Home Recipe Roundup 37 Best Picnic Food Ideas (+ Easy Recipes)

37 Best Picnic Food Ideas (+ Easy Recipes)

These easy picnic food ideas are perfect for taking lunch on the go!

From salads and dip to sweets and drinks, they’re perfect for sunny days in the grass.

Turkey Sandwich with Tomatoes, Lettuce and Onions - Picnic Food Ideas
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35+ Picnic Foods For Your Next Outing

The sun is finally out. And you know what that means – it’s picnic time!

So get the cooler ready, fold up your favorite blankets, and prepare yourselves for a day lounging in the sun.

I’ve got a ton of picnic food ideas to share with you today. And from drinks to desserts, I have a feeling you’ll want to try them all!

Ready to start? Let’s do it!

Refreshing Picnic Drinks and Cocktails

1. Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade

This is, hands down, one of the most refreshing drinks I’ve ever had.

Strawberry puree, lemon juice, and simple syrup served on ice with sparkling water – need I say more?

Just remember to keep the sparkling water out of the mix until you’re ready to serve!

Iced Sun Tea in a Mason Jar with Lemons

2. Sun Tea

Sun tea is a summer staple in the south. And it’s a great choice for picnics, too.

I like it sweetened with honey or agave nectar. And it’s extra special with citrus in the mix.

Feel free to add a splash of bourbon to make it hard iced tea!

3. Strawberry Cucumber Limeade

If you prefer limes to lemons, you’ll want to make a big batch of this sweet limeade.

The strawberries are wonderfully sweet and juicy, and the lime has that flawless balance of sweet and tart.

Meanwhile, the cucumber adds a delightful layer of freshness that’s not to be missed.

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4. Grapefruit Peach Sangria

Got a large pitcher with a secure lid? Then you have to make this stunning sangria recipe!

You’ll add a whole grapefruit with sliced peaches, lemons, and limes, followed by your go-to white wine and some sparkling water.

How easy is that?

5. Hippie Juice

Hippie juice is a fun and fresh drink that looks just as good as it tastes.

It’s bursting with sweet watermelon vodka, coconut rum, and pink lemonade.

Make a big batch of this punch, throw in fresh strawberries and lemon slices, and have a few watermelon wedges ready for the glass.

Simple Picnic Sandwiches

6. Egg Salad Sandwich

Egg salad sandwiches are a classic you’ll likely see at most picnics.

This fool-proof recipe only needs hard-boiled eggs, mayo, salt, and your choice of seasonings.

But if you want to jazz it up, try adding avocado slices, Sriracha, or pickle relish.

7. Chicken Salad Sandwich

Sandwiches are some of the best and easiest picnic foods. They’re versatile, travel well, and keep fresh all day in a cooler.

And this chicken salad sandwich is one of my faves.

Between the chicken, mayonnaise, celery, pecans, apples, and grapes, it’s bursting with taste and texture.

Serve it in crusty bread or a croissant for a luxurious finish.

8. Tomato Sandwich

Slice a few plump tomatoes and nestle them between thick, soft bread, and you’ve got one helluva tasty sandwich.

A simple layer of mayo makes it creamy and zingy. Though you could add pesto to the mayo for a real treat.

And if you’d like some crunchy, try adding peppery red onion and chopped pine nuts. Yum!

9. Club Sandwich (Turkey, Ham, Bacon)

What can I say about the Club Sandwich that hasn’t already been said?

I mean, it’s about as close to perfect as a sandwich can get.

Between the trio of meat, the crusty bread, and juicy tomatoes, I could eat a whole platter myself.

10. Vegan Buffalo Chickpea Salad Sandwich

Need a vegan sandwich that’s hearty and overflowing with flavor? I’ve got just the thing!

This buffalo chickpea salad sandwich is so good, even meat eaters will ask for a bite.

The filling is protein-packed (thanks, chickpeas!) and just the right amount of spicy.

Serve it in thick sourdough bread with fresh spinach for even more nutrients.

Picnic Finger Foods for Kids and Adults

11. Vegetable Rice Paper Rolls

These rainbow rolls are healthy, fresh, and absolutely delicious!

They’re loaded with veggies and flavored with a sweet and spicy peanut sauce you’ll want to drown in.

Prep them ahead, and feel free to adjust the recipe.

They’re your summer rolls, after all! So add whatever veggies you like best.

12. Tuna Wraps

No-cook tuna rolls are ideal for a last-minute picnic spread.

This fuss-free recipe takes just 10 minutes or less, and the mix of tuna, blue cheese dressing, and cayenne pepper will keep you hooked.

Add fresh spinach, juicy cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and more cheese to make them even tastier!

Bisquick Sausage Balls

13. Bisquick Sausage Balls

Bisquick + sausage + cheese = easy picnic food everyone will love.

