Sunday, July 16, 2017

Best Picnic Recipes #SundaySupper...Featuring Italian Layered Portable Picnic Jars #picnic #summer

Summer is in full swing, so it's the perfect time for al fresco dining and relaxing outdoor picnics. This week, the #SundaySupper Tastemakers are sharing our Best Picnic Recipes -- and our event hostess is Christie from A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures. Today, I'm sharing a perfect portable picnic entree! My Italian Layered Portable Picnic Jars feature my favorite robust Italian flavors. Simply assemble up to 24 hours before and store in the fridge. Then, pack everything into a cooler or picnic basket and you're ready for a fabulous complete al fresco meal. 

Italian Layered Portable Picnic Jars
a Weekend Gourmet original
Ingredients (makes 3 jars):
  • 2-3 cups baby spinach blend bagged salad
  • 2 cups cooked penne pasta
  • 1 3/4 cups fresh mozzarella pearls
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast (can use rotisserie chicken)
  • 1 3/4 cups white beans
For the sun-dried tomato layer:
  • 3/4 cup julienne cut sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup good-quality bottled balsamic vinaigrette [NOTE: I used a vinaigrette with sun-dried tomatoes]
For the pesto dressing:
  • 2/3 cup good-quality bottled balsamic vinaigrette 
  • 1/3 cup prepared basil pesto
Step 1: Make the sun-dried tomato layer. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, and balsamic vinaigrette to a small bowl. Stir until all of the tomatoes are coated with the vinaigrette. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
Step 2: Make the pesto dressing. Add the balsamic vinaigrette and pesto to a small container. Whisk until the pesto is completely incorporate into the vinaigrette. Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. 
Step 3: Assemble the layered picnic in a jar. Place one third of the baby spinach salad blend in the bottle of three large glass jars with lids. Then, layer the penne, sun-dried tomato mixture, chicken, mozzarella pearls, and white beans into each jar. Screw on the lid and place in the refrigerator. This step can be completed up to 24 hours ahead.
Step 4: Pack the picnic jars, napkins, and utensils in a cooler or picnic basket. If not eating within 2 hours, be sure to include chilled cool packs to ensure everything stays chilled and safe to eat. When you get to your picnic site, remove the lid and empty the contents of the jars onto plates. Toss with a fork to evenly combine all ingredients. Drizzle with the pesto vinaigrette and enjoy!
These fun jarred picnic entree is essentially an Italian pasta salad. It's full of robust flavors, and it's hearty enough to be a complete portable meal. Simply bring some chilled ice tea or wine, some French bread with herbed dipping sauce, and some cookies or brownies for dessert to round out the meal. Not going on a picnic? No worries! This great jarred meal also makes a perfect on-the-go weekday lunch to take to the office with you.

I hope you'll check out all of the great picnic-ready recipes my fellow #SundaySupper Tastemakers are sharing today. There's literally something for everyone!

Best Picnic Recipes to Enjoy at the Park #SundaySupper

Starters, Skewers, and Sandwiches al Fresco

Stow-and-Go Sides and Salads

Drinks and Desserts for Outdoor Dining

Sunday Supper MovementBe sure to join the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter today! We tweet throughout the day, and we share recipes from all over the world! Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET/6:00 pm Central. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, and remember to include it in your tweets, to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, be sure to visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy! You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

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