Looking for Crowd Pleasing, Easy-to-Pack Picnic Recipes?

As the warm summer approaches, there’s no better way to make the most of the beautiful weather than by gathering with family and friends for a picnic. Picnics are a perfect way to enjoy the great outdoors while also relaxing and spending quality time with loved ones. 

Of course, the food at a picnic is the main event. The key to a successful picnic lies in the simplicity of easy-to-pack, shareable dishes that help you enjoy your day outside. From refreshing salads to delectable finger foods, having delicious and crowd-pleasing options in your picnic basket will help make it a hit for adults and kids alike. 

Thanks to the versatility and convenience of Minute Rice®, shareable dishes for your next picnic come together easily and can be packed in your cooler or picnic basket to enjoy an al fresco meal with family and friends. Check out these simple picnic food ideas, perfect for your next outdoor outing! Whether you’re looking for picnic food for couples to make a great picnic date, or need inspiration for picnic dinner ideas for your family, there’s a great recipe for everyone, made simple thanks to Minute Rice.

Refreshing Salads & Wraps

Salads and wraps are perfect picnic foods because they’re extremely refreshing, ideal for enjoying in warm weather. Packed with fresh produce, a shareable salad makes a great family picnic food. A refreshing recipe that’s far from boring is this Chicken Caprese and Strawberry Rice Salad, made with rotisserie-style chicken, fresh arugula, basil, strawberries, mozzarella balls and a simple balsamic vinaigrette. For a vegetarian picnic option, omit the chicken or replace it with an alternative protein like tofu. 

sriracha salmon, edamame, and brown rice fusion wraps
Sriracha Salmon, Edamame and Brown Rice Fusion Wrap

Wraps are another great option for a picnic main course—they’re easy to hold, making them ideal to enjoy on a picnic blanket. This Sriracha Salmon, Edamame and Brown Rice Fusion Wrap is packed with fresh, filling flavors like salmon, carrots, cucumber, edamame and brown rice, and can easily be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated. Be sure to let the rice cool before adding the other ingredients, wrap in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to eat. For a more bite-sized wrap that’s sure to impress your picnic guests, try these Shrimp and Pineapple Lettuce Wraps. The tangy sauce, comprised of plum sauce, soy sauce and Sriracha, is a delicious combination that marries perfectly with the freshness of shrimp, pineapple and crisp bibb lettuce. 

The best part about these wrap recipes is that they use Minute Rice Cups. They’re ready in just 60 seconds, so you can quickly prepare these crowd-pleasing picnic dishes.

Shareable Bites

A picnic basket isn’t complete without some delicious, shareable bites perfect for eating picnic-style. Bite-sized foods are ideal to enjoy during a picnic while you’re playing games or chatting with friends, adding a unique and interesting touch to your spread.  These handheld options are especially nice to offer kids as they run around enjoying the beautiful weather. 

These Cheesy Chicken Wild Rice Bites are creamy, flavorful and filling thanks to Minute Brown & Wild Rice Cups, sure to be a hit at any picnic. For another cheesy, bite-sized treat, these Herb Cheese Balls make an excellent appetizer in under ten minutes. Deliciously seasoned Minute Yellow Rice Cups combine beautifully with rich cheeses, herbs, and lemon zest for a perfect bite. Roll the cheese balls in toasted breadcrumbs, sesame seeds, fresh herbs or chopped nuts for plenty of variety! 

Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Bites
Cheesy Chicken Wild Rice Bites

These Hot Honey Chicken Rice Crackers & Ranch Dip are a great snack to enjoy while you sit at the picnic table catching up with your family and friends. Using Minute’s new Hot Honey Chicken Seasoned Rice Cups, the rice crackers are perfectly crispy and flavored with the sweet heat of hot honey chicken. 

For a refreshing, shareable bite, this Kimchi Vegetable Sushi is an elegant treat to pack in your picnic basket that’s surprisingly simple to make. Using Minute’s new Sticky Rice Cups, this sushi takes just ten minutes to make. The crunch of fresh vegetables and spicy kimchi make this dish perfect for a summer afternoon outside, and can be customized based on your favorite vegetables or what’s currently in season.

