11 Picnic Recipes To Help You Soak Up The Last Summer Rays

A long weekend is upon us, and you've simply got to get outside for one last summer extravaganza. These recipes will help.

Summer is coming to a graceful close, and a sorely needed long weekend is upon us. You want to send summer off in style, preferably outdoors, but there's a problem: you're sick of the standard coleslaw/hot dog/dry chocolate chip cookie picnic fare after three months of outdoor gatherings. The solution: our favorite picnic-friendly recipes, rounded up nice and tidy for the pickin' (er, picnickin'). Dust off that red-checked blanket, load up your most charming wicker basket, and head to the nearest park, beach, backyard, or scenic rooftop to kiss summer goodbye. From zesty salads to unexpected sweet treats, these picnic recipes are anything but passé.

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Chex Mex

The appeal of Chex Mix is the combination of its seasoning and the array of textures, and this recipe for Tex-Mex-inspired "Chex Mex" nails both. Tostadas, pepitas, chile-limon chips, and chicharrones are mixed with traditional Corn and Wheat Chex cereal to provide a wide range of flavor and crunch. Bring a big bagful to your next gathering—just don't crush it under any cold ones. Get the recipe here.

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Bottom of the Bag Granola

Maybe you're the type of person who nearly finishes off a bag of chips, then leaves behind a little tiny bit that hangs out in the bottom of the bag for weeks afterward. Or you find yourself with not quite a bowl's worth of every type of breakfast cereal in the house. In those cases, make granola.You can granolafy almost anything. Since salty and sweet is such a boss combination, adding leftover snack bits and cereal pieces into your granola recipe makes for a delicious and unexpected version that's great for sharing. Get the recipe here.

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Swedish Apple Pie

Even if you're a pie expert, you don't want to spend your long weekend messing with a flaky crust. Opt for a more casual late summer/early fall dessert: Swedish Apple Pie ditches the pie dough and instead involves pouring a sugar-cookie-esque batter over the apples to form a crust while baking. Technically it's more like a buckle or a crumble, but it's got everything we love about apple pie, and it hits the picnic table much faster than the classic version. Get the recipe here.

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Pimento Cheese Sandwiches

Eating a pimento cheese sandwich is an experience. When you take a bite of the soft, sugary bread combined with the creamy pimento cheese, it sticks to the roof of your mouth much like a PB&J. It's an eccentric, childlike, rambunctious little sandwich, and it's a great cold option to tote to any picnic, no matter the season. Get the recipe here.

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Coronation Chicken Salad

Class up your picnickery with Coronation Chicken, a curry chicken salad created in honor of Queen Elizabeth II's crowning in 1953 and originally served at her coronation luncheon. This variation on the classic boasts a vibrant curry flavor, tangy fruit undertones, thick creamy sauce, and tender chicken. It's perfect for picnics because you don't have to serve it right away—in fact, you'll want to chill it for at least an hour to let all the flavors meld. Eat it on its own, on a sandwich, or over greens. Get the recipe here.

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Perfect Pasta Salad

Buckle up: this isn't your grandma's pasta salad. Or, who knows, maybe it is. This pasta salad recipe relies on Salad Supreme, a spice blend containing Romano cheese, paprika, poppy seed, celery seed, black pepper, red pepper, garlic, salt, and a number of other ingredients. Its paprika-laden dark orange hue coats noodles with tasty morsels of subtle spice, offering that perfect late-summer flavor that pairs well with the outdoors. Get the recipe here.

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Apple Butter Cheddar Burgers

What better way to welcome fall than by slipping a bit of sweet apple tang into the cookout? Our recipe for Apple Butter Cheddar Burgers is like an early fall nesting doll, full of of unexpected flavors. Of course, beef and cheddar are accounted for, but then there's horseradish, and sweet onion, and bacon, and apple butter, tied together with the crisp crunch of field greens. The salty-sweet-tangy combo is not to be missed, especially if your region already has a bit of fall chill in the air. Get the recipe here.

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Garlicky Lemon Herb Macaroni Salad

Macaroni salad can be polarizing, especially among pasta purists who prefer to stay far away from mayo-covered noodles. But this spin on macaroni salad relies on curly parsley for punchy flavor, incredible texture, and enough zing to convert even the most fervent macaroni salad haters. It tastes more like a fresh burst of citrus than a mouthful of mayo, we promise. Get the recipe here.

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Salty Honey Butter Corn Muffins

Barbecue, hot dogs, burgers, salads—these fluffy honey butter corn muffins are the perfect match for every single dish at your next picnic. Plus, they're easy: just put stuff in a bowl, mix, let it sit, then bake in muffin tins. No stand mixer. No fancy equipment. No non-regulation muffin cups. You can even make the batter the night before and then bake them up fresh in the morning for top-notch picnic fare. Get the recipe here.

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Potato Chip Cookies

People who have not ever had a Potato Chip Cookie tend to ask what exactly they taste like. In testing and tasting this recipe (featured in The Belt Cookie Table Cookbook, shared with permission from Belt Publishing), we determined that it's sort of like the country cousin to a traditional wedding cookie, with a bit more texture (from the potato chips, of course) and in a more casual drop cookie format than rolled into a ball. It's a savory-sweet, bite-size picnic dessert for every outdoor occasion. Get the recipe here.

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Baltimore Peach Cake

There are only a few weeks, if not days, left in stone fruit season, and we can't think of a better reason to make Baltimore Peach Cake. This one's easy: you simply make a base of puffy yeasted dough, press it into a rectangular pan, cover its surface with thick slices of fresh peaches, and that's all. You'll be left with an indulgent, yet picnic-friendly dessert full of the last of this summer's stone fruit harvest. Get the recipe here.

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