Simple Picnic Food Ideas With A Middle Eastern Twist
When was the last time you enjoyed a picnic with your loved ones?
With our recent beautiful weather, we have been talking a lot about picnics. Long ago, picnics were quite extravagant outdoor meals. Nowadays, they have thankfully shifted to simple food that anyone can pack and enjoy wherever they want – be it on playgrounds, waterfronts, parklands, or beaches.
I love picnics and I believe they are the perfect family gathering, especially if you keep them simple. If you have time, I suggest you prepare everything ahead. Otherwise, just choose easy portable meals.
If you have a picnic with your friends, you can also split the food preparation work and ask them to bring some of their favourite dishes. In my experience, people are usually happy to help especially when food is involved.
Another essential piece of advice I can give you is not to overthink it when it comes to the picnic menu. After all, the most important thing is that you relax and enjoy the time spent with your loved ones in nature.
Long live the sandwiches! They are not only easy to make but also appreciated by both young and old. And who can say no to hummus!
Here are some delicious examples of what you can include in your picnic boxes (and yes, I couldn’t help adding my Middle Eastern spin to them):
- Veggie sticks, crackers, and breadsticks to compliment the hummus which can be made the day before the picnic
- Dried fruits and fresh fruits –
- watermelon, oranges, and grapes are usually my go-to picnic fruits
- Cold wraps – see suggestions below ⬇️
- Freshly bought croissants sprinkled with za’atar and served alongside a labneh dip (strained yogurt) which can also be made a day ahead
- Banana bread
- Olives of course
I have a couple of easy picnic sandwiches recipes you will love. No-fuss, no mess, and no cutlery required.
There’s something about hummus that has everyone hooked. I think we can all agree it’s very delicious and healthy which makes it one of the easiest picnic choices.
Make sure to prepare the hummus the day before! Spread hummus inside a baguette and drizzle with olive oil. Add slices of tomato and gherkin and sprinkle with Egyptian Dukkah. Yum!
Za’atar is a flavourful Middle Eastern mixture of dried herbs (oregano/thyme), sumac and toasted sesame seeds. When you hear za’atar, think olive oil. These two ingredients pair perfectly together when mixed.
Drizzle good quality olive oil on a Lebanese pocket bread and sprinkle with a generous amount of za’atar herb. Top with slices of tomato, cucumber, black olives, and mint leaves. That’s one delicious healthy wrap in no time!
Everyone loves them! Keep them simple and healthy. You can use either wraps or sliced bread. These sandwiches are ridiculously easy to make – just add lettuce, tomato, pickles, and of course the chicken along with some chili mayonnaise.
What I love most about these wraps/sandwiches is that there’s barely any clean up to do after you’ve assembled them.
When it comes to favourite picnic places, if you’re ever in the South Australia region, I recommend you try Thordon Park Reserve and Sellicks Beach.
The park is usually where all our family picnics take place as it’s such a great place for both adults and kids to have fun. There are great walking tracks there where you can make a loop around the lake and feed the ducks.
The park also holds many beautiful memories of my dad and his friends cooking the barbecue and buying us ice cream from the kiosk. I can’t wait to plan my next picnic there!
Have fun and don’t forget to stay hydrated!