40 Best Picnic Recipes For Labor Day


4th of July/Bar-B-Que, Appetizer, Blog, Course, Dessert, Gluten-Free, Health and Diet, Healthy Family, Holiday, Lunch, Main Dish, Meals, Menu Ideas, Recipes, Salad, Season, Side Dish, Summer, Vegetarian
  • By Sarah Koszyk, MA, RDN on
  • August 29th, 2016

Summer may be coming to an end with Labor Day right around the corner. However, it’s never too late to enjoy that last picnic of the season. Whether you’ll be at home or in a park, here are 40 best picnic recipes for Labor Day. And many of them include no utensils necessary.

Fishman_Levinson_Minty_Pea_Dip
3-Ingredient Minty Pea Dip
by Jessica Fishman Levinson, MS, RDN, CDN, founder of Nutritioulicious
(Photo by Jessica)

This bright and refreshing dip is quick & easy to make. Fabulous for a picnic adventure.

Bowers_4_Layer_Veggie_Dip
4-Layer Veggie Dip
by Dr. Jenn Bowers, PhD, RDN, founder of Dr. Jenn Bowers Nutrition
(Photo by Jenn)

For a healthy, scrumptious, veggie-packed twist on the 7-layer dip, this is a must-try for your picnic.

Koszyk_Spinach Dip
Spinach Dip in a Bread Bowl
by Me, Sarah Koszyk, MA, RDN
(Photo by Me)

This is a fat free dip full of protein because it uses Greek yogurt instead of the regular sour cream. A perfect favorite at all picnics.

Braddock_Carrot_Ranch_Hummus
Roasted Carrot & Ranch Hummus
by Jenna Braddock, RDN, founder of Make Health Easy
(Photo by Jenna)

Did someone just say carrots & ranch within the hummus? Check out this incredible twist on the classic hummus dip.

Hernandez_Green_Salsa_Verde
Green Salsa Verde
by Amanda Hernandez, MA, RDN, founder of The Nutritionist Reviews
(Photo by Amanda)

Looking for a quick salsa made in less than 15 minutes? This green salsa verde is your answer. Use it as a salsa or as a sauce.

Fishman_Levinson_Watermelon_Stacks
Watermelon & Lemon Mint Ricotta Stacks
by Jessica Fishman Levinson, MS, RDN, CDN, founder of Nutritioulicious
(Photo by Jessica)

Creamy and zesty lemon mint ricotta is sandwiched between stacks of watermelon flowers for a festive, nutritious, and delicious summer appetizer. So beautiful.

Grainger_BLT-Skewers
BLT Skewers
by Holley Grainger, MS, RD, founder of Holley Grainger, MS, RD
(Photo by Holley)

Perfect for a picnic, the BLT on a stick will be a hit at the party for all finger food and bacon lovers.

Stewart_Lentil-Feta-Bruschetta-6
Lentil Feta Bruschetta
by E.A. Stewart, MBA, RDN, founder of The Spicy RD Nutrition
(Photo by E.A.)

This is a go-to recipe for any picnic and E.A. Stewart included 3 delicious ways to enjoy this 3 ingredient dish.

Golis_cantaloupe-bruschetta1
Cantaloupe & Feta Bruschetta
by Kara Golis, RDN, founder of Byte Sized Nutrition
(Photo by Kara)

Get ready for a cantaloupe appetizer that’s going to wow your taste buds. It’s all on one delicate slice of toast.

NutritionTwins_Egg_Salad_Celery_2_stalk
Bell Pepper and Egg Salad Stuffed Celery
by Tammy Lakatos Shames & Lyssie Lakatos, RDNs, founders of The Nutrition Twins
(Photo by The Nutrition Twins)

A wonderful finger food appetizer for a party or picnic. Using Greek yogurt, this dish is fat free, protein-packed, and divine.

Bowers_Asian_Sprout_Cabbage_Slaw
Asian Sprout and Cabbage Slaw
by Dr. Jenn Bowers, PhD, RDN, founder of Dr. Jenn Bowers Nutrition
(Photo by Jenn)

Ditch the mayonnaise-heavy slaw and try this tangy rice vinegar-based slaw instead. Mmmmmmm.

Jones_Classic_Broccoli_Raisin_Salad
Classic Broccoli Raisin Salad
by Regan Jones, RD, co-founder of Healthy Aperture
(Photo by Regan)

This is a classic dish for any picnic and it will be well-received by the attendees. Adding the Greek yogurt to the salad provides more protein than just using pure mayonnaise.

