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50 Cold Picnic Foods That Don’t Need To Be Heated Up

Have you heard the good news? These cold picnic foods don't require any heating before serving.

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Focaccia Sandwiches Exps Mtbz19 30931 E03 08 4b Rms 3

Focaccia Sandwiches

Slices of this pretty sandwich make any casual get-together more special. Add or change ingredients to your taste. —Peggy Woodward, Shullsburg, Wisconsin

Check out our easy methods for keeping food cold.

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Fresh Veggie Pockets Exps Sdas18 11860 D03 29  4b 8

Fresh Veggie Pockets

One summer I worked at a health food store that sold sandwiches. We were close to a college campus, so I made lots of these fresh-filled pitas for the students. Crunchy with crisp vegetables and nutty sunflower kernels, they're a fast-to-fix lunch when you're on the go. -Linda Reeves, Cloverdale, Indiana
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Fried Ice Cream Dessert Bars  Exps Sdjj19 232652 B02 06 1b Rms 2

Fried Ice Cream Dessert Bars

Fried ice cream is such a delicious treat, but it can be a hassle to make individual servings. This recipe gives you the same fabulous flavor in an easy and convenient bar form. —Andrea Price, Grafton, Wisconsin

Check out our tips for planning the best picnic.

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Sweet Corn-Tomato Salad

I always make this for family events and parties. It reminds me of all the fun barbecues and picnics over the years. Fresh corn and basil make a huge difference in this recipe. —Jessica Kleinbaum, Plant City, Florida

These picnic salad ideas are also a great option.

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Hummus Veggie Wrap Up Exps Cwas18 106657 B04 05  4b 3

Hummus & Veggie Wrap-Up

I had a vegan wrap that was similar to this once when I stopped at a diner while on a long and arduous walk. I enjoyed it so much that I modified it to my own taste and now have it for lunch on a regular basis. Everyone at work wants to know how to make it. —Michael Steffens, Indianapolis, Indiana
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Roasted Strawberry Sheet Cake Exps Thjj19 232733  E02 19 4b 58

Roasted Strawberry Sheet Cake

My Grandma Gigi loved summer berry cakes. Almost any time I’d call her during the warmer months, she’d invite me over to taste her latest masterpiece. This cake is a tribute to her. —Kristin Bowers, Rancho Palos Verdes, California
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Ginger Green Beans Exps Thjj18 212106 C01 31 1b 5

Ginger Green Beans

The bright gingery sauce on these green beans is delicious and so simple to whip up. It's perfection on either hot or cold beans, but I also really love it tossed with cooked shrimp. —Marina Castle Kelley, Canyon Country, California

Try these other delicious picnic side dishes, too.

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Flat Iron Steak Salad Exps Sdjj19 86302 C02 06 6b Rms 8

Flat Iron Steak Salad

My steak salad with avocado and radishes is a big plate of summer deliciousness. I sometimes add dried cranberries and cherry tomatoes, but you can customize it to suit your tastes. —Marla Clark, Albuquerque, New Mexico
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Crunchy Lemon Pesto Garden Salad Exps Thjj18 212387 C01 30 6b 16

Crunchy Lemon-Pesto Garden Salad

I love using fresh vegetables straight from the garden to prepare this salad. If I pick the squash and cucumbers early enough, their skins are so tender that there's no need to remove them! Best yet, the salad is easily adaptable—any fresh veggie from the garden can be put in with delicious results. —Carmell Childs, Orangeville, Utah
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South-of-the-Border Citrus Salad

Orange, grapefruit and jicama add color and texture to this out-of-the-ordinary fruit salad. Sometimes I'll toss in slices of mango and cucumber for extra fun. —Mary Fuller, SeaTac, Washington
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Green Bean Pasta Salad Exps Cplbz19 38590 B11 02 4b 2

Green Bean Pasta Salad

I like to prepare this special green bean pasta salad with fresh green beans and homegrown dill. Serve chilled or at room temperature. —Chris Snyder, Boulder, Colorado
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Sugar Cookie S'mores

