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No-stress Picnic Food Ideas so Easy That They Don't Need a Recipe

EllisPark.co August 30, 2021
Overhead photo of dishes of food

Prepping for a picnic should be a no-stress activity. So throw away your complicated recipes and try some of our quick and easy picnic recipes that don’t require perfectly measured ingredients. From a refreshing mocktail to an update on a childhood dessert, these dishes will have your guests asking for seconds.

The mocktail: Non-alcoholic peach bellini.

Start off with a sweet sipper that’s simple to make. Mix together sparkling water, peach juice and a squeeze of lime. Garnish with fresh mint and basil and serve over crushed ice. Make your mocktail even more special by serving it in a Bulles stemless champagne glass. Available at Stokes, Bulles champagne glasses have a stylish contemporary look. CAA Members save an extra 5% at Stokes online and in-store*.

The snack: S’mores mix.

This picnic snack is light, flavourful and is the perfect munchie to accompany long afternoons spent outdoors. Mix about a cup each of Chex, Golden Grahams and Cheerios cereals (or whatever cereal trio suits you) with melted unsalted butter, brown sugar, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. Spread the mix on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake at around 325°F until warm and glistening. Let the mixture fully cool before you add in your s’mores elements: Mini marshmallows and chocolate chips. If you also want to make real s’mores, we’ve got the perfect recipe here.

The impressive appetizer: Antipasto skewers.

Antipasto skewers look beautiful and they’re full of flavour. Antipasto is the name for the first course of a formal Italian meal. Simply choose from a list of traditional antipasto ingredients – like bocconcini, cherry tomatoes, artichokes, olives, basil, marinated peppers and mushrooms and salami – and alternate them on a skewer. Place the finished antipasto skewers on a platter and drizzle with good-quality balsamic vinegar. Make your life even easier by ordering your ingredients through INABUGGY. CAA Members save $10 at INABUGGY on the delivery fee when they order online and enter their CAA Membership number at checkout*.

The side dish: Greek pasta salad.

Greek pasta salad is a potluck picnic staple that everyone likes. Simply chop up red peppers, cucumber and red onion, throw in some grape tomatoes, black olives and crushed feta, add your dressing (go for a grocery-store Greek or make your own with lemon, garlic, oregano and olive oil) and toss it all together with cooked (and cooled) farfalle or penne-shaped pasta.

The fancy wrap: Curry chicken salad wraps.

Big flavour takes just a few ingredients in this surprisingly simple recipe. Mix together chopped cooked chicken breasts with celery, dried currants and mayonnaise. Then add a tsp each of curry powder, garlic salt, onion powder and fresh black pepper. Put a scoop of chicken salad on a Boston lettuce leaf and top with chopped flat leaf parsley. Alternatively, make the wraps using whole-wheat tortillas.

The side salad: Loaded potato salad.

Potato salad is synonymous with summer picnics, but the best version strays from tradition and loads on the extra flavour. Start with your favourite basic potato salad recipe – cooked and cooled potatoes, mayonnaise, celery and salt and pepper – and add in your baked potato favourites, including pieces of crispy bacon, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, a few dollops of sour cream and a sprinkling of chopped spring fresh onion. This budget-friendly dish always gets raves.

The refreshing dessert: Mojito watermelon slices.

This fruity dish is the perfect chiller on a hot, humid day. Simply combine summer’s most refreshing summer ingredients – watermelon slices, chopped mint and a squeeze of lime juice – add a sprinkle of cayenne and salt to taste, and then make sure to savour every bite. If you want to make meal prep with this dish even easier, use thinkkitchen’s watermelon cutter, available at Stokes. CAA Members save an extra 5% at Stokes online and in-store*.

The fun retro dessert: Froot Loops crispies.

Rice Krispie Squares are as easy to make as they are to eat, so why not bring them to your next picnic with a colourful summer spin? Simply switch out the traditional Rice Krispies cereal for Froot Loops and top them with multi-colour sprinkles.

Don’t forget your picnic basket.

And, if you’re looking for the perfect picnic basket, Stokes’ deluxe handmade wicker picnic basket has everything you need – including the always forgotten corkscrew – to enjoy a picnic for four. CAA Members save an extra 5% at Stokes online and in-store*.

For more ideas and savings for your summer adventures, check-out the CAA Rewards summer savings guide.