The Best Picnic Food Recipes

Discover a delightful collection of the best picnic food recipes, perfect for making your outdoor gatherings both delicious and memorable.

picnic basket on a blanket with picnic food

What To Take On A Picnic:

When planning a picnic, be sure to bring a cosy blanket or mat to sit on, along with a cooler or insulated bag to keep your food and drinks fresh. Pack easy-to-eat items like sandwiches, fresh fruit, cheese, and crackers, as well as some sweet treats like cookies or brownies. Don’t forget essentials like reusable utensils, plates, napkins, and bin bags. To make your outing even more enjoyable, consider bringing a portable speaker for music, sunscreen, and some fun games like a frisbee or deck of cards.

Picnic Essentials:

  • Picnic blanket or mat
  • Cooler or insulated bag
  • Ice packs
  • Resuable utensils (forks, knives, spoons)
  • Reusable plates and bowls
  • Reusable cups 
  • Napkins or paper towels
  • Bin bags
  • Wet wipes or hand sanitiser

Picnic Extras:

  • Picnic-friendly games (frisbee, cards)
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent (We have a great recipe for a homemade insect repellent here)
  • Portable speaker for music

Picnic Food Ideas:

For a picnic, consider bringing easy-to-eat mains like sandwiches or wraps filled with your favorite ingredients (we have a full list of our favourite sandwich fillings here), which are both convenient and versatile. Cold pasta salads or hearty grain salads are also excellent options, as they can be made ahead and served chilled, making them perfect for an outdoor meal. Here are some ideas to get you started:

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Veggie Packed Rice Salad

A rice salad filled with crunchy vegetables, chickpeas, fresh herbs, and dressed with a simple olive oil and lemon juice dressing. Perfect for your weekly meal planning, picnics, and a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

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Veggie Packed Quiche

This homemade, vegetable-packed quiche is a great recipe to make when you have leftover vegetables from your box and aren’t sure what to cook with. It's perfect for a light dinner or picnic.

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Vegan Lettuce Potato Salad with Cashew Dressing

Finely chopped lettuce and fresh herbs tossed in a creamy cashew dressing and tender cooked potatoes. The cashew dressing includes a mix of both cashew butter, tahini, dijon mustard, golden syrup, olive oil and apple cider vinegar for the perfect blend of flavour. And since there is no mayonnaise, this salad will sit out well at summer picnics and BBQs. 

Picnic Side Recipes:

For sides, bring fresh veggie sticks with a tasty dip like hummus, and a selection of cheeses paired with crackers for a simple yet satisfying option. Additionally, consider including mini quiches for a savoury bite and fruit salads or pre-sliced fruits like watermelon and berries, which are refreshing and easy to share. Here’s some of our favourites:

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Marrow Hummus

This marrow hummus is totally free of grains and legumes. Great for a snack or a picnic. Leftovers would make a tasty pasta sauce, or you could serve with tortilla chips and roasted veg.

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Picnic Filo Pastry Beetroot Mini Quiches

Save all the effort of slicing up portions by making these cute individual mini filo pastry quiches. Each bite delivers a flavour explosion of beetroot, goat cheese and basil. These mini quiche versions store well and are perfect to take on a picnic. If you don't have a mini hole tin, use a muffin tin and make larger quiches.

2 slices of asparagus loaf served on top of a leafy salad.

Asparagus Loaf

This recipe is great for using the whole asparagus, it's packed with flavour and great for picnics or on-the-go lunches.

Picnic Desserts:

For desserts, pack some easy-to-handle treats like cookies, brownies or cakes, which are perfect for sharing and require no utensils. Fresh fruit skewers or a simple fruit salad can also provide a sweet and refreshing end to your picnic meal.

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Rhubarb Oat Cookies

These rhubarb oat cookies are sweet, tangy, and almost certainly unlike any other cookie you've had before. Made with easy-to-find ingredients and freshly chopped rhubarb, these cookies are one of the best rhubarb desserts to enjoy this spring.

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Grapefruit Drizzle Cake

A delicious twist on the classic lemon drizzle cake. If you are after a cake that is moist and also freezes well this recipe is for you. Perfect served with a warm cup of tea.

3 pieces of beetroot brownie

Nutty Beetroot Brownies

These deliciously fudgy brownies are packed full of earthy goodness from the beetroot – using the beets also means less sugar and butter. These brownies are a wonderful use for the humble beetroot and perfect alongside a cup of tea or coffee. They also keep wonderfully in a tupperware for a few days – if they last that long!

Picnic Drink Ideas:

For drinks, bring plenty of water to keep everyone hydrated, especially on hot days. Consider packing refreshing options like iced tea, lemonade, or fruit-infused water.

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Peach Iced Tea

Here's how to make peach iced tea at home in under 30 minutes with just three ingredients: peaches, tea bags and sugar.

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Blueberry Rose Spritz

Turn your blueberries into a puree and mix with rose wine and Aperol to make a delicious cocktail. The blueberry puree can be made in advance and stored in the fridge or freezer in ice cubes. Ready for express cocktail making all summer long. 

Looking for more picnic tips and tricks?

We’ve picked some out for you!

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5 more tips for a low-waste picnic

The days are warming, the birds are becoming more vocal and it's starting to look like picnic weather! But all that fun in the sun can leave us with wasted food or too much extra food at home. We talked about five tips on how to have a low-waste picnic last summer. Here are five more for 2021, so you can truly master the low-waste picnic.

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The best summer picnic recipes - perfect for any veg

Park picnics are now a thing more than ever, but rather than pick up a bag-load of plastic-wrapped picnic food from the shop, try a low-waste approach and make a quick dish using whatever fruit or veg you’ve got in your box this week. Here are some flexible picnic ideas designed for sharing. 

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Sunny Days With Oddbox

From picnics to paddling pool parties, al fresco lunches to sundowners. Make it a glorious, waste-free summer with our sunny tips, recipes and hacks. Check out some of the top tips and delicious summer recipes that featured in our seasonal guide below. And, If you want to learn more about what's in store, read our blog here.