Beyond the Sandwich


7 Kick-It-Up-A-Notch Picnic Recipes

Go beyond the sandwich on your next picnic in the Smoky Mountains with these 7 tasty (and pretty easy) picnic recipes. They’re sweet, spicy, and savory and a bit elevated from the typical sandwich-and-crackers picnic! Pack them up and head to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cades Cove, or Patriot Park, or stick around the cabin to whip them up in your fully equipped kitchen and enjoy them on your own deck.

Cracker Jack and Pretzel Treats | Country Living | 15 servings

  • ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
  • 1 (16 oz) bag marshmallows
  • 7 cups Cracker Jacks
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped salted mini pretzels
  • 1 cup cocktail peanuts
  • ¾ teaspoons Kosher salt

Butter a 13×9-inch baking pan. Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until browned and fragrant, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in marshmallows until melted. Fold in Cracker Jacks, pretzels, peanuts, and salt until coated. Transfer mixture to the prepared pan and press into an even layer; cool completely. Cut into 15 squares.

Dill Pickle Potato Salad | Country Living | 8 servings

  • 3 lbs baby red potatoes (halved or quartered if large)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ cup chopped dill pickles, plus 5 tablespoons brine
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 celery ribs, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise

Place potatoes in a saucepan; cover with cold salted water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Drain. Gently toss hot potatoes with pickle brine and vinegar in a bowl. Let cool 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir together celery, parsley, mayonnaise, and pickles in a separate bowl. Add potatoes and any remaining brine mixture and gently toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, or chill up to 2 days.

5-Ingredient Strawberry Salsa | Gimme Some Oven | Vegan

  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and finely diced
  • 1 jalapeno, stem and seeds removed, finely diced
  • Half of a small red onion, peeled and finely diced (about ½ cup)
  • 2/3 cup finely-chopped fresh cilantro, loosely packed
  • Juice of 1 lime, about 2 tablespoons
  • Pinch of salt and black pepper

Toss all ingredients together until combined. Season with extra salt and pepper, if needed. For a sweeter salsa, stir in a few teaspoons of warmed honey.

Dill Scallion Dip | Country Living | 8 servings

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup sliced scallions
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely grated
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Potato chips (or fresh veggies!) for serving

Stir together sour cream, mayonnaise, scallions, dill, lemon zest, and garlic in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Chill 2 hours or up to 3 days. Serve with chips.

Tangy Collard and Cabbage Slaw | Country Living

  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
  • 1 ½ tablespoons honey
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small bunch collard greens, stems discarded and leaves shredded
  • ½ small head green cabbage, shredded
  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled

Combine onion, vinegar, mustard, honey, and oil in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Let stand, tossing occasionally until onion is wilted, 5 to 10 minutes. Add collard greens and cabbage and toss to coat. Chill 15 minutes. Toss in bacon.

Mojito Watermelon | Country Living

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 strips lime zest, sliced, plus 2 tablespoons juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ small watermelon, rind discarded and sliced
  • 1/3 cup torn mint
  • Flaky sea salt

Whisk together oil, lime juice, and sugar in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Serve watermelon topped with dressing, lime zest, mint, and sea salt.

Curry-Lime Pork Kebabs | Country Living | 6 servings

  • ¼ cup plain Greek-style yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¼ lb pork tenderloin
  • 24 cherry tomatoes
  • 12 medium cremini mushrooms
  • Cooking spray
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

In a medium bowl, whisk yogurt, curry powder, brown sugar, soy sauce, turmeric, lime juice, zest, coriander, and salt to combine. Place pork in a 2-gallon resealable plastic bag, pour in marinade, and massage to coat meat. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 6 hours.

Preheat grill to medium heat. Meanwhile, gather 12 skewers and thread each with 4 pieces of pork, 2 tomatoes, 1 mushroom, and 1 onion half, alternating pork and vegetables. Spray each skewer with cooking spray and season with pepper. Grill skewers until pork is cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes, turning every 4 minutes or so. Garnish cooked kebabs with cilantro.