Top 60 picnic recipes
Pack your best picnic yet with our all-time favourite picnic ideas to enjoy al fresco, from summer salads and sandwiches to quiches, pastries and desserts.
Is there anything better than enjoying a feast in the great outdoors? Whether you're planning a picnic with friends or enjoying a garden feast on the lawn with your family, we've got a wide range of recipes to suit every gathering.
Discover our pick of the best picnic recipes for the summer, from classic quiches and pies to refreshing drinks, snacks and easily portable puddings. Make sure you're well kitted out with our round-ups of the best picnic accessories and best picnic hampers, too.
Looking for more picnic ideas? For more outdoor dining inspiration, check out our best ever picnic ideas hub page, which includes all our best picnic food, drink and gadget guides.
Picnic quiche recipes
Quiches are an absolute picnic staple – simple to make, easily portable and delicious served warm or cold. This classic ham and cheese quiche is one of our all-time favourites and it's not hard to see why – a crisp pastry base filled with smoky gruyère, cream and bacon lardons is sure to satisfy.
We've given traditional quiche a Spanish-style makeover with smoky chorizo sausage and nutty manchego cheese. This stylish dish is ideal for a posh picnic or casual lunch.
If you're looking to impress, this sophisticated quiche has it all – spiced pastry, smoked pancetta, three types of cheese and an irresistibly light soufflé-style filling. It may take a little bit of extra effort but is well worth it.
Save all the effort of slicing up portions by making these cute individual mini quiches. Each bite delivers a flavour explosion of juicy cherry tomatoes, basil, parmesan and pancetta.
For a mouth-watering meat-free option, try this easy Italian-inspired quiche. It's perfect for a family picnic or dinner in the garden.
Try this delicious asparagus, feta, and dill quiche for another vegetarian option. The egg filling is encased in a cheesy pastry for that extra indulgence.
Picnic sandwich ideas
Fans of traditional flavours will love these bumper club sandwiches. Firmly secure each stack with a skewer before transporting and serving.
Paint the rainbow with this colourful stuffed baguette that kids can help to prepare. It's absolutely packed full of vibrant veg including beetroot, red pepper, carrot and green leaves, along with hummus, pesto and slices of cheddar. Wrap it in baking parchment and tie with string to transport.
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Looking for a healthy sandwich option? These satisfying chicken baps are packed with crisp lettuce and a creamy avocado spread so you can ditch the calorie-laden sauces. The chicken breasts are covered in a light, crispy coating made from flour, almonds and sesame seeds.
As well as being a great brunch option, this hearty baguette works well for a picnic main. A sophisticated take on the sausage sarnie, it packs in salty halloumi, smoky chorizo and a rich homemade tomato paste. To save on spillages, it may be best to transport the paste in a separate pot and spoon it on in situ.
Want to branch out from the traditional picnic sarnie? Pack your basket with a fully loaded flatbread instead. Thickly sliced fresh figs make a picture-perfect topping for this ciabatta-style loaf. The sweet fruity flavour complements earthy sage leaves, tangy onion and salty, umami serrano ham.
12. Vegetarian wraps
Add a DIY element to your al fresco feast with these veggie flatbreads, filled with roasted vegetables, creamy coconut tzatziki and a herby, spicy green sauce. Simply pack up the ingredients into separate containers and let everyone assemble their own wraps at the picnic.
This twist on a classic fish finger sandwich is a moreish picnic treat. The combination of lightly salted homemade fish fingers complements the sweet brioche and sourness of the gherkin and lemon.
Picnic salad ideas
New season potatoes pair well with crisp, crunchy vegetables in this fresh potato salad recipe. We've used radishes, red onions and cucumber, but it would also work wonderfully with fennel, celery and spring onions.
Truly epic in name and nature, this sharing salad is loaded with fresh ingredients such as tomatoes, avocados, spinach, mango and cucumber, covered in a zingy herb dressing, topped with a crumbling of feta. It's easy to throw together, requires no cooking and perfect for a picnic group of six (though you could easily reduce the quantities).
This vegetarian pasta salad is easy to make and packed with colourful vegetables. We've included crème fraîche as well as pre-made fresh pesto to create a creamy sauce.
Try more pasta salad recipes.
An egg salad is classic picnic fare. Try this family-friendly twist with turmeric rice, raisins and toasted almonds. Throw in some grated carrots and cucumbers for texture and you have an easy picnic side.
Tuck into more hearty egg salad recipes.
Budget-friendly canned chickpeas are an ideal base for this filling salad option, bulked out with Mediterranean veg and studded with chunks of feta.
Check out more chickpea salad recipes.
