The Perfect Foods for Every Picnic: Our 40 Best Recipes

Prepare yourself for every kind of picnic this summer with these recipes for all outdoor meal occasions
Peanut Butter Jelly Sandwich


Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are a picnic classic, with good reason.

There’s no better way to spend a summer’s day than by packing up a picnic and setting off to enjoy the warmth and sunshine and fresh air. Whether you’re headed for a day at the beach, going for a long hike, relaxing with some outdoor drinks with friends, or hanging out with the kids in the park, we have the best, most suitable recipes for the occasion. These picnic foods are all practical, easy-to-prepare, and, of course, tasty. Make sure you’re fully prepared for your lunch al fresco by following our top tips and recipes for every possible picnicking situation.

The Perfect Foods for Every Picnic: Our 40 Best Recipes (Slideshow)

Each picnic location, whether it’s the beach, on top of a mountain, or your local park, will require a tailored menu. A day at the beach means your food needs to be sand-proof, a day in the park requires food that the whole family will love, and a boozy picnic with friends should be filled with refreshing cocktails and all the salty and sweet treats you crave after a couple of drinks. We’ve sifted through our favorite-ever picnic dishes to pull together the perfect portable summer lunchtime menu, no matter where you’re planning on spending your day out.

Make sure you follow the rules of picnicking no matter where you choose to spread your blanket this summer: no mayonnaise (it goes bad after a couple of hours in the sun); nothing that requires a sharp knife, a sturdy base to chop on, or ceramic plates (none of these are things you'll want to carry), and nothing that will melt (don’t try and pack ice cream, no matter how many cool packs you have). With these picnic basics understood and taken into account, you can experiment as you wish, but we recommend that you follow our recommendations: We’ve done the research of what foods work best, so you don’t have to.


Read on to see the practical, portable, and — most importantly — tasty picnic recipes, which will fulfill every need you have for your summer lunch in the wonderful great outdoors.