51 Easy Picnic Food Ideas Perfect for Outdoor Gatherings
It's time to break out the picnic basket and the checkered blanket!
As the weather grows warmer and the days grow longer, chances are you have one big goal in mind: Spending as much time outdoors as possible. And while there are tons of warm-weather activities that'll get you outside and moving, nothing quite beats a leisurely picnic on a sunny day. Of course, preparing for a picnic always brings up the difficult decision of what kind of snacks to pack in your basket. Yes, you can get by with a baguette and some cheese, but quick and easy picnic food ideas don't have to be limited to simple grab-and-go snacks.
When it comes to your spread, the best picnic ideas tend to be quick, simple, and easy to serve cold, since you'll be taking it on the go. Luckily, from sandwich recipes to easy summer salads, there are plenty of picnic food ideas that fit the bill. Maybe you're looking for some tasty appetizers to snack on while you lounge. Perhaps you want to whip up a fresh pasta salad that everyone can share. Whatever the case, you're sure to find some inspiration among these easy picnic basket recipes, all of which take 30 minutes or less to prepare, so you can be on the road in no time.
Flavor-packed chicken salad makes the perfect picnic sandwiches when stacked on hearty bread.
Your favorite summer veggies team up to make this picnic-worthy salad.
For an unexpected picnic appetizer that's sure to impress, top toast with horseradish-infused crème fraîche and beets.
Get the Beet Crostini recipe.
You can whip up this one-pan white bean and spinach pasta dish in just 20 minutes.
The classic ham sandwich gets a makeover when you add sliced pickles mixed with butter for a little saltiness.
Get the Ham and Pickle Baguette recipe.
You can add a tasty crunch of flavor to your picnic spread with this refreshing summer salad.
Get the Fresh Corn and Chickpea Salad recipe.
The only downside to this heart-healthy hummus: It's going to be gone before you know it.
Get the Lentil Hummus recipe.
This flavorful summer pasta only takes 20 minutes to make, and it's sure to earn you rave reviews.
You can't beat a turkey sandwich filled with tart cranberry, crisp bacon, and tangy brie cheese (especially since it only takes 10 minutes to make!).
Everyone will love the large chunks of ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, and tangy red onion in this refreshing pasta salad.
Get the Tomato-Basil Pasta Salad recipe.
Pasta salad is a tasty way to showcase summer veggies, and this quick-and-easy recipe only takes 20 minutes to put together.
Get the Fresh Corn, Tomato, Herb, and Israeli Couscous Salad recipe.
For heart-healthy burgers you can whip up in just 20 minutes, these Greek turkey burgers are the way to go.
Get the Greek Turkey Burgers recipe.
Kids and adults alike will go wild for this pimiento-stuffed grilled cheese sandwich.
Salami and melon may seem like an odd combination to you, but don't knock this easy kabob recipe until you try it.
With toasted hazelnuts, green apples, thinly sliced Brussels sprouts, and just a hint of lemon juice, this salad is sure to be a hit at your picnic.
These chicken hot dogs are overflowing with delicious veggies (and they're so easy to make).
Get the Chicago-Style Chicken Dogs recipe.
The best thing about this nutty, citrusy pasta dish: It tastes just as good cold as it does hot.
Cook up some hard boiled eggs a day or two in advance, then assemble these spicy deviled eggs a few hours before you eat.
Get the Spicy Deviled Eggs recipe.
Fresh and filling, this perfect picnic salad can serve as a starter or as the main meal.
This colorful salad (which is made with oranges, carrots, chow mien noodles, and cabbage) can be made with shredded turkey breast or rotisserie chicken.
Put a new spin on your go-to ham and cheese sandwich by stuffing your ingredients into a whole wheat tortilla.
Get the Ham and Brie Quesadilla recipe.
Believe it or not, potato chips serve as the base for this playful picnic appetizer.
Get the Smoked Salmon Bites recipe.
This refreshing salad comes together with just a handful of ingredients.
Get the Chile-Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Fresh Mozzarella recipe.
If you're looking for a light lunch sandwich, then you can't beat this tasty, vegetarian-friendly option.
Get the Veggie Focaccia recipe.
This herby, cheesy spread tastes so good when paired with cool cucumber slices.
Get the Whipped Feta with Cucumber recipe.
Add another flavor dimension to corn on the cob with homemade parsley butter.
Flavors of the Mediterranean — mint, Kalamata olives, cucumber, and garlic — come together to upgrade rotisserie chicken.
In a hummus rut? Try this amazing spread instead.
Get the Beet and Feta Dip recipe.
To give your picnic some Mediterranean flair, you can put together these easy pita sandwiches with a side of creamy Greek yogurt.
Give a typical caprese new life with the addition of fresh peaches or nectarines.
Get the Peach Caprese Salad recipe.