This healthy salad is flavourful as well as nutritious. Simply toss cauliflower florets in a hot sauce and serve with dressed lentils and salad leaves.
Check out more lentil salad recipes.
This sophisticated salad is excellent for a posh picnic. The mighty blue cheese pairs beautifully with the buttery walnuts. Alternatively, serve with kale or chard instead of spring greens.
Find more inspiration for cooking with spring greens.
Picnic pie recipes
This colourful pastry, packed with layers of vegetables, feta and egg, is sure to impress your fellow picnic-goers.
Discover more vibrant vegetarian pie recipes.
22. Pork & ham pie
Meat-lovers are sure to take a thick slice of this pork and ham pie, which has eggs neatly nestled in the middle. It's a bit of a challenge, but perfect for a weekend cooking project and well worth the effort when you tuck in.
Take a look at our pork pie recipes for more meaty picnic bites.
Cheese carries the flavours of basil, mint and watercress in these crisp, bite-sized filo parcels. They're easy to make but look beautiful on any plate or platter.
Based on a French pithivier, our simple spiced pie is an impressive twist on a classic coronation chicken sandwich filling. It's equally delicious served warm or cold, and keeps well for up to three days.
25. Vegan pie
Want a meat-free picnic centrepiece? Cutting into this multi-layered bake will reveal a kaleidoscope of colourful veg such as beetroot, sweet potato, chard and celeriac. Wrapped in homemade spelt pastry, this crowd-pleasing pie is worth the effort.
Browse our vegan pie recipes for more dairy- and egg-free pastry inspiration.
Why not try this veggie pie? A twist on the classic cheese and onion, it's made using filo pastry and harissa-roasted butternut squash for some extra spice and sweetness.
Check out more recipes using harissa.
Picnic snack ideas
A summery twist on classic sausage rolls, with a chicken and bacon filling flavoured with sundried tomatoes, garlic and basil.
28. Easy scotch eggs
Our step-by-step instructions will help you nail this picnic classic. Achieve a crispy breadcrumb coating, moist herby sausagemeat and slightly runny yolk.
Discover more scrumptious scotch egg recipes to fill your picnic basket.
These savoury scones are easy to make, and are a lovely alternative to bread at a picnic. They're simply scrumptious split in half and spread thickly with butter.
Peruse more savoury scone recipes, from cheddar to chorizo flavours.
Flapjacks don't have to be sweet. Bake a batch of these moreish cheddar and chive oat bakes for a scrumptious savoury picnic bite. With a mixture of crunchy seeds, grated carrots and porridge oats, they are full of goodness.
Find more fabulous sweet and savoury flapjack recipes.
Want a change from scotch eggs? These tasty bite-sized morsels are instead filled with shredded ham hock and peas alongside traditional sausagemeat. Fry them in a crispy breadcrumb coating and serve with mustard, mayo or minty tartare sauce.
These tasty little parcels replace traditional sausagemeat with a gourmet filling of mushrooms, chestnuts, leeks and cheddar cheese. Encased in a butter puff-pastry case, they are made for picking up and dunking in a punchy dip (see our ideas below).
If you are also avoiding dairy, then try our equally delicious vegan sausage rolls, which use brown rice miso as a binding agent.
These herby tear-and-share bread rolls are easy to make and baked with a moreish filling of mozzarella and sundried tomatoes. They are sure to be a hit with the kids.
We've got lots more showstopping tear and share breads to enjoy with family or friends.
Try these fun, fruity apple rings for a healthier alternative to real doughnuts. Kids will love helping to make and decorate them with nut butter, soft cheese and sprinkles. Pack them in a small box wrapped in a little baking parchment, then enjoy as a light picnic treat.
Discover more quick and easy snacks for kids.
Transform a punnet of ripe, juicy strawberries into a decadent snack by drizzling them in velvety dark chocolate. Drizzle with milk and white chocolate and enjoy as part of a romantic picnic or al fresco gathering.
Take a look at our strawberry recipes for more inspiration with this juicy summer berry.
36. Picnic trail mix
Ditch the shop-bought trail mix and make up your own sweet and salty version to pack in a paper bag. A delicious mix of nuts, seeds, pretzels, dried fruit and chocolate, it's a great snack for kids to munch on while walking to the picnic site. Any leftovers can also be used as a popcorn alternative on family film night.
These easy polenta bites can be made in three simple steps and kept in the fridge for up to a day. Great to serve with delicious dips or flavourful enough to eat alone.
Picnic dips and crudités
Hummus is one of the most popular and versatile picnic dips. This rich and creamy chickpea blend is made using just five ingredients and is ready in 10 minutes. Spoon into lunchboxes to transport and enjoy with crunchy vegetable batons or pittas.
