When you are looking for picnic foods, choose foods that travel well and are easy to clean up. From delicious salads to tasty sandwiches, here are 23 popular picnic foods and drinks that are perfect for a relaxing summer afternoon.
1. Strawberry Basil Watermelon Agua Fresca
A cold drink on a hot day is always refreshing. Yes, you could keep it simple and load up your picnic cooler with bottles of water and soda, but it is easy to make a delicious summer beverage that everyone will love.
This recipe is from Real Simple Good, and all you have to do is toss some watermelon, strawberries, basil, and lime juice into a blender; fill a mason jar halfway with sparkling water; and add your mixture. When you are ready to take a drink, simply shake or stir.
2. Basil Cucumber Gin Cooler
This gin cooler from Skinny Taste is light, summery, and refreshing. You’ll only need cucumbers, basil, lemon juice, gin, and a splash of seltzer to make it, and it is easy to transport on the rocks in a mason jar.
3. Honey-Sweetened Strawberry Lemonade
You’ll only need four ingredients to make this refreshing summer treat from Sally’s Baking Addiction. Meyer lemons give the drink a sweet taste with low acidity. You can use regular lemons, but if you do, remember to add a little extra honey.
Salads And Sides
4. Bacon Sriracha Potato Salad
You will want to make plenty of this side dish because you won’t be able to get enough of it. This recipe is from Peas And Crayons, and it takes potato salad to a whole new level by adding bacon and Sriracha. This will definitely spice up your picnic.
5. Spicy Mexican Slaw
If you are looking for a keto or vegan side dish for your next picnic, try this spicy Mexican slaw from Kalyn’s Kitchen. This dish is gluten-free, and you can add lime and cilantro for extra flavor. Remember to start with just a little hot sauce and slowly add more until you get the perfect level of spiciness.
6. Pizza Pasta Salad
Put all of your favorite pizza toppings into a delicious pasta salad with this recipe from Caramel Potatoes. It features pepperoni, peppers, tomatoes, olives, onions, and cheese, plus some spiral pasta and Italian dressing. It is best to make this the night before your picnic so that the pasta can soak up all of the delicious flavors.
7. Tomato Caprese Cups
This low-carb salad from EasyHealth Living is the perfect picnic food, and you can put it together in minutes. You’ll only need grape tomatoes, olive oil, mozzarella balls, and fresh basil. After you mix the ingredients together in a bowl, spoon the mixture into small paper or plastic cups with lids.
8. Corn And Cucumber Salad
This popular salad comes from Love Foodies, and it is simple to make and perfect for a picnic. You can make it in advance and keep it in the fridge until the picnic, and the ingredients are flexible, so you can mix things up to suit your taste and change up the colors. If you do make this salad for a picnic, you’ll want to transport it in a cooler.
9. Hawaiian Macaroni Salad
This salad from Thrifty Jinxy features elbow macaroni, mayo, brown sugar, scallions, celery, carrots, apple cider vinegar, milk, and a little salt and pepper. This dish is incredibly creamy, and it has a sweet and tangy taste.
10. 7-Layer Chicken Taco Salad
This recipe from Two Healthy Kitchens is a showstopper because it mixes the classic layered salad with a seven-layer Mexican dip. You will want to present this dish in a glass salad bowl to show off the layers of lettuce, cheese, black beans, salsa, corn, chicken and dressing mix, and crushed tortilla chips.
11. Mini Corn Dog Muffins
These fun picnic treats come from Iowa Girl Eats, and you can make them gluten-free. If you love hot and yummy corn dogs, then you should definitely try these cornbread muffins with hot dog centers. You can either buy a cornbread mix or make your mix from scratch. Simply pour the mixture into a mini-muffin tin and add a piece of hot dog to each muffin before baking.
12. Salad On A Stick
This fun idea for a picnic salad comes from Caramel Potatoes, and the salad is incredibly easy to serve. Simply thread carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, and lettuce onto long wooden skewers, and either drizzle the salad kabobs with your favorite dressing or serve dressing on the side. You can add other veggies to create the perfect crunchy kabobs.
