56 Recipes For A Perfect Picnic

Picnics are a staple activity of summer and the food that goes with them is often essential. But when planning a picnic, there are countless factors to consider: What's the weather going to be like? Will you be at a park, beach, or other outdoor location? Will you have utensils, or will you need to eat your meal with your hands?

This list compiles the best-of-the-best recipes to serve at a picnic including plenty of options for vegetarians, vegans, and meat-eaters alike. Additionally, you'll find dishes that work for those following gluten-free, nut-free, or low carb diets. Whether you're reaching for something portable (like a sandwich or wrap), a larger dish to feed a crowd (think: potato or pasta salad), or a spicy dip to serve with chips or raw veggies, you're bound to find a dish that celebrates summer, providing the perfect complement to any and all picnics you have on the horizon.

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

Pasta salad is a staple of summer picnics everywhere. But if you want to make your dish extra special, look no further than this Hawaiian-style macaroni salad that's sure to delight. Plus, it's the perfect make-ahead recipe, as the assembled dish requires at least four hours in the fridge to set. Along with the requisite macaroni, this salad is dressed with mayonnaise, whole milk, apple cider vinegar, celery, carrot, and onion.

Recipe: Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

Carrot Slaw

Instead of coleslaw, try this carrot slaw at your next picnic. Not only will it still provide the same refreshing crunch as the original side dish, but it'll have a sweeter and more tangy flavor profile. Specifically, this slaw features a dressing made from apple cider vinegar, creamy mayonnaise, honey, olive oil, tart lemon juice, and spicy dijon mustard. The addition of red onion gives the slaw some bite, and a handful of shredded green cabbage adds another layer of crunch.

Recipe: Carrot Slaw

Spring Quiche

Quiches are a perfect all-in-one meal: In just one slice, you get hearty, custardy eggs; a flaky, buttery crust; and a generous dose of vegetables. This quiche, which features a hefty quantity of spinach, leeks, and arugula, is no exception. A combination of goat cheese and grated parmesan gives the savory dish an extra boost of richness, and using a pre-made pie crust ensures a (relatively) speedy and streamlined cooking process.

Recipe: Spring Quiche

Korean Potato Salad

No picnic is complete without a potato salad. But instead of an American-style version of the dish, try making this Korean-style potato salad, known as gamja saelleodeu. Rather than using chunks or cubes of cooked potato, as is common in American potato salads, this recipe calls for a smooth, mashed texture. To balance out its ultra-creamy consistency, this potato salad features hints of sweetness and acidity, plus crunchy cucumbers and carrots.

Recipe: Korean Potato Salad

Air Fryer Samosa

This take on an Indian samosa is perfect as a snack or vegetarian main. Though nontraditional, using store-bought frozen puff pastry makes assembling these samosas more manageable, especially if you're in a time crunch. Meanwhile, the spiced potato filling — which also contains carrots and peas — comes together quickly. Finally, cooking these samosas in an air fryer (for just three to four minutes on each side) expedites the process enormously.

Recipe: Air Fryer Samosa

Chicken Macaroni Salad

This rendition of a classic macaroni salad turns what is usually a side dish into the main event. The addition of chicken provides protein, making this macaroni salad more filling and satisfying than a traditional, meat-free version. In contrast to bland pasta salads you may have eaten in the past, this dish is full of flavor, thanks to the inclusion of fresh herbs (dill and parsley), Dijon mustard, black olives, and red wine vinegar.

Recipe: Chicken Macaroni Salad

Crustless Spinach Quiche

Omitting the crust makes this quiche a great option for those following low-carb diets or for those who just want an easier, simplified version of the classic dish. In addition to five cups of fresh spinach, this quiche is flavored with onion and shallots. Half-and-half gives the eggs a custardy, rich consistency, which pairs beautifully with the earthiness of grass-fed cheddar. Plus, this quiche comes together much more quickly than a traditional version.

Recipe: Crustless Spinach Quiche

Cuban Sandwich

This traditional Cuban sandwich does have a fair number of components, but we promise the effort is worth it. Start by roasting a pork tenderloin that was marinated in a mixture of orange and lime juices, brown sugar, olive oil, garlic, and a ton of spices. The roasted pork then gets layered on Cuban sandwich rolls, along with yellow mustard, sliced ham, pickles, and Swiss cheese. Finally, the sandwiches are pressed — an essential step that fuses their many layers and forms a crisp exterior.