Make-Ahead Desserts

A delicious dessert is the perfect way to wrap up every picnic. An ideal picnic dessert should be refreshing, lasting in a cooler or bag and—most importantly—easy to make ahead of time. 

With fruity mango and cooling coconut milk, this Mango Sticky Rice is perfect to enjoy during a day in the sun. Use Minute Jasmine Rice Cups to add an aromatic flavor, or try making it with Minute’s new Sticky Rice Cups for an even more authentic sticky rice texture. 

Rice Pudding Balls

Cool off with these Banana Peanut Butter Rice Bites, a delicious one-bite snack that calls for just four ingredients. Simply mix together crunchy peanut butter with a Minute Brown Rice Cup, place atop a banana slice, drizzle with decadent melted chocolate and freeze. Because they’re frozen, these bites are the perfect treat to pack in your picnic cooler. 

For another handheld dessert, these Rice Pudding Balls are a fun twist on classic rice pudding that will be enjoyed at your picnic by adults and kids alike! With Minute Jasmine Rice & Red Quinoa Cups, this recipe comes together quickly with a mixture of cooked rice, milk, condensed milk, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, sugar, and salt. The recipe recommends rolling the balls in shredded coconut, but you can have fun with it by using  cocoa powder, powdered sugar or crushed nuts, as well.

Packing the Perfect Picnic

Once you’ve picked out a beautiful picnicking location and invited all your favorite people, the next step for your perfect picnic is to prepare your delicious menu. The goal for your picnic should be to relax and unwind in the beautiful weather, so preparing food ahead of time is essential to keep your picnic stress-free. Opt for recipes like those listed above that can be prepared and refrigerated a day or two before, so you don’t have to do all your cooking the morning of. Using quick, versatile ingredients like Minute Rice is another great way to save preparation time, as it’s ready to eat in one minute for Minute Rice Cups or as little as five minutes for Minute Instant Rice to save you valuable time in the kitchen.

To ensure that your outdoor meal is a hit, it’s also important to pack food in a way that keeps it fresh and safe while maximizing space. Some tips to keep in mind as you’re packing your picnic include: 

  • Use insulated coolers and plenty of ice packs to keep perishable items cold in the summer heat. Frozen water bottles make great ice packs in a pinch! 
  • Ensure all dishes are thoroughly chilled before packing them to help them maintain temperature for longer. 
  • Separate wet and dry foods to keep dishes from getting soggy. Wet ingredients like salad dressing and fruits should be stored in separate containers and added to the dish just before serving to keep it as fresh as possible. 
  • Choose your packaging wisely. Use sturdy, reusable containers that won’t break or leak during your picnic. Save space in your cooler or picnic basket and keep everything organized by using stackable containers. 

Along with the delicious picnic foods you’ve packed, don’t forget the rest of your picnic gear to ensure that your day is full of relaxation and fun. Pack a large, waterproof picnic blanket to lounge on, and consider bringing folding chairs for added convenience. Reusable plates and utensils are more eco-friendly and sturdier than disposable options, so try to pack those if you have room in your picnic basket. To serve all of your tasty dishes, be sure to pack serving utensils, as well as a tablecloth for serving your dishes on a picnic table. Finally, to keep the picnic area clean, pack a few trash bags, as well as napkins and wipes for easy cleanup. 

Simple Recipes to Pack and Share

From refreshing salads and wraps to handheld bites and decadent desserts, these recipes are perfect easy-to-pack, shareable dishes that’ll be a hit at your next picnic. As you plan out your next outdoor gathering to soak up the summer sun, try these Minute Rice recipes for a quick, stress-free picnic menu that will be a hit with your kids, family and friends. Using Minute Rice, they’re all delicious and incredibly simple to make, so you can focus on relaxing and enjoying the great outdoors with your loved ones.

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