Our Favourite Al Fresco Meals To Please a Crowd

Things are heating up here in the UK, making it the perfect time to get out the garden furniture and picnic blankets and serve up some al fresco food. 

So how do you nail the outdoor dining? First of all, prep ahead. There’s nothing as stressful as doing it all in a mad rush just before heading out the door. Make your dishes in advance and if you’re heading to a picnic, chuck them in good quality Tupperware with lids. Keep it cool too! Our chefs recommend freezing a bottle of wine, then take it out of the freezer before you leave and use it as a cooler. By the time you’ve finished eating, your wine will be just about ready to drink!

Here are our top meal suggestions for amping up your al fresco dining this summer. 

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Romesco Pasta Salad

Get some flavour into your life with romesco – we love this rich Spanish sauce made with roasted red peppers, almonds and plenty of garlic. Prep your pasta ahead, let it cool and serve it with fresh mint and a drizzle of oil for a super simple and tasty summer pasta salad.

From ‘Midday Fix’.

Harissa Chicken + Roasted Corn Couscous

Tunisian hot harissa chilli paste is a great way to get a hit of warm, fragrant flavour in your meals. Mix it with crème fraîche and coat your chicken, then whip up a side of roasted corn couscous for a super flavourful dinner. Ready in less than 30 minutes and with only 8 ingredients, this is a great meal for getting an awesome al fresco dinner on the table in a rush!

From ‘Simple Setup’.

Roast Mushroom + Beetroot Bruschetta (V)

This one works perfectly as a starter or light al fresco dinner. It’s also great if you’re cooking on a budget – with this Meal Pack you get 5 meals for the price of 3! Serve it with a simple salad on the side for the freshest midweek meal. 

From ‘High Five’.

Asparagus + Feta Quiche (V)

There’s nothing to get you in the al fresco picnic mood like fluffy, cheesy quiche. With this one you don’t even need to buy a pastry case – we use tortilla wraps instead! You’ll love the freshness of the asparagus and the courgette salad alongside it. Check out the falafel and quesadillas from the same Meal Pack! All the meals put a great summery spin on your midweek dining and work perfectly for al fresco picnicking too. 

From ‘Market Bites’.

Pea, Mint + Crab Panzanella

Fresh is the order of the day with this hearty Italian salad. You’ll use up the leftover bread from the bruschetta in this Meal Pack – panzanella is pretty much our go-to for eliminating bread waste! This one delivers on taste with garden peas, crab, soft-boiled egg and lots of fresh herbs. Make it ahead of time, bring it along to a summer picnic and you’ll be a hit, guaranteed.

From ‘Light and Mighty’.

Midweek Mezze (V)

Nothing says summer like a selection of delicious bits you can pick at. Dip into a top tier array of veggie delights with our midweek veggie mezze – you’ve got honey roasted feta, buttery aubergine, a cheat’s hummus and a fresh herby tabbouleh. Make them ahead and transport the lot to table or to picnic!

From ‘Sharing Is Caring’.

Bacon + Ricotta Tart

Sick of picnic sandwiches? This tart is your new best friend. Buy ready-rolled puff pastry to save on time, then top with your ricotta, cherry tomatoes and courgette. It’s delicious both hot and cold. Veggie? Lose the bacon, or swap it out for extra veggies like spinach or beetroot.

From ‘Impress Yourself’.

Halloumi Niçoise Salad

A salad niçoise is a summer classic. We swapped out the traditional tuna for salty halloumi in this veggie version. With new potatoes, green beans, cherry tomatoes, black olives and hard-boiled eggs, it’s a real feast that you can share around at a picnic. It’s super quick too – a fab choice for those last minute summer plans!

From ‘Pick Me Up’.

Want more al fresco meals you can prep ahead?

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