Recipe: Cuban Sandwich

Grilled Watermelon Salad

"Grilled" and "watermelon" may initially sound like two things that don't belong in the same dish, but this recipe is bound to change your mind. By grilling the fruit, you're able to balance its natural sweetness with a smoky and slightly bitter char. This flavor-packed salad also benefits from the addition of salty ​​cotija cheese, fresh herbs, and sliced red onion; all of which gets dressed with a quick balsamic reduction.

Recipe: Grilled Watermelon Salad

Zucchini Crab Cakes

These vegetarian versions of Maryland-style crab cakes use a mixture of chickpeas, hearts of palm, and grated zucchini in lieu of shellfish, yielding surprisingly similar results. Because they're plant-based, these savory cakes use an array of spices and seasonings to evoke the original, including Dijon mustard, nutritional yeast, parsley, lemon juice, and Old Bay seasoning. Pair these "crab" cakes with tartar sauce for a perfect summer entrée.

Recipe: Zucchini Crab Cakes

Whipped Feta Dip

A food processor is all it takes to transform a simple block of feta into a luscious, creamy spread (though the addition of cream cheese and lemon juice certainly doesn't hurt). This dip makes for a fantastic side dish or snack, especially when paired with crackers, pita chips, or raw veggies. This feta dip is surprisingly versatile, and it can even be used in lieu of mayo on your favorite sandwich. The best part about this dish? It comes together in just five minutes.

Recipe: Whipped Feta Dip

Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad

There are few things more refreshing than a fresh caprese salad on a hot summer day. Plus, it couldn't be a simpler dish to make, requiring just four ingredients: cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, small balls of mozzarella cheese, and balsamic vinegar. Unlike many salads, this one benefits from a quick trip in the fridge to marinate, meaning it's a great dish to make ahead of time.

Recipe: Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad

Balsamic Chicken Pasta

Many pasta salads rely on creamy, mayonnaise-based dressings, though those aren't always the best choice for warm-weather picnics. In contrast, this pasta salad uses a simple mixture of olive oil and balsamic vinegar as its dressing, making it light, refreshing, and delicious at room-temperature. Bite-size pieces of chicken breast turn this pasta salad into a main dish, making it satisfying enough to sustain you all day.

Recipe: Balsamic Chicken Pasta

Chicken Bacon Ranch Wrap

Chicken, bacon, and ranch make for a classic flavor combination in this versatile and easily-assembled wrap. And, because the recipe calls for pre-cooked chicken, it's a great way to use leftovers. Topped with creamy ranch and salty, savory bacon, the rich flavors of this wrap are balanced with crisp, refreshing lettuce. Wraps are a particularly great choice for picnics, as they're portable, adaptable, and almost universally crowd-pleasing.

Recipe: Chicken Bacon Ranch Wrap

French Potato Salad

You can never have too many potato salad varieties up your sleeve. This recipe can also be made well in advance, as a trip to the fridge allows the flavors to develop. Instead of mayonnaise, this potato salad is olive oil-based. Dijon mustard and Champagne vinegar give the dressing some acidity, while dill, parsley, and scallions provide freshness and bite. Serve this potato salad alongside your favorite protein for a French twist on the American classic.

Recipe: French Potato Salad

Roast Pork and Broccoli Rabe Sandwich

Philly cheesesteaks tend to get all the hype — and it isn't without a reason. But if you haven't tried it, this meaty, cheesy sandwich is an often-overlooked Philadelphia legend in its own right. Loaded with roast pork (which you can make a day in advance), bitter and garlicky broccoli rabe, and slices of provolone cheese, this sandwich is a delicious exercise in balance. And in our opinion, it's every bit as good as its better-known cousin. 

Recipe: Roast Pork and Broccoli Rabe Sandwich

Corn Salad

This cool and refreshing corn salad is exactly what you'll want to eat when temperatures spike. In many ways, the ingredient list itself is a celebration of the season. Corn is at its sweetest and most flavorful during the summer, meaning it's the ideal time to incorporate it into your cooking. The same goes for cherry tomatoes, which take a supporting role in this dish, along with bell peppers, red onions, feta, and basil.

Recipe: Corn Salad

Dill Pickle Hummus

This just might be the mash-up you never knew you needed: In this recipe, creamy hummus meets the tangy and acidic flavors of a classic dill pickle. This dip contains classic hummus ingredients like chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic. But it gets a boost from the addition of diced dill pickles and chopped fresh dill. This version of the beloved spread would pair well with pita chips, raw carrots, or used as a sandwich spread.

Recipe: Dill Pickle Hummus

Quinoa Fruit Salad

There's no denying that fruit salad is delicious. This is true especially in the summer when many types of produce are at their peak ripeness. But to make a simple fruit salad a little bit more filling, try this variation. The addition of quinoa provides protein and carbohydrates, but it doesn't overpower the delicate flavors of strawberries, mango, and blueberries. This recipe is highly-adaptable, so feel free to play around with whatever fruit you may have in your kitchen.

Recipe: Quinoa Fruit Salad

Heirloom Tomato Panzanella

Tomato season is arguably the best part of summer. There's no other time of year where tomatoes are as juicy and flavorful. This is especially the case when you're eating raw heirloom tomatoes. Plus, it never hurts that heirloom varieties come in all sorts of gorgeous shapes and colors. This panzanella combines toma

toes with toasted cubes of ciabatta, cucumbers, and aromatics to yield the ideal room-temperature salad.

Recipe: Heirloom Tomato Panzanella

Homemade Seaweed Salad

Seaweed is undeniably nutritious and full of flavor. There's no better way to highlight the beloved ingredient than in a simple salad. This recipe calls for a mix of dried wakame and arame seaweeds, both of which gets rehydrated in water prior to assembly. Julienned carrots and cucumbers, plus avocado slices, give the salad some heft and textural contrast, while an ultra-flavorful dressing ties the dish together.

Recipe: Homemade Seaweed Salad

Savory Zucchini Pie

This recipe is a two-day project that's made for weekends. The day before you plan to eat, use your food processor to make a cheesy, buttery pie crust. Then, the day of your picnic, roll out your dough and prebake the crust. From there, the rest of the recipe comes together pretty easily: Just assemble your zucchini, egg, and cheese filling, and bake the whole thing until it's set.

Recipe: Savory Zucchini Pie

Refreshing Cucumber Kimchi Salad

Crisp and hydrating, fresh cucumbers can offer some welcome relief on a hot day. Inspired by the savory, spicy flavors of kimchi, this salad also incorporates thinly sliced white cabbage and aromatics like ginger, garlic, and scallions. A dash of fish sauce provides some funky, salty depth, and togarashi or gochugaru brings the heat. Just make sure to prep this salad in advance: It needs a 12-hour trip to the fridge before serving.

Recipe: Refreshing Cucumber Kimchi Salad

Cowboy Caviar

This cowboy caviar (which, it should be mentioned, contains no caviar) falls somewhere between a chunky, salsa-like dip and a salad. But whether you serve it with chips or on its own, the bean- and corn-based dish is bound to be a hit. And if you want to make an even more luxurious version, the addition of creamy avocado is never a mistake. This recipe comes together in just 10 minutes, making it a perfect last-minute appetizer.

Recipe: Cowboy Caviar

Apple Harvest Salad

This salad has a little bit of everything. Start with a base of mixed lettuces, and add crisp, tart apples, toasty pecans, and salty, funky blue cheese. Chopped parsley adds a slightly bitter, herbaceous note, yielding a salad that's balanced and fresh. Dress the whole thing in a mixture of olive oil, balsamic, and honey, and, if you're so inclined, feel free to add crunchy croutons or a protein of your choice.

Recipe: Apple Harvest Salad

Mortadella Focaccia Sandwich

For an upgraded version of your classic cold cut sandwich, try subbing American bologna with its slightly-more-refined Italian counterpart: mortadella. In this sandwich, crisp, toasted focaccia provides textural contrast to the fatty, pistachio-laced meat. Meanwhile, thin slices of sharp pecorino add a salty element to the dish. The sandwich is finished with a spicy, vinegary mayonnaise (seasoned with roasted piquillos and pickled jalapeños) to take things to the next level.

Recipe: Mortadella Focaccia Sandwich

Easy Fried Plantains

Starchier and typically less sweet than bananas, plantains are a staple in many parts of the world — and for good reason. They're filling, easy to make, and delicious (especially when fried). For this recipe, you're going to want to look for ripe plantains: They should primarily be black and yellow in color, not green. Then, all you need to do is slice the plantains, salt them, and fry them in a shallow pan.

Recipe: Easy Fried Plantains

Fresh Tomato And Mozzarella Salad

It doesn't get simpler nor more delicious than a classic caprese salad, especially in the summer months when tomatoes are at their peak. Because the tomatoes play such a starring role in this recipe, you'll want to make it only when you have access to some particularly high-quality tomatoes. Paired with creamy mozzarella, fresh basil, and balsamic glaze, you'll have a crowd-pleasing side dish in minutes.

