How To Prepare the Perfect Picnic Menu

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What amazes me about my Mom is how her picnics always taste fantastic and run smoothly. How does she do it? How can one person be an expert in choosing the best foods for a picnic, every time? I had to find out for myself, so I asked.

Disclaimer: here are Mom’s secrets! I’ve watched Mom carefully and now I know, the most trusted way to make a picnic table setup ideal for your family and friends is not as difficult as you think. Just remember your slow cooker in preparation for the picnic.

Lucky for you, our site has worked tirelessly to compile 23 Recipes for a Summer Picnic for slow cooker meals for summer, so you don’t have to work so hard. These delicious and easy slow cooker recipes include quick summer recipes that are perfect for every occasion. Excellent slow cooker recipes are a must for your next picnic. With summer slow cooker recipes, you can throw an entire menu together and forget about it until it’s picnic time. Now, that’s easy!

We have made available the most popular slow cooker recipes, such as 11 Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Recipes and 13 Hearty Slow Cooker Recipes. Additionally, our site has useful, free ebooks at your disposal. My favorites include the 21 Must-Have Easy Picnic Recipes eCookbook, the 28 Simple Slow Cooker Suppers eCookbook and the 42 Quick and Easy Recipes eCookbook. We’ve taken the guess work out, so you can simply choose a meat or veggie and let your slow cooker do all the work! We also have the Healthy Recipes Year Round eCookbook, a very useful tool to accompany your summer workout plan for losing weight.

Every summer calendar should include a family picnic with my favorite, unbeatable Slow Cooker BBQ Meatballs. Featured on our 13 Hearty Slow Cooker Recipes page, this recipe has only four ingredients! You choose what type of meat to use as well. I can’t decide whether I like this recipe better with chicken, pork or turkey.

Here is the Slow Cooker BBQ Meatballs recipe for your convenience:

Recipe: Slow Cooker BBQ Meatballs

Summary: Spice up your favorite meatballs with this easy, saucy slow cooker BBQ meatball recipe. Form and cook meatballs using your protein of choice and then drop them in your slow cooker and let them absorb the rich, flavorful sauce. These work great on sub rolls or over rice.


  1. 1 1/2 cups (12 oz.) chili sauce
  2. 1 cup grape jelly or jam
  3. 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  4. 1 pound meatballs, cooked


  1. Combine chili sauce, grape jelly and mustard in slow cooker; stir well. Cover and cook on high while preparing meatballs.
  2. Add cooked meatballs to sauce in slow cooker. Stir well to coat, cover and cook on Low for 6-10 hours or High for 4 hours. (Low is recommended.)


To serve as appetizers, make small meatballs and serve on toothpicks. To serve as a main meal, make regular size meatballs and serve over flat noodles.

Meatball subs are a great main dish, but you might like to add variety to your meal. More picnic food ideas for side dishes and desserts are included in our 13 Hearty Slow Cooker Recipes. I especially love the Black Bean and Potato Soup, followed by a warm Apple and Ginger Crumble. Now you can start cooking your meal and forget about it while you research information on summer lake activities instead!

For you slow cooker fanatics, our sister site at at is great source for slow cooker recipes. If you love hot dogs and bacon as much as I do, then you might enjoy slow cooked Hot Dog and Bacon Roll Ups. Who wouldn’t love hot dogs and bacon in the same dish? Another crowd pleaser is All Day Macaroni and Cheese. These make ahead picnic recipes open up time for you to choose an outfit and to find a old kite to fly.

Please, don’t forget dessert! Sweeten your picnic finale with Molten Chocolate Lava Cake, or use fresh summer fruit in a Mixed Berry Crumble.

These recipes and more are mentioned in this year’s 23 Recipes For A Summer Picnic, on Additionally, we have dessert recipes perfect for your picnic menu, such as Hot Fruit Dessert, Lemon Pudding Cake, and Slow Cooker New York Style Cheesecake.

I also really love these picnic food ideas from the blogosphere:

Anne-Marie from This Mama Cooks makes Homemade Onion Soup Mix and a Venison Shoulder Roast that looks and sounds sophisticated.

Karina from Gluten Free Goddess provides a recipe for Gluten-Free Tomato Soup, perfect for a healthy diet.

Rachael from La Fuji Mama makes a juicy Slow Cooker Kalua Pig.

Kalyn from Kaylyn’s Kitchen has an old, trusted recipe for Slow Cooker Louisiana-Style Red Beans and Rice that will make you drool.

And finally, Stephanie from A Year of Slow Cooking received over 5,000 “likes” for her Slow Cooker Yogurt recipe, a healthy dessert option.

So, how many picnics do you have planned for summer now?

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