Pack the perfect picnic with picnic essentials and the best picnic foods! From simple sandwiches to homemade pasta salad, these simple picnic food ideas are just what you need for a fun day outside.
What to Bring to a Picnic
When you’re packing for a fun day outdoors, don’t forget these picnic essentials! These items are just as important as good picnic food. Follow this checklist to make sure you have everything you need in your picnic basket for a stress-free trip:
- Disposable utensils, plates, and cups
- Trash bags for easy cleanup
- Roll of paper towels, napkins, or a few kitchen towels
- Baby wipes or hand sanitizer
- A small cutting board and knife
- Bottle opener
- Cooler for cold drinks, or thermoses
- Ice packs for cold food
- Bags or containers for food
- Extra seasoning and condiments
- Picnic blanket
- Bug spray
We also recommend bringing first aid supplies, just in case. And for an extra fun day, don’t forget to take pictures (and share them with us on social media, we would love to see your picnic fun)!
Picnic Food Ideas
Whether you’re in the mood for easy summer appetizers, finger foods, simple sandwiches, homemade pasta salads, or the perfect drink to take on a picnic, we’ve collected the best picnic food ideas to make it easy for you!
Italian Pressed Sandwich
Deli meats and cheese stacked between hearty ciabatta bread makes for a delicious Italian Pressed Sandwich! This on-the-go simple sandwich recipe is a must for any picnic basket.
Cold Chicken Spinach Pasta Salad
Spanish-Style Potato Salad
Spanish Potato Salad gets its incredible flavor from smoked paprika and Spanish olives! Try it out and we know it will quickly become one of your favorite picnic foods. While you’re at it, check out more of the Best Potato Salad Recipes!
Indian Street Tacos
Curry Chicken Salad Sandwich
Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad
With plenty of bright greens, crumbled feta cheese, and fresh lemon dressing, this Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad is easily one of our favorite picnic side dishes.
Vegan Bhaji Burger
Little Sunny Kitchen makes a Vegan Bhaji Burger that’s out of this world! Red onion, sweeet potatoes, and carrots give this easy burger recipe its incredible flavor. This is easily one of our favorite picnic food suggestions.
English Tea Sandwiches
Beautiful English Tea Sandwiches are one of our favorite sandwich ideas for lunch. They are an easy picnic finger food you’ll want in your basket!
Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
It’s important to pack picnic food for kids, too! That’s where these Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars from Little Sweet Baker come in to save the day. Of course, we know for a fact the adults are going to love these chocolate chip bars, too!
Creamy Orange Fruit Salad
Watermelon Mint Lemonade
Cool off with this Watermelon Mint Lemonade! Made with sweet watermelon, tart lemon, and a hint of mint, this watermelon lemonade recipe will be the hit of the picnic.
Katsu Sando (Japanese Pork Cutlet Sandwich)
The best part about this Japanese Katsu Sando is that you can dress it up or down for children and adults alike! Fried panko-crusted pork and a tangy Katsu sauce make this one of the best picnic foods around.
Shortcut Skillet Fried Chicken
What would a picnic be without fried chicken? This Shortcut Skillet Fried Chicken recipe from Food Meanderings is a delicious addition to any picnic basket, and definitely one of our picnic essentials.
Grilled Peaches Salad
Nothing says summer like fresh peaches! Combine your favorite summer flavors with this Grilled Peaches Salad recipe. It’s a light, flavorful, and easy picnic food! Don’t have peaches? Try making it with pineapple!
Strawberry Quinoa Feta Salad
Bright, easy to make, and delicious, this Strawberry Quinoa Feta Salad is one of our favorite cold picnic foods. It’s a colorful strawberry salad recipe we know you’ll love!
Keftedes – Greek Meatballs
Jalapeño Popper Deviled Eggs
For us, no picnic basket is complete without deviled eggs. We love these Jalapeño Popper Deviled Eggs for any occasion, but especially picnics! This is a staple on our picnic food list, and we think it will be on yours, too!
Lemon Blueberry Muffins
Try these other picnic food ideas!
For more simple picnic foods you’ll love, try these recipes:
- Side Dishes for BBQ
- Greek Orzo Pasta Salad with Chicken
- Watermelon Basil Salad
- Fresh Vegetable Salad with Creamy Balsamic Dressing
- Hawaiian Pizza Pull-apart Sliders
- Slow Cooker Applesauce
And don’t forget the Simple Mixed Drink Recipes!
What are your favorite picnic food suggestions from this list? Let us know your picnic essentials in the comments below!
📌 Pin the Best Picnic Foods to Save for Later!
This post was updated on July 2, 2019.