Recipe: Fresh Tomato And Mozzarella Salad

Mediterranean Orzo

Orzo makes a fantastic base for pasta salad: Because of its small size, each bite will contain both pasta and your other mix-ins. This pasta salad takes inspiration from the Mediterranean region, using ingredients like roasted red peppers, sun dried tomatoes, kale, olive oil, and feta. Because it's such a versatile recipe, feel free to serve this orzo as a vegetarian main or as a side dish to a larger meal.

Recipe: Mediterranean Orzo

Strawberry Chicken Salad

At first, strawberries and chicken may not seem like a natural pairing but this sweet and savory salad is set to prove you wrong. Tart and floral strawberries provide the perfect foil to grilled chicken, while fresh goat cheese adds just the right amount of tangy richness. Top the salad with toasty, buttery pecans for crunch and thinly-sliced red onion for bite, and you'll have an expertly-balanced salad on your plate.

Recipe: Strawberry Chicken Salad

Spring Garlic and Mushroom Frittata

This frittata uses the best that spring and summer have to offer by combining green garlic, peas, and tons of herbs (parsley and mint, specifically). Maitake mushrooms, with their meaty texture, help turn this dish into a satisfying vegetarian main, while heavy cream and crumbled goat cheese provide some much-needed fat. This frittata requires only 30 minutes, meaning it's a great option for when you don't have a ton of time to spare.

Recipe: Spring Garlic and Mushroom Frittata

Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

This Caesar salad gets a summery upgrade with the help of a grill, which gives both the romaine and chicken a smoky, charred flavor. The dressing, meanwhile, stays true to the classic recipe with ingredients like garlic, anchovies, egg yolk, and olive oil. Don't forget about the homemade sourdough croutons or shaved parmesan cheese: They help give this Caesar salad its iconic taste, despite the unconventional grilling technique used on the chicken and lettuce.

Recipe: Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

Fresh Mango Guacamole

The addition of juicy, fresh mango makes this guacamole extra refreshing on a hot day. Aside from the fruit, the recipe is pretty traditional. It includes avocado, lime, onion, jalapeño, cumin, and cilantro. Use this guacamole as you would any other — as a dip for tortilla chips, a topper for tacos, or simply as a side dish in its own right. Because of the lime juice, this guacamole should last about 24 hours before starting to turn brown, but it's best eaten as fresh as possible.

Recipe: Fresh Mango Guacamole

Heirloom Tomato and Ricotta Tart

Summer is the season of heirloom tomatoes, and this tart is the perfect way to enjoy them at their peak. Here, thick slices of tomato get layered with a creamy filling of ricotta and parmesan. Don't be intimidated by the tart shell: Buttery and filled with Gruyère cheese, the crust truly sets this dish apart from the rest. For an extra dash of color, garnish the tart with chopped mint and basil.

Recipe: Heirloom Tomato and Ricotta Tart

Napa Cabbage Salad

Napa cabbage creates a crisp, refreshing base for this salad, while carrots and bell peppers add color and flavor. The magic of this recipe, however, lies in the ultra-flavorful dressing, which combines soy sauce, garlic powder, honey, sesame oil, and rice vinegar. Meanwhile, a final sprinkling of sesame seeds provides a touch of additional crunch. This easy-to-assemble salad comes together in just 10 minutes and is a perfect vegetarian side dish.

Recipe: Napa Cabbage Salad

Vegan Deviled Eggs

These deviled "eggs" are made vegan by swapping out one key ingredient: Eggs. Instead, this recipe uses potatoes as the basis for its spin on the classic appetizer. Boiled Yukon gold potatoes are similar in size and shape to hard-boiled eggs, and neatly scooping out the center (with a melon baller) only adds to the visual illusion. The filling, seasoned with vegan mayonnaise, yellow mustard, and apple cider vinegar, manages to successfully emulate the aspects of the original — sans any animal products.

Recipe: Vegan Deviled Eggs

Grilled Summer Shrimp Salad

Burgers, steaks, and hot dogs aren't the only dishes worth firing up the grill for. In this salad, cooking on the grill yields shrimp that's pleasantly charred, providing the perfect counterpart to sweet cherry tomatoes and fresh corn. A crisp, delicate lettuce, like butter lettuce or romaine hearts, acts as a cool, refreshing foundation for this salad, and a creamy, mayonnaise-based dressing rounds out the dish.

