The weather has warmed up. In fact, it’s darn hot. A rise in temperatures means a drop in my tolerance for being stuck in the kitchen. I’d much rather be adventuring my way through our amazing state parks or lazing about at the lake or beach. But, this mother “nature” and her hungry brood still need to eat and my no-cook picnic ideas using deli roast beef have become the stars of many al fresco feasts.
Packaged sliced beef works just fine, but my preference is for an in-house roast beef the local market makes (HEB). It’s fresh, flavorful, cooked to perfection, and, honestly, rivals my own. For the perfect thin, pliable slices that don’t fall into shreds, I ask the deli manager to cut the roast beef on the setting 1 ½ or 2. Of course, you can always substitute homemade roast leftovers for any of these picnic-ready ideas.
First up, the main course is Texas Roast Beef Sandwich Spread. Similar to chicken salad or tuna salad, deli roast beef (or most any cold leftover beef) can be chopped up and mixed with fixings to become a tasty spread for sandwiches, topping on salads, or dip for chips.
Perhaps not be as beautiful a sight as a big, juicy ribeye steak, but darn if it isn’t just as delicious in its own right! Let your taste buds be the judge! Add whatever you like into the chopped deli roast beef and mayo mixture. Traditionalists might enjoy eggs, onions, and pickles but I put a Texas touch on my roast beef sandwich spread by adding pico de gallo and chopped avocado. The recipe is at the bottom of this post.
Another no-cook picnic idea is to add deli roast beef to a jar salad. These “meals in a jar” pack so well in a cooler and you just shake-up the ingredients when ready to eat. For the best results, put the dressing on the bottom, grains or beans on the next layer, with veggies next, followed by deli meat, cheeses, nuts or other toppings. My no-recipe salad includes balsamic vinaigrette, quinoa, tomatoes, spinach, fresh mozzarella and basil for a beefy caprese vibe.
Finally, think toothpicks, skewers and finger-foods. Skewer up folded bits of roast beef with cheese cubes and tomatoes. Or, wrap an entire piece of deli roast beef around a cheese stick and slice into hunks, securing a berry on top of each piece with a toothpick.
Go all out with a beautiful meat, cheese and veggie tray where picnic-goes can nibble and nosh as much or little as they like. I like to lay out deli roast beef, all-beef dry salami, beef jerky and slices of cold brisket along with a rainbow assortment of produce with breads, dips and condiments for meal-making. Check out this post on The Perfect Beef & Cheese Board for Picnics.
More inspiration with Deli Roast Beef:
- Mediterranean Beef & Veggie Wraps
- Beef & Cream Cheese Bagelwich
- Open Face Roast Beef & Crunchy Vegetables
Texas Roast Beef Sandwich Spread
Nutrition information per serving: Calories 220; Total fat 13g (Sat. fat 1.5g; Trans fat 0g); Cholest. 45mg; Sodium 1050mg; Total Carb. 11g; Fiber 2g; Total Sugars 4g; Protein 16g; Vit D (0% DV); Calcium (0% DV); Iron (10% DV); Potas. (15%DV)