16 Picnic Lunches for a Light & Easy Meal
These picnic-style lunch recipes are perfect when you need to nibble on something, but don’t want to overeat. You can add or swap in ingredients depending on the cold cuts you have on hand. These lunches are easy to customize so everyone will love what’s on their plate. Recipes like Mediterranean Appetizer Board and Prosciutto, Mozzarella & Melon Plate are delicious and easy to make.
Mediterranean Appetizer Board
Channel the flavors of the Mediterranean in this bountiful appetizer board. A duo of classic hummus and roasted eggplant dip offers dunking options for seeded crackers, carrot sticks and raw fennel slices. Juicy grapes and dried apricots provide a sweet counterpart to salty prosciutto and feta cheese.
Turkey, Cheese & Veggie Plate
This colorful picnic dinner idea features tasty munchies you don't need utensils for and mild flavors that kids prefer, like deli meat, cheese and crunchy raw veggies. It's easy to assemble this complete menu, and adults will enjoy it as much as the kids. The menu calls for store-bought hummus and cookies, but you can easily make them yourself.
Cured or Smoked Salmon Appetizer Platter
This smoked salmon platter requires little effort but the spread makes a big impression. Served with all the fixings--capers, hard-boiled eggs, cucumber and more--a smoked salmon platter is the ultimate make-ahead appetizer. Lay out everything listed in the ingredients below or just a few of the elements along with an assortment of crackers, cocktail bread and/or sliced baguette.
Mini Meat & Cheese Board
For a satisfying and quick snack or dessert, assemble your own cheese board for one, adorned with apricots, almonds and carrots.
Prosciutto, Mozzarella & Melon Plate
This perfect picnic for two is great for an outdoor date night or even just a quick, romantic dinner at home. The fresh fruit, vegetables and cheese pair perfectly with prosecco for sipping. Chocolate-dipped strawberries for dessert make the meal extra-special.
Winter Charcuterie Board
A cheeseboard is an ideal stationary hors d'oeuvre for holiday entertaining. Select a variety of cheeses, making sure to include an aged variety, a creamy cheese, a blue cheese and perhaps a smoked cheese. Round out the platter with cold cuts, bread, an abundance of seasonal fruits, dried fruit, crudité, nuts and olives. We even included some dark chocolate to cap it off!
Tabbouleh, Hummus & Pita Plate
This Mediterranean-inspired vegan picnic dinner features traditional fare like tabbouleh, hummus, olives and fresh fruit and vegetables. It's perfect to pack and take along or even to serve as an easy, healthy meal at home.
Niçoise Party Board
A fun spin on the classic Niçoise salad, this impressive appetizer board features a smoked salmon spread. Snappy green beans, fresh tomatoes, a medley of olives, and soft-boiled eggs sprinkled with chives and paprika serve as the ode to the classic, while seeded crackers and mixed nuts add a crunchy upgrade.
Sweet & Savory Hummus Plate
Fresh veggies with dip, juicy fruit and even a sweet treat make up this easy-to-make picnic dinner that's great for packing up or enjoying at home. Plus, this combo excludes the most common allergens and food intolerances (it's free from dairy, eggs, soy, nuts and gluten) so just about everyone should be able to enjoy it without worrying.
Fruit, Veggie & Cheese Plate
This healthy fruit, veggie and cheese plate is easy and affordable to pull together for a fun snack-style dinner at home or can be packed up and enjoyed as an outdoor picnic.
Fiesta Appetizer Board
A jazzed-up guacamole takes center stage on this low-fuss snack board. A jumble of miniature bell peppers and tortilla chips serve as the sturdy scoopers, with slices of Colby Jack cheese as their creamy counterpart. Roasted red peppers provide tangy sweetness.
Nordic Appetizer Board
Put this robust appetizer board with salmon, eggs, pickles and vegetables out for a backyard party or serve it for brunch. Look for tomatoes in a variety of colors for the prettiest presentation. Feel free to add additional vegetables, such as radishes and carrots, to the board.
Ultimate Summer Fruit & Cheese Board
This easy cheese board features a bounty of seasonal vegetables and fresh fruits, which add color and complement the variety of cheeses. We've made cheese suggestions, but feel free to mix and match with your favorites. For the fresh produce, improvise based on what's available at your market and what's in season.
Vegan Party Board
A dairy-free dip sets the tone for this vegan snack board. Rainbow carrots and crisp pear slices offer refreshing crunch and visual appeal, while an assortment of seeded crackers and mini toasts make blank canvases for spreads and jams. Blackberries and grapes lend a fresh and fruity finish.
Classic Southern Appetizer Board
Treat your party guests to a classic Southern spread with deviled eggs, spiced pecans, ham, cheese and fresh fruit with this festive party board. We've included a combination of homemade and store-bought ingredients for an abundant board that doesn't take too long to assemble. A note on nutrition: This board is hearty enough to stand in for dinner or lunch, but if you're planning on serving it as an appetizer before the main meal, go light on things like nuts, crackers and cheese dip to keep sodium and calories in check.
Summer Melon & Cheese Board
Serve this pretty appetizer board for summer parties when watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe are at their juiciest and tastiest. The sweetness of the melon plays wonderfully against the salty cheese and prosciutto, while a squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of fresh herbs add bright flavors and colors to the board.