Perfect Summer Picnic Food

Don't forget to pack these picnic favorites

A sunny weekend — or a Summer Friday — is the perfect excuse to pack up a picnic basket and enjoy the great outdoors. Whether you head down to a local park or embark on a long hike, you want your summer picnic food to arrive as perfect as it was when you loaded it in. From hearty salads, to classic cookies and brownies, and some of our favorite sandwiches, this collection features a summery array of dishes that won't suffer from being jostled around, and are at their best eaten cold or at room temperature.

Fried Chicken

Fried Chicken
Simply seasoned and fried, with a thin, crisp coating and tender, juicy meat, the fried chicken at Martha Lou's Kitchen is some of the best we've ever tasted.Todd Coleman

Barbecue Potato Chips

Barbecue Potato Chips
Barbecue chips' smoky, tangy flavors are easy to create at home with a simple mixture that combines classic barbecue sauce spices such as chile powder, garlic powder, and onion powder, with the added kick of cayenne pepper. The beauty of making barbecue chips yourself is that you can alter the amount of heat, spice, or saltiness depending on your preferences.Todd Coleman

Knife-and-Fork Egg Salad Sandwiches with Chives

Knife-and-Fork Egg Salad Sandwiches with Chives
Molly Stevens often serves this egg salad on slices of brown bread made according to the classic recipe found in James Beard's Beard on Bread (Knopf, 1973), though it's equally delicious atop any bread or even eaten on its own.André Baranowski

Panes con Pavo (Salvadoran Turkey Sandwich)

Salvadoran Turkey Sandwich
Poultry features in the Panes con Pavo, from El Salvador, with its beer-braised turkey filling.André Baranowski

California Sandwich

California Sandwich
A version of a California classic, this sandwich is a mix of vegetables, whole-grain bread, and Jack cheese, topped with ranch dressing.Todd Coleman

Nick's Supernatural Brownies

Nick's Supernatural Brownies
Fudgy brownies make an ideal base for a decadent ice cream sundae.Helen Rosner

Watermelon, Feta, and Olive Salad

Watermelon, Feta, and Olive Salad
In this summer salad, watermelon serves as a sweet counterpoint to the briny pungency of feta and olives.André Baranowski

Ham and Hard-Boiled Egg Sandwich

Ham and Hard-Boiled Egg Sandwich
Ham and eggs may be a breakfast classic, but they're even better for lunch: try sliced or quartered hard-boiled eggs layered with a salty ham and a bit of mayo on a hearty white bread.Helen Rosner

Moroccan Pasta Salad

Moroccan Pasta Salad
The flavors of a richly spiced Moroccan tagine come together in a pasta salad accented with olive, lemon, and cinnamon.Maxime Iattoni

Cowboy Cookies

Cowboy Cookies
Incorporating an interesting array of ingredients, such as rolled oats, chopped pecans and flaked coconut, this hearty recipe is a favorite of former first lady Laura Bush. Oatmeal chocolate chip cookie fans, this one's for you.André Baranowski

Frida Kahlo's Zucchini Salad (Ensalada de Calabacín)

Frida Kahlo's Zucchini Salad (Ensalada de Calabacín)
This simple Mexican salad consists of grilled zucchini, avocado, and salty, crumbled añejo cheese.Farideh Sadeghin

Bacon-and-Cheese Deviled Eggs

Bacon-and-Cheese Deviled Eggs
SAVEUR kitchen assistant Max Iattoni gave us the recipe for these eggs, which he based on his favorite breakfast sandwich.Saveur

Maple Squares with Walnuts

Maple Squares with Walnuts
Serve these chewy dessert squares in shallow bowls, with a pitcher of cream to be poured over the top.Todd Coleman

Roast Beef Sandwich with Walnut Romesco

Roast Beef Sandwich with Walnut Romesco
"I like to toast the inside of the bread to ensure it doesn't get soggy, even with a spread on it."—Philip Pretty, Fundamental LA, Los Angeles, CaliforniaJoseph De Leo

Muffuletta

Muffuletta
Deli meats and cheese are elevated to greatness with an olive salad in this New Orleans classic.Todd Coleman

Fromage Blanc, Banana, and Membrillo Sandwich

Fromage Blanc, Banana, and Membrillo Sandwich
This sweet sandwich from Tartine Bakery & Café in San Francisco, is pressed and griddled to melt the creamy banana, cheese, and quince filling and toast the bread.Todd Coleman

Edamame-Miso Tuna Sandwich

Edamame-Miso Tuna Sandwich
Edamame beans make this sandwich a protein-packed meal while sesame-chile oil gives it a kick.André Baranowski

