Picnic recipe inspiration

Prepare-ahead recipe ideas for your next family picnic

Picnic month recipe inspiration

July is officially National Picnic Month, and since we’re currently experiencing the hottest July for 400 years, it’s the perfect time to take your family meals out of the kitchen and into the beautiful British countryside.

Before you step outdoors though, here are five portable recipes to whip up in the kitchen ready for the perfect picnic.

Veggie delights

Find a new use for empty jam jars with these colourful vegetarian jar salads. Cook 60g of rice or couscous per person then spoon into the bottom of the jar once cooled. Meanwhile, cut one block of halloumi into cubes, drizzle with olive oil and grill for 5-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Layer chopped tomatoes and peppers, lettuce leaves, sliced onion and avocado on top of your grains then top with the halloumi and a few teaspoons of vinaigrette dressing to keep your veggies fresh for your picnic.

Super sarnies

Take your sandwich game to the next level with this super-tasty stuffed loaf. Take a fresh loaf of crusty bread then slice off the top and remove some of the soft centre. Spread the inside of your loaf with butter and tomato chutney then build up layers of ham, sliced cheese, lettuce and pepperoni. Top with sliced pickles and chutney then replace the top of the loaf and gently press down to seal. Slice into quarters but do not separate the slices, then wrap the whole loaf in cling film to take with you inside your cool bag.

Pasta perfection

Don’t want to spend a long time prepping for your picnic? Then this simple yet delicious pesto pasta salad is your new best friend. Boil 75g farfalle pasta bows per person for 10-12 minutes, drain and leave to cool. While the pasta is boiling, prepare the pesto by blitzing together 60g pine nuts, 50g parmesan, 160ml olive oil, a pinch of salt, 1 garlic clove and 1 bunch fresh basil in the blender. Once the pasta has cooled, mix in the pesto along with chopped cherry tomatoes then pack up in a Tupperware ready for your picnic.

Cookie break

It wouldn’t be a proper picnic without a little sweet treat to finish off your fun family outing. Cream together 150g butter with 150g brown sugar then one egg and a teaspoon of vanilla essence, beating together until creamy and lump-free. Stir in 225g sieved plain flour, ½ a teaspoon of baking powder and the zest of one orange, then divide cookie dough into 24 equal balls. Flatten each ball onto a lined baking sheet and decorate with chocolate buttons and pecans, then bake in the oven for 10 minutes at 190 degrees, sprinkling with a little extra orange zest once cooled.

Fruity refresher

Swap sugary soft drinks for a natural alternative by preparing personalised jam jar drinks to enjoy on your picnic. Half fill each jar with your favourite selection of chopped fruit, cucumber slices and fresh mint then fill the rest with ice and top up with water. Screw on the jar lid and pack in your coolbag for the most refreshing picnic drink you’ve ever tasted!

Category: Advice