Recipe: Grilled Summer Shrimp Salad

Roasted Caprese Sandwich

Caprese sandwiches are a vegetarian go-to, but this elevated version is bound to appeal to vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. Instead of fresh slices of tomato, this sandwich includes roasted cherry tomatoes and garlic cloves that are jammy and sweet. Meanwhile, fresh mozzarella gets swapped for its creamier, more luscious cousin: burrata. Fresh basil and balsamic vinegar are the only other ingredients needed for the filling of this simple sandwich, which gets assembled on a toasted French baguette.

Recipe: Roasted Caprese Sandwich

Southwest Pasta Salad

You can take a pasta salad in almost any direction, but this recipe proves that taking inspiration from the flavors of the Southwest is never a bad idea. In addition to rotini pasta, this salad is stuffed with satisfying ingredients like black beans and corn. Diced red onion and bell peppers are added to the mix, as are grape tomatoes, creamy avocado, and cilantro. A creamy, spicy dressing, made with sour cream and chipotle peppers, finishes off this perfect pasta salad.

Recipe: Southwest Pasta Salad

Creamy Dill Potato Salad

Potato salad is one of summer's most iconic dishes, and this version is bound to become your next favorite version. This recipe stays pretty true to the classic flavors of an American-style potato salad, with its creamy, mayonnaise-based dressing. A hefty dose of chopped dill gives the dish a fresh, bright flavor, while minced garlic, lemon juice, and Dijon mustard help cut through the richness of the potatoes.

Recipe: Creamy Dill Potato Salad

​Katsu Sando

These Japanese-style pork cutlet sandwiches are bound to be a crowd-pleaser at your next picnic. First, thin, boneless pork chops are breaded in panko and shallow-fried until crisp and golden brown. Then, the crispy cutlets are sandwiched between two slices of white sandwich bread with the crusts removed. Don't forget to add tonkatsu sauce — a sweet and savory sauce often served with katsu — to the bread prior to assembling this simple sandwich.

Recipe: Katsu Sando

Vegan Taco Salad

You won't miss the meat in this taco salad. A mixture of cooked lentils and walnuts replaces ground beef before getting the full taco-seasoning treatment. The rest of the recipe doesn't veer too far from what you'd expect in a taco salad, with ingredients like black beans, corn, tomato, and red onion. Avocado and cilantro elevate the dish. Also add a dollop each of dairy-free sour cream and salsa.

Recipe: Vegan Taco Salad

California Roll

As long as you have the right tools (namely a bamboo sushi mat and plastic cling wrap) sushi rolls don't have to be a restaurant-only treat. California rolls are known for their iconic yet simple filling, which contains a combination of imitation crab, thinly-sliced cucumber, and creamy avocado. Because each piece is conveniently bite-sized, this dish is easy to eat, mess-free, and an especially great option for your next picnic.

Recipe: California Roll

Lemon Garlic Green Beans

Green beans are often associated with the kinds of heavy dishes served throughout fall and winter, such as a green bean casserole at Thanksgiving. This recipe, however, celebrates green beans at their peak seasonality, which occurs during spring and summer. Requiring just a few ingredients (namely lemon, garlic, and butter), this dish allows the vegetable itself to shine. Another bonus? These green beans come together in a mere 15 minutes.

Recipe: Lemon Garlic Green Beans

Easy Quiche Lorraine

Using pre-made pie dough expedites the process of making this quiche, while also decreasing the difficulty level by a few notches. Though the filling for a quiche Lorraine calls for diced bacon, feel free to experiment based on whatever ingredients you have on-hand only as long as you don't change the components of the custardy base. Recipe developer Eric Ngo, for example, suggests a mixture of smoked salmon and spinach. But don't be afraid to improvise!

Recipe: Easy Quiche Lorraine

Cauliflower Potato Salad

This unconventional take on a potato salad swaps out its key ingredient — potatoes — for ultra-trendy cauliflower. The vegetable offers a neutral base for the salad that's similar to potatoes, but it has the added bonus of being great for anyone on a low-carb diet. The rest of the recipe keeps things traditional with a mayonnaise-based dressing, Dijon mustard, and herbs. Chopped hard boiled eggs and pickles finish off the dish, providing an extra touch of richness and acidity.

Recipe: Cauliflower Potato Salad

Simple Banh Mi Sandwich

Sandwiches are always a safe bet when it comes to picnics, but to take things up a notch, try making this Vietnamese-style bánh mì. Built on a crusty French baguette, this sandwich gets a filling of quick-pickled carrots, sautéed chicken thighs, and thinly-sliced cucumber. A topping of fresh cilantro is essential, as is a slathering of mayo on the bread. Serve alongside some potato chips or a fresh, green salad for a perfect daytime meal.

