Food

9 easy picnic wins: the simple, yet impressive recipes to up your al-fresco game

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Amy Swales
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Summer happens (sorry, did we say summer? We meant any kind of temperature above 12°C) and we all head for any patch of grass that will have us.

However delightful a picnic may be, we’re never been much for the planning. Tub of hummus, bag of carrot sticks, perhaps an antipasti selection pack if we’re lucky (funnily enough, we always seem on top of the booze) and we’re set.

Except everyone we’re with usually has the exact same idea and even the most hardcore of chickpea fans might get a little (whisper it) bored of 12 tubs of its pureed form every single time the sun’s out.

Here you’ll find sweet and savoury ideas for an al-fresco feast of delicious food and drink that looks and tastes great, but requires very little culinary skill.

For a tiny bit more effort than running to Lidl, you can whip up prosecco jellies, homemade cheese straws and various tart-based snacks guaranteed to elicit an “Oooh, fancy!” from your fellow picnic-goers.

Scroll through our gallery below, then go forth and eat, drink and be merry (aka fall into a pub slightly sunburned and drunk at 3pm).

Main image: Rex Features

  • Pimped Drinks

    Whether a ready-made cocktail or simply a fancied-up lemonade, stuffing a bottled beverage with sliced fruit of your choice is simple but elegant. Works equally well with single-serving bottles as big sharers.

    littlemisspartyplanner.com

  • Cheese Straws

    Yes, cheese straws are a picnic staple, but cheese straws made yourself? Prepare to bask in praise. With just three ingredients (pastry, Parmesan, seasoning), it’s the ultimate low-effort high-style win.

    fabulesslyfrugal.com

  • Picnic Loaf

    Looks amazing, but actually isn’t that strenuous to make – it’s essentially a case of layering food inside bread, which most of us will be able to handle.

    thesimplethings.com

  • Fruit, Elderflower and Prosecco Jellies

    These jellies shoehorn in your favourite summer fizz. Can be made as one big bowl, but where’s the fun in that? Strange but true: use any fruit but kiwi, papaya and pineapple, as these stop your jelly setting.

    jamieoliver.com

  • Asparagus Halloumi Muffin Frittatas

    An alternative to picking up a quiche from Marks, these cheesy bites are worth the minimal effort required.

    everydayhealthyrecipes.com

  • Mediterranean Tarts

    This recipe uses mainly frozen ingredients and takes just 20 minutes in the oven.

    tinnedtomatoes.com

  • Mini Pizza Quiches

    Pizza disguised as a quiche: you’ll definitely be invited back. Swap out the salami to make them veggie.

    bbcgoodfood.com

  • Sausage Rolls

    This recipe is so easy it was actually designed for children. Shake it up with some honey-mustard glaze, flavoured sausages, your favourite herbs or a rub of garlic.

    clareslittletots.co.uk

  • Chilli Peanut Vietnamese Rolls

    OK, these are dependent on how likely you are to have rice noodles and rice paper wrappers in the cupboard (or how likely you are to go shopping for them), but the results are worth it and they’re not as difficult as you might think.

    thevegspace.co.uk

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Amy Swales

Amy Swales is a freelance writer who likes to eat, drink and talk about her dog. She will continue to plunder her own life and the lives of her loved ones for material in the name of comedy, catharsis and getting pictures of her dog on the internet.

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