When you think of Chicago picnic food, grilled meats and BBQs probably come to mind. Guests with particular dietary needs present a daunting challenge to this perception of picnic food. Fortunately, we know dietary restrictions do not have to limit the quality of your picnic menu, nor should they.
Our wide array of suitable menu items takes the stress out of planning a picnic for those on special diets.
Picnics that Accommodates Dietary Needs
Talk to your Chicago catering company about which dietary needs you plan to accommodate at your picnic. A custom picnic menu will make sure each guest has a wonderful choice of healthy picnic foods so nobody feels left out. Here are some of our favorite picnic foods for each special diet:
Vegetarian picnic foods
- 1/3 lb. veggie burgers
- Sweet potato salad: roasted sweet potato, green onion, celery, roasted red pepper, cilantro and lime chipotle dressing
- Veggie quesadilla: spinach, artichoke hearts, sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions and melted Jack cheese
Vegan picnic foods
- Tomato basil couscous salad: tender Israeli couscous, tomato, cucumber, onions and basil with a delicious balsamic vinaigrette
- Molasses baked beans: vegetarian baked beans, brown sugar and sweet onion
Dairy-free picnic foods
- Black Angus 1/3 lb. hamburgers: made with lean ground beef
- Picnic BBQ wings: grilled chicken wings with Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauce
- Heritage coleslaw: shredded cabbage slaw with tangy oil and vinegar dressing
Gluten-free picnic foods
- Jumbo angus beef hot dogs: made with All-American 100 percent pure beef
- Legume and bell pepper salad: black, kidney and pinto beans with red and green bell peppers and onions, tossed with a hint of agave nectar
When planning a picnic menu that accommodates multiple special diets and food intolerances or allergies, we always suggest including a few dishes that everyone can enjoy. Some of our top healthy picnic food ideas that satisfy all of the above dietary restrictions are our tossed garden salad, fruit kabobs and grilled summer vegetables.
All catering staff should take dietary needs as well as food allergies and intolerances seriously because reactions can be very painful and upsetting. To make sure guests have a safe and tasty picnic meal, talk to your Chicago catering company about the following precautions:
- Inform all staff of the special diets that are a top concern at your picnic. They will take extra care to ensure food is cooked and prepped without any cross contamination.
- Treat vegetables and meats in all-natural seasonings and flavors. The use of substances like preservatives can wreck havoc on guests’ bodies.
- Prepare foods in allergen-free environments whenever possible. Healthy company picnics suited to those with special dietary needs are a great way to make everyone feel included and valued. As a family-owned and operated company, we know best how to make each guest feel like family.
Contact our expert picnic team to easily address any dietary concerns and start planning the fun stuff: