RePost: Suggestions for Make-Ahead Picnic Foods for a Crowd


I loved this question that I saw on TheKitchn’s site. What the heck can you make ahead early that’s going to keep well? I”ve done slaws that slump, and I don’t want to make anything with mayo if I’m going to a party. Sometimes I feel the crunch of a challenge to be different – fruit salads can only take us so far.

Sometimes when I’m going to a pool party, I put together Martha Stewart’s Pressed Picnic Sandwich and it seems to be a hit. I sometimes change up the fillings – I can do this classic Italian theme that she has here. I’ve also done ones with chicken salad without the mayo, and stick to a sun-friendly pesto or mustard instead. The idea is simple, hearty bread that can insulate wonderful filings!

I recently put together a picnic blanket. With the isolated rain showers we’ve been getting lately, it’s hard to tell if the grassy ground that looks dry, won’t be saturating my backside after sitting and watching the outdoor theatre show for an hour or two. I went out and bought a standard fleece throw blanket, and a fleece-backed plastic tablecloth in a similar size. I cut the two to the same size. I placed them with the fleece side of the table cloth facing outward on top of the blanket and sewed them “almost shut” as if I were making “an empty pillow”, flipped them inside out, so now I have a blanket on one side to sit, and a plastic backed bottom side to protect my white pants from getting wet!

If I were thinking of throwing a party at the house, where I’ll still want to make plenty of sun-friendly foods, I would love to serve them on this great set from Target’s Threshold-brand Ikat collection. I love the warm punchy colors and the exotic print. I think this could work for even the chicest of foodie’s who’s peddling their perfect chick pea lentil balsamic laced salad at my door!

However, just to buck the challenge a little bit, ever the classic, please don’t forget my Mom’s Macaroni Salad. It’s summer, it’s nostalgia, and it’s perfect alongside ribs, burgers or whatever the grill is serving up.



Make-ahead sandwiches would be nice but what kind? How to prepare them so they aren’t soggy when consumed later? We’ll do salads too, but I want to keep it pretty basic. A fruit salad, cold pasta salad (maybe an asian peanut salad?) and maybe a potato salad. What about dessert? I would love to hear any ideas that non-foodie Midwestern folk would like!


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