Top 10 healthy picnic recipes
Pack up a hamper full of healthy goodies for your next summer picnic. BBC Good Food has salads, sides and mouth-watering sandwiches perfect for the outdoors.
Pack up the hamper, dust off the picnic blanket and assemble the sarnies, it's picnic season! Go all out and put on a spectacular spread that's full of fresh flavours and colour. Our healthy picnic recipes will give you a taste of the season and do you good. Snaffle one of our lighter Scotch eggs, or cut yourself a slice of our revamped pork pie and catch some rays.
1. Pastry-less pork pie
Forgoe the heavy pastry-laden pork pie for our lighter, low-calorie version that's perfect for a picnic. Our clever pastry-less pork pie uses strips of seasonal courgette and plenty of spices to make a picture-perfect pie with a difference.
2. Lighter Scotch eggs
This picnic classic never gets old – everyone loves a Scotch egg. We've given this cool-box staple a makeover by using lentils and lean pork, and baking them rather than frying. Use up any leftover lentils in a healthy lentil salad with plenty of bite.
3. Chicken skewers with tzatziki
Kids and adults alike will be grabbing to get one of these chicken and tzatziki wraps. Making your own cool Greek tzatziki for spreading on your tortillas makes these bites extra special. Even if the fridge is empty, you can whip up these healthy chicken wraps in no time.
4. Red & white potato salad
We never met a potato salad we didn't like. It's a carby, creamy dream with a kick from Dijon mustard, gherkins and colourful red onion. Chill for an hour before packing up, and prepare for it to be devoured in five minutes flat. Leave the skins on for extra texture. Of course, if that doesn't tickle your taste buds, take a look at our best healthy potato salad recipes for more inspiration.
5. Delicious dips
Feeling peckish? Dip into one of our moreish healthy salsas. Want something zingy and fresh? Try our watermelon salsa – this twist on a classic is perfect for summer. Bring an irresistible savoury Spanish dip to the picnic table with our smoky tomato and paprika recipe. If you're a fan of the classics, make our healthy hummus in just 10 minutes. Discover even more healthy hummus recipes with delicious twists in our guide.
Why not bring along some easy falafels to pair with your hummus and create our stuffed Moroccan pittas? A smattering of salad, a generous helping of creamy hummus and a falafel or two, and you're good to go.
6. Courgette tortilla
Turn everyday eggs into something special, like our courgette tortilla with tasty toppings. Cook it up in just 11 minutes, let it cool and pack it up ready for a slice of veggie goodness. Spread with hummus and sprinkle on olives and roasted red pepper for a fab filling lunch option.
Or try our spinach & pepper frittata, stuffed with cheese, garlic and tomatoes. This uber-rich version is still healthy and full of flavour.
7. Nutty chicken satay strips
These nutty chicken pieces are perfect for people to pick at. Serve them with crunchy cucumber sticks and a sweet chilli dipping sauce. They need minimal prep in advance, and all you need is a handful of storecupboard ingredients and a couple of spoonfuls of peanut butter. Kids will love these mini bites, too – try stuffing them in pittas with salad and cucumber for a super simple sandwich.
8. Veggie olive wraps
Eat the rainbow with these vibrant veggie olive wraps – they're great for vegans, and if you're looking for a low-calorie option that will still fill you up, look no further. Keep it wrapped up like a Christmas cracker in baking parchment for easy transportation. Not a fan of olives? Try using a spread like peanut, almond or cashew butter before you add your salad to bulk it up.
9. Niçoise chicken salad
Every picnic needs some greens. Give this well-known dish a twist with our chicken Niçoise salad with a tangy balsamic dressing. You can even make it veggie by replacing the chicken with two boiled eggs, shelled and halved. This salad brings a pop of colour and plenty of texture to your picnic basket. Pack up any leftovers for an easy packed lunch option.
10. Green bean & penne salad
Upgrade your standard pasta salad with our green bean penne salad that packs in three of your 5-a-day. If you're a confirmed cheese addict, try adding 80g of thinly sliced, pan-fried halloumi for a protein boost. We can't resist a golden-brown slice of this salty Cypriot cheese.
Enjoyed these recipe ideas? Check out even more summery plates and platters...
What's your must-have picnic dish? Leave a comment below...