28 Awesome Recipes to Eat Outside

28 Awesome Recipes to Eat Outside

28 Awesome Recipes to Eat Outside

The time has come for dining al fresco. For picnics, potlucks, backyard barbecues, cookouts at the beach, and all other kitchen free eating. Today I’ve got a round up for you of recipes that you can cook or prep ahead. These are all things that are easily transportable and either don’t need to be refrigerated or could fit in a small cooler. The next time you’re invited to a party, you won’t be at a loss for what to bring. It’s gonna be awesome.

Starters, Snacks & Sides

Everybody wants something to snack on while their waiting for the main meal to come off the grill. And of course, a hot dog on a plate all by itself is just sad. Here are some things to get you started, fill out that epic cheese plate, or accompany your burgers and dogs.

Dill Potato Salad | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Easy Peanut Butter Hummus – serve with veggies or chips to keep people from lurking around the grill

Fancy Pants Sauage Rolls – These are great hot or cold, so pack them in your picnic for sure

Southwest Pasta Salad – Mayo-free and full of flavor

Blue Cheese Crackers – That’s right, you made your own crackers

Picnic Cheese Plate – Be a hero and bring a simple, affordable, and totally delicious cheese plate for the gang

Dill Potato Salad – This is potato salad with a dash of elegance

Loaded Baked Potato Salad – This is that trashed up potato salad that you’ve been dreaming of

Homemade Oat Cakes – Another option to serve with some really great cheese

On the Grill

Because we’ve all decided that frozen burgers are the worst, I want to make it easy for you to always have the best burgers. Make your patties ahead of time, pack them on ice, and throw them on the grill when you’re ready.

Jalapeno Cream Cheese Stuffed Burgers | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Jalapeno Cream Cheese-Stuffed Burgers – A burger with a spicy surprise

Cuban Burger – Add pickles if you’re into that because they really should be there

Spicy Southwest Burgers – You won’t be able to keep your hands off them

Basic Burgers – My tips for making awesome burgers with whatever’s in your kitchen

Sweet Treats

So this section is the longest because, let’s face it, I’m gonna ask to bring dessert. But you have to plan properly if you want people to eat something delicious instead of sad and melty. All these recipes are very easy to transport and serve outside and don’t need to be refrigerated.

White Chocolate Raspberry Blondies | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Classic Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies

White Chocolate Chip Brownies

White Chocolate Raspberry Blondies

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Kahlua Brownies

White Chocolate Cranberry Macadamia Nut Cookies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Blossoms

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

Lofthouse Cookie Bars

Giant Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies

Mexican Brownies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

S’mores Brownies

Go eat outside while you can, kids!

Southwest Pasta Salad | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
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Southwest Pasta Salad | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Southwest Pasta Salad

Southwest Pasta Salad | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

We’re in a long period of financial austerity in this household after an absolutely amazing vacation. We made a moderate effort to stay within the $20 a a day budget, but getting an advance on my allowance was absolutely necessary. Now we’re trying to make up for that by being really boring and staying in the house as much as possible. I still somehow find myself spending a bunch of extra money at the grocery store and going to Subway for lunch way too often, but I’ll get caught up eventually.

Luckily, we’ve got some built in entertainment this month in the form of the World Cup. Geoff is committed to watching every match. I’m just in it for the drinks. To be fair, that’s where most of my money has gone this week. You see, we have a tradition of trying to find a drink, either spirits, wine, beer, or cider from each country that’ playing. We have four bottles of wine open in our fridge right now, and I’m having a great time. 

Southwest Pasta Salad | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Hopefully you’ve got a full social calendar and are getting invited to all sorts of picnics and cook outs, or are hosting your own, or just eating outside by yourself. Regardless, you’re going to need a great pasta salad recipe, and this Southwest Pasta salad is it. I confess, it’s normally hard to drag me away from a mayonaissey potato salad, and if there’s a bowl of mac salad available, I might run away with the whole thing. But this mayo-free pasta salad keeps me coming back for more.

The colors in this thing are absolutely gorgeous, and the dressing is packed with flavor. And because there’s no mayo, you don’t have to worry about it sitting out on the picnic table all afternoon. Just make sure to give it a good stir before dishing it up to make sure the dressing hasn’t all pooled on the bottom of the bowl. And the best thing is, the longer it sits, the more flavorful it gets and the pasta soaks up all the spicy goodness.

Southwest Pasta Salad | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I hope you have an exciting summer in front of you, and I hope you make Southwest Pasta Salad for your next party. It’s gonna be awesome.

