55 Picnic Food Ideas | olivemagazine

Picnic food ideas

Picnic sandwiches and wraps

Our sandwich recipes are easy to follow, we have cut muffuletta and focaccia into squares so they’re portable.

The Cubano sandwich

Take a look at this golden and crisp sandwich idea from the US which uses Cuban mojo pork and is oozing with Swiss cheese. It takes a while to make, but it’s a great picnic idea in the summer. Check out our best sandwich recipes here.

Cuban Sandwich Recipe

Coronation chicken

For your next picnic, make brilliant use of leftover roast chicken with this classic sandwich filling, great as a creamy filling for sarnies and jacket potatoes as it is for spooning into crisp lettuce leaves or over salads.

More like this

Little Gem lettuce leaves loaded with coronation chicken, presented on a platter with a silver serving spoon

Picnic platter

For an elevated picnic spread, try our platter with help-yourself nibbles including slices of sourdough, cured meats, crudités, hunks of cheese and nuts.

A serving board loaded with bread, cheese, pickles, cured meat and veg, with a knife on a pink background

Muffuletta squares

This New Orleans muffuletta looks and tastes great, the zingy olive salad layer really makes this sandwich. Just cut into squares before packing up you’re picnic and you’ll be good to go.

Muffaletta Sandwich Recipe with Olive Salad

Jamaican beef patties

A batch of these miniature pies, infused with Jamaican-style spices, would make a tasty addition at your next picnic spread.

A plate of pastry patties filled with beef, with one broken open on a plate

Italian picnic loaf

Our door-wedge sandwich idea is simple and quick to make. Simply stuff ciabatta bread with an olive salad, salami, roasted red peppers, mozzarella and you’ve got the perfect picnic loaf.

Italian Picnic Loaf Recipe

Black bean crunch wraps

Looking for a vegetarian picnic wrap? Try our toasted crunch wraps with black beans, crunchy tortilla chips and avocado. Wrap in foil and take on your next picnic.

Crunch Wrap Recipe with Black Beans

Salt beef and Swiss bagel melts

Our easy picnic bagel recipe is packed with a delicious combination of salt beef, melting Swiss cheese, gherkins and a generous dollop of sweet American mustard.

Salt Beef Bagel Recipe with Cheese

Stuffed focaccia

Stuff a classic Italian bread with mozzarella cheese and antipasti for an instant crowd-pleaser at your next picnic with friends. Learn to make this delicious bread recipe with our easy step-by-step guide. Many more bread recipes here.

Stuffed Focaccia Recipe

Vegan burritos

A colourful, vegan burrito recipe, rammed with tomatoes, black beans, sweetcorn, lime, coriander, avocado and red chilli. This is a super quick picnic idea and can be ready to eat in just 30 minutes.

Vegan Burrito with Black Beans Recipe

Falafel wrap

Why not freeze a big batch of easy homemade falafel for a speedy lunch option? For added kick, add a spoonful of za’atar or a pinch of chilli powder.

Plate with wrap topped with hummus and falafel with sliced red onion on the side

Picnic dips

Whip up a batch and pop into jars for a tasty sauce that you can use for dipping in your favourite crisps and breadsticks.

Beetroot, yogurt and lime dip

This vibrant, tangy dip is ideal served with slices of grilled halloumi. A great one to pack in that basket for your alfresco spread.

Beetroot, Lime and Yogurt Dip

Pea hummus

Bring a tub of fresh homemade pea hummus to your next picnic, it’s perfect for scooping up with slices of crispy pitta.

Bowl of Pea Hummus with Toasted Pitta Triangles

Green goddess and red devil dips with homemade breadsticks and veg

These green goddess and red devil dips will complement your picnic snacks and drinks perfectly.

Vegetarian Dip Recipes With Homemade Breadsticks

Beetroot hummus

Make the most of beetroot in this earthy hummus recipe, ready in 10 minutes for a last-minute picnic idea.


Picnic dip jars

Not only are these snacks packed with flavour, but they’re also a great alternative to the usual picnic food. These simple picnic dip jars are sure to become a family favourite in no time.

Picnic dip jars with pea guacamole

Red cabbage kimchi

One of the best-known ferments is this gloriously spicy kimchi from Korea, serve it as part of your next picnic spread.

Red Cabbage Kimchi Recipe

Picnic pies

A pie is a must at a picnic, try one of our ideas from cute pork pies to a picnic pie jam-packed with flavour.

‘Eat your greens’ quiche lorraine

Take your quiche lorriane to the next level with our ultimate recipe packed with crispy pancetta and wilted green veggies. It serves six, so it’s perfect for a picnic served cold. More quiche recipes here.

Classic Quiche Lorraine with Greens

Mini pork and chorizo picnic pies

Looking for a traditional picnic recipe with a twist? These mini pork and chorizo picnic pies have a hidden quail’s egg in the middle and make a great snack.

Mini Pork Pie Recipe For a Picnic

Chicken picnic pies

If you like pies, you’ll love these individual portable ones, filled with chicken and broad beans in a cream sauce and held together in flaky filo. Perfect for a picnic!

Chicken Picnic Pies Recipe

Picnic pie

You’ll need to put in some extra effort for this picnic pie recipe, but the payoff will be great. This meaty pie also makes a hearty meal. Check out our best pie recipes here.

Picnic Pie Recipe

Picnic snacks

Go the extra mile with your picnic and add some savoury snacks to enjoy alongside your sandwiches. From summery Vietnamese rolls and bitesize muffins to frittata.

Salmon sushi sandwiches

A new way to eat sushi! Fill your nori wraps with sushi-grade salmon, red pepper, cucumber and sushi rice, then dip in soy sauce for best results.

Salmon sushi sandwiches

Mini quiches with salmon and courgettes

These little wonders look striking, are gorgeously crunchy and easy to put together. Great for an early summer picnic.

Mini Quiches with Smoked Salmon and Courgette

Prawn and avocado Vietnamese summer rolls

Our Vietnamese picnic recipe is filled with prawns, avocado, chilli and ginger, shredded carrot and noodles. If you’re a fan of spice, serve with chilli sauce for a dip.

Prawn and avocado Vietnamese summer rolls

Chicken katsu scotch egg

Jazz up your next picnic with our impressive chicken scotch egg with katsu curry. This picnic recipe is perfect for feeding a hungry crowd. Our method gives you a perfectly cooked yolk, juicy sausage meat filling and a crunchy breadcrumb coating. We also have a classic scotch eggs recipe here.

Japanese Scotch Egg Recipe

Mini picnic frittatas

Check out our frittata idea for a last minute picnic treat. Make a large batch and you can also enjoy throughout the week for a snack or with a salad. Check out our best frittata recipes here.

Mini Frittatas Recipe

Fennel-spiced sausage plait

This fennel-spiced sausage plait is a grown-up take on everyone’s favourite picnic snack. Made with an added kick of chilli and mustard with a crunch of sesame, this makes for a comforting midweek meal. Many more sausage roll recipes here.

Sausage Plait Recipe with Fennel

Honeyed fig and curd cheese tart

Our recipe for honeyed fig and curd cheese tart is easy to make and ready in under an hour – simply slice up for a treat at your next picnic. Check out more of our fig recipes here.

Fig Tart Recipe With Curd Cheese

Gruyère, spring onion and marmite muffins

Fancy a picnic muffin recipe with a cheeky twist? We’ve added marmite to this fun recipe to give a delicious savoury flavour to these cheese and onion muffins. Perfect for a quick on-the-go snack. More muffin recipes here.

Marmite Muffins With Cheese and Spring Onion

Classic Cornish pasty

What’s more fitting at a picnic than a Cornish pasty? Take a look at our pasty recipe which sticks close to the tradition and only contains onion, swede, potato and skirt steak.

Three Cornish pasties in a picnic-style box

Pickled onion and rarebit flatbreads

These simple pickled onion and rarebit flatbreads are quick and easy to make. Cook at home then take along to a picnic for a posh savoury snack.

Quick Rarebit Flatbreads With Pickled Onions

Classic tortilla

A well-made tortilla is the best addition to a tapas-style picnic. This Spanish classic only needs four ingredients for a crowd-pleasing treat.

Classic Tortilla Recipe

Cheddar, leek and amaranth flapjack

This herby flapjack recipe makes a filling and wholesome snack that would go well as an easy, healthy snack or for a weekend picnic with friends.

Flapjack Recipe with Cheddar, Leek And Amaranth

Spiralized summer rolls

Spiralized veg takes the place of noodles in these super-healthy, Vietnamese-style vegan rolls. They’re great to pack for a posh picnic idea.

Summer Rolls Recipe With Courgetti

Pink pickled turnips

These pink pickled turnips look stunning and make a great, easy-to-make addition to any picnic collection.

Pink Pickled Turnips Recipe

Picnic salads

Make a large salad to share out at your next picnic. We have some refreshing, summery ideas, and even a handy way of carrying your salad to your favourite picnic spot. Going on a picnic last minute? Here are our favourite 15 minute salad recipes to try.

Jam jar salads

Deliciously healthy and packed with fresh ingredients, this salad recipe can be made in advance and is ideal for picnics. Need ideas for dressings? Rapeseed oil is a good choice – it’s low in saturated fat and rich in omega-3.

Jam Jar Salad Recipe

Pasta salad with bocconcini, capers and tomatoes

Pasta gets tossed with tomatoes, olive oil, red wine vinegar and capers here, before being finished off with mozzarella cheese balls and fresh herbs. Another plus – it’s ready in 20 minutes.

Two bowls filled with curly pasta, roast tomatoes, basil and white cheese balls

Courgette and chimichurri salad

Fresh beans, courgette ribbons and crunchy walnuts meet in this vibrant summer salad, perfect for an al fresco lunch for two.