McMordie_Stone_Fruit_Panzanella_Salad
Stone Fruit Panzanella Salad
by Kaleigh McMordie, soon-to-be RDN, founder of Lively Table
(Photo by Kaleigh)

Panzanella salads include toasted bread, tomatoes, herbs, and other delicious ingredients. This salad also has seasonal stone fruit. Perfect to close out the summer months.

Meyer_Roasted-Summer-Veg-Panzanella-3
Roasted Summer Vegetables Panzanella
by Karman Meyer, RDN, founder of Nutrition Adventures
(Photo by Karman)

Here is the vegetable version of the panzanella salad. Get ready for more awesomeness.

Bhattarai_Lunchbox-Chickpea-Salad
Lunchbox Chickpea Salad
by Dixya Bhattarai, RDN, founder of Food, Pleasure, and Health
(Photo by Dixya)

This salad is not only gluten-free and vegan, but it is absolutely delicious and a fabulous summer picnic recipe.

Palmer_bean-salad-2-
Provencal Bean Salad
by Sharon Palmer, RDN, founder of The Plant-Powered Dietitian
(Photo by Sharon)

Based on the classic 3-bean salad, this version will give you the flavors of Provence in every bite.

Shaw_Herbed-Lentil-Salad
Crisp Lentil Salad
by Elizabeth Shaw, RDN, founder of Shaw’s Simple Swaps
(Photo by Elizabeth)

For a perfect meal on the fly, whip up this delish crisp lentil salad packed with protein.

Plotkin_Straw-Asp-Freek
Grilled Strawberry and Asparagus Freekeh Salad
by Robin Plotkin, RDN, LDN, founder of Robin Plotkin the Every-Dietitian
(Photo by Robin)

For both a savory and sweet mix, this salad will rock your world. Get your groove on with this vitamin C-rich dish.

Julson_Farro-Salad-with-Summer-Vegetables
Farro Salad with Summer Vegetables
by Erica Julson, RDN, founder of Erica Julson
(Photo by Erica)

Relish this nutty-tasting, grain-based side dish at your next picnic. It also has every color of the rainbow from veggies. Cheers to your health.

Meal_Makeover_Mom_Wild_Rice_Summer_Salad
Wild Rice Kale Salad
by Liz Weiss, RDN, co-founder of Meal Makeover Moms
(Photo by Liz)

When it comes to savory and hearty, this wild rice kale salad is a winner for any picnic.

Cavuto_Quinoa_Tabbouleh
Quinoa Tabbouleh
by Katie Cavuto, MS, RDN, founder of Healthy Bites with Nourish. Breathe. Thrive.
(Photo by Katie)

This salad is definitely a crowd pleaser. And it has protein from both the quinoa and chickpeas.

Schlichter_Mango-Lime-Quinoa-Salad3-1
Mango Lime Quinoa Salad
by Sarah Schlichter, MPH, RDN, founder of Bucket List Tummy
(Photo by Sarah)

For a gluten-free, vegan-friendly salad, this is a flavorful hit at picnics.

Kyle_Rainbow_Chicken_Quinoa_Salad
Rainbow Chicken Quinoa Salad
by Emily Kyle, MS, RDN, founder of Emily Kyle Nutrition
(Photo by Emily)

Double your protein with this salad from both the protein in the chicken and the quinoa. While you’re at it, you’ll taste the rainbow of flavor from both fruits and veggies, too.

Shea_Caprese_Potato_Salad
Caprese Potato Salad
by Jenny Shea Rawn, MS, MPH, RDN, founder of My Cape Cod Kitchen
(Photo by Jenny)

For a fresh, light, mayo-free potato salad that combines potatoes, basil, tomatoes, and cheese. You’ll love this picnic salad.

Qureshi_Salad
Salad in a Jar
by Nazima Qureshi, MPH, RDN, founder of Nutrition by Nazima
(Photo by Nazima)

Pre-make these salads in a jar and bring them to your next picnic so everyone has an individual serving.  Genius!

Munro_orzo-salad
Orzo Salad with Mint & Lemon Vinaigrette
by Ashley Munro, RDN, CDE, founder of A Pinch of Grace
(Photo by Ashley)

Enjoy the delicate flavors of the Mediterranean in this phenomenal pasta salad.

