25 best picnic food recipe ideas
There’s nothing more civilised than a well-prepared picnic in the great outdoors. Take yours to a whole new level with some of our best ever picnic food ideas: from homemade pork pies to individual cakes that can be easily transported, we’ve got some ingenious ideas lined up for you…
And if it’s more of a packed sandwich you’re after, discover all of our sandwich recipes here.
Pies, quiches and tarts
Would any picnic really be complete without a picnic pie? It makes a spectacular centrepiece, especially when served alongside pickles and fresh salad. Find our handy guide on how to make your own.
These chilli-spiced sweet potato and black bean empanadas make great picnic fare as they can be whipped up in advance and are easy peasy to transport. Perfect for everyone as they’re veggie-friendly.
Feta or halloumi, which do you love more? What if you didn’t have to choose? Get a taste of the Mediterranean with this easy Greek tart recipe that is packed with both grated halloumi and crumbled feta: a winning combo in our book!
If you’re not in the mood to make your own pastry, then don’t! This simple vegetarian pasty recipe makes an ideal picnic snack and is super speedy to make because it requires shop-bought pastry.
Food writer Debbie Major gives her version of a classic quiche lorraine. A rich and buttery pastry is filled with bacon lardons, double cream and a generous helping of cheese in this melt-in-the-mouth showstopper that won’t disappoint your picnic attendees.
Sandwiches, sausage rolls and wraps
Lovely, soft baguettes are filled with smoked chicken, homemade parsley pesto and crisp gem lettuce for this quick and easy on-the-go recipe that tastes like something from a French boulangerie.
Muffuletta is a classic New Orleans meat, cheese and pickle sandwich. It was created in 1906 at Central Grocery Co on Decatur Street by an Italian immigrant called Salvatore Lupo. It’s a mainstay on the menu at Cochon Butcher and can be served toasted or cold, which is perfect if you don’t plan to crack into your picnic straightaway.
Club sandwiches can be a little on the heavy side (hey, we’re all for it if you are!) so we’ve halved the fat and slashed the calories of this classic hunger-stopper, while keeping the satisfaction suitably double-deckered. If you’d prefer the original version, then give our ultimate club sandwich a go.
You don’t need much to make these epic chicken wraps, which strike the perfect balance between creamy and crunchy with the addition of houmous and grated carrot.
Ham in a wrap? Please trust us on this one. This is an elevated version of the classic ham sandwich. This one combines fresh fennel coleslaw, spicy avocado and leftover ham in a tortilla wrap.
If you thought the humble but oh-so-satisfying sausage roll couldn’t get any better, think again. Here in our feta sausage rolls, crisp, flakey pastry is wrapped around crumbly feta cheese and perfectly seasoned sausage meat, with a subtle chilli kick.
Forget mini sausage rolls, make way for this giant sausage roll made with onions, mushrooms and fennel seeds. A recipe guaranteed to please a crowd – and you can carry it whole and then slice at the picnic.
Looking for the traditional version? We’ve got lots of sausage roll recipes for you to browse.
This Italian bake is studded with roasted cherry tomatoes and pesto for an extra punch of flavour. It’s a lovely thing to bring along to a picnic and can be sliced up and served amongst the gang.
Watch the video on how to make it below and click here for the recipe.
Prepared salads and couscous
Try this hearty dish of couscous and green bean salad with crumbled Wensleydale, runner beans and peas.
A simple salad recipe that brings into play the classic winning combination of tomato and basil. It’s summery, it’s easy and it’s very good indeed.
This zesty Moroccan side dish of couscous with preserved lemons will add instant flavour to your picnic. It’s lovely served alongside some cold meats and travels really well in Tupperware.
A potato salad with a little added oomph – we’ve included mint, peas and broad beans to freshen up this classic summer side dish. It’s so refreshing! Or if that’s not for you, check out all of our potato salad recipes here.
Just look at all of those beautiful colours! This radicchio and orzo pasta salad is as versatile as it is delicious and adds a lovely citrus kick to your picnic.
If green means go, then we’re all for this bright and colourful summer pasta recipe. The fresh peas and blanched almonds add a touch of earthy sweetness to a fresh and aromatic pesto mix.
Our best ever chocolate chip cookies
Don’t forget the sweet treats at your picnic! Cookies are great if you’ve got kids around and there’s no other option but our best ever chocolate chip cookies. Watch how to make them below in this handy video or click here for the full recipe.
Use the summer season’s juiciest raspberries teamed with almonds in this easy-to-bake cake bar recipe. It can be sliced up beforehand and makes a great energy booster if you’re on the move.
Simmone Logue‘s caramel kisses are a daintier take on millionaire’s shortbread: a biscuit base, caramel filling and chocolate ganache top layer. Warning: it’s impossible to stop at just one.
Drinks and smoothies
A quick and easy summer classic, this foolproof homemade lemonade recipe will become a favourite. It’s easy to transport too; just pop it in a Kilner bottle or a flask.
This refreshing watermelon and strawberry drink is the perfect accompaniment to eating al fresco in the summer and it’s non-alcoholic, so everyone can enjoy it.
If you’re lucky to be picnicking in Elderflower season, then you could pick your own and make homemade elderflower cordial. You can even freeze some, and defrost over the coming months!
And those are just the tip of the iceberg! Tuck into all of our picnic recipes here and plan your most epic adventure yet…