Courgette and chimichurri salad with feta and green beans

Thai watermelon salad

Watermelon stands in for green papaya in this update of a Thai classic. It’s best to buy a whole watermelon for this picnic idea as the flesh closest to the skin tends to be firmer.

Thai Watermelon Salad Recipe

Goat’s cheese and beetroot citrus salad

If the sun’s not around enough to brighten up your days this summer, this colourful beetroot salad – bursting with citrusy flavours and creamy goat’s cheese – will do the job instead!

Beetroot Salad with Goat's Cheese

Roasted cauli and couscous salad with zhoug and crispy shallots

Check out our vibrant roast cauliflower salad recipe with giant couscous, crispy fried onions and a punchy zhoug dressing. This easy salad is vegan and low in calories, too.

Cauliflower Couscous Salad Recipe with Zhoug

Healthy bean salad

Ready in just 20 minutes, this colourful salad is packed with green beans, kidney beans and cannellini beans, and comes finished with a green tahini dressing to boost the flavour.

Healthy bean salad with green tahini dressing

Kale waldorf salad with buttermilk dressing

Make our kale salad recipe with buttermilk dressing for a clever update on a classic and with a good amount of crunch and tangy dressing, it makes for a really useful picnic side dish.

Kale Waldorf Salad Recipe with Buttermilk Dressing served in a large white bowl

Sweet picnic treats

You can’t have a picnic without some sweet treats. Retro brownies, coffee cupcakes, delicious loaf cakes – we have it all. We’ve even made it possible to carry cheesecake to your picnic, with our portable apricot cheesecake bars.

Lemon and blueberry bars

This simple picnic dessert recipe is seriously moreish; the lemon and blueberry bars are gooey on the inside and crunchy on the out, making them the ideal summertime picnic treat.

Lemon and Blueberry Tray Bake Recipe

Apricot cheesecake bars

Check out these bright summery cheesecake bars for a delicious picnic snack. We’ve used fresh seasonal apricots and crunchy amaretti biscuits. What’s more, they’re perfectly portable so you can satisfy your cheesecake craving on the move!

Apricot Cheesecake recipe

Butterscotch and pretzel millionaire shortbread

Take your millionaire shortbread up a notch with decadent butterscotch and salty pretzels. The butterscotch gives this classic childhood favourite a real grown up taste – an ideal treat for a picnic with friends.

Millionaire Shortbread Recipe with Butterscotch and Pretzels

Coffee and walnut cupcakes

Coffee and walnut cake is a teatime favourite. With this picnic recipe, we’ve given it a modern makeover by giving it the cupcake treatment. Pipe the icing sky-high for maximum cake drama. More cupcake recipes here.

Coffee and Walnut Cupcakes Recipe

Salted peanut and honeycomb rocky road

These salted peanut and honeycomb rocky road squares are a great twist on a classic and will please everyone. Plus, this picnic dessert recipe only takes 15 minutes of work – what’s not to love?

Honeycomb Rocky Road Recipe with Peanuts

Custard cream blondies

Ever thought of adding custard creams to your blondie mixture? It’s genius! Have a go at our picnic dessert idea this weekend.

Custard Cream Blondies Recipe

Picnic drinks

Drinks are often an afterthought at a picnic, usually resorting to shop-bought drinks. Make your picnic extra special with our refreshing summer drinks recipes, from iced tea cocktails to super healthy smoothies and portable cocktail bottles.

Homemade lemonade

When temperatures rise, nothing beats an ice-cold glass of sweet-sour lemonade. Make your own using four simple ingredients (including a sprig or two of thyme).

Glass of lemonade, garnished with a thyme sprig

Elderflower and raspberry mocktail bottles

Make a batch of these summery portable mocktails in just ten minutes and pop in your picnic hamper.

Elderflower Mocktail Recipe

Contessa cocktail bottles

Pre-made cocktails are all the rage at the moment, and they’re definitely a picnic must-have. Think of the contessa as a summery version of a negroni. The orangey Aperol and dry vermouth help lighten things up.

Contessa Cocktail Recipe

Easy iced tea

This refreshing summer cocktail of apple (and brandy)-infused iced tea is easy to make and perfect for a balmy summer evening. This picnic drink idea is a great cocktail to share with family and friends.

Iced Tea Recipe with Mint

Berry smoothie (without yogurt)

Our best berry and banana smoothie, made without yogurt. This picnic smoothie uses avocado for extra creaminess, plus apple juice and fresh lime juice to pack in more flavour. For more healthy smoothie recipes, click here.

Berry Smoothie Recipe (Without Yogurt)

Blackberry vodka

Fancy something a little stronger? There’s no better way to make use of a glut of blackberries than to make blackberry vodka. Be sure to experiment with different amounts of sugar for this picnic drink recipe, but we would suggest using a little sugar to sweeten the tart blackberries.

Blackberry Vodka Recipe

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