Change up traditional s'mores with the use of sugar cookies and candy bars. The sweetness cannot be beat!—Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Pear Waldorf Pitas Exps Thca19 12570 B08 23 1b 2

Pear Waldorf Pitas

Here's a guaranteed table brightener for a shower, luncheon or party. Just stand back and watch these sandwiches vanish. For an eye-catching presentation, I tuck each one into a colorful folded napkin. —Roxann Parker, Dover, Delaware
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Favorite Fruit Salad Exps Mtbz18 6628 B03 13 4b 1

Favorite Fruit Salad

I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, especially when our four children and nine grandchildren come to visit. They always ask for this salad when they're here for dinner. —Doris Dion, Lake Ozark, Missouri
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Chicken Fajita Salad Exps Chbz19 3288 E10 24 2b  7

Chicken Fajita Salad

This recipe came from Texas, which is famous for its Mexican food. I love to cook, even though it's just for me and my husband now. I invite our grown kids over a lot, and they just love this chicken fajita salad. I'm happy to share it! —Lois Proudfit, Eugene, Oregon
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Overnight Slaw Exps Thjj19 5716 B02 20 7b 3

Overnight Slaw

Think of slaw as a side for all seasons—but especially summer—and for all entrees. Fix this recipe ahead, and don’t forget to use your food processor for even easier prep. —Nancy Brown, Janesville, Wisconsin
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Blackberry Apple Pie

My mother made this pie so often, she could do it with her eyes closed! We picked the berries ourselves, and the apples came from the trees in our orchard. I can still taste the delicious combination of fruits encased in Mother's flaky pie crust. —Fran Stanfield, Wilmington , Ohio
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Kansas Cucumber Salad

Cucumbers are my very favorite garden vegetable, so I use this recipe often. I got it from a friend years ago. I've heard this refreshing dish keeps very well in the refrigerator, but it goes so fast around our house, I've never found out for myself. —Karen Ann Bland, Gove, Kansas
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Potluck Antipasto Pasta Salad

I love trying new recipes, and this one for Italian pasta salad tops all other varieties I've tried. With beans, cheese, sausage and vegetables, it's a hearty complement to any meal. —Bernadette Nelson, Arcadia, California
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Ambrosia Salad Exps Tohcom19 6625 B10 03 16b 3

Ambrosia Salad

Because it’s so simple to make, this tropical fruit medley is great as a last-minute menu addition. Plus, this ambrosia salad requires just five ingredients. —Judi Bringegar, Liberty, North Carolina
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Three Green Salad Exps Hca18 1595 C06 08 7b 9

Three-Green Salad

For a crisp, refreshing side dish, this tasty salad can't be beat. It's the perfect salad to go with lasagna. —Gina Squires, Salem, Oregon
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Zesty Steak Salad Exps Sdfm19 7031 E10 19 8b 2

Zesty Steak Salad

Stir-fried steak and veggies give this hearty salad a cozy kick. Add any of your favorite salad ingredients like shredded cheese, croutons, mushrooms or cucumber. —Leah Carrell, Quitman, Texas
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Swift Strawberry Salad

Swift Strawberry Salad

A simple blend of syrup, orange juice and caramel topping forms the light dressing for the fresh berries and the crunchy cashews found in this sensational salad. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Frozen Cherry Salad Exps Cplbz19 11702 C11 02 6b 2

Frozen Cherry Salad

Pretty slices of this refreshing salad are dotted with colorful cherries for a festive look. The flavor is pleasant and not overly sweet like some frozen cherry recipes. Prepared in advance and frozen, it's a treat that fits into many different menus. I serve it throughout the year.  —Gail Sykora, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin
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Israeli Pepper Tomato Salad Exps Fttmz19 27403 B03 05 9b Rms 3

Israeli Pepper Tomato Salad

This Israeli salad, which is traditionally eaten at breakfast, lends itself to endless variety. You can add foods like olives, beets or potatoes. —Sandy Long, Lee's Summit, Missouri
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Lavender Lemon Bars

