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5 Summer Picnic Recipes for a Kidney Disease Diet

July 09, 2024, 8:31am EDT

Two families laughing together at a picnic

Everyone has different nutritional needs. Ask a kidney dietitian or a healthcare provider for advice in creating a kidney disease diet plan. 

Welcome to National Kidney Foundation’s picnic spread! Here are five kidney-friendly recipes perfect for long sunny days and warm summer nights. 

Jump to Recipe

  1. Bow-Tie Pasta Salad
  2. Grilled Sesame Chicken
  3. Lemon Curry Chicken Salad
  4. Chicken Fajitas
  5. Apple Bread Loaf

1. Bow-Tie Pasta Salad

Bowl of pasta salad over ice

This low-fat, low-sodium pasta salad is full of flavor and easy to make. It’s sure to become a summer party or picnic favorite. 

Serving size: 1/3 cup


  • 2 cups cooked bow-tie pasta
  • ¼ cup chopped celery
  • 2 tbsp chopped green pepper
  • 2 tbsp shredded carrot
  • 2 tsp minced onion
  • ⅛ tsp pepper
  • ⅔ cup mayonnaise, low-fat
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice


  1. Mix pasta, celery, green pepper, carrot, and onion in a bowl.
  2. In a separate small bowl, blend pepper, mayonnaise, sugar, and lemon juice until smooth.
  3. Pour over pasta and vegetables.
  4. Mix until well-coated.
  5. Chill before serving.

Get the full recipe and nutritional information.

2. Grilled Sesame Chicken

Sesame grilled chicken

The enticing aroma of our sweet and savory honey-soy sauce caramelizing as it grills is second only to how delicious it tastes. 

Serving size: 1 half chicken breast


  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sherry
  • 4, 4–oz skinned, boned chicken breast halves
  • Vegetable cooking spray


  1. Combine the first 5 ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Set aside.
  3. Flatten chicken pieces to ¼–inch thickness using a mallet or rolling pin.
  4. Spray the grill with cooking spray.
  5. Grill chicken over medium-hot coals for 4 minutes on each side, basting frequently with soy sauce mixture.
  6. Transfer to a serving platter.

Get the full recipe and nutritional information.

3. Lemon Curry Chicken Salad

Chicken salad on bread

This tantalizing salad combines tender chicken with juicy halved grapes and crisp sliced celery, creating a delightful blend of textures and tastes that will have you coming back for seconds.

Serving size: 1 cup


  • ¼ cup oil
  • 4 tbsp frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp curry powder
  • ⅛ tsp garlic powder
  • 1½ cups cooked diced chicken
  • 1½ cups grapes, halved
  • ½ cup sliced celery


  1. In a large bowl, combine oil, lemonade concentrate, and spices.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and toss lightly.
  3. Chill.

Get the full recipe and nutritional information.

4. Chicken Fajitas

Three chicken fajitas

Brighten up your summer dinner rotation with these easy-to-make, delicious fajitas. 

Serving size: 4oz


  • 2 chicken breasts (12 ounces)
  • 6 tbsp grated 2% Mexican cheese blend
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ yellow onion, sliced and cut into strips
  • 1 bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 6 small corn tortillas


  1. Cook chicken until 165°F. Let rest. Then, cut.
  2. Cook onion until translucent and bell pepper until browned.
  3. Toss chicken and vegetables with onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper.
  4. Add chicken and cooked vegetables to the tortilla.
  5. Top with shredded cheese and enjoy!

Get the full recipe and nutritional information.

5. Apple Bread Loaf

Apple bread loaf on a cutting board

Searching for a high-fiber vegan dessert that’s also moist and sweet? If so, NKF’s new apple bread loaf is the perfect treat. 

Serving size: 1 slice (0.6”)


  • 1 medium apple with peel, grated (1¼ cups unpacked)
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup ground oats


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients.
  3. Spray an 8.5” x 4.5” rectangular pan with non-stick spray.
  4. Add the mixture to the pan. Bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean.
  5. Remove the apple bread from the oven and let it cool. Cut into 12 slices of 0.6”.
  6. Store in the refrigerator.

Get the full recipe and nutritional information.

Get More Recipes

View our kidney superfoods or get more kidney-friendly recipes.


*This content is provided for informational use only and is not intended as medical advice or as a substitute for the medical advice of a healthcare professional.

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