Picnic season is here! 31 thrilling picnic food ideas to replace those everpresent dull sandwiches.
Being able to get outside with your loved ones and enjoy a meal while making memories is pure fun. But let’s be honest, eating the same old peanut butter and jelly sandwich at every picnic isn’t very appealing.
I’ve found myself in a picnic rut lately. When we take our kids out on our boat, food is a must. But it can be hard to remain creative.
I turned to the internet for inspiration, have done my homework, and I’m ready for our next family picnic. I’m going to share some of the tasty picnic ideas I found on my search and hopefully send a little inspiration your way too.
Here are some fun picnic food ideas you and your kids are going to love:
1. No-Bake Mason Jar Blueberry Cheesecake
If you’re picnicking without dessert, you’re doing it all wrong. You must have a sweet snack hidden somewhere in the basket to put a perfect ending to the delicious meal you’ve packed.
2. Strawberry Brownie Skewers
Let’s all take a deep breath and prepare ourselves for the amazing flavor combination of strawberries and chocolate.
Oh yes! You get it all in this one elegant dessert which contains strawberries, chocolate, brownies, and marshmallows. Do you need to pack any other picnic food ideas?
3. Pizza Pasta Salad
I’m a huge fan of pasta salad. It contains a ton of flavors in one easy dish. If your kids love pizza and pasta, see if they’ll try the two wrapped in one recipe.
The pasta salad seems simple enough to make and is loaded with fresh ingredients. If your family loves pepperoni, cheese, peppers, and Italian dressing, this could be a winner.
4. Watermelon Sticks
Are you trying to keep yourself and your family on a healthier diet? Skip the dessert and pack fruit. Watermelon is a sweet option which will also keep you hydrated.
But don’t worry about it being difficult to serve in a picnic setting. Follow these instructions on cutting a watermelon into sticks. It becomes the perfect finger food.
5. Picnic Tomato Caprese Cups
Do you love a Caprese salad? Seem like too much to pack on a picnic? Not anymore! Instead, you can put the Caprese salad in a cup.
Caprese salad is a simple salad which consists of grape tomatoes, olive oil, mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil. A fresh salad is now fully portable and can be enjoyed anywhere you are.
6. Pull Apart Ham and Cheese Slider
Your kids love sandwiches, but you’re running out of varieties and everyone is getting bored. I have you covered.
Instead of traditional sandwiches, try these pull apart ham and cheese sliders. They’re smaller which make them excellent for small hands, but they pack a ton of flavor.
7. Strawberry Shortcake Kabobs
If you like strawberry shortcake, skip taking the plates on a picnic. Instead, make a compact version of it on a stick.
It’s a basic shortcake cut into squares and placed on a skewer with strawberries and candy icing. This is a treat the whole family will love.
8. Easy Apple Pie Bites
Did you know apple pie could come in bite-sized pieces? You can cut canned crescent rolls into triangles and fill them with sugar and spices.
Once the groundwork has been laid, add some pecans and a slice of apple in the middle. Wrap it up and bake it to have a miniature apple pie.
9. Salad on a Stick
Have you ever noticed everything is easier to eat on the run or in a different setting if it’s smaller and on a skewer?
Salad is no exception. If you’d like to enjoy a salad during your picnic, place the ingredients on a skewer and drizzle it with dressing.
10. Broccoli Cranberry Salad
There are some recipes and ingredients which scream, “Warm weather!” Broccoli salad is one of those recipes.
My mom makes this salad for every cookout and picnic we have as a larger group. It’s delicious and will certainly get you in the mood for a picnic and family time.
11. Mason Jar S’mores
When you go on a picnic, you must have dessert, but there isn’t a place to create every dessert you like. If your kids love S’mores, they’ll be over the moon to know you can make them before you ever leave home.
They can be packed neatly into a mason jar, and the kids can enjoy a S’more in a jar after lunch and without needing a place to roast marshmallows.
12. Greek Salad Skewers
Would you love to take something a little lighter and fresher when you go on a picnic? Is Greek salad a dish you love?
You can now pack this delicious Greek salad on a skewer. A bonus is it only takes four ingredients to make this dish.
13. Chicken Picnic Pie
Hand pies are awesome compact pies you can pick up and take with you anywhere you desire. Most hand pies are usually fruit filled.
In this case, it’s a savory chicken hand pie. It’s filling, delicious, and perfect for your next picnic. Leave the sandwiches at home and reach for this recipe instead.
14. Spinach Artichoke Hand Pies
While we’re on the topic of hand pies, here’s another version which would be perfect for picnic food ideas.
If you’re a vegetarian but love the idea of a savory dish on a picnic, ditch the meat and go with this spinach and artichoke filled hand pie.
15. Picnic Potato Salad
Do you love potato salad? Is it hard for you to take it to an outdoor event such as a picnic because of all the mayonnaise?
You no longer must leave your potato salad at home. Instead, use this mayo-free vinegar-based potato salad.