Cucumber Salad

Cucumber Salad
This crunchy salad is a cool complement to smoked meat.Todd Coleman

Cipollini Onion Hummus

Cipollini Onion Hummus
Gently browned cipollini onions add an unexpected hint of caramel sweetness to this hummus, deepening its earthy flavors.Leah Koenig

Quinoa Salad with Frisee, Eggplant, and Corn

Quinoa Salad with Frisee, Eggplant, and Corn
Glazed eggplant, corn, and a bright lime vinaigrette join quinoa and lacy frisée for a summery side dish that's perfect for picnics.Anna Stockwell
Kale and Chicken Brown Rice Salad with Cherries

Kale and Chicken Brown Rice Salad with Cherries

This summery salad, which pairs chicken with thin ribbons of raw kale and brown rice, offsets a garlicky pesto dressing with sweet red cherries.Anna Stockwell

Hawaiian-Style Sesame Cabbage Salad

Hawaiin-Style Sesame Cabbage Salad
The noodles in this recipe add crunch, texture, and sweetness to this terrifically versatile Hawaiian-style slaw. As the salad sits and the noodles soak up the intensely flavorful sesame dressing, they soften slightly, so be sure to serve this salad straightaway.Helen Rosner

Shaved Cauliflower and Radicchio Salad

Shaved Cauliflower and Radicchio Salad
Aleppo pepper (a tangy Middle Eastern spice), raisins, and raw cauliflower marry in this simple yet unusual salad.Joseph De Leo

Tomato Sandwich

Tomato Sandwich
Our idea of the perfect summer sandwich? Two thin slices of good toast, mayo, and a couple juicy slices of tomato.Farideh Sadeghin

Shredded Brussels Sprouts and Kale Salad

Shredded Brussels Sprouts and Kale Salad
A simple salad of raw shredded kale and Brussels sprouts is a refreshing variation on cold weather's ubiquitous green vegetables.Helen Rosner

Grilled Chicken with Red Onion Jam

Grilled Chicken with Red Onion Jam
A thick, sweet red onion jam makes for a great accompaniment to this herbaceous grilled chicken.Helen Rosner

Cucumber Limeade

Cucumber Limeade
Mint and cucumber make this classic summertime drink extra refreshing.Todd Coleman

Avocado-Mango Salad (Saladu Awooka ak Mango)

Avocado-Mango Salad (Saladu Awooka ak Mango)
Creamy avocados and sweet mangoes are marinated in a citrus dressing, composing a bright and refreshing salad that's the perfect counterpoint to rich and savory stews.Penny de los Santos

Black-Eyed-Pea Salad (Saladu Ñebbe)

Black-Eyed-Pea Salad (Saladu Ñebbe)
Simple and satisfying, this chile-spiked black-eyed-pea salad dressed with fresh lime juice is a great side dish for grilled fish.Penny De Los Santos

Angel Food Cupcakes with Lemon Mascarpone Frosting

Angel Food Cupcakes with Lemon Mascarpone Frosting
These cupcakes are the perfect spring or summer treat--light and airy angel food cake is topped with a tangy lemon-mascarpone frosting and garnished with fresh berries.Todd Coleman

Vodka Lavender Thyme Lemonade

Vodka Lavender Thyme Lemonade
Lemonade gains herbaceous depth from lavender and thyme, while vodka delivers a good, clean punch.Todd Coleman

Lemon Mayonnaise Smashed Potato Salad

Lemon Mayonnaise Smashed Potato Salad
Homemade lemon mayonnaise adds zesty flavor to these tender, coarsely mashed potatoes.Gemma and Andrew Ingalls

Green Bean and Peach Salad

Green Bean and Peach Salad
Summer peaches pair remarkably well with sweet caramelized onions and crisp green beans in this salad from Deb Miller of Lawrence, Kansas.James Oseland

Ruccolapesto med Cashewnötter (Arugula and Cashew Pesto Salad)

arugula and cashew pesto salad
A chunky cashew pesto made with sharp, pungent Västerbotten cheese is tossed with chopped arugula to yield an unctuous salad with a robust umami flavor. Swedish home cook Asa Johanson prepared this nut-enriched side dish for her Midsummer celebration in Vickleby, Sweden. See the recipe for Ruccolapesto med Cashewnötter (Arugula and Cashew Pesto Salad) »Felix Odell

Seeded Crispbread (Knäckebröd med Frön)

Seeded Crispbread (Knäckebröd med Frön)
This crackerlike Swedish bread made with sesame and sunflower seeds is a crunchy platform for gravadlax or pickled herring.Ingalls Photography