July is National Picnic month! Picnics are the perfect way to enjoy a delicious outdoor dining experience with friends and family. Whether you’re planning to dine at the beach or a favourite park, it’s essential to bring the right foods. We have you covered with some great dining el fresco fool-proof tips and recipes to help ensure your next picnic is perfect.

Tips for picnic success

Plan ahead

Start by creating a menu as an essential first step for success. It’s also worthwhile to invest a little time in advance food prep the evening before your outing to ensure you’re prepared. If you’re looking for a super easy picnic option, try roasting a whole chicken the night before. You can add the chilled, cooked chicken to salads, wraps or sandwiches.

Bring foods that require minimal assembly

At parks and beaches there is often limited access to a barbecue, so consider bringing foods that do not require on-site cooking. For example bring a salad that only requires the addition of dressing. Or pack finger foods such as cooked chicken strips with a savoury dip, bite sized chicken meat balls, veggies sticks and cubed melons.

Pack foods that can be served cold

Bring foods that can be kept cold in a cooler, helping to ensure food safety while dining outdoors. Excellent choices include cold pizza or chicken sandwiches. Remember food that has been exposed to warm temperatures for more than one hour needs to be discarded. To help keep your food chilled fill your cooler full of ice and keep in a shady spot, avoiding direct sunlight. Keep second servings tucked away in your cooler and only take out the amount you and your guests plan to eat.

Looking for recipes for your picnic menu? Here are a few favourite Manitoba Chicken recipes to try!

Chicken with Rotini Tomatoes and Feta

Our chicken rotini pasta salad is the perfect picnic option. Make it the night before and serve it cold. We love this recipe because it combines protein rich chicken, veggies and carbs all in one dish. Add fresh fruit and a jug of water to your cooler along with this pasta entree and your picnic is ready to go

Char Sui Pulled Chicken

Pulled chicken is very versatile and can be served hot or cold, requiring little assembly. Prepare the chicken in your slow cooked the day ahead. Pack the chilled shredded chicken, along with bagged coleslaw and buns and your picnic is ready to go.

Chicken Pecan Pear Salad with Stilton

Use left over roast chicken, simply shred and add to this delicious salad.

Blue Moon Chicken Bites

These tasty little chicken meatballs have the flavour of buffalo wings minus the bones. They may just be the perfect picnic food!