By Victoria Seaver
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Warm summer evenings are made for lounging outside with a picnic dinner laid out in front of you. Here are four quick 15-minute picnic menu ideas you can whip up at a moment's notice to enjoy at your favorite picnic spot. The key to getting these dinner ideas together quickly is to use easy recipes ready in 15 minutes or less, and round out your meal with simple store-bought items. Choose your picnic menu of choice and do dinner outside tonight!

1. Classic Summer Picnic

Photo by Christina

Serve with:

  • Potato Salad
  • Summer Sausage
  • Carrot sticks
  • Cherries

The combo of fresh tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella is a classic summer favorite. The Basil, Tomato & Mozzarella Sandwich recipe says to serve the sandwich with a balsamic vinegar and red pepper flake dipping sauce on the side. But to make it easier to transport, you can simply drizzle a little of the balsamic vinegar right on top of the tomatoes and sprinkle with the red pepper flakes, for the same flavorful effect. Check the deli counter at your local grocery store for pre-made potato salad (or plan to make your own potato salad ahead of time), pick up a link of summer sausage to slice and share, and a bunch of grapes to take on the go.

2. Mediterranean Picnic Menu

Photo by Meredith

Serve with:

  • Tabbouleh salad
  • Hummus
  • Mini cucumbers
  • Grapes

Ready in just 15 minutes, this impressive Muffuletta Sandwich is the star of the picnic. Make this savory sandwich on a big loaf of Italian bread and cut into segments for sharing. Serve the sandwich with a pre-made tabbouleh salad from the deli section of the grocery store, store-bought hummus, mini cucumbers for dipping, and an easy-to-eat fruit, like grapes.

3. Fiesta Picnic Spread

Photo by Rock_lobster

Serve with:

The Super Summer Salsa and Quick & Easy Guacamole are simple recipes that come together fast, thanks to few ingredients and convenience items like canned corn and beans. Use tortilla chips and bell pepper strips to scoop up the salsa and guacamole, and pick up a block of sharp Cheddar cheese and pre-cut pineapple from the grocery store to round out this easy summer picnic.

4. Italian-Inspired Picnic Menu

Photo by Sugarplum

Serve with:

  • Sliced prosciutto
  • Olives
  • Baguette slices
  • Berries

Because it's summer and you really can't have too much of the classic tomato-basil-mozzarella combination. This fast and fresh take on a summer pasta salad is ready in 15 minutes and is just as delicious cold as it is right off the stove. To complete the picnic, pick up a few extra items from the grocery store like sliced prosciutto, olives, a baguette loaf, and fresh berries.

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