These easy picnic food ideas are perfect for taking lunch on the go!
From salad to dip to cookies, these simple recipes make any picnic even better.
The sun is out. It’s shining brightly, but the cool breeze is around.
You’re aching to go outdoors and have some fun. Hmm, it seems like a perfect day for a picnic!
You have the cooler ready, the ice packs, baskets, blankets, and containers. Now, you just have to decide what food to bring.
The Best Picnic Food For Your Next Outing!
Picnic food should be easy to make, pack up, and eat. Sometimes you don’t even need utensils!
So, I’ve rounded up a list of 32 fun picnic food ideas, covering everything from wraps, salads, to sweets.
When you head outdoors, you’ll have something nice and filling for everyone. Let’s start, shall we?
I’m not kidding when I said I adore tasty sandwiches, and this is one of them.
A chicken salad packed with celery, red grapes, and cashews? Give it to me!
But that’s not all. Mayo and a perfect blend of seasonings complete this delightful salad.
Serve it on homemade rolls or slices of bread, and you’re good to go.
Want something fancy? Add chopped chives to the spread and serve on croissants!
Plump tomatoes are placed between two perfectly toasted slices of bread. This is a classic summer sandwich you can prepare in less than 10 minutes.
Adding a layer of mayo makes all the difference. It acts as a moisture barrier, so you won’t end up having a soggy sandwich.
Plus, the added punchy flavor is always a winner!
If you love butter on bread, feel free to spread some on your toast.
Make your next picnic an alfresco fiesta with this excellent dip! For a change, skip your store-bought ranch dip or salsa.
This recipe shows off seven yummy layers but calls for more than seven ingredients. Every bite gives a new taste. How awesome is that?
Everything that makes a great taco is in this dip. These include taco-flavored beans, cream cheese, sour cream, salsa, ground beef, and veggies.
Don’t forget your crunchy partner: tortilla chips or crackers (or both).
These rainbow rolls are healthy, fresh, and absolutely delicious!
They’re loaded with veggies and flavored with sweet and spicy peanut sauce and are perfect for giving the kids some nutritious food.
Because this recipe requires several ingredients, it’s ideal that you prepare the rolls ahead.
You can do the rolling before (or during the picnic). It doesn’t take long!
Add or remove veggies as you like. This recipe allows you to customize spring rolls for every family member.
Just like the seven-layer taco dip, you don’t need an oven for cowboy caviar.
All it takes is some chopping and tossing, and you’ll have a summer dip in 20 minutes.
Ah yes, this one is a dip, but it does look like a salad. The trick is to dice the veggies into smaller pieces (except the beans).
Add in some pepper, jalapeños, lime, and garlic for a tasteful bite.
This dip goes well with tortilla chips. But I bet you’ll want to eat it straight by the spoon — it’s that good!
This macaroni salad will make you nostalgic for your grandma’s cooking. The fun part is you can upgrade this recipe with some add-ins.
Besides the traditional ingredients for macaroni salad, you can also add diced ham, hard-boiled eggs, bacon bits, and cheese (lots of it).
7. Tuna Wraps
No-cook tuna rolls are great if you’re looking for a last-minute picnic idea.
This fuss-free recipe takes 10 minutes or less, depending on your choice of ingredients.
In every roll, flavors from tuna, blue cheese dressing, and cayenne pepper will keep you hooked.
Adding fresh spinach, juicy tomatoes, and more cheese makes it even tastier!
Bisquick baking mix, sausage, and cheese are the only things you need to make these Bisquick sausage balls.
Think about making a huge batch of this snack because they’ll go fast!
If you have favorite herbs and seasonings, feel free to add them to the sausage balls. You can also dip them in mayo, sour cream, or sweet chili sauce.
Bring Mediterranean flavors to your Sunday picnic with this couscous salad recipe.
This colorful salad is best as a side dish, but you can turn it into a meatless main dish by adding chickpeas.
Couscous or rice-shaped pasta only takes five minutes to cook, while the tangy homemade dressing is done in only two minutes!
Cucumbers, tomatoes, and bell peppers are a must for the perfect crunch, and so is the feta cheese, for a balanced saltiness.
10. Greek Salad
Refreshing, hearty, and easy to make — what’s not to love about this Greek salad?
This dish is loaded with nutritious veggies like tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, and so much more.
It also calls for some feta cheese and a lemon vinaigrette. You can whip everything up in five minutes!
11. Deviled Eggs
This deviled eggs recipe is a fast one. You’ll start with boiling, shelling, and cutting the eggs in half.
The fun begins with taking out the yolk and making a mixture out of it. Mash the yolk with mayonnaise and add all the spices.
Place the mixture in the egg whites and sprinkle with paprika. Done and done!
These biscuits are dairy-free and tenderly delicious. Even without milk or butter, you’ll have fabulous biscuits at your fingertips!
With high-quality flour, oil, and baking powder, this recipe yields a super moist dough baked in 30 minutes.
For flavoring, consider adding herbs or shredded cheese.
Hummus is a beautifully swirled delight. It’s creamy, light, and rich in umami flavors.
With a melt-in-your-mouth consistency, this dip is oh-so dreamy.
Want to know the secret for the best hummus? Cook the chickpeas until they’re tender and mushy.
This helps the chickpeas break down into a soft mass, creating a perfectly smooth purée.
Here’s another dip to flavor your plain crackers and chips: buffalo chicken dip. As the name suggests, the star of this dip is the juicy shredded chicken.
Combine it with cream cheese, hot sauce, ranch dressing, and loads of cheese, and you’ll have a gooey, golden chicken dip.