Sloan_Sundried_Tomato_Pasta_Salad
Sundried Tomato Pasta Salad
by Kelly Sloan, current dietetic intern, founder of Kelly’s Knack for Cooking
(Photo by Kelly)

For a simple, crowd-pleasing pasta salad, this side dish is enticing and classic.

Dunwey_Teh_ChickenGrapesPastaSalad
Roasted Chicken and Grapes Pasta Salad
by Ann Dunaway Teh, MS, RD, LD, co-founder of My Menu Pal
(Photo by Ann)

For a complete meal in one, this protein-rich pasta salad is simple, easy, tasty, and fast.

Spiro_Zoodle_Salad
Tropical Peach & Macadamia Nut Zoodles
by Jessica Spiro, RD, founder of Jessica Spiro, RD Nutrition
(Photo by Jessica)

Using a spiralizer, you turn your normal zucchini into “pasta” noodles to make this salad extra fun.

Flinn_Curried_Chicken_Salad
Curried Chicken Salad
by Melanie Flinn, MS, RDN, founder of Nutritious Eats
(Photo by Melanie)

By adding Greek yogurt to the salad, you cut down on the amount of mayonnaise used in the salad, making it lighter without losing the flavor.

Braddock_Grilled_Veggie_Pizza
Grilled Veggie Pizza
by Jenna Braddock, RDN, founder of Make Health Easy
(Photo by Jenna)

For all the pizza lovers out there, here’s an amazing summer veggie pizza to bring to any picnic or party.

Lydon_Hemp-Pesto-Grilled-Peach-Flatbread-2-2
Grilled Hemp Pesto Peach Flatbread
by Kara Lydon, RD, founder of the Foodie Dietitian
(Photo by Kara)

Flatbread, grilled peaches, and hemp pesto. Life doesn’t get much better than this. Yum!

Koszyk_chili
Five Bean Baked Chili
by Me, Sarah Koszyk, MA, RDN
(Photo by Me)

One of my all-time favorite recipes for any party or picnic. It’s hearty chili at its finest (and there’s bacon involved)!

Harris_Sorghum-Chicken-and-Veggie-Lettuce-Wraps
Sorghum, Chicken and Veggie Lettuce Wraps
by Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN, founder of Nutrition Starring YOU
(Photo by Lauren)

For a protein and fiber-filled, picnic-perfect lunch, savor these lettuce wraps tossed with a pumpkin Dijon vinaigrette.

Rene_Pulled_Pork
BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches
by Jamila Rene, MS, RDN, founder of No Nonsense Nutritionist
(Photo by Jamila)

Enjoy these amazing BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches at your next picnic. Perfect finger food for everyone.

Lydon_Spicy-Hummus-Black-Bean-Veggie-Burgers-4-2
Spicy Hummus Black Bean Veggie Burger
by Kara Lydon, RD, founder of the Foodie Dietitian
(Photo by Kara)

These burgers are easy to make and packed with flavor and veggie-based protein. Get your grill on at your next picnic.

Shalla_Tuna-Quinoa-Sliders
Taco Tuna Quinoa Sliders
by Kelli Shallal, MPH, RDN, founder of Hungry Hobby
(Photo by Kelli)

This is a twist on a tuna cake that’s made into a “slider.” What better finger food can you get?

Rene_Fruit_Cup
Honey Mint Fruit Cups
by Jamila Rene, MS, RDN, founder of No Nonsense Nutritionist
(Photo by Jamila)

Fruit is a fabulous dessert at a picnic. By adding the honey and mint, you get extra sweet and flavor in the dish.

Qureshi_Fruit_Rolls
Fresh Fruit Rolls with Peach Sauce
by Nazima Qureshi, MPH, RDN, founder of Nutrition by Nazima
(Photo by Nazima)

This is a fun twist with fruit wrapped in rice paper dipped in a peach sauce. Incredible finger food dessert for all ages.

Brissette_Almond_Cocoa_Macaroons
Almond Cocoa Macaroons
by Christy Brissette, MS, RDN, founder of 80 Twenty Nutrition
(Photo by Christy)

Enjoy these nutty-flavored, coconut-rich, cocoa cookies at your next picnic. They’re gluten-free and vegan, too.

Have a wonderful Labor Day and enjoy your Family. Food. Fiesta.

Sarah Koszyk, MA, RDN

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