Warm weather means fun activities outside, including an outdoor picnic. So turn off the television and head to the park, beach, or even your backyard.
But wait! Not without filling up your picnic basket first...
Not sure what to pack? We had developed a healthy picnic food list for your next gathering!
10 Picnic Food Ideas
From healthy finger foods to nutritious side dishes, here are some of our summer favorites for a perfect picnic!
1. Greek Yogurt Coleslaw
Most traditional coleslaws drench nutritious cabbage and carrots with mayo. However, this Greek yogurt coleslaw namely uses protein-packed Greek yogurt for a lighter, yet more satisfying option.
The recipe also serves up to 10 people, making it a great option for a larger group. However, feel free to downsize the recipe as needed.
2. Dill Cucumber Salad
Pasta salads can be heavy, which is not so appealing on a hot summers day. What’s more, they are often rich in calories from fat.
But with the refreshing flavors of cucumber, lemon juice, and yogurt, stay cool as a cucumber with this dill cucumber salad at your next picnic!
The low-fat picnic recipe supplies 150 calories, 2 grams of protein, and 5 grams net carb per 1 cup.
3. Edamole and Sliced Veggies
Chips and dips tend to be laden in calories while offering little to no nutritional value. This edamole recipe is another story, though!
Edamole is a fresh take on guacamole but swaps out avocado with edamame. The dip is rich in protein and truly satisfying.
Serve with raw vegetables of choice, including sliced cucumbers or baby carrots.
4. Tuna Deviled Eggs
Eggs are considered to be the least inexpensive source of high-quality protein, while the yolks are one of the very few food sources naturally supplying vitamin D.
They are also completely versatile, including bracing the flavors of this deconstructed tuna salad recipe.
1. Start by making hard-boiled eggs, peel off the outer shell, and slice in half lengthwise.
2. Remove the yolks and transfer to a bowl with a drained can of tuna.
3. Add a dollop of plain Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard, and pickle relish to the bowl. Mix together.
4. Top the tuna and egg yolk mixture into the crevice of the egg white.
5. Trail Mix
Headed to the trails? Do not forget the trail mix! But instead of relying on the store, make a nutritious batch at home.
Simply add favorite nuts and seeds with dried fruits, including pecans, walnuts, shredded coconut, banana chips, and dark chocolate chips.
Pack in individual bags for portion control.
6. Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip & Fruit
For a simple, protein-packed dip, whip up this peanut butter yogurt dip!
Simply mix these ingredients together:
• 1 cup of nonfat plain Greek yogurt
• 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
• A dash of cinnamon
• A drizzle of honey
Serve with apple slices, banana chunks, and other favorite fruits.
7. Tropical Fruit Salad
Naturally sweet and bursting with nutrients, fresh fruit is hard to beat in the summer. And so is this tropical fruit salad!
1. Simply chop up fresh pineapple, mango, kiwi, and banana.
2. Squeeze fresh lemon or orange juice atop and mix.
3. Let chill in the fridge until ready to pack.
4. Enjoy as-is or pair with Greek yogurt for a heartier picnic food option.
8. Avocado Chicken Salad
This avocado chicken salad is packed with protein, healthy fat, and flavor.
1. In a small bowl, mix together 4 ounces of shredded chicken, ½ an avocado, and ¼ cup of both mayo and plain Greek yogurt.
2. Squeeze in fresh lime juice and add a light sprinkle of garlic and onion powders. Use salt and pepper to taste.
3. Allow to set in the fridge for at least 20 minutes and enjoy as is, layer on a bed of lettuce, or dip with favorite veggie slices.
Eat alone, on a sprouted sandwich roll, in a lettuce wrap, or paired with sliced veggies and grained crackers.
9. Mason Jar Salads
The use of mason jars is a convenient means to pack and carry salads. What’s more, there are countless ways to flavor and nutrify your jar! Use these delicious and healthy mason jar salad recipes for inspiration:
• Thai chicken salad, featuring slivered carrots, diced green onions, shredded cabbage, and a homemade Thai dressing
• Mediterranean salad with extra virgin olive oil, olives, chickpeas, and kale
• Southwestern salad with shredded chicken, diced bell pepper, corn, and a yogurt ranch dressing
• Sushi salad packed with sushi favorites and dressed with rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, and soy sauce
• California quinoa salad flavored with balsamic vinegar
Pinwheels are a perfect on-the-go picnic food, being highly convenient and adaptable to personal preferences.
The simple steps include spreading desired dressing atop a wheat tortilla, layering with a protein source, dressing with veggies, rolling up tightly, and cutting into bite-sized pieces.
Some tasty combos include:
• Chicken Caesar salad: cubed chicken, Caesar dressing, romaine lettuce, shredded parmesan cheese
• Sundried tomato and basil: sundried tomato, part-skim mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil
• Ham and cheese: sliced ham, Swiss cheese, tomato, and onion
• Buffalo chicken: shredded chicken, buffalo sauce, blue cheese, and minced celery
• Mediterranean: smeared hummus, a drizzle of olive oil, sliced bell peppers, spinach leaves, and olives
• Italian: salami, ham, provolone cheese, pepperoncini, lettuce, tomato, and onion
For a gluten-free option, sub out the tortillas with a gluten-free tortilla. Using lettuce leaves can also make both a low-carb and gluten-free alternative for your summer picnic.