30 Summer Picnic Recipes

There are few summer events that we enjoy more than a summertime picnic. We love to get together with family and friends to share the delicious food and the great outdoors. There are some classic recipes that show up at our summer picnics and some are our very favorites. We look forward to our summer picnics and the gatherings of our special groups of folks making picnic memories together. I have put together a collection of summer recipes that we love and hope you will enjoy!
The Buttermilk Chicken is an old southern recipe that brings back memories of fried chicken on a Sunday afternoon with the family.
 Fried Chicken is still one of our family favorites and
 this is the recipe that we always use.
We usually always have a group of family and friends over on Memorial Day. However we have learned through past experience that we had better have a back up menu for indoors just in case it rains, as it almost always does. In the beginning of our lake adventures we had to leave our half cooked meal on the grill and run for cover. This is my favorite way to back up a summer picnic meal. It is easy, and if you don't need it just freeze it and use it later.
Most folks who have lived in Texas and love to Grill or Bar B Que have a great Smoked Brisket recipe. All the recipes vary somewhat as well as the cooking methods, however I have yet to eat a bad Smoked Brisket. Recently we had our Annual Picnic for our friends and one of the things we had on the menu was our Smoked Texas Brisket. Today I am sharing our Smoked Texas Brisket recipe with all of you.
Today we are grilling Country Ribs. These Ribs are so tender they will fall of the bone and the flavor will have you asking for seconds!
These pork chops are marinated with a jalapeno marinate and the grilled with some onions and more jalapeno's. This is a delicious recipe for these pork chops, and it is a great grilling recipe!
This burger has great Tex-Mex flavors and seasons 
that will leave you saying when can we do this again?
Green Chili Burger a blend of Tex Mex flavor with a Hot Chili Sauce that will leave you wanting another burger!
Potato salad is a classic salad that so many of us have on our menus in the summer and year round for picnics, bar-b-ques, and covered dish events.  There are some meals that just call for that bowl of Grandma's Potato Salad.
Sometimes there is nothing like an old fashioned Potato Salad to compliment a great meal plan. I like many of you have several different recipes that I use, but I want to share one of my favorites with you today.
For A Crowd!
This is a great Mustard Potato Salad recipe to make for picnics, family or civic gatherings. The flavor of this salad is the same flavor that a regular family size recipe has. It is a very simple recipe and really doesn't take that long to put it together. 
One of the things I am always cautious about is the dairy product in the heat, that's one reason I just love this Cole Slaw, no dairy, so we don't have to worry about the heat spoiling the Cole Slaw.  
This is a great layered salad to take to a picnic or a covered dish event. It is so easy to make and take, just layer the vegetables and toppings, cover and you are ready to head out to your event.
El Rancho Corn Salad A Blend of 
Southwest and Tex-Mex Flavor
We have been making this salad for more years than I can could count and is one of our favorites. It is a great salad to serve as a side dish, take on a picnic, or even as a great dip. I am excited to share one of our favorites with you today.
There is nothing better than a Black Diamond Watermelon form central Texas or a Cantaloupe from the valley of Texas. Both of these melons are delicious all on their own but they make a great dish when mixed together. Our Basil made from the fresh Basil in our herb garden make this Melon Salad a very special side dish for any meal.
Some recipes change through the years as they are passed down from generation to generation, but this one has remained the same in our family, it is good just the way it is, as my Grandmother would say, no need to change it.
The recipe has some great fresh garden vegetables along with some handy canned products that allow you to have this dish on the table in a very short time. I just love the flavor combination for this salad and the dressing is a real star of the recipe.
Have you ever noticed that the platter of deviled eggs at a pot luck dinner is the first to go? We wouldn't think of having a picnic without deviled eggs.
The flavors in these Pinto's are wonderful and this will be a great side dish for any Covered Dish Dinner, a Picnic, Bar B Que or just to enjoy a good bowl of beans.
A picnic is not complete without coleslaw and baked beans if its a Barbecue in the Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall these two sides are always a constant. This recipe has been in our family ever since I started making baked beans and we have never really had the need to change it.
Texas Squash Casserole
 Texas Squash Casserole is a favorite at our cottage and is often times requested by family and friends that are coming to enjoy a meal with us. This casserole has been in our family for many years and has had ingredients added to it and some taken out, but the recipe that I am sharing with you today is a real winner with our crowd.  When we make the casserole in the summer all the ingredients except the dairy and seasons come from our garden so it is truly a Garden to Table recipe.
 This is a great side dish that is very colorful with a southwest flavor, certainly a dish for all year round.
Apple Hand Pie
We just love an old fashioned Apple Hand Pie. I remember when my Grandmother made them she fried them and they were called fried pies. In an effort to have a healthier pie,(if there is such a thing) my Apple Hand Pie's are baked, but with the same flavor that my Grandmother's pie's had.
 I always look forward to the berries so we can have a fresh Blackberry Cobbler. The berries right off of our own bushes and perfect for a picnic!
Through the years the recipe has been updated to use our current market ingredients, but the basic recipe that my Grandmother handed down remains the same. Grandma's Cherry Cobbler is one of our families favorites and sure hope you enjoy the recipe.
I spent a lot of time with my Grandparents on their farm when I was a young person, and one of the wonderful memories I have is going to the peach orchard with my family and picking peaches. My Grandmother would make many different recipes from the peaches but one of my favorites was her hand pies, or her Fried Peach Pie. This recipe is very close to my Grandmothers recipe, but my pies are not fried, they are baked. They could easily be fried but we enjoy them baked and the spice mix for this pie will have you asking for seconds!
A favorite southern treat is a praline, so for this recipe I am combining a nice spice cookie with a praline topping making this a very special cookie! This cookie is crisp on the outside and soft on the inside topped with fresh pecans from East Texas, just delicious!
This is a recipe that will serve a large crowd or a very hungry family. I can't tell you how many times this cake has gone to pot-luck suppers, picnics or gatherings with friends and family. You can't go wrong with this old stand by!
When we are planning desserts for a picnic with family or friends, someone always ask who is bringing The Picnic Cake?

I hope that some of these recipes will inspire you to plan a picnic this summer and enjoy some great food in the great outdoors. There is really something special that happens when we have a combination of fellowship and food. It is from that kind of picnic that we have some of our fondest memories, so make some picnic memories this summer and enjoy!!
Peace and Joy
Miz Helen


Miz Helen
Miz Helen

Cookbook Author, Recipe Developer, Organic Gardner.


  1. Your jalapeno marinade for pork is on my list of things to try! Have a great Memorial Day Weekend-enjoy:@)

  2. Thanks for sharing all of these summer recipes. I hope you enjoy the Memorial Day weekend.

  3. What an impressive collection of picnic foods! You always share the best recipes!!

  4. They all look great. I will be sure to try some of them out.

  5. These are awesome. Thanks for sharing them. I am inspired to plan a picnic now. #HomeMattersParty

  6. these all made me so hungry everything looks so festive and delicious Happy 4th!


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Miz Helen