See our hummus recipes for plenty more flavour variations, including beetroot, pea and squash hummus.
39. Baba ganoush
Whip up this Middle Eastern-style dip as part of a meze feast. The smoky flavour of charred aubergines pairs well with nutty tahini, sharp lemons and parsley.
Roasted red peppers provide a flavour boost in this speedy, low-calorie dip. You could add feta or goat’s cheese to the ingredients in the processor for an extra tangy hit.
A cooling mint, garlic and yogurt dip, perfect for summer snacking. Enjoy it with pitta toasts or spread over wraps as a filling.
Keep the hunger pangs at bay with this light yet satisfying vegan dip. Blitz the avocado with beans, garlic, spices, lemon zest and juice and serve with a scattering of mixed seeds, crackers or crudités.
For an even healthier version, try our vegan avocado hummus & crudités recipe, which delivers all five of your five-a-day.
This minty yoghurt dip is exceptionally refreshing. The golden raisins add small bursts of sweetness throughout. Serve alongside flatbread or as a complement to barbecued meats.
Try one of our flatbread recipes.
Healthier picnic ideas
Combining two of our favourite foods – falafel and scotch eggs – this is a great healthy veggie option to bring along to a picnic. The casing is made using chickpeas spiced with cumin and coriander rolled in crisp panko breadcrumbs.
Quiche lovers can now enjoy our lighter version of this picnic classic, minus the pastry case. It's still packed with a comforting mixture of cheese, smoky pancetta and asparagus, so you won't be compromising on taste.
Another picnic favourite without the calorie-laden pastry. Our clever pork pie uses strips of seasonal courgette and plenty of spices to make an attractive picnic main that's also full of flavour.
Combine lightly charred chicken breasts with a vibrant mixture of veggies, herbs and homemade creamy tzatziki. Wrapped in wholemeal tortillas, these Greek-style skewers are sure to be popular with kids and adults alike.
Looking for a lighter option to traditional picnic fare? Try a Scandi-style picnic spread complete with cooked salmon, hot-smoked salmon, stuffed eggs and a cucumber, yogurt and dill salad. Pile onto rye bread rolls and prepare to take a big bite!
Check out our healthy picnic recipes for more light and summery treats.
This healthy, quick and easy tuna pasta takes only 25 minutes from start to finish. Low in fat and packed with three of your five-a-day, it’s a wholesome addition to a summer picnic.
Check out more of our healthy pasta salad recipes.
Picnic drink ideas
50. Summer cup
Capture the sunshine in a glass. Though the recipe is simple, you can't beat it.
Make your own zingy syrup by cooking fresh ginger root with lemon peel and sugar. Topped up with soda water and lemon juice, it makes a wonderfully crispy and refreshing summer drink to take to a picnic.
This crowd-pleasing fruity cocktail can be made in advance and nestled in an ice bucket or cool box. The base is made with coconut rum and gin, and we've added an optional garnish of coriander to give it a herby lift.
Blend together lemons, blackberries and mint to make a refreshing drink that's delicious served with sparkling water. If you want to take it to the next level (or vary it for the adults), it pairs perfectly with prosecco.
54. Easy iced tea
Refreshing and citrussy, this easy iced tea is guaranteed to impress at a family picnic. With the subtle flavours of tea, honey, lemon and mint, it's a lovely palate cleanser after all those pies!
The mixture of juicy honeydew, cantaloupe and watermelon chunks make this the ultimate cooler to beat the heat. Treat yourself to an alcoholic picnic cocktail and enjoy the summer heat while it lasts.
Cool down with more of our best picnic drinks ideas.
Picnic dessert ideas
Put fresh blackberries centre-stage in this tasty traybake with a crumbly digestive biscuit base and a tangy layer of blackberry jam. Cut into squares and transport in a tin – they'll even survive well on a sunny day.
Take rocky road to new heights by adding a tropical twist. We used dried pineapple, mango, banana chips and desiccated coconut, but you can add any dried fruit, nuts or biscuits that you have to hand. Experiment with new flavours and textures – it's hard to go wrong!
Fudgy and irresistible, these blondies look impressive but are actually very easy to make. We've swirled a custard and rhubarb mixture through the blondie batter for a rich hit in every bite.
Transport your tastebuds to the tropics with our simple coconut traybake. It's easy to divide up into squares – each with a jammy raspberry centre and dark chocolate drizzle. Portion into lunchboxes for a sweet pick-me-up.
Decadent, moreish and plant-based to boot – it doesn't get better than these vegan brownies. Glacé cherries add a lovely burst of fruity flavour against the chocolate batter, made extra-indulgent with dark chocolate, cocoa powder and coffee.
Enjoy more of our portable picnic dessert recipes.
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