Creative Al Fresco Meals

There’s something a little bit special about gathering everyone together in the garden and eating under the sun or late in the evening under twinkling fairy lights. With the last month of Summer now here, we have compiled some creative and delicious meals to enjoy al fresco, including vegetarian & vegan options and a yummy dessert!

Roast Lemon Chicken Garden Salad

A healthy yet flavoursome lunch/ dinner without the guilt! This recipe requires very little prep – just plenty of time in the oven. This is perfect if you’re entertaining or just putting together a healthy family meal.

Prep 20 minutes, cooking 1 hour 20 minutes, serves 6


  • 1 large chicken (2kg)
  • 2 lemons, halved
  • 1/2 small bunch of thyme
  • Olive oil
  • 1 ciabatta loaf
  • 90g pack of prosciutto
  • 1 garlic bulb
  • 1 bunch of spring onions
  • 4 baby gem lettuces
  • Plum tomatoes


  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Cut one of the lemons in half. Season the chicken inside and out with salt and pepper, then stuff the cavity with the lemon halves and thyme. Place chicken in a large roasting tin, drizzle with olive oil and roast for 40 mins
  2. Remove the tin from the oven, then tear the ciabatta into small pieces and scatter around the chicken and ruffle over the prosciutto. Half the garlic horizontally and add to the tin along with other lemon halves. Roast everything together for 40 mins more until the croutons and prosciutto are crisp.
  3. Remove from the oven, transfer the chicken to a plate and leave to cool. Remove the croutons and prosciutto, and set aside. While the chicken cools, slice the spring onions and roughly chop the parsley, then add into a big bowl with tomatoes.
  4. To make the dressing, squash the roasted lemon and garlic in the roasting tin with a potato masher. Remove all the skin from the garlic, then stir in the olive oil and lemon juice with some seasoning – scrape the bottom of the tin to get all the sticky chicken juices into your dressing. Stir in any resting juices from the chicken and set aside.
  5. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, strip the meat off the bones. Just before serving, add the dressing, chicken, croutons, prosciutto and lettuce to the green salad mix in the bowl, toss together and scatter over a large serving platter.

Ciabatta Bread and Feta Garlic Oil

Everyone loves a good starter, and this is sure to be a hit with your guests! More of a sophisticated adult meal, this is vegetarian and takes very little preparation!


  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp. dried chilli flakes
  • 140g semi-dried tomatoes in olive oil, drained
  • 400 g feta cheese
  • 85 g Kalamata olives
  • Ciabatta rolls


  1. Tip the olive oil and thyme into a bowl and blitz with a hand blender. Stir in the garlic, chilli and lots of black pepper. You could add some of the oil from the tomatoes too.
  2. Cut each block of feta into cubes and arrange in a dish or a food container with the tomatoes and olives. Spoon over the herby oil and leave to marinate in the fridge overnight.
  3. Warm ciabatta rolls in the oven and serve with this delicious dipping oil – viola!

Vegan Burgers and Wedges

From the ‘Lovingitvegan’ blog, we bring you tasty burgers and chips – vegan friendly and delicious! This can also be thrown on the BBQ while the wedgess cook in the oven.

Prep 15 minutes, cooking time 35 minutes, serves 4


  • 1 cup (100g) walnuts
  • 1 cup chickpeas (canned, drained well)
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp. vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 cup cous cous (cooked)
  • 1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 2 tbsp. vegan BBQ sauce
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • Burger buns
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Ketchup
  • Red onion
  • 8 medium potatoes


  1. Pre-heat oven to gas mark 7 (220 C). Peel the potatoes and cut them into equal wedges. Add to a large pan of boiling water and add a pinch of salt. Let these boil for 5 minutes and then drain. Add these to a large oven tray, ensuring they are all spread out. Drizzle olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Put these in the oven for around 30 minutes, ensuring you check them every ten minutes and rotate them.
  2. While the wedges are cooking, you can begin to prepare your burgers. Add the walnuts to a food processor until a crumbly consistency appears. Transfer into a mixing bowl.
  3. Add the chickpeas to the food processor with soy sauce and tomato paste. Process this until it is well mixed in. You may have to stop a couple of times to scrape the mixture down the sides to ensure it is mixed properly. Transfer this mixture into the mixing bowl.
  4. Add the vegan mayonnaise, hoisin sauce, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, salt, black pepper and paprika into the mixing bowl.
  5. Add the cooked cous cous and vital wheat gluten into the bowl and mix until slightly mixed. Use your hands to form into a big ball and knead around 20-30 times to ensure the wheat gluten is activated properly. Don’t worry about over-kneading, this mixture should maintain it’s consistency.
  6. Divide this mixture into 4 sections and either use your hands to form a burger shape or use a round cutter to form a perfectly round burger patty.
  7. If you’re using a frying pan: add the olive oil and place burgers onto the pan. Brush the vegan BBQ sauce onto the top of the burgers and fry for 5 minutes on a medium heat. Flip the burgers and then add BBQ sauce onto the other side. Try not to flip the burger more than once for best results.  
  8. If you’re grilling: Make sure the grill is lightly oiled so the burgers won’t stick. Brush the burgers with BBQ sauce and grill on one side for 5 minutes and then the other for 5 minutes. The timings can vary when grilling so keep an eye on its progress. They’re ready when they are nicely browned on both sides.
  9. Add your gorgeous burgers onto a burger bun with sliced tomato, red onion and a dash of ketchup. Serve alongside your potato wedges and enjoy!

Grilled Peach and Pineapple with Ice Cream

Healthy, delicious and puts the BBQ to good use. This can be altered to make a vegan dessert too. This fruity twist will see little ones getting their 5-a-day with the added treat of ice cream – yum!

Serves 4


  • 4 peaches, ripe
  • 1 pineapple, ripe
  • Maple syrup
  • 100g toasted almonds
  • Ice cream


  1. Preheat the grill to a medium setting, slice the pineapple into long, 1 inch thick chunks and half the peaches, removing the stones.
  2. Brush the peaches and pineapple with around 1 tbsp. of maple syrup and grill for approximately 5-8 minutes until brown and juicy.
  3. Serve immediately with ice cream/ coconut milk vegan ice cream, sprinkle on the toasted almonds and enjoy!


Al fresco dining – <a href=””>People 

Chicken salad – <a href=””>Food 

Peaches – <a href=””>Food 

Ice cream – <a href=””>Background photo 

Pineapple – <a href=””>Background 

Burger and chips – <a href=””>Food