General Question

janbb's avatar

What is an easy main dish that can be served cold to bring to a picnic?

Asked by janbb (55890points) September 8th, 2014

Could be either meat or vegetarian.

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30 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Fried Chicken.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Cold pizza, if you can find a way to keep it cold.

janbb's avatar

Neither of those are easy if you are planning to cook them yourselves but thanks.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

There’s always sandwiches of some variety. A make your own bar?

janbb's avatar

this is something i have to bring to a church Harvest picnic so it should be easy to transport.

gailcalled's avatar

Here’s my miracle, expandable or shrinkable recipe for a cold black and white bean salad. Should be made the day before and aged a little. Travels well and low-risk for salmonella or ptomaine.

Black and White Bean Salad (Yield: 8–10 servings)

2 cans drained black beans (you can be pure and start with dried beans)
2 cans drained small white beans ( ditto)
1 can drained corn (or cook fresh corn and scrape, scrape, scrape)
1 C chopped red onion
1 C chopped red pepper
¼ C chopped cilantro

2 C. Cumin Vinaigrette (I use 1½) Use whisk for all mixing. Add EVOO last.

¼ C cider vinegar and ¼ C fresh lime juice
1 T dijon mustard
1 t freshly minced garic
1½ C EVOO, cumin and curry to taste
Salt and pepper to taste. (Kosher and ground).

hug_of_war's avatar

Chicken salad.

ragingloli's avatar

Noodle/Potato salad with meat.

janbb's avatar

@ragingloli Or maybe a noodle kugel that I make that is savory and not sweet. No protein in it but it is filling!

CWOTUS's avatar

If transportation isn’t a problem:

Shaved ice & rock salt & an ice cream churn

Then all you need to do is mix up the ice cream recipe in advance, and make sure there are spoons and bowls for all. We had it on the boat last week, and it was wonderful.

Otherwise: sandwiches; salad; a plate of cold cuts; a cheese plate; sushi (get take-out, or making your own rolls may be more work than you wanted).

janbb's avatar

@CWOTUS I know I have ice cream for supper sometimes but I don’t think it is usually considered a main idsh.

gailcalled's avatar

Kugel with nuts and raisins and cinnamon and nutmeg sounds delicious, eaten cold.

zenvelo's avatar

A good green salad served with cold chunks of barbecued chicken breast. Cook the chicken at home the night before, carry in its own container to the picnic, add to the salad just before serving when you add a dressing to it.

Revenge is a dish best served cold.

Dutchess_III's avatar

She’s asking about a MAIN DISH, guys! Not a side.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Does the picnic area have any electrical hookups?

zenvelo's avatar

A green salad with protein IS a main dish, at least here in California!

Coloma's avatar

^^^ Haha..true! and California horse women always have their glass of wine sitting on a bale of hay in the barn during the evening feeding. lol

Yep, cold BBQ chicken drumsticks or salad. Or, you could also make a giant bowl of Shrimp or Crab Louie. Mmmm good!

CWOTUS's avatar

It doesn’t matter whether it’s “just dessert” or “the only thing on the menu”, ice cream is always “the main dish”.

CWOTUS's avatar

Hmm… shrimp cocktail. And if it’s a Jewish party, you may get to eat it without the usual competition.

janbb's avatar

This is for a crowd although many others will be bringing food too. I don’t want to spend a fortune.

CWOTUS's avatar

You can hardly go wrong with bread and cheese, unless everyone brings bread and cheese. Even then it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Someone told me once that when you bring a dish, bring enough to feed your family, NOT the entire crowd.

janbb's avatar

@CWOTUS True. I can live on good bread and cheese – and ice cream!

janbb's avatar

@Dutchess_III Yes, that make sense.

janbb's avatar

I’ve got basil in the garden so i think I might make a pesto and tortellini salad.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Japanese gyoza dumplings are the bomb, either with meat or not. Easy & cheap too. Hit me up on fb if you want the deets.

rojo's avatar

Spam, in a can.

Coloma's avatar

Oooh…I JUST made Tortellini with our garden fresh Basil the other day. Good call!

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

There aren’t very many main dishes that are good cold. Fried chicken would be my choice.

Buttonstc's avatar

If you want something that feeds a crowd but doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, how about a Savory Bread Pudding.

In addition to the obvious eggs, bread, chicken broth or cream for the base, Ingredients can be any combo of mushroom, cheese, spinach, grated carrots for color, and if you really want to splurge throw in some canned salmon.

As long as the liquid used for the custard is seasoned well, the amount of bread you use can really stretch it out and it will still be delicious. Just be sure to season aggressively and taste before baking and it will be delicious.

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