It’ll be gone in seconds but will leave a memorable taste in your mouth!
15. Grape Salad
A picnic isn’t complete without something to feed the sweet tooth. That said, this creamy grape salad is worth checking out.
This recipe combines green and purple grapes, creating a lovely combination of sweet and sour flavors.
Dressed in smooth sour cream and topped with crunchy pecans, everyone will adore this dish!
Let’s move on to something much sweeter. These sugar cookies will definitely be a hit for kids and kids-at-heart.
These cookies are in the shape of watermelon slices. They’re super cute with royal icing in the colors of green, white, and pink.
Plus, those chocolate chips are the most adorable watermelon seeds I’ve ever seen!
This recipe promises cake-like cookies frosted with half-chocolate and half-vanilla glaze.
In the German language, these are called Amerikaner, and will remind you of New York shops and bakeries.
These cookies can also be made ahead and stored up to one week in an airtight container.
Bring them to your picnic for a classic, super soft, vanilla-packed dessert.
Rich, cheesy, and can be a little spicy, Qdoba queso is an irresistible dip for veggies, crusty bread, and chips.
The best part about this copycat recipe is the blending of three types of cheeses, creating smooth, creamy goodness.
If you’re a hot freak like me, throw in some jalapeños to heat things up!
19. Cornish Pastries
A Cornish pasty is a short crust pastry filled with meaty beef and tender vegetables.
It’s basically a handheld meat pie that originated from Cornwall, UK.
Pasties can be eaten hot or cold, so these are perfect for lunch picnics.
The homemade pasty is easy to make, don’t you worry. If you’re short on time, you can always use a ready-made one.
20. Sausage Rolls
This recipe calls for pork mince mixed with sauteed onion, garlic, celery, and bacon.
All of these are wrapped in a puff pastry, creating authentic sausage rolls.
There are fancy garnishes or complicated assembling.
Just dunk the rolls in ketchup or tomato sauce to completely appreciate this famous Aussie party food.
21. Bean Salad
This five-bean salad is a must-have in cookouts and picnics. If you can open cans and do some chopping, this recipe is easy-peasy for you.
You don’t have to cook the beans either, so that means less kitchen work. Another win!
If you want to make it a main dish, simply add cooked chicken cut into cubes.
Want to have a vegetarian lunch while on a picnic? These cheese and tomato tarts are more than just a nutrient-dense dish.
Pure tomato goodness and cheesy flavors are encased in a short crust pastry that will leave you wanting more.
You can also serve these tarts at a dinner party, since they’re beautiful and delicious.
Don’t be fooled. There isn’t a bit of watermelon in this recipe. But the good news is, this yields Rice Krispies in the color of watermelon!
Imagine pink and green Rice Krispies molded together to create a sweet watermelon slice.
Of course, this recipe won’t be complete without chocolate chips that resemble the watermelon seeds.
24. Watergate Salad
Watergate salad sings a medley of flavors from pistachio, pineapples, pecans, whipped topping, and marshmallows. Yum!
If you want a dessert that’s easy to prepare, this salad is the key. Just dump everything in a bowl, mix, and refrigerate. It’s done in five minutes!
Cowboy cookies combine oats, coconut, chocolate, pecans, cornflakes, and peanut butter.
I guess it’s safe to say that this recipe is packed with all things delicious!
These cookies are light and crunchy, a little bit salty, and not too sweet. Whether you’re a cowboy, a cowgirl, or neither, you’ll love them!
26. Sweet Tea
This sweet tea is refreshingly good. It’ll make you forget about the heat at summer picnics.
For this old-fashioned recipe, all you need are tea bags, water, ice, and sugar.
To make it southern-style, add some lemons. You can also use other citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits.
Egg salad sandwiches are a classic that you’ll likely see at most picnics.
The fool-proof recipe only needs hard-boiled eggs, mayo, salt, and your choice of seasonings.
Looking for upgrades? Adding avocado slices, sriracha, or pickle relish makes for an awesome twist.
28. Corn Pudding
Packing up some BBQ or savory chicken wings? Corn pudding is the perfect side dish! It’s like corn casserole, but creamier and smoother.
This custard-like side dish is fluffy on the inside and slightly crisp on the outside. It’s also a great make-ahead meal that you can eat hot or cold.
29. Ambrosia Salad
Here’s another recipe that only requires tossing and mixing. Fruit salad is a simply delicious dish that you can serve as a side salad, appetizer, or dessert.
It’s a creamy combination of crushed pineapple, mandarin oranges, whipped topping, marshmallows, and shredded coconut.
30. Ladybug Pretzels
Grab the kids when you make these ladybug pretzels! These crunchy sweet treats are super fun and easy to make.
You’ll enjoy decorating as much as eating them.
Aside from mini pretzels, you’ll need red candy melting chips for the ladybug’s body, black chocolate for the dots, and white chocolate for the eyes. How cute is that?
This is, hands down, one of the most refreshing drinks I’ve had.
Strawberry puree, lemon juice, and simple syrup are served on ice and sparkling water. Need I say more?
You can also turn it into an afternoon cocktail. Add a splash of vodka to this summery drink for a nice kick.
Pretty and filling, these kebabs will leave you with a smiling face. Fruits and cheese make such a tasty combination.
This recipe calls for strawberries, green grapes, and cheese cubes placed alternately on the skewers. Kiwi is a good addition, too.
If you’re looking for extra flavor, go ahead and dip them into a cinnamon-spiced yogurt mixture.
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