It’s officially the first day of spring, which means that an increase in sunshine and time spent outdoors is on the horizon. After spending a year indoors, we can all use a little extra vitamin D! In honor of the warm weather, we’ve rounded up four easy recipes from food bloggers that you can make and take along on a springtime picnic. Whether you’re treating yourself to some alone time at a park with a good book, or you’re planning a lunch date for two or a group gathering, here’s everything you need for your next al fresco meal — starting with an appetizer and ending with a sweet treat. Enjoy!

4 Recipes for Springtime Picnics or a Porch-Eating Meal!

Starter: Spring Herb Popcorn

Kick off your picnic with the perfect snack: popcorn. Susannah Brinkley Henry of Feast + West shares her recipe for spring herb popcorn, and while she typically uses fresh herbs from her garden, you can alter this recipe to fit your tastebuds. For example, if you’d rather indulge in movie theater-style popcorn, mix in salt and melted butter. Or, if you prefer your popcorn on the cheesier side, add grated parmesan or powdered cheese. Either way, this snack is the perfect accompaniment to your spring picnic menu.

Spring picnic menu appetizer/side: spring herb popcorn from Feast + West

Bring this spring herb popcorn to your picnic and prepare to be wowed. Image: Feast + West

Spring Herb Popcorn

Susannah Brinkley Henry
This savory snack is the perfect addition to your spring picnic menu.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Appetizer or Side
Cuisine American
Servings 8 cups popped popcorn

Ingredients
  

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
  • 2 cloves garlic pressed
  • 2 sprigs fresh oregano or ½ tsp dried
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme or ½ tsp dried
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary or ½ tsp dried
  • ½ cup popcorn kernels
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly cracked pepper

Instructions
 

  • In a medium saucepan, bring olive oil, garlic, oregano, thyme and rosemary to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring often. Cook until the mixture is fragrant and garlic has softened.
  • Add popcorn kernels in a single layer and cover saucepan with a lid. When the popcorn begins to pop (after about 2-3 minutes), shake the pot over the heat for about 3 minutes, until popping slows. Remove from heat immediately and let cool for 1 minute.
  • Over top, drizzle additional olive oil, sea salt and cracked pepper. Stir or toss popcorn with a wooden spoon to distribute the flavors. Serve.
Keyword Picnic, Popcorn, Spring
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RELATED: 4 Power Bowl Recipes for a Nutritious, Delicious Meal

Entrée: California Turkey Club Sandwich

Nothing says springtime picnic quite like a homemade sandwich. Thanks to Meredith Laurence of Blue Jean Chef, you can up your sandwich game with this California Turkey Club. The avocado spread is what gives this sandwich its California style, and the cooked turkey breast and sliced bacon are what make it truly stand out. (Note: this recipe requires a food processor, so you’ll want to prepare your sandwiches ahead of time.)

California turkey club sandwich by Meredith Laurence of Blue Jean Chef

What’s a picnic without a homemade sandwich? This California Turkey Club Sandwich is courtesy of Meredith Laurence at Blue Jean Chef. Image: Blue Jean Chef

California Turkey Club Sandwich

Meredith Laurence
This recipe puts an elevated twist on a classic picnic dish.
4.75 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Course Entrée
Cuisine American
Servings 1 serving

Equipment

  • Food processor

Ingredients
  

  • ½ ripe avocado
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp fresh dill
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 slices multigrain bread toasted
  • 1-2 leaves green leaf lettuce
  • 2 slices tomato
  • 2 slices green bell pepper
  • 2 oz sliced Havarti cheese
  • 4 oz cooked turkey breast sliced
  • 2 slices turkey bacon cooked
  • ¼ cup alfalfa sprouts

Instructions
 

  • Using a food processor, purée the avocado, lemon juice, fresh dill and cayenne pepper until smooth. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  • Spread the avocado mixture on both sides of the toasted bread. Build the sandwich by layering lettuce, tomato, green peppers, cheese, turkey breast and turkey bacon. Season with a little freshly ground black pepper. Top with alfalfa sprouts and the second slice of bread.
  • Secure with toothpicks, cut in half and dig in.
Keyword Picnic, Sandwich
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Beverage: Spring Punch

Don’t forget to bring along something to sip on! Mindy Jaffar shares her recipe for the best spring punch, which calls for passionfruit tea and raspberry or strawberry lemonade — the epitome of warm-weather flavors. While Mindy’s recipe is non-alcoholic, she says one shot of vodka can turn this punch into a delicious cocktail. If you’ve ever had a Starbucks Refresher, this may taste a little familiar …

Spring Picnic Recipes: Spring punch from Mindy Jaffar

Bring this punch to your picnic for the perfect mid-day refresher! Image: Mindy Jaffar

Best Spring Punch

Mindy Jaffar
Mindy Jaffar shares her copycat version of a Starbucks Refresher.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Course Drinks, Cocktail
Cuisine American
Servings 2 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 box Tazo passionfruit tea
  • ½ bottle raspberry or strawberry lemonade
  • 2 tbsp organic honey

Instructions
 

  • Mix all three ingredients in a carafe or large pitcher and serve over ice. Garnish with a lemon slice or a few raspberries on top.

Notes

NOTE: If you want your punch to be a little sweeter, use an entire bottle of juice rather than half.
Keyword punch, Picnic
Tried this recipe?Rate it above to let us know how it was!

RELATED: RECIPE: Spring Vegetable & Quinoa Soup

Dessert: Lemon and Blueberry Cupcakes

To round out your meal, we turn to Jane Ko of A Taste of Koko, whose lemon and blueberry cupcakes make for the perfect portable dessert. Warm weather calls for juicy blueberries, but it’s the berry and lemon combination that makes this dessert so divine. While Jane’s recipe doesn’t include toppings, she suggests adding a dollop of buttercream or cream cheese frosting for extra sweetness. Bake these the night before your picnic, and pack a few in your basket before you head out the door.

Lemon & blueberry cupcake recipe for a springtime picnic menu

The grand finale of your springtime picnic menu: lemon and blueberry cupcakes. Image: A Taste of Koko

Lemon & Blueberry Cupcakes

Jane Ko
Top off your spring picnic with these lemon and blueberry cupcakes.
4.41 from 5 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Servings 12 cupcakes

Equipment

  • Mixer

Ingredients
  

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour divided
  • ¾ cup cake flour
  • tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter softened
  • ¾ cup sugar plus an additional 2 tbsp sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ cup organic milk at room temperature
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 350F and line your cupcake pan with paper or foil liners.
  • Combine all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Sift and whisk to blend.
  • Beat butter, sugar and lemon zest until fluffy in a mixer.
  • Beat in one egg at a time. Include vanilla extract and lemon juice.
  • Using the mixer on low speed, pour in half the dry ingredients and half the milk (or vice versa) until all the ingredients are incorporated. Do not overmix!
  • Toss fresh blueberries in a couple of tablespoons of flour and fold into batter.
  • Pour batter evenly into cupcake liners to about 3/4 full.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes at 350F.
Tried this recipe?Rate it above to let us know how it was!

Happy spring!

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Find even more delicious recipes in our archives.