15 best savoury bake recipes for picnics
Fill your picnic basket with delicious homemade goodies. These are the 15 best savoury bake recipes for picnics and summer gatherings.
Cakes may be the star at summer fetes and afternoon teas but when it comes to picnics, the savoury bake gets time to shine. What springs to mind when you think of a classic picnic? For us, it’s a glorious spread of pork pies, sausage rolls, cheese straws and sandwiches. You’ll find recipes for all these traditional offerings below, plus some contemporary updates to bring your picnic firmly into the 21st century. Think spicy empandas, vegan quiche, tear-and-share monkey bread with herby butter and lots more.
From cheat’s pasties to epic homemade breads, there’s a picnic recipe for every budget and effort level below…
What makes a great picnic bake?
A great picnic bake is the one you’re in the mood to make. Picnics should be a low-stress affair, with freshly baked cheese straws and sausage rolls sitting happily alongside tubs of hummus and veg sticks on the rug. Any homemade offerings will be appreciated, so match the bake to your effort level. Want to bring something quick and easy? Try savoury muffins or cheat’s pasties with leftover roast chicken and shop-bought pastry. Fancy more of a challenge? We’ve got picnic recipes to impress, too. A colourful stuffed picnic loaf, herbed monkey bread or from-scratch pork pies will all win praise from your pals.
The two golden rules for a successful picnic bake are 1) pick something that can sit out of the fridge or cool kitchen for a few hours. 2) Choose something easily transportable. Sturdy bakes that can jiggle around in the cake tin or tub beat delicate confections every time. Stick to these two simple rules and your homemade picnic bakes are a guaranteed hit. Now all you need to do is pick something to drink!
The best savoury bake recipes for picnics
Savoury muffins are the ideal low-effort picnic offering. They’re easy to make and endlessly flexible. Our recipe calls for spinach, bacon and cheddar but the classic additions are veg (try grated carrot, courgette or chargrilled peppers) and a savoury booster like cheddar, Parmesan or…yes, bacon.
Dunk these moreish seeded crackers into hummus, spread them with cream cheese or pile them high with strong cheddar and pickles. Homemade crackers are easier to make than you might think – this recipe only takes 10 mins prep, plus 10 mins in the oven.
A gorgeous, golden focaccia dotted with juicy summer tomatoes. Cut into squares to feed a crowd, along with prosciutto, salami, and other antipasto.
Soda bread is easier and far more forgiving than most yeasted breads, so these rolls are a good picnic option when you want to bring homemade bread but don’t want to spend half the weekend kneading dough.
This spectacular loaf is sliced to resemble a hedgehog, then crammed with creamy buffalo mozzarella, spinach-flecked butter and juicy tomatoes. Wrap it well, lest those delicious fillings try to escape.
Fancy a pre-picnic baking project? Have a crack at making your own mini baguettes with leading baker Richard Bertinet’s step-by-step recipe. These crisp and airy baguettes are delicious spread with salty butter – prepare for compliments!
Cheese straws are a picnic classic, and it’s easy to make your own with just four ingredients using our recipe. A great budget option.
Pork pies are a timeless addition to a picnic spread (think Enid Blyton books and ‘lashings of ginger beer’). Learn how to make pork pies from scratch, including the traditional hot-water crust and rich filling.
The courgette glut in your garden was made for this incredible puff pastry tart. Top a rich mix of mascarpone and Greek manouri cheese with whisper-thin courgette slices. Bake until golden, the drizzle with chilli-honey dressing.
Everyone will be talking about this herby monkey bread long after the picnic blanket has been rolled up and the empty gins in tins are in the recycling. The soft, tear-apart dough is swirled with a garlicky herb butter. Take along more butter to serve, or try it with this simple lemon cream cheese and herb spread.
Quiche is firmly back on this summer’s menu after getting the royal seal of approval for the Coronation. We’ve got all sorts of quiche recipes – including a crisp vegan quiche, but for this round-up we’ve gone for the timeless combo of cheese and onion.
We couldn’t have a picnic collection without sausage rolls. A tub of ready-made rolls from the supermarket will do in a pinch, but if you’ve got time, nothing beats homemade. These golden bites have an extra rich filling, thanks to the combination of pork, mature cheddar and tangy onion relish.
Heading to a Bank Holiday picnic? Use up the chicken from your Sunday roast in these easy pasties made with shop-bought pastry. Garnish with black onion or sesame seeds for extra flair.
Empanadas are South America’s answer to the humble pasty. Think thick, golden pastry and rich, spicy fillings, like these Argentinian beef and red pepper empanadas.
A picnic bake to impress. If you’ve mastered basic loaves, then you’re ready to tackle homemade bagels. Former Bake Off champion David Atherton shares the secrets of chewy bagels in this step-by-step recipe. Just don’t forget the cream cheese!
Need more inspiration? Here’s all our picnic recipes in one handy place.
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