Picnic recipes must meet a few requirements to be considered "the best picnic food ideas" in our book.
1. Picnic foods need to be easy to transport. Anything that's too fussy will only create more work and worry, so scratch it from the list.
2. Picnic recipes should also be simple to prepare. You pack a picnic basket quite a bit ahead of time and then cart it off to a destination that could be far from home. Any recipes that don't keep it simple will just mean more stress, which is everything a picnic is not!
3. Finally, any and all picnic ideas have to be fun, fresh and infused with seasonal flavors. Avoid the same old same old, and go for recipes that include lots of seasonal ingredients, are easy to bring outdoors and can be eaten with your hands.
We've collected 10 of our favorite picnic foods and ideas. Some of these recipes are family-friendly, others are more appropriate for adults-only. But even if you don't pile your menu high with our favorite picnic foods, pay close attention to WHY we chose them for ours!
Contributor Coryanne Ettiene shared this punch recipe with us last summer and it was the overwhelming hit on our patio bars. What makes it so appealing for a picnic menu is it can be prepped ahead of time with minimal effort. You can also leave the vodka out so kids can enjoy it, and add a splash to parents glasses later on.
No drink is cheaper or easier to make the night before your picnic than this inexpensive sangria recipe we're fans of serving. It's chock full of fresh seasonal fruit and requires just a slight stir before chilling.
When we hit the park for a picnic we aim to take the dinner party from the table to the blanket as best as we can. That means, packing a salad along for the feast. You could pack any salad recipe and eat with forks, or, you could go finger-style with these Bacon Salad Singles - no plate required!
Finger sandwiches are always a good choice for picnics since you can cut them up ahead of time and eat them without too much fuss while sitting on your blanket. We're big fans of these finger sandwich ideas for summer.
Wraps are another great picnic food idea. Not only are they easy to customize to everyone's tastes, they're also way easier to wrap and hold with your hands while you munch then a traditional sandwich. These turkey cranberry ones are a favorite of ours.
Watermelons always make an appearance at picnics - we know this so well we planned an entire watermelon theme picnic party. But, rather than just cutting up some wedges and having guests grab, try getting creative with the fruit. We're big fans of this picnic-friendly watermelon salsa.
Tequila infused fruit isn't kid-friendly, but adults will love this sweet spiked treat. Turn the recipe into a picnic food by popping fruit cut-outs on to a stick after they've marinated in a tequila marinade. You can also omit the alcohol to make it a family-friendly treat.
If you haven't already jumped on the party trend bandwagon, now's the ideal time. While dessert recipes in a jar look great, they're also super picnic-friendly. Bake up a delicious dessert you wouldn't necessarily think to transport to your favorite picnic destination in a mason jar or try one of ours for a new crowd pleaser.
We're also fans of these cupcakes in a jar recipes!
Merlot marinated cherries are the perfect picnic food. They're easy to pack and transport, taste delicious and can be eaten by hand as you lounge on the grass.
Chances are the kids will join you on your picnic, so make sure you've got treats for them. They don't necessarily have to be sweet treats, but they are required to be fun. This trail mix is kid-friendly thanks to it's yummy ingredients, easy to hold bag and fun printable topper you can download from the recipe page.