Hints of lavender and lemon zest in the crust make these treats a favorite. —Judith Hilinski, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
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Honey Poppy Seed Fruit Salad Exps Hca19 24734 C10 02 7b 6

Honey Poppy Seed Fruit Salad

This colorful fruit salad with poppy seed dressing pairs well with any morning entree and takes just 10 minutes to assemble. The subtle honey sauce in this salad steals the show. —Dorothy Dinnean, Harrison, AR
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Tomato Feta Salad Exps Cwjj18 26467 D01 26 6b 8

Tomato Feta Salad

One summer I combined my love for onions with a bumper crop of tomatoes and a homemade balsamic dressing. The result was this salad that receives thumbs-up approval whenever it's served. —Robert Golus, Greer, South Carolina
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Grilled Steak And Mushroom Salad Exps Sdas18 34012 C03 30  1b 8

Grilled Steak and Mushroom Salad

My husband loves this salad, especially during summer. He says he feels as if he's eating a healthy salad and getting his steak, too! I always serve it with some fresh homemade bread. —Julie Cashion, Sanford, Florida
More Mushroom Salad Recipes »
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Watermelon Tomato Salad Exps Sdjj18 33024 D02 15 8b 12

Watermelon Tomato Salad

Watermelon and tomatoes may seem an unlikely pair, but they team up to make a winning combination in this eye-catching salad. —Matthew Denton, Seattle, Washington
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Spicy Buffalo Chicken Wraps Exps Sdjj19 32288 B02 08 1b 12

Spicy Buffalo Chicken Wraps

This recipe has a real kick and is one of my husband’s favorites. Ready in a flash, it's easily doubled and the closest thing to restaurant Buffalo wings I’ve ever tasted in a light version. —Jennifer Beck, Rio Rancho, New Mexico
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Basil Tomato Grilled Cheese Exps Sdas18 36113 C03 28  12b 9

Basil-Tomato Grilled Cheese

The tastes of summer abound in this easy Italian-style grilled cheese sandwich. Not only is it delicious, it's super-fast, so you can get back to those summer outdoor activities. —Sylvia Schmitt, Sun City, Arizona
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Fast Macaroni Salad Exps Cf2bz19 32561 E12 18 1b 4

Fast Macaroni Salad

Chopped veggies provide crunch, and cherry tomatoes add vibrant color to this refreshing and creamy pasta salad. —Frankiee Bush, Freedom, Indiana
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Meatless Taco Salad Exps Sdjj19 40322 E02 07 8b 5

Meatless Taco Salad

This colorful entree combines popular taco ingredients—minus the ground beef. And you won't miss the meat at all! I top each serving with a creamy guacamole dressing, crunchy corn chips and cheese. —Kimberly Dray, Pflugerville, Texas
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Chinese Spinach-Almond Salad

This recipe combines power-packed spinach, a good source of vitamins A and K, with other veggies, lean meat and crunchy, heart-healthy almonds. Reduced-fat dressing adds a light Asian flavor and touch to each hearty serving. Mary Ann Kieffer - Lawrence, Kansas
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Chicken Caesar Wraps Exps Sdam19 44899 E12 07 2b 5

Chicken Caesar Wraps

This classic handheld with tender chicken, Parmesan cheese and chopped Caesar croutons features the perfect amount of dressing for a tasty meal any night. Nancy Pratt - Longview, TX
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Rotisserie Chicken Panini Exps Chmz19 50106 B10 30 9b 3

Rotisserie Chicken Panini

This ooey-gooey, melty delight is packed with bacon, chicken, cheese and just enough lemon to tickle your taste buds. Other chicken panini recipes don't compare!—Terri McCarty, Oro Grande, California
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Smoked Salmon Egg Salad Exps Bfcbbz19 39099 E01 11 1b 2

