Delicious recipes for the perfect picnic

    Healthy picnic recipes
    Published: 31 May 2022

    Our fresh, vibrant recipes are simple to assemble and eat al fresco, but have plenty of wow factor to take your picnic to the next level.  

    Picnic shish kebab cob 

    All the flavours of a late-night kebab packed into a picnic cob is the healthy comfort food you didn’t know you needed. Try not to overfill, as it will be hard to cut and eat later. 

    Serves: 8
    Prep time: 30 minutes, plus chilling time
    Cook time: approx 10 minutes 

    You’ll need:

    For the grilled chicken:

    • 300g skinless, boneless chicken breast 
    • Zest of ½ lemon
    • 2 tsp lemon juice
    • ½ tsp sumac
    • 1 tbsp olive oil 
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced 

    For the marinated cabbage:

    • 125g red cabbage, thinly shredded 
    • ½ tbsp olive oil 
    • 1 tbsp lemon juice 
    • 1 tsp salt

    For the tzatziki:

    • 100g cucumber, grated 
    • 75g Greek-style natural yoghurt 
    • 1 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced

    For assembly:

    • 1 x 650g GAIL’s White Sourdough loaf (available from Waitrose, or any white, round loaf of a similar size will do)
    • 125g Waitrose Essential Houmous
    • 1 medium tomato, sliced
    • 5 x Fragata Hot Peppers Guindillas, stalks removed and chopped (use more or less chillies depending on how spicy you like it 
    • ½ small red onion, thinly sliced 
    • 70g iceberg lettuce, shredded 

    What to do:

    1. First make the grilled chicken. Place the chicken breast between two large pieces of baking paper. Use the base of a heavy saucepan or a rolling pan to gently pound the chicken until even in size – approx 1cm thick. In a medium bowl, combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, sumac, olive oil and garlic. Add the chicken, season, stir to coat then cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours. 
    2. Next add the shredded cabbage to a large bowl. Drizzle with the oil and lemon juice and add the salt. Toss everything together and leave to sit for at least 30 minutes. 
    3. Meanwhile, start the tzatziki. Salt the grated cucumber with ¼ tsp of salt and leave to drain in a fine mesh sieve placed over a bowl for 15 minutes. Use the back of a spoon to press out any excess liquid and transfer the cucumber to a small bowl. Add the yoghurt, mint and garlic and combine, seasoning to taste. 
    4. Place a griddle pan over a medium/high heat. Once hot, add the chicken and griddle until cooked through, around 10-12 minutes, turning occasionally to keep from burning. Transfer to a plate, loosely cover and leave to rest and cool before slicing. 
    5. Using a serrated knife, horizontally slice the top off the loaf and set aside. Scoop out the inside of the loaf, leaving an edge of about ½-1 cm so the shell isn’t too thin. Spread the houmous around the base and sides of the loaf and a little to the underside of the lid, too. 
    6. When you’re ready to fill, add the cabbage, followed by the chicken, pressing it in to fit. Add a layer of sliced tomato, scatter over some of the chillies and then drizzle with the tzatziki, scatter over the sliced onions and finish with a layer of lettuce. 
    7. Replace the lid and wrap the entire loaf tightly in cling film. Transfer to the fridge and leave for a few hours, or overnight, before serving. 

    TIPS: Make this a veggie option by replacing the chicken with slices of aubergine. Marinate the same way as the chicken and cook for about 4-5 minutes, turning often, until cooked through. If you want to make this vegan, replace the yoghurt with a dairy-free version. 

    Use the leftover sourdough bread to make croutons or add to soup to thicken. 

    Bombay potato salad 

    The classic Indian side dish is given the salad treatment with the addition of mango and avocado. Spiced, fresh and fruity – prepare for it to be the surprise hit of your al fresco buffet. 

    Serves: 8
    Prep time: approx 20 minutes 

    Cook time: 45 minutes 

    You’ll need:

    • 1 red onion, thinly sliced 
    • Juice of 2 limes 
    • 1.25kg baby new potatoes 
    • 2½ tbsp olive oil
    • 10g ginger, grated 
    • 1 tsp ground cumin 
    • 1 tbsp ground turmeric 
    • 1 mango, peeled and 1cm diced (around 250g)
    • 15g fresh coriander, roughly chopped
    • 1 avocado, sliced 
    • 100g natural yoghurt 

    What to do:

    1. Add the onion and half of the lime juice to a small bowl and set aside. 
    2. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Halve any larger potatoes and add them all to the pan. Parboil for 15 minutes or until just tender. Drain and leave to dry completely then transfer to a large, deep roasting tray. 
    3. Combine the oil, ginger and spices in a small bowl. Pour the spiced oil over the potatoes, season and toss to coat. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, or until golden and crisp. 
    4. Leave the potatoes to cool then toss with the remaining lime juice, half the diced mango and most of the coriander. 
    5. Serve on a platter topped with the remaining mango, slices of avocado and dollops of the yoghurt. Dress with the onion and lime, sprinkle with the remaining coriander and finish with freshly ground black pepper. 

    Summer pudding traybake 

    Assemble this easy summer bake at the picnic, which will make it easier to transfer – just pop the fruit and syrup in separate containers and keep the cake in the tray. 

    Serves: 12
    Prep time: 20 minutes 

    Cook time: approx 30 minutes

    You’ll need:

    • 175g salted butter, softened
    • 175g caster sugar, plus 4 tbsp extra
    • 100g fresh white breadcrumbs 
    • 125g plain flour 
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 3 large eggs
    • 30ml whole milk
    • Zest of 1 orange
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 2 tbsp cassis
    • 2 tbsp fresh orange juice  
    • 150g blueberries 
    • 175g blackberries 
    • 175g raspberries 
    • 400g strawberries, hulled, and large ones halved or quartered 
    • 1 tbsp fresh mint leaves, to garnish
    • Crème fraîche, to serve 

    What to do:

    1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Grease and line a 20 x 30cm baking tin with baking paper. 
    2. Add the butter, 175g sugar, breadcrumbs, flour, baking powder, eggs, milk, orange zest and vanilla extract to a large bowl. Using an electric handheld whisk, beat everything together until completely combined and slightly increased in volume. 
    3. Tip the mixture into the lined cake tin and spread evenly. Transfer to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden, risen and a skewer comes out clean once inserted. Take the cake out of the oven, and transfer to a wire rack still in the tin. Prick all over the top with a fork and leave to cool. 
    4. Meanwhile, start on the topping. Add the remaining sugar, cassis and orange juice to a medium saucepan and place over a medium heat. Heat for a few minutes, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the fruit except for the strawberries and gently stir, simmering together for a few minutes until the fruit starts to soften. Immediately remove from the heat. Add the strawberries to the saucepan, stirring together. Gently tip the fruit into a sieve set over a bowl and leave to cool completely. Save any of the juices/syrup that drip into the bowl. 
    5. Before serving, add the syrup back to the saucepan and bring to a gentle boil, cooking until slightly thickened. Allow to cool slightly, then brush some of the syrup over the surface of the cake. Pile on the berries, making sure they are evenly spread out and brush with more syrup, finishing with some fresh mint leaves. Cut into 12 portions and serve with a dollop of crème fraîche and another drizzle of the syrup. 

    Looking for some drinks recipes to accompany? Here are 5 winning mocktail recipes for summer!

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