Picnic Lunch Ideas

Fresh Guacamole and Chips

This fresh, zesty guac is loaded with avocados, tomato, red onion, jalapenos and plenty of fresh lime juice. If you’re feeling adventurous (or just plain feisty), try adding a shot of tequila to the mix, too.

Watermelon and Tomato Salad with Spicy Feta Sauce

The feta sauce is also terrific with Ana Sortun’s Red Lentil Kofte.

Tuna Banh Mi

F&W’s Justin Chapple makes his best-ever tuna banh mi by mixing canned tuna, lime juice, fish sauce and jalapeno and spooning it onto a crusty baguette spread with mayonnaise.

Artichoke Bread Pudding

If cooks were asked to name the vegetables they find most intimidating and time-consuming to prepare, artichokes would surely top the list. Marinated artichoke hearts from Umbria in central Italy solve the problem: No trimming, cooking or choke removal is required.

Honeyed Fig Crostatas

Forget the figgy pudding; for your holiday bash this year make these party-perfect fig crostatas and your guests will surely think the world a merry and bright place.

Corn and Green Bean Salad

This crunchy, colorful salad pairs blanched corn and green beans with an incredible dressing for a great throw-together meal.

Sesame–Ginger Chicken Pasta Salad

This quick-prep, creamy, Asian-inspired pasta salad is a meal in itself or a great BBQ or picnic side dish. 

Egg Salad with Herbs and Pickles

In this simple version of egg salad, Food & Wine‘s Kay Chun forgoes mayonnaise in favor of tangy Greek yogurt. She amps up the flavor with herbs like parsley and tarragon as well as tangy capers and crunchy cornichons. This egg salad is excellent on crackers or in a sandwich, but to dress it up, serve it piled on a bed of crisp lettuce or over juicy tomatoes

Potato, Snap Pea and Pickle Salad

This is a terrific springtime version of a warm potato salad, with lots of scallions and little bites of half-sour pickles.

Vegetable Sandwich with Dill Sauce

Stacked high with slices of tomato, onion, cucumber, avocado, and provolone cheese, this is a vegetable sandwich that even confirmed carnivores will love. You can add or substitute other fresh vegetables; radishes, spinach, or grated carrot go particularly well here. When you can’t get good tomatoes, don’t buy lousy, cotttony ones; use twice the amount of lettuce instead.

Crunchy Cabbage Salad

Sometimes Jacques Pepin makes this simple salad with just one color of cabbage; sometimes he arranges it in alternating rows of color. The tangy-salty anchovy dressing would also be delicious on other crisp salad greens, such as escarole or chicory.


Vegetable Bagna Cauda with Dill Oil

In his paean to vegetables, chef Jim Christiansen grills, blanches, sautes and pickles a wide array to dip in his warm, silky, buttery anchovy sauce.

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