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Planning the Perfect Plant-Based Picnic

Wanting to enjoy the outdoors with food in that picnic kind of way? We’ve got all the details for how to have a perfect plant-based picnic!

Pairing your outdoor lunch with sunshine and fresh air is the best way to enjoy any mealtime. Just like with any other meal, your picnics should nourish your body too! This summer, take your lunch to a comfortable blanket or wooden table surrounded by nature and keep your mealtime exciting.

You can make your picnics taste even better with nourishing, plant-based meals! And trust me…plant-based meals can definitely still be enjoyable, shareable, crowd-pleasing dishes, even for the most stubborn carnivores! Let’s walk through the best ways to make your dishes the talk of your next summertime picnic!

The first step is picking what to bring

Particularly when you want to keep the meals fresh and healthy, knowing what to bring matters. The main things to think about when picking your picnic dishes is what foods make the least mess, involve the easiest cleanup, and can be prepared in advance without spoiling.


One important thing to keep in mind is the temperature your food needs to be stored at. Many fruit and vegetables need to be kept at cool temperatures to avoid foodborne illness. Throwing your food into a cooler, or keeping it cool with an ice pack is a great way to ensure maximized freshness when you eat your meal.

Vegetables and Dips

This summer, start your picnic with some vegetables and homemade dips. Carrots, celery, and peppers work great for dipping into whatever your taste buds crave.

Hummus, eggplant dip, bean dip, guacamole, olive tapenade, and tahini are all delicious party favors at picnics and are full of nutrients, healthy fats, and protein richness. And this time, skip the store-bought stuff! Dips are one of the easiest snacks to make, and the best part is that you can get as creative as you want with them. Mix your own, unique flavors to really add some pizazz!

Main Dish

For the bulk of your meal, I recommend serving quinoa salad. You can throw in your favorite veggies to get the nutritional benefits while enjoying the filling content of this gluten-free grain. Some of my favorite things to add to quinoa are grilled sweet potato, goji berries, spinach, and almond slivers. Quinoa is easy to make a lot of at once, and can easily be made well in advance.

If your picnic is just an afternoon snack, or you want a small snack before mealtime, apples and almond butter are always a great crowd pleaser. Keep your apples fresh after cutting them by soaking them in lemon juice for 5 minutes after cutting them up.

Extra Dishes

Worried you do not have enough food? Make one more dish to guarantee everyone leaves feeling full. Bean salad or cabbage slaw both make a great side dish to your quinoa. Either one of these dishes is a colorful addition to your picnic spread.

We all know that we cannot finish off the picnic without some juicy fruit. Whether it be watermelon, berries or other seasonal fruits. You also want to hydrate with some water, but make it fun and infuse with fruit. When you are outside in the sun for hours, it is easy to forget to drink sufficient amounts of water. Having some fun beverages like lemonade at your picnic is sure to quench your thirst.

So next time the sun is shining, pack up your basket with forks, plates, lots of water, your favorite plant-based dishes, and enjoy the great outdoors! Your guests will be impressed with the flavors and astounded to know that you have chosen great dishes for their health!

Picnic Ideas

  • Stuffed Collard Wrap “Sandwiches”
  • Brown Rice Paper Rolls
  • Vegetable Nori
  • Parsley infused Hummus
  • Pink Ginger Lemonade
  • Home Brewed Kombucha
  • Green Pea Guacamole
  • Pasta Salad with Snow Peas
  • Black Bean and Mint Salad
  • Creamy Kale Slaw Salad
  • Apple Fennel Salad
  • Carob Fig Fudge Bars
  • Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
  • Fruit Salad with Cashew Cream

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