One of the best ways to soak up the summer rays is to take your meal outside with a picnic. Whether it’s a date, solo outing, or gathering with friends and family, a picnic is the perfect opportunity to try out new recipes. Visit your favorite park, a beach you've been meaning to check out, or simply set up camp in the backyard with some lawn games — all are great spots for enjoying picnic food.
We’ve put together a list of the best picnic recipes for every time of day and level of hunger. The picnic food ideas ahead are broken up into categories: picnic snacks and dips, salads, sandwiches and mains, side dishes, and desserts. So whether you’re planning to picnic under the stars with a late night treat or you need easy appetizers to enjoy while basking in the afternoon sun, we’ve got you covered. All of these dishes are easily stored in reusable containers for transport to your destination. We do recommend packing in a cooler or insulated bag to keep food fresh during travel and throughout the day.
Our curated list of recipes includes plenty of easy picnic food, as well as a few more time-intensive recipes for the practicing home chef. Besides tasting delicious, these recipes are also visually stunning, making a perfect warm weather snapshot for social media. Add a summer Instagram caption to your post and inspire your friends to have their own picnic…just don't forget to share the recipes!
Roasted Broccoli-Artichoke Dip
Dips are an easy to transport essential when going on a picnic. Pack a couple spoonfuls in a reusable container, and bring chips to eat with it.
Salami-Wrapped Melon with Basil
Salami and melon may seem like an odd combination, but don't knock this easy skewer recipe until you try it.
Spicy Deviled Eggs
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.
Chile-Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Fresh Mozzarella
This refreshing salad comes together with just a handful of ingredients.
Spring Chopped Salad with Cider Vinaigrette
Despite the name, this bright, tangy salad can be eaten any time of the year. Feel free to personalize the salad's veggies and greens based on what's in season.
Pear and Walnut Salad
If there was a time of year for fruit in a salad, it would be summer! The sweet, refreshing taste of pear shines in this easy-to-make-salad.
Get the Pear and Walnut Salad recipe.
Watercress Salad with Honey-Lime Vinaigrette
Go all-in on green with a mix of verdant-hued fruits and vegetables, such as watercress, lime, kiwi, green apple, and avocado.
Kate Franke (she/her) is the editorial assistant at Woman’s Day. She loves all things lifestyle, home, and market related. Kate has a BAJMC in Magazine Media and BA in Writing from Drake University. She is a proud ASME alum whose work has appeared in Food Network Magazine, The Pioneer Woman Magazine, Better Homes & Gardens, Modern Farmhouse Style, Beautiful Kitchens & Baths, and more. Next to writing, Kate’s two favorite things are chai lattes and pumpkin bread!
Corinne Sullivan is an Editor at Cosmopolitan, where she covers a variety of beats, including lifestyle, entertainment, relationships, shopping, and more. She can tell you everything you need to know about the love lives of A-listers, the coziest bedsheets, and the sex toys actually worth your $$$. She is also the author of the 2018 novel Indecent. Follow her on Instagram for cute pics of her pup and bébé.
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