Summer shindigs may look a bit different this year. Even if the guest list for your annual potluck has shrunk down to just you and your pod, you'll still need something delicious to serve. We love turkey and cheese on white as much as the next person, but these 40 picnic side dishes will blow everyone at the table away. Better yet, they’re a cinch to make and pack, from the homemade coleslaw to the slow-cooker baked beans to the avocado chicken salad. So, bring one of these fresh ideas to the gingham blanket and let the compliments roll in.
40 Picnic Side Dishes That Are Easy and Portable
2. Grilled Peach And Halloumi Salad With Lemon-pesto Dressing
Isn't she lovely? Charring the peaches and halloumi cheese offers a smoky quality to their natural sweetness and tanginess, respectively.
3. Wild Alaska Salmon And Smashed Cucumber Grain Bowls
Tender salmon and refreshing cucumber are always invited to the barbecue, but the fresh herbs really make the dish. We're talking mint, dill and parsley.
6. Summer Skillet Gnocchi With Grilled Corn And Burrata
Sweet corn, grated Parmesan, a creamy ball of burrata—it's the one-pan meal of our dreams. Simply put foil over the skillet and head to the car.
18. Greek Lemon Chicken Skewers With Tzatziki Sauce
Chicken coated in seasoned lemon-yogurt sauce and grilled to smoky perfection? Don’t mind if we do. (Fry or bake some pita to serve with the tzatziki instead if chicken feels like a tall order.)
22. Sriracha Shrimp Skewers With Collard Peach Salad
Nothing says grilling season like a platter of charred skewers. These shrimps are dressed in fresh lime juice, zesty grated ginger and spicy sriracha before being put to the flames. Bring the shrimp on their own, or pair them with this Asian-inspired salad.
27. Mini Quesadillas
There’s no such thing as too many finger foods at a picnic, especially when they’re super customizable (we filled these with refried black beans, pepper jack and scallions). Trade mini tortillas for wonton wrappers and fry them for a gorgeous golden-brown crust that will make your guests ask for the recipe.
31. Lunch Kebabs With Mortadella, Artichoke And Sun-dried Tomatoes
A meal this cute deserves a special spread, so we went with pesto. While kebabs look fancier than a typical ham and Swiss, they’re just as easy to make. (Oh, and you could totally recreate this with other deli meats, cheeses and condiments.)
32. Vegan Sriracha ‘meatballs’ With Noodles And Grilled Vegetables
Once your kids dunk into the sriracha sauce sweetened with maple syrup and ketchup, they’ll be sold—and they'll never guess the juicy meatballs are made of tofu. Serve with veggies, rice noodles or nothing at all.
39. Lemon-raspberry Whoopie Pies
Our favorite kind of picnic is one without any official entrees, so you can just keep noshing on individual snacks instead—including this sunny lemon cake filled with tart raspberry cream. They’re sturdy enough for a lengthy trip in the picnic basket.
40. Jammy Shortbread Bars
Brown sugar shortbread can handle whatever filling flavor you throw at it. We used tart, seedless raspberry jam, but we’re betting this recipe lends itself to every filling from apricot to chocolate. Keep them in a cooler so the frosting doesn’t melt.