When the weather is finally nice out, you’re raring to go outdoors and have a picnic. You pull out your picnic blanket and cooler, and you’re ready to head out. But wait, what kinds of picnic foods are you going to take with you?

Picnicking is one of the best parts of spring and summer. But picking out what to bring can sometimes be a stumper. You can’t have anything too messy, and you probably don’t want anything hot. Lucky for you, our team at Marketplace Homes is a big fan of picnics, and we’ve compiled a list of our favorite picnic recipes.

caprese sandwich picnic recipe

1. Caprese sandwich

A good old sandwich may be one of the best foods you can have on a picnic. And, they don’t have to be overly complicated to taste good. A Caprese sandwich can be made in just a couple of minutes with a handful of ingredients. Put together creamy mozzarella, juicy tomatoes, and fresh basil and yourself a delicious sandwich. If you’re feeling a little fancier, try adding pesto and a couple of slices of salami.

2. Italian pasta salad

Like having a good old sandwich, a pasta salad is a staple in any picnic. And, you can easily make a lot and store it in your fridge to enjoy throughout the week for lunch. The traditional Italian pasta salad calls for tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, mozzarella, salami, onions, parsley leaves, and pasta. However, you can customize your own pasta salad by adding ingredients that you like or taking out the ones you don’t like.

3. Bacon, pear, gorgonzola salad

This salad is to die for. No joke. (It has bacon, and you can’t go wrong with bacon.) Grab a juicy pear and slice it thinly and mix with salad greens, bacon, gorgonzola cheese, and your favorite nuts (walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, etc.) The salty bacon pairs so well with the creaminess of the cheese and the sweetness of the pear. For some extra sweetness, try pureeing a couple of slices of pear and drizzling it on top of your salad with balsamic vinegar. We’ve also tried white wine vinegar before, and it tastes just as good.

soba noodle picnic recipe

4. Cold soba noodle salad

Soba noodles are made out of buckwheat and are a great alternative to regular white-flour noodles since they’re low in fat and high in fiber. They may taste a little different from the noodles you’re used to, but they pair well with more Asian flavors such as soy sauce and sesame oil. You can find soba noodles in Asian grocery stores and sometimes in your local grocery stores. (If you live in Michigan, they can be found in the Asian aisle in Meijer and Kroger.)

Once you’ve found a pack of soba “buckwheat” noodles, cook them how you would with any pasta salad – boil them and let them cool off. For flavoring, add soy sauce, sesame seeds, sesame oil, and green onions. Ta-da! You now have a cold soba noodle salad to enjoy out on picnics. You can also try adding in carrots or edamame.

5. Strawberry and cream mini parfaits

Oh yes, now for the best section of our blog: the desserts. This is what you’ve been waiting for. For those of you who don’t like to open up the oven and bake, here’s a no-bake and light dessert for you to try on your next picnic. All you need is strawberries, powdered sugar, heavy whipping cream, and vanilla extract. If you’re planning on going on a lot of picnics this summer, try switching the strawberries out for different fruits like raspberries or mango.

6. S’mores crumb bars

The name says it all. A s’mores crumb bar is basically a more portable version of a s’more. Grab your usual s’mores ingredients and mix them all together with some butter, and you’ll end up with a gooey, sweet, and crunchy dessert. The hard part is just eating one of these.

7. Strawberry cheesecake cookies

Cheesecakes are absolutely scrumptious, but they aren’t exactly the most picnic-friendly dessert. But don’t worry, we’ve got just the solution. The strawberry cheesecake cookie is one of our all-time favorites. The chewy cookie pairs well with the sweetness and tartness of the strawberry cheesecake center. See the recipe here.

Of course, these recipes aren’t just reserved for picnics. They make for a delicious meal any time of the day whether we’re inside at our desks or outside enjoying the sun. Whichever picnic recipes you decide to try out, we’d love to hear about it! Comment below what you’re bringing to your next picnic.