For those who like to take their Christmas celebrations outdoors, why not try a festive picnic?
Whether you’d like to gather family and friends for a Christmas gathering at the beach, at a park, or even in your own garden, these festive picnic recipes are simple to make.
Making food that is mobile and uncomplicated is the secret to a tasty and successful picnic menu. All these recipes are easy to pack, and fuss-free when serving to guests.
Preparing and serving dishes in a container with a sealable lid is a practical way to bring everything pre-made to your festive picnic. The individual serves, especially of desserts, means that people can help themselves and the remainder can be placed back in the cooler or storage container.
This three-course picnic includes drinks, a main, and a dessert which makes this feast all the more fancy.
Feel free to adapt the recipes in quantity and flavour according to guest numbers and dietary requirements.
Ruby grapefruit gin fizz
Welcome your guests to your festive picnic with a drink – this ruby grapefruit gin fizz is tangy and refreshing, making it perfect for the party season.
½ cup gin
¾ cup ruby grapefruit juice
4 cups soda water
4 cups ice cubes
Cucumber strips, to garnish
Fill mason jars with ice and chill.
In a jug, mix the gin and grapefruit juice. Distribute the mixture evenly over the ice into each jar, then top each jar with soda water.
Add the cucumber strips to garnish, and screw on the jar lid before packing into a cooler bag.
For a non-alcoholic version, simply omit the gin for a refreshing mocktail.
Makes 4 cocktails.
Chicken and mango Christmas salad
For the main course of your festive picnic, this chicken and mango salad is light and fresh, with a burst of sweetness.
500g chicken tenderloins
1 red capsicum
12 cherry tomatoes
100g red onion diced
120g rocket or spinach leaves
1 large mango
½ bunch of fresh mint
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Salt and pepper, to season
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Place the chicken tenderloins on a large piece of foil and season with salt and pepper. Wrap chicken and place in the oven for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, dice the cherry tomatoes, onion and capsicum. Roughly chop the mint. Peel and slice the mango into strips.
Place a bed of rocket or spinach on the base of the serving dish. Toss gently two thirds of the capsicum, onion, mint and cherry tomatoes.
Prepare the dressing by combining the lemon juice, olive oil, and seasoning in a small jar with a lid.
Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the foil and break it apart into bite-size pieces with a fork. Season again and allow to cool, before placing the chicken on the top of the salad with the mango strips.
Sprinkle the remaining capsicum, onion, mint, and cherry tomatoes on the top of the salad.
Before serving, give the dressing a gentle shake and pour over the salad.
Chocolate raspberry brownie
It wouldn’t be a three-course festive picnic without a dessert, and this chocolate raspberry brownie offers a sweet, rich, and slightly tart flavour to complete a lovely outdoor gathering.
¾ cup cocoa
1 ¼ cup castor sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
½ cup plain flour
180g fresh raspberries
Preheat the oven at 180C.
Melt the butter, sugar, and cocoa in a saucepan over a medium to low heat.
Place the mixture in a bowl and allow to cool slightly. Add the vanilla essence and mix thoroughly.
Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing quickly and thoroughly between each addition. Add plain flour, and mix until smooth.
Add the raspberries and gently mix through.
Pour the mixture into a loaf tin lined with baking paper. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, until just cooked.
Remove from the oven. Allow the brownie to cool in the tray before removing it slicing into single serves.
Makes 8 serves.