Home What's Cooking? Friday Fun Best of the Web: Creative Picnic and Cookout Recipes

Friday Fun Best of the Web: Creative Picnic and Cookout Recipes

We’re on a mission this summer to shake up our outdoor entertaining with the ultimate cookout recipes and picnic recipes. So we scoured the Web for the most creative recipes that fit these criteria:

  • The dishes have to be flavorful enough to please the most discerning palates
  • They should be mostly healthful, and use in-season ingredients
  • The recipes have to pack and travel well
  • The food has to be able to tolerate sitting in warm temperatures (or switching between warm and cool temperatures) for a few hours without turning rancid

Here’s what we’re packing in our picnic basket or setting out on our barbecue buffet this year:

Roasted Garlic Kale Hummus from Oh My Veggies 

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If you’ve been trying—with mixed results—to work kale into everything from smoothies to grilled cheese sandwiches just to get another few ounces of this superfood, Oh My Veggies has the solution. This hummus tempers kale’s bite with sweet and smooth chickpeas and tahini, and tastes as delicious spread on crackers as it does in a veggie wrap.


Spicy Caprese Pasta Salad from Bell’Alimento 

Spicy Caprese Pasta Salad from BelAlimento

. . .  Because the timing couldn’t be more perfect for juicy tomatoes and aromatic basil.  We love the extra kick of the chile-infused olive oil, not to mention the bite-sized ciliegine mozzarella. For a splash of summery hues, swap out the cherry tomatoes for colorful sliced heirloom tomatoes.

Summer Squash Gratin from Beekman 1802 

Summer Squash Gratin Beekman 1802

If you’re already wrangling an overabundance of zucchini and yellow squash in your garden, this one’s for you. We love the fabulous Beekman boys’ addition of sweet red bell pepper. And let’s face it: how often does a dish topped with crunchy panko and tangy Parmesan cheese go wrong?


Quinoa and White Beans with Roasted Broccoli and Rosemary from Five and Spice 

Quinoa and White Beans with Roasted Broccoli Five and Spice

Sure, kids might roll their eyes at this one, but grown-ups will love this hearty salad with chewy quinoa, roasted broccoli, and smooth white beans. This dish will last longer sans refrigerator if you skip the salami, but either way, this savory summer salad is a winner.


Great Graham Crackers from Food52 

Great Graham Crackers Food 52

What’s a cookout or picnic without s’mores? Make these crackers—so much better than store-bought, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner—a day ahead, then pack them in your basket with some chocolate bars and marshmallows.


Coconut Brownies from Two Peas and Their Pod 

Coconut Brownies Two Peas and Their Pod

Remember our theory on savory dishes topped with panko and Parmesan, above? Well, ditto desserts topped with coconut. Even better, this easy, crowd-pleasing brownie uses coconut oil as its primary fat, and it’s reputed to do everything from help you burn off more body fat (thanks to medium-chain trigylcerides that increase energy expenditure) to ward off infections (courtesy of a high lauric acid content). But when it comes right down to it, what we love most is that these are richy, chewy brownies topped with sweet, toasted coconut.


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1 comment

Reba Ackison July 29, 2014 at 10:30 am

I think I would like to join


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