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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Cadbury Creme Egg Brownies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Cadbury Creme Egg Brownies

Cadbury Creme Egg Brownies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

As I write this, it’s 7:55 pm, and I’m strongly wishing I could go to bed right now. I don’t even have work in the morning. I cannot possibly express how happy I am to have turned my alarm off and not have to get up at any specific time tomorrow morning. I’m definitely an old lady. 

I also can’t believe Easter has snuck up so quickly. It’s still absolutely frigid here, so that may be part of the reason it hadn’t occurred to me that the Easter bunny might be visiting soon. Or it could be that I’m so completely consumed by my work schedule that I’m lucky to know what day it is most of the time, let alone the season. I have a blessed four day weekend coming my way, and two weeks in which I will hopefully be able to work relatively uninterrupted by teen angst. I’m worried it won’t be enough. 

Cadbury Creme Egg Brownies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Allow me to sneak in a recipe that ticks that Easter box and also helps us smother our stress in the most ridiculous chocolate situation you can imagine. These Cadbury Creme Egg Brownies are just unreal. Not only does every piece have half a Cadbury Creme Egg submerged in its fudgy depths, but the brownies themselves are so gooey and dense they almost shouldn’t be allowed. Geoff and I ate this whole pan between us. It was hard work, but I don’t regret a single bite.

These brownies are really easy to make. You might want to bake yours a little bit longer than I did. I had to refrigerate mine in order to keep them from falling apart. I thought initially they were too gooey, but when I was actually eating them, it was amazing. So if you’re worried about salmonella or something stupid like that, take your brownies more into the properly baked zone. Chopping your Cadbury Creme Eggs can be a little bit tricky, so I recommend buying an extra one just in case one of yours gets crushed in the chopping process. The good news is, you get to eat leftover Creme Eggs while your brownies are baking then cooling. As these are by far the best Easter candy, this can only be a good thing. 

Cadbury Creme Egg Brownies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I hope your Easter is filled with joy and chocolate and that you don’t think about work once the entire weekend. 

Cadbury Creme Egg Brownies
Serves 9
Cadbury Creme Egg Brownies are about to make your Easter chocolate next level awesome.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
  1. 185 grams unsalted butter
  2. 185 grams chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
  3. 3 eggs
  4. 275 grams sugar
  5. 85 grams all purpose flour
  6. 40 grams cocoa powder
  7. a pinch of salt
  8. 5 Cadbury Creme Eggs, cut in half top to bottom
  1. Preheat oven to 325 and butter a 9x9 inch pan.
  2. Put butter and chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and heat for thirty seconds at a time, stirring after each interval. Continue until everything is smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Crack your eggs into a bowl and add sugar. Beat them together until they're pale and fluffy and double in size. You can use an electric mixer or get your arm workout for the day by using a whisk.
  4. Pour your melted butter and chocolate into the egg mixture and fold to combine. Keep working until the streaks are gone.
  5. Sift your flour, cocoa powder, and salt into the batter. Gently fold this in.
  6. Pour your brownie batter into your prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes.
  7. Remove the brownies from the oven and gently drp your Cadbury Creme Eggs, cut side up, into the the partly cooked brownies. They should sink in on their own.
  8. Return the brownies to the oven for 15 minutes or so, depending on your desired gooeyness level. They may take a bit longer if you want them completely cooked through.
  9. Torture yourself by allowing these to cool completely before cutting. Good luck.
  1. If you do manage do cut all your creme eggs properly, you can make each serving a bit smaller by dropping in three rows of four creme egg halves.
Adapted from How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
S'mores Brownies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

S’mores Brownies

S'mores Brownies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Usually I try to start a blog post by writing something fun or weird about life. We don’t have time for that nonsense today, my friends.

Guys, these S’mores Brownies are seriously one of the most outrageously delicious things I’ve ever eaten in my life. There aren’t really enough superlatives to describe just how amazing they are. The lighting in these photos cannot convey the perfect combination of buttery crust, fudgy brownie, and sweet, sticky roasted marshmallows. I absolutely insist you make these. Can you sense my excitement?

S'mores Brownies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

True, it’s a bit of a longer process to make these than your average brownie, but it’s 100% worth it. The graham cracker crust comes together just like any pie or cheesecake. So maybe you have to melt some chocolate, but make your life easy and do it in the microwave. It’s the double chocolate action that makes these brownies extra awesome. And whatever you do, don’t walk away while the marshmallows are under the broiler. It’s a cliche, but honestly, the hardest part is waiting for them to cool.

Oh, one more tricky bit. The sticky marshmallows make these a pain in the ass to cut. Wait until the brownies cool completely, then use a slightly damp sharp knife to cut them. Just hold the knife under the tap and then give it a few shakes to remove any excess water. You still have to be careful, but it definitely helps.

S'mores Brownies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Just stop what you’re doing and make these S’mores Brownies. Your awesomeness might just depend on it.

S'mores Brownies
Serves 15
S'mores Brownies are among the best foods you'll ever eat in your life. For real.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
25 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
25 min
For the crust
  1. 9 graham crackers (1 sleeve)
  2. 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) butter, melted
  3. 1/4 cup sugar
  4. 1/4 teaspoon salt
For the brownies
  1. 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (or use chocolate chips)
  2. 1/2 cup (4 ounces) butter, softened
  3. 1-1/2 cups sugar
  4. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  5. 2 eggs
  6. 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  7. 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  8. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  9. Approximately 1/2 large bag of mini marshmallows (you'll need enough to make an even single layer across the top of a 13x9 inch pan.
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F (175C) and line a 13x9 inch baking pan with parchment paper. If you leave a little bit of paper hanging out on each side, you'll be able to lift the whole thing out of the pan easily to cut it later.
For the crust
  1. Add your graham crackers to a food processor and blitz them to bits. We're looking for fine crumbs here.
  2. Add the sugar and salt to the food processor and pulse a few times to combine.
  3. Add the melted butter to the processor and pulse until you have a mixture like wet sand.
  4. Transfer your crumb mixture to the pan and press it evenly into the bottom. Stash this in the fridge while you get on with the brownie batter.
For the brownies
  1. Melt your chopped chocolate in a microwavable dish by heating it for 30 seconds and then giving it a quick stir with a rubber spatula. Repeat this until everything is melted. Set aside to cool down a bit.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter, sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat the eggs in one at a time until well combined.
  4. Turn your mixer down to low and slowly add in the melted chocolate. Make sure you scrape out every last luscious drop.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt.
  6. With your mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients until just combined.
  7. Retrieve your pan with its waiting crust from the fridge. Use your rubber spatula to scoop out dollops of the batter all around the pan until you have all that goodness scraped out. Use an offset spatula (or a butter knife. That's almost as good.) to ever so gently spread the batter evenly over the crust. Try not to disturb your lovely crumbs.
  8. Bake the brownies for about 25 minutes. Better underbaked than overbaked, in my opinion.
  9. Once you have your brownies out of the oven, switch your broiler on.
  10. Dump your mini-marshmallows onto your brownies. You want to create one even, single layer of marshmallows.
  11. Pop your pan back in the oven under the broiler. DO NOT walk away. Keep a close eye on your marshmallows as they brown. Once you have achieved peak roastiness, remove your brownies from the oven to cool. Don't worry if there's a bit of smoke. If you've kept your eye on things the whole time, you'll be fine.
  12. Let those brownies sit there until they're completely cool. Use a damp, sharp knife to cut them into 15 squares. Do your very best not to wolf them all down in five minutes.
Adapted from Heather Christo
Adapted from Heather Christo
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