Healthy Dishes for your Summer Picnic

‘Tis the season for beautiful outdoor weather! Take advantage of the season by dining al fresco—enjoying your meal outdoors. Why not plan a picnic with some of your friends, colleagues, or family? Here are some ideas for healthy dishes you can bring for everyone to enjoy.

Appetizers and snacks:

Hummus and crudites

This appetizer is simple but delicious. Serve a platter of cut-up veggies like carrots, celery, and sliced bell peppers with a dish of store-bought or homemade hummus.

Fruit Salad

Fruit is always a refreshing starter! Try one of these delicious seasonal fruit salad recipes.

Chips and salsa

Pair a bag of tortilla chips with a fun dipper like Grilled Corn Salsa or Tomatillo Salsa.

Spiced nuts

Add a little protein to your picnic table! Put out a dish of delish seasoned nuts. Mississippi Spiced Pecans and Curried Cashews are each simple to prepare.


Turkey burgers

Turkey burgers are packed with protein and can be a healthier alternative to the usual beef burgers. Check out these 5 tasty turkey burger recipes!

Grilled portobello mushrooms

You can use the grill to cook more than just meat! Try grilling up some delicious Portobello mushroom burgers

Shrimp skewers

Shellfish is a great choice for a summertime picnic. Marinate, skewer, and grill these spicy shrimp!

Chicken kebabs

Grilled chicken is always a great choice for a picnic. Try making these simple kebabs and serving them with no-cook peach chutney.

Sandwich platter

If you don’t have a grill available where you’re picnicking, no problem! Bring a platter of homemade sandwiches. Use a variety of meats, cheeses, spreads, veggies, and breads to make your sandwiches, then cut them into halves or quarters and serve them on a platter. If needed, consider including a kid-friendly option like peanut butter and jelly or jelly and cream cheese, and all-veggie options suitable for vegetarians or vegans.

Side dishes:

Grilled vegetable platter

This veggie medley is the perfect assortment for grilling.

Potato salad

This lightened-up potato salad is big on veggies—and big on flavor!

Pasta salad

Made with bowtie pasta, this homemade pasta salad is easy to prepare and fun to eat!

Bean salad

Beans are full of fiber and protein. Enjoy them in this flavorful Moroccan Kidney Bean and Chickpea Salad.


Creamy grape salad with candied walnuts

This lightened-up grape salad uses reduced-fat cream cheese and only half the sugar called for in most other grape salad recipes.

Raspberry bars

These yummy bars are a sweet and tart treat!

Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

These healthier cookies have a secret ingredient: Tahini! The tahini (sesame paste) helps add a delicious nutty flavor.

Basil-cinnamon peaches

These poached peaches are a healthy yet unconventional summer treat.

Lemon icebox bars

These lightened-up bars are a cool dessert for a hot summer day.

Don’t forget to take proper measures to keep your picnic food safe outdoors. Click here and here for helpful resources!

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