13. Chicken-Stuffed French Bread
A loaf of French bread is perfect for easy picnic sandwiches, and this idea from Life In The Lofthouse makes good use of it. Simply cook some chicken breasts, shred them, and mix the shredded chicken with shredded Colby Jack cheese, green onions, and ranch dressing. Spread the mixture on a French bread loaf and bake. The creamy chicken mixture and the French bread are delicious together. If you aren’t a big fan of ranch, you can easily substitute mayo.
14. Chicken Bacon Avocado Sandwich
This sandwich from Natasha’s Kitchen is the perfect picnic food, and the only thing you’ll need to cook is the bacon. This dish features rotisserie chicken, bacon, provolone, lettuce, onion, tomato, and avocado on focaccia bread. What really takes it to the next level is the Kneaders-inspired mustard mayo sauce.
15. Pressed Picnic Sandwiches
These sandwiches from The Crepes Of Wrath are a lot of fun and crazy delicious. The recipe calls for a large loaf of ciabatta bread, fresh pesto, salami, prosciutto, provolone, mozzarella, basil leaves, and a few books.
No, you won’t eat the books. But you’ll need them to press the sandwiches in the fridge for a few hours. When the sandwiches are perfectly pressed, you’ll cut them into small pieces and serve.
16. Melon, Prosciutto, And Mozzarella Skewers
This picnic idea from The Comfort Of Cooking is simple and tasty. The balsamic reduction gives the skewers extra zing, and the combination of prosciutto, melon, and mozzarella is sweet, salty, and tangy.
17. Chicken And Veggie Pinwheels
Keep your picnic light and healthy with this recipe from Dinner At The Zoo. With just spinach tortilla wraps, cream cheese, ranch powder, shredded chicken, and veggies, you can make pinwheels that are colorful and delicious. If you prefer, you can leave out the chicken and make veggie pinwheels instead.
18. Bacon Cheddar Ranch Pinwheels
These pinwheels from Lemon Tree Dwelling are loaded with bacon, cheddar cheese, and creamy ranch. Not only are they easy to put together, but they are also easy to transport. Start by mixing room-temperature cream cheese and ranch dressing in a bowl, and then stir in cheddar cheese, cooked bacon pieces, and chives. Next, spread a layer of the mixture on a soft tortilla, and then roll the tortilla up and cut it into small pieces.
19. Ham And Cheese Spinach Puffs
This impressive dish from The Chunky Chef doesn’t require a lot of ingredients or effort. The puffs are incredibly delicious and go well with a crisp salad. You can use store-bought puff pastry sheets, or you can make your own from scratch. Either way, the flavor combination of ham, cheese, and spinach will be a big hit.
20. Salted Brown Butter Vanilla Bean Crispy Treats
To make these treats from Sweet Salty Tart, add vanilla paste to the classic mixture of butter, marshmallows, and crispy rice cereal. You will also brown the butter and add a little bit of salt to get a delicious sweet and salty treat.
21. Quick And Easy S’mores Bars
You won’t need a campfire to make delicious s’mores, thanks to this recipe from Tales Of A Ranting Ginger. You’ll only need butter, marshmallows, Golden Grahams cereal, and chocolate chips. Put the mixture in the microwave, press it together in a baking pan, and let it cool. Then cut the s’mores into squares, and they will be ready for your picnic.
22. No-Bake Mason Jar Cheesecake
This picnic dessert is brought to you by Brit + Co, and it is stylish and delicious. The crust is made of graham crackers, butter, and brown sugar, and the filling is made of cream cheese, heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla. Top it all off with a blueberry mixture, and you’ll have a fun dessert you can easily transport in cute mason jars.
23. Rainbow Fruit Cups
This colorful dessert from My Frugal Adventures is versatile and incredibly yummy. Simply layer different kinds of fruit in clear plastic cups with lids. At least three different colors will give that rainbow effect, so consider fruits like blueberries, grapes, kiwi, pineapple, and raspberries.
You can cut up your fruit in advance if you prefer, but to get the best color in your fruit cups, layer everything at the last minute. When you finish your layers, put a lid on each cup and put a plastic fork through the straw hole. For extra sweetness, bring a can of whipped cream and add a dollop when you are ready for dessert.
Any of these picnic ideas will make your outdoor dining extra special. Get that basket and blanket ready, and head outdoors for a fun picnic with your friends.