editorial intern Camille Williams. Find her on Instagram at @camiiwilliamss. If you would like to share an article with The Zillennial, send us an email at

When summer weather hits, I love finding time to enjoy the outdoors. Picnics have become one of my favorite things to do with friends or loved ones. So when it comes to hosting a picnic get-together, I like recipes that will not only be easy to prepare but also delicious and can still make for a lovely-looking picnic. So, check out the best picnic recipes sure to make your next gathering a success!

The Perfect Picnic Basket

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When I’m thinking of what to bring with me on a picnic, I always make sure I have a good bag to put my food in. It helps to bring a bag or picnic basket that has a cooler inside of it because you want to keep your hot items warm and cold items cool by the time you get there.

Mason Jar Salads

A mason jar salad is a cute and easy way to bring individual meals that are customizable for each person. All you need for this is a mason jar or any type of medium-sized container, and your usual salad fixings. The usual combination includes lettuce, some type of protein like chicken, bacon, or other supplements if you are vegetarian. You can add as many toppings, like cheese, onions, tomatoes, carrots or whatever your favorite vegetables are. You can also bring your preferable dressing on the side and when it comes time for the picnic, add it on top, close the lid and shake it a little to get all of your salad fixings tossed perfectly.

Italian Pinwheels

Pinwheels are a way to incorporate several flavors into a bite-size snack. All you need is tortillas, lettuce, meats like salami, turkey, pepperoni or ham, cheese, and any additional dressings you prefer. When you have all of your toppings, keep your bulk of the meat and lettuce in the middle. When everything is added to your tortilla, make sure to wrap it as tight as you can and wrap it in cling wrap to easily place it in the fridge without unraveling. You want to let it chill in the fridge for at least an hour before you cut it. Once you are ready to cut them, try to aim for slices around an inch or two. My favorite part about pinwheels is that they are easy to grab, and during a picnic, I like to have food that is not too heavy but is still delicious to snack on.

Mini Croissant Sandwiches

My favorite picnic recipe would probably have to be mini croissant sandwiches. I love having these on picnics because they are light and they are super easy to make. All you need to pack is croissants, cheese and either turkey or ham. What you want to do is cut your croissants in half, place a slice of ham or turkey in your croissant, and add cheese on top. It is optional, but this is a recipe that can be made hot. I like to put my finished croissants in a toaster or oven for about 5-8 minutes at 350 degrees just to get them flaky and slightly melt the cheese. I think they taste so much better when the meat and cheese are warm.

Pizza Sliders

Another sandwich option is pizza sliders. These can be made for a lot of people, if you have a big group. I usually use a 12-pack of Hawaiian rolls, but any pack of sweet rolls will do. Take your time cutting the entire pack of rolls in half horizontally, without separating the individual rolls. Separate the top and bottom layers to put your ingredients in your sliders. You will want to preheat your oven to 350 degrees and put the bottom layer of your sliders on a baking sheet.  You will need pepperonis and cheese, I suggest mozzarella for this recipe. Spread your cheese and pepperoni evenly on the bottom “buns” of your sliders. Then just put the layers back together and add a garlic butter garnish on top. Pop them in the oven for about 20 minutes and when they are done just cut and share. You can buy marinara sauce to dip the slides in as well.

Fruit Kabobs

Fruit is such a great food to pack for a picnic, and pairs well with any of these recipes. All you need for the fruit kabobs are small sliced fruit, either in cubes or spheres, and skewers. It’s up to you what fruits you want to add to your skewers. For my fruit kabobs, I like to add pineapple, strawberries, grapes, berries and melons like watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew.

Bento Cakes

This last recipe will fulfill your sweet cravings. Korean bento cakes, also known as lunchbox cakes, are miniature cakes made easy to travel. First, bake a sheet cake, either from a box or from scratch. Cut out 3 circles of about 3-4 inches and stack them with frosting between each layer. Once again, you can simply buy frosting from the store or make it yourself if you prefer. Frost the outside of the cake as well. The decoration on the top of the cakes is usually very simple, just piping or a short phrase on the top.

Which of these do you think are the best picnic recipes? Will you be making any for your next friends’ picnic? Let us know in the comments!

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