These sausage balls come together in a snap, and they taste terrific hot and cold.

Serve them with a tasty dipping sauce, like herby sour cream or sweet chili.

14. Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs may not be the first thing you think of when it comes to easy picnic foods, but they’re protein-packed, tasty, and always a hit.

I love the blend of yolks, mayonnaise, pickle relish, and mustard. And that extra pickle on top is adorable!

Serve them as an appetizer or side dish, and I’m sure they won’t last long.

Buttermilk Biscuits

15. Biscuits

These biscuits are dairy-free and tenderly delicious. Even without milk or butter, you’ll have a fabulous side dish at your fingertips in under an hour!

With high-quality flour, oil, and baking powder, this recipe yields a super moist dough.

And that’s just a starting point. So add bacon, jalapeños, or cheese to make them your own!

16. Cornish Pasties

Cornish pasties are basically British hand pies. They’re made with shortcrust pastry and filled with beef and tender vegetables.

Pasties can be eaten hot or cold, so these are perfect for lunch picnics.

Serve them with a dipping sauce, like ketchup or ‘brown sauce,’ a British staple!

17. Sausage Rolls

Here’s another recipe from across the pond, and yes, they can be served hot or cold.

Featuring sausage meat rolled in puff pastry and cut into bite-size pieces, you’ll see these bad boys at every party and buffet in the U.K.

Dunk the rolls in ketchup, and you’re all set.

18. Cheese and Tomato Tarts

Want to have a vegetarian lunch?

These cheese and tomato tarts are more than just a nutrient-dense dish. They’re also insanely good! 

The pure tomato and cheesy goodness encased in shortcrust pastry is sure to leave you wanting more.

Homemade Snack Chex Mix with Pretzels, Bagel Chips and Breakfast Cereals

19. Original Chex Mix Recipe

Planning on running around on your day at the park?

Then maybe you want something you can grab and munch on without needing to sit down.

This OG snack mix is crunchy, salty and lasts forever. So make a big batch at the start of summer, and you’ll have snack mix ready to go all the way until fall.

Make-Ahead Picnic Salads

Grandma's Macaroni Salad

20. Macaroni Salad

This macaroni salad will make you nostalgic for your grandma’s cooking.

But don’t worry, you can totally upgrade this simple recipe with some add-ins. 

Besides the traditional ingredients for macaroni salad, why not add diced ham, hard-boiled eggs, crispy bacon, and cheese (lots of it)?

Ina Garten Pasta Salad

21. Ina Garten Pasta Salad

If you like Greek salad, try this Mediterranean pasta salad recipe.

This colorful dish is overflowing with cherry tomatoes, olives, feta cheese, and fresh herbs. And it’s so hearty, it’s a whole meal on its own.

That said, it’s a yummy side dish to all kinds of proteins, too!

1905 Salad with Lettuce, Ham, Olives and Tomatoes in a Bowl

22. 1905 Salad

If you’d rather have a light salad with greens, give this recipe a try.

It’s still got tomatoes and olives in the mix, plus lettuce, Swiss cheese, and sliced ham. (Throw in feta cheese if you want it more like Greek salad).

Feel free to use store-bought dressing. But the recipe here couldn’t be more straightforward.

Trisha Yearwood Grape Salad

23. Grape Salad

No picnic goer can survive without something to feed the sweet tooth, right?

And while this one may cause a stir, the title says “salad” so here we are.

It’s sweet and crunchy with lots of creamy goodness to keep you coming back for more.

Trust me, no picnic spread is complete without it!

24. Amish Potato Salad

Potato salad is a must-have at any backyard bash. But it’s also a fabulous picnic food.

It’s super hearty, and thanks to the hard-boiled eggs and creamy dressing, it’s super satisfying to boot.

I like it with red onions, roasted red peppers, and crispy bacon. But this recipe is yummy as is.

Simple Hot & Cold Picnic Dip Recipes

Seven Layer Taco Dip

25. Seven-Layer Taco Dip

Make your next picnic an alfresco fiesta with this excellent dip!

This recipe shows off seven yummy layers, so every bite tastes like a taco.

It’s best served cold, so be sure to let it chill for a few hours. Then, serve it with plenty of crunchy tortilla chips.

26. Cowboy Caviar

Just like the seven-layer dip above, 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 or less.

Add some pepper, jalapeños, lime, and fresh herbs for an extra tasty bite, and this stuff will be gone in a flash.

27. Hidden Valley Ranch Dip with Bacon & Cheddar

As much as I love hot dips (and I’ve got a couple below), I think cold dips are easier for picnics.

You can just whip them up, pop them in a tub, then keep them cool until it’s time to eat.

And this one is a must-make for ranch dressing lovers!

franks buffalo chicken dip top view

28. Buffalo Chicken Dip

Of course, if you want a hot dip at your picnic, you do you!

