Picnic food ideas that will work for an outdoor summer gathering, so pack your basket with our favourite recipes, from tarts and quiches and salads to desserts
Picnic food is perfect for sharing with good company on a hot day. These picnic food ideas will help you plan a portable feast at short notice. Think picnic loaf, quiche and a potato salad to share, followed by a picnic-appropriate dessert that will still look its best by time you eat it.
Aside from good weather, every good picnic needs a good selection of dishes in order to be a success. Ideally, you should choose a few recipes that are good for sharing, not too messy and easy to transport. Potato salads and pasta salads are great for this kind of occasion as not only are they a picnic staple, but they’re also filling and so easy to make.
For something a little different, try our Swedish surprise pasta salad; the pickled herring is a great source of protein and the flavours that come together are really unique. If you want to stick to a classic recipe, then our pesto potato salad is ideal as our take on a traditional salad.
A bit like a quiche but filled with rich custard and plenty of filling this leek and goats’ cheese picnic loaf recipe will steal the show. It’s a bit of a cheat’s recipe, as you will need to buy the loaf and simply scoop out the soft inside and fill it instead with the leek and cheese mix but it’s ideal as you’ll probably be preparing several different dishes to bring, and this is a great time-saver.
Don’t forget drinks! Pack up wine or beers in a cooler, or make your own non-alcoholic summer drink. Homemade elderflower cordial topped up with sparkling water or tonic and finished with a pretty straw always looks the part.
Let your picnic shine this weekend with some of our great picnic recipes.
Click through for more picnic recipes…
This little asparagus and pesto tarts recipe will be on your favourite list in no time! Perfect for packing up for a lunchtime picnic.
Roasting the courgettes first prevents the filling of this roasted courgette and tomato tart with goats’ cheese recipe becoming watery. If you don’t like goats’ cheese then you can replace it with ricotta or grated gruyere.
A Mexican favourite of flour tortillas sandwiched together with a savoury cheese and vegetables mix. Try making this chilli and butternut squash quesadillas recipe for your next picnic.
Try this really original American dream pasta salad recipe for a bit of a change at your summer picnic!
Make this when elderflower is in season in May and June, then take a small bottle to every picnic and top up with sparkling water, add to a G&T or prosecco.
See the elderflower cordial recipe.
Everyone loves bruschetta! This red pepper and feta bruschetta recipe is a little bit of Italy, with a splash of Greek flavour.
This delicious sausage and pepper kebab recipe is full of summer flavours, making it perfect for a weekend picnic.
Cheesecakes you can have on the go, this yuzu and tofu cheesecake recipe is an oriental twist on the tradition pudding.
This tomato, mozarella and basil sandwich recipe takes a cheese and tomato sandwich to new heights!
Go for a bit of spice, with this delicious sticky Jamaican jerk chicken and rice recipe is perfect for alfresco dining.
This tandoori chicken flatbreads with watermelon and mint salad recipe has a delicious flavour combination that works equally well hot or cold and makes a great salad if you want to go wheat-free.
Ready in the blink of an eye, this cherry and almond scones recipe is perfect to whip up for an impromptu picnic.
Bake these gorgeous strawberries and cream cupcake recipe in your picnic pack-up and you’ll be the envy of everyone with a picnic spread. The fruit purée in the icing gives a fab yogurty flavour and makes them seem less sinful!
Treat everyone to some fudge at all your summer picnics. For the best results, use a sugar thermometer to make this classic rum and raisin fudge recipe.
We love this mackerel, rocket and potato salad it couldnt be easier and it’s really delicious too.
Super easy and really quick this apricot & vanilla tartlets recipe is the perfect dessert for picnicking with lots of friends.
This sweet, spicy coconut coated chicken kebabs with raitha recipe makes a fantastic way to eat curry on a picnic!
Crispy pancetta, crunchy hazelnut nuts, juicy apple and chewy cherries give this crunchy pancetta and hazelnut salad with warm balsamic dressing recipe a satisfying texture.
If you want to serve this brown rice salad with broad beans, artichokes and dill recipe on its own then why not crumble some salty feta cheese over the top. It is also very good with grilled smoked pancetta crumbled over the top.
Everyone loves a potato salad recipe and this version will top them all. Rich, creamy and delicious this is a warm baby potato salad with haddock and creamy gruyere dressing recipe with attitude – and will make the perfect accompaniment at your summer picnics.
This quick and easy cheese straws and maple, sesame and mustard sausages recipe makes very moreish party nibbles or picnic food
Can we ever eat enough strawberries in summer, when our home-grown fruit is at its fragrant best. This strawberries and pimms recipe combines the essence of an English summer with Pimm’s and mint – the perfect combination at Wimbledon!
This grilled chicken salad with courgettes and cannellini beans salad recipe is great for feeding a big gang of friends simply increase the ingredients – and you’ve got a hearty picnic salad.
Simple is sometimes best, like this pesto potato salad. Everyone loves this classic recipe so why not knock it up for your next picnic!
This bacon and onion tart recipe is an Alsace version of a quiche Lorraine and benefits from being made with very few ingredients namely bacon, onion, cream, eggs and pastry – making it a quick and easy recipe idea to pack up in your picnic.
To add a really luscious touch to your picnic dessert, take a carton of single cream with you and pour generously over each slice of almond, polenta and honey cake recipe just before serving.
Vegetarians and carnivores alike will love this oven-dried tomato and basil pasta salad.
This great halloumi, red onion and pepper kebabs with citrussy pilaf recipe works as a side dish at a picnic and hits the spot every time!
If you fancy trying something new, then give this Swedish surprise pasta salad recipe a go, it’s full of protein and is delightfully creamy.