Quick Summer Picnic Recipes

Summer in Texas isn’t just about blue skies and beautiful weather; it’s also perfect for family picnics. Today we’re sharing our three favorite quick summer picnic recipes.

July 9, 2022

Summer in Texas isn’t just about blue skies and beautiful weather; it’s also perfect for family picnics. For us, there’s nothing better than putting a blanket down under a tree with the kids and opening a basket full of delicious summer picnic recipes.

But life is hectic, and it’s hard to find time to spend a whole day in the kitchen preparing food. So to help you get motivated, we’re sharing our three favorite quick summer picnic recipes. They’re tried and true family favorites that come together in an instant and taste amazing. 

Brian’s Bavarian Brats

Grilled brats are a summer picnic recipe staple, so there are strong opinions about the best way to prepare them. Some like to simmer the brats in beer before throwing them on the grill. Others grill them first, then rest the sausages in simmering beer until ready to serve. 

Both techniques are delicious, but we simmer first and grill second in this recipe. Why? Grilling gives you those delightful browned, charred, crispy bits we love. If you simmer after grilling, you lose some of that flavor.

But no matter your favorite cooking style, make sure you use the best sausages available. Our Premium Quality Texas Beef Brats are the best choice for your family. They’re grass-fed, grain-finished, and always hormone and steroid-free. 

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Type: Appetizer or Entrée

Cuisine: German American

Yield: 4 full-sized brats

You’ll need:

  • 12 oz of beer (feel free to use the cheap stuff here)
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 jalapeños, thinly sliced
  • 4 uncooked Premium Quality Texas Beef Brats
  • 4 sub or hoagie rolls, split
  • Your preferred condiments

To prepare:

  1. Preheat your grill to high.
  1. Bring the beer to a simmer in a medium pot over high heat. While you wait, slice your onions and jalapeños.
  1. When the beer is hot, add the brats, the onions, and the jalapeños to the pot. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the sausages are cooked.
  1. Remove the brats from the liquid and transfer them to the grill. Cook them for about five minutes, turning often, until browned on all sides.
  1. While grilling the brats, continue simmering the beer, onions, and jalapeños over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated. Turn the heat to low to keep the veggie mixture warm.
  1. When everything else is done, throw the rolls on the grill, cut-side down. Toast them until golden.
  1. Serve the brats sandwiched in the rolls and topped with the caramelized onion, jalapeños, and all your favorite fixins. If you won’t be eating them right away, pack up the brats, rolls, and onion mix separately and put them together when you’re ready to eat.

Texas Cowboy Caviar

Depending on where you’re from, this quick summer picnic recipe is known as Cowboy Caviar or Texas Caviar, and it’s a family favorite here on the ranch. You’ll find many different varieties of this dish all over the Southwest, but we are partial to the combination of corn and beans.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Resting Time: 2 hours

Type: Appetizer

Cusine: Southwestern

Yield: 8 cups

For the dressing:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the dip:

  • 3 small tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 medium red onion, finely diced
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans of black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 green onion, sliced for garnish
  •  Plenty of tortilla chips dipping


  1. Make the dressing: In a non-reactive bowl large enough to hold the finished dip, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, garlic, sugar, chili powder, cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to combine.
  1. Make the dip: Add the tomatoes, red onion, black-eyed peas, corn, bell pepper, jalapeño, and cilantro. 
  1. Add the dressing to the dip and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Don’t over-season at this point. You can adjust things after the dip has rested. 
  1. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.
  1. To serve, toss well and check the seasoning. Sprinkle with scallions and serve with tortilla chips.

 Lone Star Steak Marinade

Sometimes, a Texas picnic isn’t just a blanket and a basket. Sometimes, a grill gets involved and it turns into a cookout. The Lone Star Steak Maranade is a quick summer picnic recipe that combines coriander, cumin, garlic, and chilies. It tastes fantastic on anything, but it really shines on thinly sliced steaks. 

When choosing which steaks to use, we recommend our very own Premium Quality Texas Beef. It’s grass-fed, grain-finished, and always hormone and steroid-free. Your family deserves Better Beef!

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Marinating Time: 1 – 2 hours or up to 48 hours. The more, the better!

Total Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes

Type: Entrée

Cuisine: American

Yield: Makes enough to marinate four 12 oz steaks

Here’s what you’ll need for the marinade:

  • 2/3 cup soy sauce
  • 6 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Texas Beef Company Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp grated garlic cloves
  • 3 tsp ground coriander
  • 3 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 tsp ancho chili powder (or regular chili powder)

Here are the steps to put it all together:

  1. Combine the ingredients in a large resealable bag. Massage the bag to combine the ingredients.
  1. Add the Premium Quality Texas Beef steaks to the bag. Again, massage the marinade into the meat. Make sure that all the surfaces of the beef are exposed.
  1. Refrigerate for at least one hour and preferably for two. 
  1. When you’re ready to cook, remove the meat from the refrigerator about 1 hour before cooking to bring it to room temperature. 

Check us out! We offer grass-fed, grain-finished, sustainably raised bulk beef and Premium Quality custom beef boxes. Each one is chock-full of all your favorite cuts. We also have tons of Texas Beef Company merchandise. Show the world that you Eat Better Beef!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *