Plan a Sunset Picnic

Check out our 10 delicious menus to place into your picnic basket

Longer days--with sunshine late into the evening--puts everyone in the mood to be outside. For an outing that is fun and unexpected, why not take the family (or just your significant other) on a sunset picnic to a local botantical garden, the beach, or a neighborhood park? You can even make it as simple as ice pops in the backyard.

Another idea, perfect for a couples' double date to an outdoor event. Pack a spread of wine, cheese, and fruit to enjoy on the grounds.

Our picnic basics include a large blanket, bug spray, and a basket full of salads, sweet treats, and lemonade. If you want something heartier, grill up an entree before you leave, and then wrap it in foil. You're read for a meal at dusk!

For all 10 of our picnic menus with mix-and-match options, see below.

Top-Rated Menu: Starlight Picnic
Evening is the perfect time for an outdoor meal.

Deli chicken and focaccia bread from the bakery are the easy key ingredients in the layered sandwich. To prevent it from becoming soggy, don't assemble more than three hours ahead.

Outdoor Menu:
1. Green Bean-Potato Salad
2. Stuffed Focaccia With Roasted Pepper Vinaigrette
3. Roasted Pepper Vinaigrette
4. Amaretto-Walnut Brownies
 

Take the Party Outside
When the weather's inviting, host a gathering in the garden. Our do-ahead menu makes it easy.

You don't need excuses to bring a circle of friends together for an outdoor celebration.

Summer Garden Picnic:
(serves 10 to 12)

1. Lemon Flank Steak Skewers
2. Chilled Shrimp With Rémoulade Sauce
3. Balsamic Marinated Olives
4. Crusty bread
5. Spicy Jack Cheese Crisps
6. Mint Bellinis
7. Creamy Citrus Tartlets
 

Top-Rated Menu: On-the-Go Picnic Food
This great meal gets you out of the kitchen fast.

Enjoy summer nights with friends and a few nibbles. All of these recipes bring special homemade touches to your menu and can be made ahead. Then just pick up some assorted sweet treats from the bakery for dessert.

Picnic Menu:
1. Bacon 'n' Onion Potato Salad
2. Honey-Pecan Chicken Strips
3. Old Bay Shrimp Salad
 

 

Burgers in the Backyard
Put a new twist on an old-fashioned cookout

This summer, invite them over for a cookout; then chill out, and have a ball in your backyard.

An Easy Backyard Cookout:
(Serves 10)

1. Barbara's Big Juicy Burgers
2. Potato Cobb Salad
3. Grilled Red Onions
4. Marinated Green Tomatoes
5. Homemade Orange Soda
6. Five-Bean Bake
7. Barbecue Bean Dip
8. Seasoned Steak Fries
9. Over-the-Moon Banana Pudding
 

Glorious Texas Hill Country Menu
Try 'em all, or sample a few of the recipes. Either way, you can enjoy the picnic as much as your guests.

The picnic is packed, and we're off in a blue pickup truck to a friend's home for fly-fishing, canoeing, and fun and games. This relaxing day by the Pedernales River is topped off with wonderful food.

Make-Ahead Backyard Party
Serves 8

Countryside Picnic:
1. Cold Marinated Shrimp and Avocados
2. Roast Pork Loin With Peach Glaze served with Chunky Peach Chutney
3. Green Bean-and-New Potato Salad
4. marinated cherry tomatoes served with goat cheese"]
5. Tequila Mojitos
6. bakery-bought decorated cookies"]
 

Easy, Casual Party Food
Be footloose and fancy free at your next outdoor gathering with these easy-to-prepare dishes.

Our fixings are a breeze to prepare, ideal for a backyard picnic with friends. No fancy recipes, just simple foods with minimal cleanup.

Footloose Afternoon Recipes:
1. Open-Faced Coleslaw Reubens
2. Chocolate-Cream Cheese Cupcakes
3. Strawberry-Lemonade Slush
 

 

Home for the Fourth
Plan your Independence Day reunion around these scrumptious family favorites.

This menu will complement your holiday activities with the season's favorite foods--burgers, shrimp, fresh tomatoes, green beans, and blackberries. Most of the recipes can be made the day before.

Fourth of July Recipes:
1. Shrimp Rolls
2. Berry Blue Fizz
3. Marinated Green Beans With Tomatoes, Olives, and Feta
4. Sweet-and-Savory Burgers
5. Fresh Blackberry Pie
6. Potato Salad
7. Chewy Red, White, and Blue Cookies
 

Independence Day Picnic
Enjoy this menu, complete with a printable shopping list, at your Fourth of July celebration.

4th of July Menu:
(serves 8)
1. Philly Firecrackers
2. Grilled Marinated Vegetable Salad
3. Creamy Dill Slaw
4. New Potato Salad
5. Homemade Lemonade
6. Granny Smith Apple Pie
7. Chocolate-Glazed Brownies

Box Lunches
Serve up party fun in brightly colored boxes, bags, and baskets.

Organize your odds and ends of ribbons, bags, and boxes, and you'll be surprised how many treasures you discover. These tips will get you started. After you make your creative containers, use them to serve any of these yummy recipes:

Picnic Menu:
1. Fresh Pesto Pasta Salad
2. Green Chile-Pimiento Cheese
3. Sherried Chicken-and-Grape Salad
4. Smoked Turkey Wraps
 

Simply Sweet Picnic
It's true: Food seems to taste better at a picnic.

Rollups, slaw and sweet treats round out a grand time, relaxing outdoors.

Picnic Menu:
1. Turkey and Ham Rollups
2. Sour Cream Coleslaw
3. Lemonade Cupcakes
4. Fresh-Squeezed Lemonade