12 Recipes for a Perfect Picnic

Eating al fresco (Italian for “in the fresh”) is one of our favorite ways to enjoy a meal.

Sunshine, warm breezes, and the smell of green, growing things makes your food taste brighter, fresher, more robust. Of course, that applies to seaside nosh, or even enjoying a bite on your roof. The point? Get outside!

If we could recommend a perfect afternoon to you, we would say to grab your sunglasses and a few good friends for a picnic in the park. Make these scrumptious bites, which feature tons of twists on a classic “salad.” Don’t forget some crusty bread to enjoy your salads as sammies if you wish, and fresh fruit to nibble on, too!

Then pack them all up in one of Rachael’s handy totes and grab a lawn game for an afternoon that sums up everything that’s wonderful about summer!

Tomato and Onion Salad (Version 2)

This easy, refreshing salad is even better when made ahead. Pack it up the night before to let the flavors really develop. This Raw Corn Salad would be a perfect accompaniment, too.

Tangy Goat Cheese and Dill Potato Salad

Potato salad gets super-refined with the addition of creamy goat cheese and savory dill for an upscale, but affordable side.

Major Grey Chutney Chicken Salad

Photo by The Rachael Ray Show

Nothing screams “picnic” like a classic chicken salad. This twist with mango chutney plus cold, sliced grapes is too refreshing to pass up. You might also love Rachael’s Cold Chicken Curry with Toasted Almonds and Crystallized Ginger or even Buffalo Chicken Salad.

Pasta Salad with Herb Pesto and Peas

What’s a picnic without pasta salad? This pesto version features garden veggies in season for summer. Give Rachael’s Orzo and Zucchini Salad a try, too!

Strawberry Lemonade

Sweet and sippable, this strawberry lemonade has a secret flavor twist (mint!). Add your favorite liquor to this lemonade for a grown-up spin, or, try this Italian Sangria

Congo Bars

Bars are the best picnic dessert. You can grab them with your hands, they don’t require plates, and they hold up well in travel. These Ooey-Gooey Jam Jar Bars definitely do the trick, too! 

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Rachael Ray