Recipe for a Perfect Picnic

Spring, Summer, Fall – no matter the time of year, my family and I are always ready to celebrate picnic style!  Thanks to my partnership with Bob Evans Restaurants, I’m sharing our recipe for a perfect picnic.  This is a sponsored article, but as always, all thoughts, opinions and love of family picnic celebrations is that of Rural Mom.

The casual style freedom of a picnic allows for our all favorites to shine.  Family, food, and fun are simply the order of the day and everyone is guaranteed to have a great time!

Recipe for a Perfect Picnic

We don’t really need an excuse to celebrate.  Indoor or outdoor, we have a stream of impromptu and planned picnics throughout the year.  What makes our picnics so great?  Why do we love them so much?  In truth it all comes down to family.

Whenever you gather your family and friends in a setting that’s sure to inspire conversation, laughter and good times, it’s nothing short of a blessing.  What better way to pass the day or share a great meal than with those you love?

Because of their ease in creating a quick venue, picnics are a wonderful style of celebrating both everyday moments and major milestones.  You can go to a lot of fuss with prepping gourmet goodies, but I find that my family enjoys straight-forward farm fresh dishes and sides.  We use the seasons and produce to guide us in putting together an amazing meal with little prep and choose to spend our time enjoying each other’s company, rather than spending hours in the kitchen.

Some of my best dishes are so quick and easy to prep, truly showcasing the flavors of our farm.  Like my (most requested summer recipe) Cucumber and Green Bean Salad.  This salad takes seconds to prepare but delivers amazing flavor.

Cucumber and Green Bean Salad Recipe

Cucumber and Green Bean Salad Recipe
Serves 4

4 cups green beans, ends cut and halved
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 green onion, chopped fine
2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped fine
1 tsp lemon juice
½ tsp English mustard
¼ cup olive oil
½ cup feta cheese
½ cup water
Salt and pepper

1. In a medium saucepan, over high heat, add water and rosemary and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-high. Cool green beans for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and drain.

2. In a small mixing bowl, add onion, parsley, lemon juice, mustard, olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk until dressing ingredients are fully incorporated.

3. In a large bowl, add green beans and cucumber. Pour dressing over beans and cucumbers, toss until vegetables are coated with dressing. Add feta cheese, gently toss. Serve portions in salad bowls.

Recipe for a Perfect Picnic

Recipe for a Perfect Picnic

If you provide the picnic, the fun will be sure to follow.  There isn’t a single recipe for fun but there are plenty of things you can do to enhance the experience:

  • Keep some conversation starters handy.  Think about ways to get the chatter flowing.  Ask everyone how their summer is going, if they’ve taken any fun trips, or if they are making plans for upcoming events like the solar eclipse.  If no one is talkative, start the convo by sharing a funny anecdote or reminiscing about a fun family event from the past.
  • Set up activity areas.  If you are picnicking outdoors, bring along balls, frisbees, sidewalk chalk or other items that easily lend themselves to family-friendly activity time.  If you are picnicking indoors have crayons and paper on hand for coloring, games boards or cards for playing and toys for the little ones to occupy themselves with.  Consider team sports, too.  If you have a large crowd, playing tag, football, baseball, horseshoes and even tag-team races can create some wonderful memories and uproarious times!
  • Have a hydration station.  One thing that’s often neglected in planning, especially for outdoor picnics, is adequate beverage selections.  Be sure to have plenty of water coolers and beverage options for your picnic guests.  Think of it from a restaurant perspective – your meal is always better when your drinks are refilled before you even have to ask!
  • Make sure you have a comfortable space.  Don’t rely on your guests to bring adequate seating options, make sure to remind them and always have extra chairs, blankets or other comfortable arrangements available.  No matter how good the food and fun is, no one likes to spend their time at a picnic sitting in an uncomfortable spot!
  • Dessert is also always a must-have.  From a simple bowl of fresh strawberries to a delicious strawberry pie, everyone love to end the picnic on a sweet note.

Recipe for a Perfect Picnic

If you are seeking a really relaxed experience for both host and guests, make your picnic plans at Bob Evans!  After sports games, shopping or just because, my family and I love to head to Bob Evans Restaurants for their picnic menu and relaxed fun atmosphere.  Check out our most recent gathering:

There’s something so refreshing about having a farm fresh picnic style experience at Bob Evans.  No planning involved!  Just show up and enjoy the great food, great times and amazing desserts!

How do you prefer to picnic?  Do you have a favorite recipe or venue?

Barb Webb. Founder and Editor of Rural Mom, is an author and sustainable living expert nesting in Appalachian Kentucky. When she’s not chasing chickens around the farm or engaging in mock Jedi battles, she’s writing about country living and artisan culture.
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  1. What?! They have a picnic menu at Bob Evan’s? How could I not have known about this! We LOVE their restaurants, so I think it’s definitely time for a picnic. LOL

    1. Reply

      They sure do and it’s delightful! Hope you have the chance to stop in this weekend for a picnic 🙂

  2. Reply

    Sounds like the perfect plan and way to start off a great family day with a picnic and if close to a Bob Evan’s they can help. Just enjoy family time.