16. Salad in a Cup
Are you trying to remain healthy while picnicking with your kids? My hat goes off to you because it’s tough.
However, eating healthy at a picnic has become easier thanks to great picnic food ideas like this recipe. You can now pack your salad in a cup.
17. Brown Sugar Glazed Smokies
Your kids like hot dogs, but hot dogs are hard to pack on a picnic. Instead, you can use these smokies to fill the hot dog craving.
You can add more flavor for a tasty dish both children and adults will love. This could be a hit for the whole family so make plenty!
18. Breaded Italian Chicken Drumsticks
In times past, people would picnic frequently. They didn’t reach for the loaf of bread and peanut butter. Instead, they packed delicious homemade meals.
This drumstick recipe is an example of an old-fashioned picnic item. If your kids love drumsticks, make it for them and allow them to enjoy it when dining outside. Look at it as larger finger food.
19. Fruit in Waffle Cones
If you want a dish which will be fresh with a hint of sweetness but also remain kid-friendly, this would have them jumping for joy.
Fill waffle cones with fresh fruit everyone in your party loves, and you’ll have a winner.
20. Zucchini Picnic Muffins
Don’t assume because you’re on a picnic you can’t incorporate your garden. If you have an excess of zucchini, put it into this recipe.
These muffins contain eggs, cooked rice, cheese, bacon, and zucchini. Your kids will love them, and they’re healthy too.
21. Fresh Raspberry Buttermilk Muffins
Have you ever tried an early morning picnic? We do this quite frequently. When I take my kids out on our boat, we’ll stay out all day long.
Therefore, I must pack breakfast, lunch, and dinner. These muffins would make for an excellent breakfast item for a picnic earlier in the day.
22. Crispy Fried Chicken
As mentioned earlier, it’s okay to pack savory dishes for your picnic. Consider them more substantial finger foods and know your kids will enjoy each bite.
If your children love fried chicken, use this recipe to make a fantastic meal with crispy skin. It’s sure to become a family favorite.
23. Mac and Cheese Bites
Most kids love mac-and-cheese. If your kids love it, they’ll be excited to know it can now fit easily inside your picnic basket.
This mac-and-cheese is made and baked in smaller portions. From there, it’s turned into kid-friendly finger food.
24. Mini Cheese and Corn Quiche
This is one of the easiest picnic recipes you’ll probably make. The pastry shells are premade and stuffed with delicious ingredients.
You’ll add corn, cheese, water, and a few eggs to complete this amazing dish. It’s a great way to get your kids to eat a few extra vegetables too.
25. Italian Pressed Sandwiches
If you’re going to stick with sandwiches for picnic food ideas, let’s at least change things up a bit. Instead of a basic PB&J on white bread, let’s try this pressed Italian sandwich.
It looks delicious! It’s made with ciabatta bread, has a variety of meats, cheese, and is finished off with fresh herbs and spices.
26. Banana Bread Cookies
You’re looking for the perfect dessert for picnic food ideas, but you can’t decide between a dessert bread or cookies. Thanks to this recipe you no longer must make such a choice.
Now, you can incorporate banana bread and chocolate chip cookies. If your kids love both, you have a winner on your hands.
27. To Go Cold Cut Sandwiches
If you’re someone who prefers sandwiches over any other savory dish, or maybe you’re in a hurry and need a picnic idea quickly, this is it.
We’re heading on a picnic tomorrow, and this is what will be in our basket. Place cold cuts, cheese, and a sauce on Hawaiian rolls, and you have an amazing sandwich.
28. Mini Picnic Calzones
On the days my kids and I run errands, they like to get a treat for lunch. One of their favorite lunches is a calzone.
If your kids love calzones too, this will be a great picnic recipe to try out. They’re miniature handheld calzones stuffed with delicious ingredients.
29. PB&J on a Stick
If you have a picky eater and are trying to change their eating routine, you’d probably have an easier time bringing about world peace.
Instead of taking on the battle of the food, change the appearance of traditional picnic food. Put the PB&J on a skewer for easier packing and incorporate fresh fruit.
30. Dirt the Dessert
Kids love this dirt dessert. It was a favorite of mine when I was a little kid, and your kids will most likely love it too.
This dessert contains whipped cream, chocolate pudding, Oreo cookies, gummy worms, and milk. It looks fun and tastes delicious!
31. Walking Tacos
My kids love tacos. They’re some of the pickiest eaters on the planet, yet they’ll still indulge in tacos. Therefore, when I find a recipe I know they’ll eat, I run with it.
If you want to have tacos on the run, try putting all of your favorite taco fixings in a chip bag and enjoying with a fork.
You now have over 30 different recipes to amp up your picnicking game. Your kids will be surprised when they see all the picnic food ideas you have pulled together to make for a fun new experience when on a picnic.
Don’t feel rushed to try them all at once. Mix and match until you find the recipes your family loves! Good luck, and we hope you all enjoy making memories doing the simple things in life such as a picnic.