Smoked Salmon Egg Salad

Served on croissants, these grown-up sandwiches offer a great way to use leftover Easter eggs. Salmon adds smoky flavor. —Cathy Tang, Redmond, Washington
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Watermelon Blueberry Salad Exps Thjj19 132371 B02 20 10b 3

Watermelon-Blueberry Salad

People love the unique combination of flavors in the dressing that tops the fresh fruit in this salad. It's so refreshing on a hot summer evening. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Big Buttery Chocolate Chip Cookies Exps Tham19 156150 C11 14 3b 24

Big & Buttery Chocolate Chip Cookies

My take on the classic cookie is inspired by a bakery in California called Hungry Bear. It's big, thick and chewy—truly the best chocolate chip cookie recipe. —Irene Yeh, Mequon, Wisconsin
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Couscous Tabbouleh With Fresh Mint Feta Exps Sdam19 127302 E12 07 8b 5

Couscous Tabbouleh with Fresh Mint & Feta

Using couscous instead of bulgur for tabbouleh really speeds up the process of making this colorful salad. Other quick-cooking grains, such as barley or quinoa, also work well. —Elodie Rosinovsky, Brighton, Massachusetts
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Kale Quinoa Salad Exps Thca19 137805 B11 16 4b 5

Kale Quinoa Salad

Here's a holiday side dish you can feel good about serving. Kale packs a mighty punch of vitamins, while quinoa delivers a hearty serving of protein. Best of all, the flavor of this kale quinoa salad can't be beat! —Lisa Warren, Washington, DC
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Nutella Hand Pies Exps Thca19 188252 E08 22 4b 4

Nutella Hand Pies

These pint-sized Nutella hand pies made with puff pastry are too good to keep to yourself! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Summer Orzo Exps Tohjj22 186955 Dr  02 03 10b 7

Summer Orzo

I’m always looking for fun ways to use the fresh veggies that come in my Community Supported Agriculture box, and this salad is one of my favorite creations. I like to improvise with whatever I have on hand, feel free to do the same here! —Shayna Marmar, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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Kale Slaw Spring Salad Exps Bmz19 197793 E11 30 8b 9

Kale Slaw Spring Salad

My parents and in-laws are retired and like to spend winters in Florida. This tangy spring salad welcomes the snowbirds back for our Easter celebration! —Jennifer Gilbert, Brighton, Michigan
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Mango Almond Icebox Cake Exps Sdam18 212133 D12 01 3b 3

Mango Almond Icebox Cake

This recipe was inspired by my friend who asked me to make a mango cake. It's easy to prepare, refreshing, light, and tastes absolutely fantastic. Strawberries can be used as well. —Rachel Simoneau, Danbury, Connecticut
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Sicilian Potato Salad Exps Thjj18 186629 D01 30 2b 3

Sicilian Potato Salad

Fresh basil is the star of this mayo-free, Italian-inspired take on potato salad. —Sue Falk, Warren, Michigan
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Copycat Berger Cookies

After a friend who had recently traveled to Baltimore sent me a package of Berger cookies, I was hooked. They disappeared so quickly, I decided to try to re-create them at home. After many tests and tweaks, my husband and I gained 6 pounds between the two of us, but it was worth it—I landed on a reproduction of the famous cookie I'm so proud of. —Marina Castle Kelley, Canyon Country, California
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Blackberry Balsamic Spinach Salad Exps Sdjj19 98884 B02 12 6b 5

Blackberry Balsamic Spinach Salad

Blackberries are a great super food, and there are plenty of them in this juicy, colorful salad. —Mary Lou Timpson, Colorado City, Arizona

Rashanda Cobbins
When Rashanda’s not tasting and perfecting Taste of Home’s recipes, you’ll find this food editor sifting through our recipe collection, curating digital content or tracking the latest culinary trends. While studying for her bachelor’s degree in culinary arts, Rashanda interned in Southern Living’s test kitchen and later spent nearly a decade developing recipes and food content at ConAgra Brands. In her spare time, she loves scoping out local farmers markets and having picnics in the park.