The trick is to make and bake it just before you leave. That way, it’ll still be hot when you get to the park.

Make it in a dish that carries well, and be sure to add a couple of layers of foil over the top.

29. Hot Reuben Dip

Here’s another terrific option for when you need a hearty picnic dish that’ll double as a main meal.

This thing is chock-full of corned beef and sauerkraut, plus that heavy layer of ooey-gooey cheese.

Serve this bad boy with bagel bites, pretzels, and chips, and it’ll fill you up in a jiff.

Easy Summer Picnic Desserts

30. Sweet Summer Rolls

How incredible do these fruit spring rolls look?

And all you need are some rice paper sheets and fresh fruit! Cut everything nice and thin, then wrap it up and dig in.

The dipping sauce is optional, and you can always buy it ready-made if you like. You and the kids will love these either way.

Layered Nanaimo Bars on White Ceramic Plate

31. Classic Nanaimo Bars 

It’s hard for me to describe just how much I love Nanaimo bars.

Maybe it’s because I first had them in Nanaimo. Or maybe it’s the creamy filling mixed with the nutty, chocolate-coconut base.

Just trust me: if you’ve never had them, make this recipe asap!

And bonus: they travel like a dream.

Peanut Butter Cheerio Bars Recipe

32. Peanut Butter Cheerio Bars

Forget boring old Rice Krispie treats – these peanut butter and Cheerop bars are where it’s at.

They’re super nutty and creamy, with plenty of crunch and sweetness.

Add some mini chocolate chips or a drizzle of dark chocolate, and they’re impossible to resist.

Homemade Watergate Salad with Pecan Nuts

33. Watergate Salad

Okay, okay, I put this one in the dessert section to make you guys feel better.

Because no matter what the title says, that combo of pistachio, pineapples, pecans, whipped topping, and marshmallows screams dessert!

It’s super easy to make and always a hit.

Banana Pudding Cookies with Bite

34. Banana Pudding Cookies

If you’re as obsessed with banana pudding as I am, this recipe might be a little dangerous.

It really does have that sweet banana flavor. Only it’s in soft, chewy cookie form.

Addictive? 100%! Worth it? 110%!

Bowl of Sweet Ambrosia Fruit Salad

35. Ambrosia Salad

Why serve boring fruit salad when you can make this dessert salad recipe? And all it takes is some tossing and mixing.

You’ll just blend sour cream with Cool Whip, then mix in crushed pineapple, orange slices, shredded coconut, and mini marshmallows. 

How easy is that?

Homemade Sweet Hello Dolly Bars

36. Hello Dolly Bars

Also known as 7-layer bars and magic bars, these Hello Dolly bars are one of my go-to picnic desserts.

First, they’re a breeze to make. Just layer a handful of pantry staples in a baking dish, then pop it in the oven.

But more than that, they’re insanely delicious! Sweet, nutty, and chocolatey to the max, you’ll need extra!

37. Brookies

Can’t decide between cookies and brownies? Don’t!

Brookies take the best of both worlds and smashes them together into one heavenly treat.

They’re chewy, fudgy, and full of gooey chocolate. Seriously, what’s not to love?

37 Best Picnic Food Ideas (+ Easy Recipes)

These easy picnic food ideas are perfect for taking lunch on the go! From salads and dip to sweets and drinks, they’re perfect for sunny days in the grass.


  • Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade

  • Sun Tea

  • Strawberry Cucumber Limeade

  • Grapefruit Peach Sangria

  • Hippie Juice

  • Egg Salad Sandwich

  • Chicken Salad Sandwich

  • Tomato Sandwich

  • Club Sandwich (Turkey, Ham, Bacon)

  • Vegan Buffalo Chickpea Salad Sandwich

  • Vegetable Rice Paper Rolls

  • Tuna Wraps

  • Bisquick Sausage Balls

  • Deviled Eggs

  • Biscuits

  • Cornish Pasties

  • Sausage Rolls

  • Cheese and Tomato Tarts

  • Original Chex Mix Recipe

  • Macaroni Salad

  • Ina Garten Pasta Salad

  • 1905 Salad

  • Grape Salad

  • Amish Potato Salad

  • Seven -Layer Taco Dip

  • Cowboy Caviar

  • Hidden Valley Ranch Dip with Bacon & Cheddar

  • Buffalo Chicken Dip

  • Hot Reuben Dip

  • Sweet Summer Rolls

  • Classic Nanaimo Bars

  • Peanut Butter Cheerio Bars

  • Watergate Salad

  • Banana Pudding Cookies

  • Ambrosia Salad

  • Hello Dolly Bars

  • Brookies


  • Select your favorite recipe.
  • Organize all the required ingredients.
  • Prep a picnic dish in 30 minutes or less!
Picnic Food Ideas

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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