Fourth of July Picnic Ideas

Pack a basket full of these light and fresh recipes for a Fourth of July picnic. Easy-to-make (and transport!) sandwiches, salads, and snack mixes are sure to please for a patriotic gathering.

By Holly D'Anna

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Red Potato Salad with Mustard Dressing

    Try our cup-size variation on this summer picnic classic. Coarsely chop the potatoes and vegetables and then toss with salad greens, tomatoes, and mustard dressing. Serve the salad in individual cups with the dressing on the side so the salad doesn't get soggy during transport.

Makes: 12 servings
Prep   45 mins 
Roast   30 mins  425°F 
Chill  6 hrs  to 24 hrs 
Greek Salad Club

    This simple veggies-and-hummus on pita bread is a great choice for a Fourth of July picnic basket. Slice the veggies beforehand and pack them in separate containers so it will only take a few minutes to put this tasty sandwich together.

Makes: 4 servings
Serving size: 4 sandwiches
Start to Finish   25 mins 
Best Ever Dill Pickles

    You'll love making your own jar of this tasty summer picnic snack; plan to make the pickles at least one week in advance to let them soak in the vinegar and dill.

Makes: 36 servings
Serving size: 6 pints
Prep   30 mins 
Cook   10 mins 
Stand  1 week
Watermelon Salad

    This festively colored fruit salad is a great bring-with-you Fourth of July picnic dessert. Mix chopped fruit, such as peeled peaches, nectarines, pears, and grapes, with watermelon juice and gelatin for the refreshingly sweet dessert.

Makes: 9 servings
Prep   25 mins 
Chill  3 hrs 
Garden Sliders

    Veggie-friendly variations on slider sandwiches are the perfect choice for a picnic appetizer. Make the bean spread a few days ahead and prep the veggies the night before, so everyone will get to stack their own sandwiches on site.

Makes: 12 servings
Start to Finish   30 mins 
Five-Tomato Salad

    This refreshing and easy-to-make tomato salad is ready in just 20 minutes and makes a perfect picnic appetizer. Prep the tomatoes and dressing before you leave and pack them separately in resealable containers; pour the dressing over the tomatoes when you're ready to serve the salad so the tomatoes don't soak up too much flavor.

Makes: 6 servings
Chili Corn Snack Mix

    Lime juice and chili powder flavor cereal, pretzels, nuts, dried apricots, and dried corn kernels for a zippy snack mix that's easy to make and pack in a picnic basket.

Makes: 8 servings
Start to Finish   15 mins 
Basil-Tomato Salad

    This ready-in-30-minutes salad is a good recipe choice for a Fourth of July picnic because the ingredients are mixed in a large, portable mason jar. Keep the dressing in a separate jar and add when you're ready to eat the salad.

Makes: 6 servings
Start to Finish   30 mins  425°F 
Apple Crunch Mix

    Five minutes is all it takes to throw this healthy snack mix together. It gets its flavor from cinnamon flavored oat square cereal, baked apple pieces, pistachio nuts, and golden raisins.

Makes: 6 servings
Prep   5 mins 
Twists on Summer Lemonade

    Try one of these twists (or all three!) on the classic summer drink by steeping it with fresh fruit, veggies, or herbs. Our variations include cucumber lemonade, watermelon-and-strawberry lemonade, and basil lemonade. Plan accordingly, because for each recipe you'll want to chill at least 8 hours to allow the additions to flavor the lemonade.

Prize Caramel Apple Bars

    Brown sugar, peanut butter, and salted peanuts add to the flavor of these crunchy and chewy dessert bars, perfect for a Fourth of July picnic.

Makes: 16 servings
Serving size: 16 bars
Prep   25 mins 
Stand  1 hr 
Fruit Bowl Salad with Honey-Mint Dressing

    Top a bowl of strawberries, grapes, cantaloupe, and kiwi with a mixture of lime juice, orange juice, honey, and fresh mint for a healthy Fourth of July dessert. Serve it immediately or keep it in your picnic cooler packed in ice for a few hours until you're ready.

Makes: 9 servings
Prep   25 mins 
Chunky Tomato Salsa

    Skip the store-bought salsa for a flavorful homemade version with fresh ingredients. Pack it in a mason jar as an easy snack for your Fourth of July picnic. Don't forget the chips!

Makes: 80 servings
Serving size: 5 to 6 pints
Prep  2 hrs 
Cook  1 hr 40 mins 
Stand   30 mins 
Classic Double-Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Finish a Fourth of July picnic with a batch of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies; our recipe has a twist on the classic with secret ingredients -- brown sugar, ground cinnamon, and pecans.

Makes: 72 servings
Prep   30 mins 
Bake   9 mins  350°F per batch

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