Picnic Lunch Ideas

Patrick Mooney
picnic lunch ideas

The weather is warm, the flowers are springing up, and the idea of lunch al fresco is more appealing than ever, so here are some picnic lunch ideas to get you on your way to pastoral pleasures.

Picnic Lunch Ideas

The thought of a picnic lunch conjures up images of Victorian era dresses, big floppy hats, and afternoons idled away playing croquet. While the dress code and game plan are up to you, some basic menu ideas are standard. You want to keep in mind that the best picnic lunch ideas are the ones that don't involve a lot of work once you get to that perfect picnic spot.

The Picnic Menu

Take a look at your picnic basket and consider how many people you expect to attend your picnic. If you are expecting a crowd, it is more than acceptable to ask everybody to bring something along to share. Keep a list of what people are offering to bring and have ready alternatives if more than one person wants to bring the same item. It wouldn't ruin the picnic, but it could be a bit disappointing if you ended up with five versions of potato salad and no entrees.

Speaking of entrees, it's generally best to keep in mind that while plates, silverware, and cups are easily carried in, microwave ovens are not. Good menu ideas for a picnic would include:

  • Fried chicken, which can be made the night before and served cold.
  • Panini Sandwiches, which can be made that morning and wrapped in paper to keep them fresh.
  • Macaroni salad
  • Potato salad
  • Deviled eggs
  • Crab cakes

Don't Forget the Drinks

A nice Beaujolais or Merlot is generally a safe bet, but if you are having fried chicken or crab cakes, a Chardonnay will work just as well. Remember the corkscrew and a few non-alcoholic beverages for the kids as well.

Dessert Makes the Day

A handy cake carrier, found at most supermarkets, will help you transport any cake to the picnic.

Pick up the Picnic

Remember to check the local laws before heading out to your picnic. Some parks will let adults drink wine in public while others will let the park rangers confiscate any alcoholic beverage they find. And please clean up all your trash before you leave. .

Picnic Lunch Ideas