Get outside with your family for a springtime picnic that goes beyond turkey sandwiches and chips. These recipes are classic picnic favorites your kids will love--with a twist!
1. Bacon Potato Salad1 of 8
Spice it up or make it mild for the kiddos with this classic baked potato-style salad. Bonus: there's tons of bacon--need we say more?
3 lbs red potatoes
4 slices bacon
2 1/2 tbsp white vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup real mayo
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup chopped green onion
Paprika for garnish
Peel potatoes and chop into cubes. Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water, just covering the potatoes. Bring water to a boil on the stove. Once the water is boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally until potatoes are tender. Drain potatoes in a large bowl. Add salt and vinegar and combine with potatoes. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes. Cook bacon in a pan until crispy. Combine mayo and sour cream in a separate bowl, folding it into the potato mixture once cooled. Top with bacon, green onion and paprika to taste. Serve at room temperature.
2. Salami & Sun-Dried Tomato Sandwiches2 of 8
These sandwiches are super easy to make and are a perfect twist on the classic Italian sub.
1 French baguette, cut into 4 pieces and halved
1 lb hard salami
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
2 cups baby arugula
Mix cream cheese and sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl. Spread the cream cheese evenly on half of each sandwich. Distribute salami and baby arugula on each sandwich.
3. Lasagna Cupcakes3 of 8
Take a traditional dinner and make it portable with these lasagna "cupcakes." They're fun and easy for kids to eat.
1/3 lb ground beef
Salt and pepper
24 wonton wrappers
1 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup pasta sauce
Basil, for garnish
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease muffin tin. Cook beef in skillet and season with salt and pepper. Drain excess oil. Cut wonton wrappers into circles using a biscuit cutter. Put aside 3/4 cup Parmesan and mozzarella, respectively, for the tops of the cupcakes. Press a wonton wrapper into the bottom of each muffin tin cup. Layer the cheeses and top with meat and pasta sauce. Top each cup with the cheeses you set aside. Bake for 20 minutes or until browned. Let cool and then top with basil before serving.
4. Spiced Hummus4 of 8
For the little ones who may not like veggies, here's a spicy dip that may finally get them excited!
1 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
Heat skillet over medium heat, and add oil and onion, cooking until soft. Add garlic, spices and salt. Stir in tomato paste and chickpeas, cooking for about 2 minutes. Puree chickpea mixture with yogurt and lemon juice in a food processor until smooth. Place in canning jars for picnic portability.
5. Ham and Cheese Muffaletta Sandwiches5 of 8
This protein-packed main course will really liven up your picnic, and will probably become a family favorite lunch.
2 tbsp mayo
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 loaf round Italian or sourdough bread
2 leaves green leaf lettuce
1 gala apple, cored and sliced thinly
Shaved Black Forest ham
Sliced cheddar cheese
Stir together mustard and mayo in a small bowl. Slice off top third of bread. Using fingers, hollow out bottom two-thirds of bread. Line the inside of the bread shell with lettuce. Top with apple slices, mayo-mustard mixture, ham, cheese and then the remaining apple slices. Add top layer of bread and press firmly. Refrigerate for an hour and serve in wedges.
6. Fruit and Nut Bars6 of 8
These bars are perfect for a picnic or as a healthy snack on the go. They even cut out all the added sugar and harmful additives in store-bought nut bars.
2 cups chopped, pitted medjool dates
1 cup chopped, dried apricots
1/2 cup roasted unsalted almonds
1/2 cup pepitas
2 tbsp ground flax
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
Combine dates and apricots in the food processor and pulse until combined. Add almonds, pepitas, ground flax, cinnamon and salt and pulse until it forms a sticky mixture. Line a pan with parchment paper. Scrape mixture into pan and flatten into an even layer. Refrigerate for an hour and cut into squares or bars.
7. Cheddar, Bacon and Ranch Pinwheels7 of 8
The simplicity and portability of pinwheels make them perfect for picnics--and your kids can help make them!
16 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
3/4 cup cooked bacon, chopped
1/2 package powdered ranch mix
1/2 tsp fresh dill, chopped
1/2 tsp parsley, chopped
5 flour tortillas
In a bowl, mix together cream cheese, cheddar, bacon, ranch mix, dill and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide mixture among the tortillas and spread evenly. Tightly roll tortillas and refrigerate for a few hours. Cut into slices once ready to serve.