With multiple trips to the beach and days spent in the park catching up with friends, summer is such a prime season to be outdoors. Nothing is quite as enjoyable as a nice meal outside in the warm sun, though even cute, Insta-worthy picnics can be botched pretty easily by messy and melted foods. The next time you decide to have an outdoor gathering, make these recipes instead and kiss your messy picnic days goodbye.
1. Tomato and Avocado Summer Salad
A simple drizzle of olive oil and spritz of lemon tie the flavors of this salad together well. Creamy avocados, juicy tomatoes, and sweet corn in one tangy bite. You can even serve them in mason jars if you’re just that basic.
2. Cheesy Quinoa Fritters
Think of these as less starchy, more protein-filled latkes. These fritters hold their shape well, meaning you can eat them on-the-go or with your hands without worrying about them crumbling away.
3. Chicken Burrito
Ditch Chipotle for the picnic – you probably go there too many times in one week anyways. Make a homemade chicken burrito instead, and this way, you have more control over what does and doesn’t go in your food.
4. Paleo Blueberry Muffins
Perfect for a sunrise breakfast with your significant other or best friends. The muffins are made with coconut flour and oil, packing a little extra flavor with each crumb.
5. 6-Ingredient Persian-Inspired Mint and Barley Salad
Step outside the usual summer salads and try this citrusy take, which has butternut squash and fresh mint thrown in for an overall refreshing meal. Grains never tasted so damn good.
6. Thai Tea Tiramisu
Continue your international picnic flair with this Asian twist on the classic dessert. It may not be as caffeinated as the Italian counterpart, but it definitely compensates with a sugar rush like no other.
7. No-Bake Cheesecake Shooters
Get the full cheesecake experience without the hassle of messy, individual slices. Sure, the sun might make the cream just a little soft, but you’ll eat the entire thing too quickly before anything melts. And if you don’t, it’s all contained in a portable jar. Double win.
8. Seed Bread
Think of it as an edible cornucopia of seeds. Each bite is a crunchy treat, seasoned with garlic, onion, and a handful of herbs to keep you coming back for more. Up the anti on your dip game and eat it with hummus or some old-fashioned guac.
9. Mini Caramel Apple Pies
Want a classic American dessert, but a non-messy one too? Get a pie that can do both with these caramel apple hand pies. Bye bye, mini American pies.
10. Lavender Lemonade
Beyoncé ain’t got nothing on this refreshing citrus drink that takes ordinary lemonade to a new level. Lightly sweetened and refreshing, it’s the perfect way to wash down your food and soak in the sun. Spike it with a few shots of vodka – we won’t tell.
11. Ice Cream Bread
If you’re like most people, you enjoy a nice cup of slow-churned creamy goodness on a summer day. Unfortunately, your special frozen treat tends to become a soupy mess rather quickly. With ice cream bread, that won’t be a problem anymore, since you can enjoy your favorite ice cream in bread form.
12. Zucchini Chips
These zucchini chips are lightly drizzled with olive oil, baked till golden brown, and lightly salted, making this a healthy and easy alternative to the store brand tater chips you buy at the grocery store that nobody touches.
13. Sweet Potato and Brie Empanadas
Because we all want some cheesy goodness, but can’t commit to melted cheese getting everywhere with a spoon and fork. Luckily, these empanadas house the melted brie inside the wrapper, leaving minimal mess and meaning you can enjoy them in rapid succession without stopping to clean up.
14. Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Sushi
Sure, sushi is one of man’s greatest treasures, but we really don’t want to be dealing with dipping sauces and lots of pretty toppings while eating outdoors. Thankfully, this breakfast-y take on the traditional sushi roll are both easy to eat and chock-full of protein. Just keep poppin’ them in your mouth and you’re good to go.
15. Honeydew Mojitos
Save the best for last. This recipe uses honeydew as its main source flavor, but you can substitute with practically any melon or berry of your choice – whatever gets you in that summery mood. Plus it contains quite a bit of fruit, so technically it’s healthy, right?