All I want for Mother’s Day is to not cook – and to not do the dishes. (Well, maybe a spa certificate too if we’re really being honest here!) And spring has finally sprung so I’m loving the idea of a Mother’s Day picnic to celebrate all the wonderful mothers and mother figures, in our lives.
The picnic menu I’ve put together is perfect for prepping ahead and packing up – and most importantly, getting moms out of the kitchen on Mother’s Day.
And hey, there’s no rule saying you have to find a park if you want a picnic. My little kids can sometimes turn into gremlins at dinnertime so I’ve been known to spread out a blanket in my own backyard. Even though we’re home, I can have a chilled glass of wine and celebrate in a relaxed fashion – the way all mamas deserve.
Related: How to pack a perfect picnic, plus recipes for a easy al fresco meals.
Top photo: Pressed Italian Sandwiches | Seasons and Suppers
A No-Fuss Mother’s Day Picnic Menu
1. Veggies + dips
If there’s a Saturday farmers market near you, grab the kids and have everyone pick out a veggie or two they want to include in your picnic. I love this Crudité Platter at Olivia’s Cuisine and her fantastic tips for putting it together. Her platter really celebrates great seasonal produce, along with standby veggies I know my kids will love.
Olives, hummus and nuts are also great additions to fancy it up. And if the platter is too big for you to transport (or too much for littler bellies), you could still arrange crudité a pretty plate using her suggestions, and wrap the whole thing tightly in plastic wrap for safe travel.
2. Hearty grain salads for a Mother’s Day picnic
I can’t get enough of a farro salad. One of my favorite recipes is the Citrus Farro and Arugula Salad with Walnuts and Cranberries (above) from Family Food On The Table. Brimming with kid-friendly flavors, this salad is also super adaptable. You could swap in any type of nut, and even cut back on the orange juice if needed. Just don’t forget to drizzle with good olive oil and cheese.
Impress your fussy mother-in-law — or any adults at all — with the gluten-free Greek Chickpea Salads at Iowa Girl Eats. These jar salads are easily shareable, and perfect for the guest of honor on a special holiday, making them ideal for a Mother’s Day picnic menu.
Related: The best canned wine and cocktails – perfect for packing in a cooler!
3. Picnic-perfect sandwiches for the main event
Stacie discovered the Pressed Italian Sandwiches from Seasons and Suppers (also at very top) to include in her 9 favorite alfresco recipe picks and it’s still a top choice among the team at Cool Mom Eats. She’s got full instructions for making the ones you see here, and also offers some smart suggestions to keep them from getting soggy.
If you’re making separate sandwiches for kids and adults, I’d suggest you wrap in parchment and have the kids decorate their own sandwiches with stickers so they know whose is whose when you get to your Mother’s Day picnic.
Because, no fighting on Mother’s Day! That’s an order.
For another option, hearty whole-grain bread, basil and Manchego turn an everyday sandwich into these gorgeous Turkey, Peach & Basil Sandwiches at Zestful Kitchen. That’s some recipe! While it’s a little early for peaches, if you have some at your market, snatch them up and put these on your menu. Or, a crisp apple works well here in place of the peaches, too.
Related: 5 delicious, edible Mother’s Day gifts the kids can help make
4. Sweet picnic treats – essential for a Mother’s Day picnic menu!
Since I’m more of a chocolate girl and well, my husband isn’t a big baker, I’m not-so-subtly emailing him the super-easy recipe for Katharine Hepburn Brownies at Epicurious. My girls and I have made these fudgey brownies about a bajillion times and I’m always happy to smell them coming out of the oven.
If you’re looking for something light and springy as far as dessert for your Mother’s Day picnic, pucker up and get ready for the Best Lemon Bars from Well Plated. Bursting with lemon flavor, these gorgeous and mouthwatering bars make a perfect finale for a Mother’s Day picnic menu — and the perfect beginning to warm weather season.
Trying to find Best Lemon Bars recipe??
Just click the link to them found at the bottom of this post!