Can we get real here for a minute? Why aren’t picnics a real thing? I’ll be honest, this was totally styled and I barely ate any of what was here. Don’t get me wrong, I DID eat the key lime pie I brought, duh. But I wanted to create this spread for a few reasons. One it’s pretty and two, I wanted to share some great recipes perfect for a picnic. And after I created this super easy menu I realized we need to do picnics much more. They’re so easy to put together, a great way to get outside and spend time with friends.
I truly want to know why we aren’t packing more picnics with friends and heading to a local park to enjoy it. It may be that Atlanta summers are so insanely hot. This usually means eating outside isn’t really enjoyable for most of the summer months. But I’m now on a mission to make picnics a thing. It’s a great way to get outside with some fresh air and bring your pup too. You can either bring a big spread for a full meal, or just bring some small bites and enjoy some wine. The ideas really are endless. Make a potluck, have a theme night or have everyone bring their favorite deviled egg recipe for a cook-off and see who wins.
And I know it’s not just me wondering why we aren’t doing more picnics. Even when I found this adorable picnic basket at World Market, the cashier said to me, why don’t people have more picnics?! Amen girl! So yes, this was all staged and it was at 8 am. But we did it for the blog because that’s the world I live in. However, I texted my closest girlfriends the second it was over and demanded we have a REAL picnic together as soon as possible. And I’d be in charge of the picnic basket, obviously. And probably dessert because these key lime pies are the best thing I’ve ever made.
How To Have A Perfect Summertime Picnic
My Simple Picnic Menu
So if you want to bring the picnic back, here’s the best inspiration I could create for you. It was easy to do and only required a few simple things. A great picnic basket, cute outdoor plates, and a few simple recipes. I made chimichurri chicken with blistered tomato sandwiches (so easy), classic pasta salad in mason jars to make life easier and everyone gets their own. Plus, the two of these together make for easy summer dinners so you can enjoy them as leftovers. And lastly, and my favorite, these mini no-bake key lime pies.
Bring a bottle of wine, and maybe some watermelon or fresh fruit to snack on and you’ve got yourself the perfect picnic. A few other picnic food ideas include classic tomato mozzarella salads, egg salad sandwiches, and really anything bite-sized to make it super easy to eat while laid out on a blanket in the sunshine.
Must have picnic essentials
Every picnic needs a good picnic basket. They help to carry ALL of the things to your destination. Plus, they keep everything nice and cold as well. Don’t forget to add in any ice packs to keep your food cool on a hot day. This is especially important if you’re bringing anything mayo based like egg salad or potato salad. No on wants to get food poisoning from a summertime picnic.
There’s so many picnic basket options to choose from. You can go super fancy and get one that comes with a set of flatware and glasses like mine does. Or just a basic basket that you can fill with your own items. Sure a thermos works, but there’s something that’s so much more charming with a classic picnic basket. And they don’t have to be expensive. I’ve rounded up some favorites below at varying price points.
Outdoor Plates, Utensils & Serving Ware
To make it feel like you aren’t just camping, bring some outdoor plates, utensils and serving ware. I really like a good melamine plate, which can be great at home when having guests over for a BBQ as well. Same goes for serving platters that you can easily wrap in plastic wrap to keep things from making a mess. You can also bring your food in tupperware, and then serve it up in your melamine platters. This way you’re not wasting paper plates and can reuse everything once you get home.
A good tip, pack your food items in easy to hold and eat containers like I did here with mason jars for the pasta salad. This is especially great for side dishes and personal desserts so everyone has their own individual portions and there’s no need for additional plates or serving platters.
A Cozy Picnic Blanket
And of course, every picnic needs a big blanket to sit on! I love just a turkish towel for this. They double as great tablecloths, throws and more. They’re a perfect item to have on hand for a beach trip, picnic and everything in between. There are also some bigger more sturdy picnic blankets that are waterproof too. It really just depends on how often you plan to use it. If this is a once in a summer adventure, stick to something more simple like the turkish towel that you can get more use out of throughout the year.
Other Picnic Essentials
A few other things to make sure you bring with you on a picnic is some bug spray and sunscreen. You don’t want to get eaten alive, and you most definitely want a sunburn. And if you plan on staying for many hours, you can bring some fun games like horseshoe, ladder toss or corn hole. Or just bring a kite to fly around! And if you’re bringing your pup with you, be sure to bring a water bowl for them too.
Shop The Post
Target Blanket c/o • World Market Picnic Basket • Juliska Plates c/o • Target Plates • Ball Mason Jars
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