Recipe: Simple Banh Mi Sandwich

Easy Avocado Chicken Salad

This chicken salad gets its creamy consistency from a mix of ripe avocado and Greek yogurt. Chopped honeycrisp apple provides crunch and sweetness, as does the combination of dried cranberries and walnuts. Serve this salad as you would any other chicken salad: It's great as a sandwich filling or on a bed of greens. You could even eat it as a dip for crackers or a topping on pieces of toast.

Recipe: Easy Avocado Chicken Salad

Easy Spinach Frittata

This frittata may be simple, but it doesn't skimp on flavor. With a custardy base made from eggs and heavy cream, this dish gets its bulk from baby spinach and goat cheese. Aromatics like garlic and shallot elevate these straightforward ingredients, as does a dose of parmesan cheese. Frittatas are a great option at any time of day, making this dish perfect for daytime and evening picnics alike.

Recipe: Easy Spinach Frittata

Pickled Watermelon Rind

With summer comes watermelons and their rinds. Though the fruit's signature green exterior is usually discarded, this recipe proves that doesn't have to be the case. First seasoned in salt to tenderize them, the watermelon rinds are then brined in a mixture of watermelon juice, lime juice, maple syrup, two types of vinegar, and other aromatics. After they've sat in the fridge for at least 48 hours, these watermelon rinds are ready to be used as a refreshing condiment on anything and everything.

Recipe: Pickled Watermelon Rind

Creamy Kidney Bean Salad

Kidney beans act as the basis for this hearty, filling salad. Like many of the salads commonly served at picnics or barbecues, this one features a mayonnaise base. To provide some textural contrast to the creamy beans, this dish also includes shredded carrots, diced celery, and red onion. This salad makes a great side dish to any number of proteins, but it can also be served on its own, as a vegetarian main, thanks to the high protein content of the beans.

Recipe: Creamy Kidney Bean Salad

Italian Sub Sandwich

Whether you call it a hoagie, sub, or grinder, one thing is certain: When it comes to picnics, it's hard to beat a classic Italian sandwich. Loaded with three types of meat (Genoa salami, mortadella, and prosciutto di Parma, to be specific), this recipe is not for the faint of heart. In addition to cold cuts, this sub features slices of provolone cheese, fresh tomatoes, pickled pepperoncini peppers, and lettuce. A final dressing of mayonnaise and red wine vinaigrette are essential to completing this picture-perfect sandwich.

Recipe: Italian Sub Sandwich

Shirazi Salad

This salad, with its origins found in Iran, is a perfect way to use up summer's best produce. Because this recipe requires so few ingredients, make sure to use the best you can find. Featuring fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and diced red onion, this salad is equal parts crisp, juicy, and refreshing. A dressing of chopped mint, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper completes the dish, which pairs beautifully with grilled meat. This salad actually improves with time, so feel free to make it a day or two in advance.

Recipe: Shirazi Salad

Spicy Crab Salad Sushi

These spicy crab sushi rolls actually use imitation crab — also known as surimi — instead of the real thing. As a result, these rolls are relatively affordable to make. Seasoned with a spicy mayo made from Kewpie and Sriracha, the surimi salad filling gets paired with julienned cucumbers for some crunch. One thing to keep in mind: You'll need to get your hands on a bamboo sushi mat to make these rolls.

Recipe: Spicy Crab Salad Sushi

Pineapple Salsa

Salsas tend to be savory, but this one, in a refreshing twist, veers sweet. That doesn't mean it doesn't also pack some heat. In addition to chunks of fresh pineapple, this recipe calls for diced red onion, jalapeño, cilantro, and lime, resulting in a condiment that balances its sweet elements with a healthy dose of spicy and sour. This salsa pairs well with any number of dishes, but it's especially delicious served alongside chips or on top of tacos.

Recipe: Pineapple Salsa

Chicken Mango Salad

Visually, this salad is gorgeous and it tastes as good as it looks. Chicken breast, slightly bitter from the grill, brings out the sweetness of ripe mangoes. Chopped roasted peanuts give the salad an unexpected crunch, while the combination of cucumber, red bell peppers, and sliced red onion provides a bounty of colors and flavors. This salad is especially filling, thanks to the inclusion of both chicken and nuts, making it great for a day spent outdoors.

Recipe: Chicken Mango Salad