    1. Reply

      Family time is what is truly all about!

  3. We don’t have a Bob Evans in Canada – sigh…however we do go there when we visit Michigan! I love cucumber s and that green bean cucumber salad looks so good. Light and refreshing. I will have to give that one a try!

    1. Reply

      I always visited them on my travels, too. Glad to have a few close to us now! Hope you enjoy the salad, it is one of my favorites!

    • jmanandmillerbug
    • August 25, 2017

    Family time is probably the most important thing in the world to me. Anything that gives me the extra time with my kids without the screen in front of them is the best thing in my book.

    1. Reply

      So true! Hard to pry them away from technology. Family time is everything!

  4. Reply

    Picnics are always so much fun! It’s a great way to get the family outside, take a hike and get away from all things electronic.

    1. Reply

      Yes, yes, yes! Couldn’t agree more!

  5. Reply

    Wow, that’s really cool! We are long overdue for a picnic, that’s for sure. You’ve inspired me before it gets soggy out 🙂

    1. Reply

      Awesome! Hope you all have a wonderful picnic time!

  6. Reply

    I can’t remember the last time I went on a picnic but there is nothing like being able to pack up a nice meal and get to enjoy the outdoors for a while.

    1. Reply

      So true, it’s such a lovely thing to do! Hope you have the chance to picnic soon!

    • Jacqui Odell
    • August 25, 2017

    My kids love doing picnics. We try to do one in the yard on the weekends when it’s nice. I have been trying to find different ways to get my kids to eat veggies maybe they will like this salad.

    1. Reply

      That’s such a great idea to have a picnic in the backyard on the weekend!

  7. Reply

    I had no idea Bob Evans had a picnic menu. This takes a lot of work out of preparing for a picnic and that cucumber salad sounds delicious.

    1. Reply

      They even have picnic-to-go meals for families, so you can enjoy outside the restaurant at the park or wherever!

  8. Reply

    I haven’t been to a Bob Evans in so long! I wish they had them here on the West Coast. We used to visit our local one in Myrtle Beach all the time.

    1. Reply

      Hope you find one to enjoy soon in your travels!

  9. Reply

    Picnics are so much fun. It’s nice to sit outdoors and enjoy my family and great food.

    1. Reply

      Couldn’t agree more! 🙂

  10. Reply

    We love to go on picnics in our family! This cucumber and green bean salad is the perfect summer dish.

    1. Reply

      Beans and cucumbers are right in season at the moment here, so we are enjoying plenty of it!

    • Elizabeth Lampman
    • August 25, 2017

    We were able to go on a lot of picnics this summer. Now that the girls are a little older it is so much easier to do. I like to pick a theme and get food to go with it. I will have to try this recipe on the weekend.

    1. Reply

      Sounds like you had a lovely summer!

    • Claudia Krusch
    • August 25, 2017

    This cucumber and green bean salad recipe looks so delicious and easy to make. I will have to add it to my meal plan for next week. We love to go on picnics. Finger foods are my favorite to pack.

    1. Reply

      Thanks Claudia! It is truly delicious and takes very little prep time to whip together. Enjoy!

  11. Reply

    Oh man… I haven’t had a Bob Evans breakfast in WAY too long!

  12. Reply

    I didn’t know Bob Evans had a picnic menu and it has one of my fave sides – tomato cucumber salad. My aunt makes this at every family gathering. It’s simple, it’s refreshing and a definite sign that summer is here since the freshest tomatoes are available during Summer. Your recipe looks refreshing as well.

    • natalielovesbeauty
    • August 25, 2017

    Picnics are always so much fun! It’s been a few years I’ve had one, need to make time and plan one!

  13. Reply

    We haven’t had a picnic in ages! I’m really in the mood to have one though so I’ll have to dust off the basket and get some food ready. I think the Cucumber and green bean salad sounds PERFECT!

  14. Reply

    We sometimes have picnic dinners in the living room just for fun. We spread towels out and have dinner on the floor.

    • hali
    • August 26, 2017

    I usually wing it during our picnics, but I love the idea of having it all thought out like this. Think it’s useful as my children get older.

    • Ruth I.
    • August 26, 2017

    I am not sure if I have ever experience going to picnic with my family. We love to eat out but it’s on a different setting. I love your recipe!

  15. Reply

    Great food is necessary for a great picnic. At the same time we generally prefer light snacks. I liked the idea of a veggie salad and will include this in our next picnic.

  16. Reply

    We just love taking the time to have a little picnic during the summer. A picnic dessert is definitely a must-have!

  17. Reply

    That looks so fresh and tasty. I love cucumbers but never thought of combining it with green beans in a salad.

    • Catvills
    • August 28, 2017

    We haven’t had a picnic in the longest time! It would be nice to have some family bonding time and find a nice spot to have a picnic. I will talk with my sisters. Maybe we can arrange a get-together this Labor Day Weekend and have a picnic for the kids to enjoy.

  18. Reply

    The salad looked great. I love everything which has loads of feta on top 😛

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