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Waldorf salad in a white bowl.

These Picnic Lunch Recipes Are Exactly What You Need Right Now

The beautiful summer weather has finally arrived! And with the sunshine, we can venture outside to enjoy the summertime.

Sure, it’s patio season, but with the crowds flocking, you might want to pack your own picnic and set the tone of your meal. It’s a safe way to enjoy the company of others or get a change of scenery.

Here are three recipes to inspire your tastebuds for summer, two of which don’t involve the oven! Beat the heat with some delicious summer ingredients.

Homemade Ranch Dip

The first recipe is a mason jar ranch dip to go with any vegetables or other dippable snacks you want to bring on your picnic. Not only is it practical, but it’s better for the environment! No plastic container means no waste to deal with.

Plus, you can pair it with any vegetables you have on hand.

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Servings: 2 mason jars

Keeps for: 1-2 days

Homemade ranch sauces.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp ranch seasoning

Ranch Seasoning Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tbsp dried chives
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

  1. In a bowl, combine all the ranch seasoning ingredients.
  2. Once combined, add 1 tbsp of the seasoning into your mayonnaise.
  3. Divide the dip into two Mason jars and place vegetables or other dippable snacks into the container.
  4. Shake before you eat and enjoy it.

Dippable suggestions: Cut celery, carrots, and cucumbers into sticks. You could also prepare some healthy homemade chips.

Kale Waldorf Salad

The second recipe is a jazzed-up Waldorf salad prepared with kale. Not only super nutritious and rich in color, but this salad is also bursting with flavor.

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Servings: 4

Waldorf salad prep.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups kale, finely chopped
  • 1 large apple, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup raisins cut in half
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

Preparation

  1. Wash your produce, and then add the kale, the apple, the celery, the walnut, and the raisin in a large bowl.
  2. In a separate small bowl, create your salad dressing by combining your mustard, vinegar, maple syrup, and salt. Mix.
  3. When you are ready to serve, pour dressing over kale salad and toss to combine.

Rosemary & Cheese Stuffed Focaccia

The last recipe is stuffed focaccia. To make this recipe quick and simple, use store-bought pizza dough. If you need, you can make it in advance- the focaccia can be stored for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 12 minutes

Servings: 6-8

Focaccia bread.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp dry active yeast
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese in small cubes
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 450˚F.
  2. Make your dough first. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast. Add the oil and lukewarm water. Mix.
  3. With lightly floured hands, quickly knead the dough into a mass. Roll each piece into a tight, smooth ball, kneading to push the air out.
  4. Once this ball has been made, cut the dough ball in half and roll both halves out to form an 8 inch by 6-inch rectangular shape.
  5. On one half, add the cheese. Then take the other half and place it on top. Press the edges to seal them well.
  6. With your fingertips, lightly push the dough in to create small craters.
  7. Next, combine oil, garlic, and rosemary in a bowl.
  8. Place the focaccias on an oiled baking sheet and drizzle with the oil and the oil/garlic/rosemary mixture.
  9. Bake on the center rack for 12 minutes.
  10. Remove from oven and serve or pack to take with you.

Tip: A few hours before your picnic, reheat your focaccia in the oven, and wrap it in aluminum foil so that it stays warm.

Picnicking is often a special activity, even when it’s just eating on a blanket in our own backyards. Picnics are a nice way to break the routine and take in a little extra sunlight, all things we need more of!

Add some delicious water blends to your outdoor picnic: 4 Refreshing Water Blends for Summertime Vibes

Sophie Viau

Sophie Viau

Sophie is a blogger, writer, entrepreneur, world traveler, and photographer. As a young woman, she had an unusual dream: to discover Iceland! "Nobody in my entourage had an interest in this type of trip" says Sophie, so she decided to go alone. What she discovered was that, not only was... Read More

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