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Picnic in a pinch: 3 easy-to-make picnic dishes

Sunny skies bring the urge to pack up a picnic. These recipes can be picnic-ready in a flash!


Who knows when the mood for a picnic will strike, or when friends might call for a last-minute grassy gathering. Luckily these dishes are super-simple to make and are perfect to pack up for a last-minute picnic!


Lemon grilled shrimp sandwich wrap recipe

Lemon grilled shrimp wrap

These sandwiches are quick-to-make using a grill, and they’re filling while still being light on a hot day. You can add more veggies to the salad mix or include those you prefer, like shredded carrots, tomatoes or olives.

Serves 4


For the marinade

  • Juice from one lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon cut into wedges

For the sandwiches

  • 1 pound precooked frozen large shrimp, thawed and tails removed
  • 3 cups lightly packed salad greens
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
  • 1/8 cup Italian dressing or homemade vinaigrette
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 (10 inch) whole-wheat tortillas


For the marinade

  1. Add all the marinade ingredients to a large, zip-closed plastic bag. Add the thawed shrimp to the bag and massage the marinade into the shrimp a bit.
  2. Allow the shrimp to marinate for 20-30 minutes in the refrigerator (a little longer if you have the time).

For the sandwiches

  1. Remove the shrimp and lemon wedges from the bag and place them in a grill basket. Grill over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, tossing occasionally, until cooked.
  2. Add the salad greens and bell pepper to a large bowl. Toss with the Italian dressing (or vinaigrette).
  3. Add the shrimp and Parmesan cheese to the salad greens and toss to mix.
  4. Divide the mixture evenly between the tortillas, spreading it just to the edges of each.
  5. Roll up the tortillas, slice them in half and serve.

White bean and tomato salad recipe

white bean and tomato salad

Simple, satisfying and delicious are a few key ingredients to perfect picnic food. This recipe for white bean and tomato salad mixes fresh ingredients with canned for full-on flavor and convenience.

Serves 4


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (15-ounce) can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/8 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, torn into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Make the dressing first by combining the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix well and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the beans, tomatoes, onion and parsley. Toss to mix.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad and sprinkle on the Parmesan cheese.
  4. Toss again to mix all the ingredients.

Caramelized onion dip recipe

Caramelized onion dip

What’s a picnic without chips and dip? No need to hit up the convenience store for a tasty chip dip. This recipe is simple to make, but it requires a little patience. To caramelize the onions you need to cook them low and slow (about 30 minutes is all you’ll need) to bring out their sweet flavor. Perfect for parties and picnics!

Yields approximately 1 cup


  • 1-1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1-1/2 large yellow onions, sliced into thin rings
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup Greek-style plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder


  1. Add the butter to a skillet over low heat. When the butter has melted, add the onions and 1/8 teaspoon of salt.
  2. Allow the onions to cook for about 30 minutes over low heat. You’ll need to stir the mixture often as the onions cook. If the onions stick to the skillet, add just a touch of water to the pan to help loosen the onions as you scrape them up. The water should evaporate as the onions cook.
  3. When the onions are soft and browned, remove them from the heat.
  4. Allow the onions to cool slightly, then chop them into small pieces.
  5. Add the sour cream, yogurt, thyme, salt, pepper, and onion powder to a bowl and mix well to combine. Adjust the seasoning to your liking.
  6. Add the chopped onions, and mix thoroughly.
  7. Refrigerate the dip until you’re ready to use it.

Pack up and go!

More picnic-perfect recipes

Tips for hosting a picnic
Picnic-perfect recipes and wine pairings
Refreshing summer snacks to pack for an outing

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