Southwest Pasta Salad
Serves 6
Southwest Pasta Salad is the perfect spicy and colorful solution for your breezy picnic life.
Write a review
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
  1. 1/2 pound small pasta, your favorite shape or whatever's in your pantry
  2. zest of 2 limes
  3. 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  4. 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  5. 3 green onions, chopped (I use scissors)
  6. 1/2 cup frozen corn
  7. 1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
for the dressing
  1. 6 Tbsp lime juice (Use what you can get from the limes you zested earlier, then top up with bottled lime juice if you need to)
  2. 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  3. 4 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 1-1/2 tsp chili powder
  5. 1 tsp ground cumin
  6. 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  7. 1/2 tsp salt
  8. 2 tsp sugar
  9. 3/4 cup olive oil
  1. Cook your pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, according to the time on the package. Drain
  2. Zest your lime into the bottom of a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the black beans, bell pepper, green onion, corn, and cheese. Stir to combine.
  4. Add the pasta and stir it up.
  5. The easiest way to make the dressing is to combine all the ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Give it a good shake until the oil has mixed in. If you need to mix this in a bowl, whisk together all ingredients apart from the oil, the drizzle the oil in slowly while whisking all the while until everything is well combined.
  6. Pour the about 2/3 of the dressing over your salad and give it a stir. If you want more, add it. If not, save it for when you're ready to serve. You might find that after the pasta salad has cooled in the fridge, it can take a little more. Drizzle it over and stir well before serving.
  7. Allow the salad to chill in the fridge for at least an hour, but overnight is even better.
Adapted from How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
Basic Burgers | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Basic Burgers

Basic Burgers | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Summer is all up on us, and there are a few things we’re definitely going to need. First thing’s first, we’re going to need like eight gallons of sunscreen because while a tan may seem fashionable, you’ll probably regret it when you’re forty and wrinkly. Throw a cute hat in for good measure because while the sunshine will eventually fade, your face will be with you forever. We’re probably also going to need a healthy supply of rose and/or Pimm’s because what’s the point of summer without them. 

Let’s also pick up a cute picnic blanket in the hopes that the sunshine continues. In Scotland, there’s a big risk that this could be it for sunshine. But I believe we’ll still have the chance for a picnic in which we eat eat cheese and drink sneaky wine under the shade of a huge old tree. Maybe we eat sandwiches and Victoria Sponge. Or maybe we go all out and grill something.

Basic Burgers | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

We’re definitely going to need a great basic burger that we can transform into a million different delicious permutations. But wait, you ask, can’t we just go and get some frozen burger patties from the grocery store and plop those on the grill? Squeeze some ketchup on there, and Bob’s your uncle. Yeah, no. I don’t want your summer to be sad and bland. With only an ounce more effort, you can be eating something truly tasty.

I’m not writing a recipe here, because I want you to rely on your instincts. If you think there’s pressure to make a burger in a certain way, you might just revert back to grocery store boringness. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. If you want juicy burgers, they need to have some fat, so make sure to buy ground beef with at least 15% fat. 
  2. You’ll need to have an egg and some breadcrumbs on hand to make everything come together.
  3. Your hands are your best tools, so don’t be afraid to get in there and get messy.
  4. Make sure your grill or other cooking device is properly preheated before you start cooking your burgers.

Basic Burgers | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

As far as mixing up the actual burger patties goes, just have a look around your kitchen, and add in whatever you think tastes good. For a regular burger, I like to add salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning or dried oregano, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, and tobasco sauce. Don’t worry if you don’t have all of these things. Salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce will still make a delicious burger. And to be honest, I never do it the same way twice. Just don’t be shy with the seasonings. Unless you have a notoriously heavy hand with seasoning, you’ll probably need a smidge more than you think. 

Once you’ve got all your seasonings in, add in a lightly beaten egg (one egg per pound of ground beef) and a sprinkling of breadcrumbs. Leave the lid off the breadcrumbs in case you need to add more. Use one hand to gently mix everything together. If it’s still really wet, sprinkle in a few more breadcrumbs. Form your mixture into four burger patties, again if you’re using a pound of ground beef. Be sure not to overmix or press your patties too tightly. You want your burgers to be tender at the end, not spongey.

Basic Burgers | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Cook your burgers over medium heat in a well oiled pan or grill, and only turn them once. How long you cook them depends on how pink you like your burgers. Do what makes you happy. Top your burger however you like. Just promise you’ll never make sad frozen burgers again.

Happy summer, friends.

Awesome in May
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Chocolate Mint Cupcakes | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
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