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25 of the Best Picnic Food Ideas

If you’re thinking about packing up a picnic and enjoying a sunny day, you’re in the right place! We’ve gathered the best picnic food ideas to make your planning easy.

From sandwiches to pasta salads, packable appetizers, snacks, and of course desserts… this collection’s got it all covered.

A picnic basket containing sandwiches, chips, grapes, and a bottle of sparkling beverage.A picnic basket containing sandwiches, chips, grapes, and a bottle of sparkling beverage.

Thanks to our weekends at our little modern lake house, we have become picnic experts of sorts.

We’ve mastered the best boat snacks, and we love packing easy, delicious bites that we can enjoy on the dock or out on the water. Don’t get me wrong, we love enjoying all the Table Rock Lake restaurants, but there’s something really fun about doing it ourselves, too.

While we spend our summers on the water, we enjoy the area during fall, winter and spring too. Most weekends, we pack lunches and snacks to go hike or bike the trails at one of the many beautiful parks in the Table Rock lake area.

See our guide for all the best things to do on Table Rock Lake, in fact!

A collage showcasing the best picnic food ideas, including a basket with sandwiches and fruits, deviled eggs, fruit skewers, and a pasta salad.A collage showcasing the best picnic food ideas, including a basket with sandwiches and fruits, deviled eggs, fruit skewers, and a pasta salad.

This collection of the best picnic recipes is sure to inspire you for a day out, enjoying the sunshine with friends and family. Let’s making something delicious and pack it up for a picnic!

25 of the Best Picnic Food Ideas

We’ll start with a few great sandwiches, because who doesn’t love those for a picnic? At the end of this collection, we’ll share the recipe card for our favorite picnic sandwiches, too!

A picnic basket filled with sandwiches, chips, grapes, and a bottle of beverage.A picnic basket filled with sandwiches, chips, grapes, and a bottle of beverage.

Grinder Sandwiches

Grinder Sandwich

Make a grinder sandwich at home – it’s a viral recipe for a reason! We’re updating the classic, with a salad layer for an extra zesty crunch.  Read More

20 mins

Italian BMT Sandwiches

Italian BMT Sandwich

An Italian BMT sandwich is an iconic flavor combo you’re going to love. Made famous by the Subway version, you can now make it at home!  Read More

10 mins

Chicken Wrap

Chicken Wrap Recipe

Keep it light with this easy and delicious chicken wrap recipe. It’s filled with fresh lettuce, grated cheese, juicy chicken, tomato, red onion, optional cilantro, and more! Read More

30 mins

Snackle Boxes

Snackle Boxes

If you love to snack, you’re going to love snackle boxes! They are everything you love about charcuterie board, wrapped into the cutest container for travel. Tackle box charcuterie for the win!  Read More

15 mins

Jarcuterie

Charcuterie Jars

Jarcuterie is the cutest spin on the ever-popular charcuterie boards that are forever loved by families and party-goers across the world! Charcuterie Jars make for the most delicious way to entertain.  Read More

10 mins

Deviled Eggs

The Best Deviled Eggs Recipe

Get the secrets to the best deviled eggs recipe. Once you try this fluffy, creamy, tangy recipe, you’ll never go back. They are devilishly good, and perfect for parties, picnics, Easter and so much more.  Read More

30 mins

Cheese and Crackers

Cheese and Crackers

Cheese and crackers are a classic snack with so many fun variations! This timeless combination is so easy to customize. It’s fast, easy and nutritious, and makes an effortless appetizer. Read More

5 mins

Trail Mix

Trail Mix Without Raisins

Learn how to make the most delicious trail mix without raisins! In fact, this trail mix with M&Ms is so easy to customize with sweet and salty flavors, you’ll never miss them.  Read More

5 mins

Vanilla Fruit Salad

Vanilla Fruit Salad

This vanilla fruit salad is a family favorite with a perfectly sweet vanilla dressing. It’s easy to customize for snacks, sides + picnics! Read More

5 mins

Prosecco Soaked Grapes

Sugared Prosecco Grapes

Celebrate something special with sweet, sparkling Sugared Champagne Grapes – a poppable appetizer or dessert that will have everyone raving! Prosecco grapes are fresh, vibrant, and bursting with the flavor of your favorite bubbles!  Read More

12 hrs 2 mins

A picnic basket with wrapped sandwiches and a bunch of red grapes on a white surface.A picnic basket with wrapped sandwiches and a bunch of red grapes on a white surface.

Drunken Strawberries

Drunken Strawberries

Recipe for Drunken Strawberries, Rosé Strawberries or Wine Marinated Strawberries – whatever you want to call them, you’ll be calling them the perfect summer treat!  Read More

10 mins

Fruit Skewers

Fresh Fruit Skewers

These darling fruit skewers are the ultimate way to serve festive fruit for every occasion! Perfectly bite-sized and oh-so-charming, you’ll have your guests oohing and aahing over your clever display.  Read More

10 mins

Mini Cheese Tarts

Incredible Cheddar Cheese Tart

These little cheddar cheese tarts are delicious and perfectly portioned for entertaining! They are exploding with rich cheddar flavor and so easy to make – ideal for brunch or served as an appetizer. Read More

25 mins

Peanut Butter Fruit Dip

Peanut Butter Fruit Dip

This is a delightfully easy and creamy peanut butter fruit dip recipe. It’s a three ingredient peanut butter dip that is excellent for an after school snack and so much more!  Read More

2 mins

Bacon Popcorn

Bacon Popcorn

Bacon popcorn is the ultimate savory snack. It feels like such a treat but it’s so easy to make with just 2 ingredients! It’s so easy to add a little extra flavor to your homemade stovetop popcorn. Perfect for movie night and Super Bowl entertaining! Read More

10 mins

Ranch Dip

Ranch Dip

This creamy ranch dip recipe is the perfect party appetizer, but also great for tucking into school lunches or enjoying as an afternoon snack.  Read More

5 mins

Hummus

Easy Hummus Recipe

A classic hummus recipe made with a few simple ingredients in minutes! It’s fresh, flavorful and easily adaptable! Read More

10 mins

Garlic Parmesan Wings

Garlic Parmesan Wings

Crispy, sticky, and perfectly salty, these garlic parmesan wings are sure to be the hit of any party! They are the perfect game day food, and they might even put your favorite buffalo sauce to shame.  Read More

55 mins

Tortellini Pasta Salad

Tortellini Pasta Salad

This tortellini pasta salad is jam packed with zesty Mediterranean flavors. A homemade Greek dressing perfectly complements the textural pasta and veggies in this amazing cold side dish!  Read More

25 mins

Veggie Pasta Salad

Veggie Pasta Salad

This veggie pasta salad recipe is bursting with fresh, vibrant flavors! Overflowing with nutrients thanks to an array of fresh veggies, it’s a vegetarian pasta salad side dish you can feel good about!  Read More

20 mins

Homemade Boursin Cheese

Boursin Cheese

This homemade Boursin cheese is a soft, creamy cheese blended with garlic and herbs – the most delicious herb cream cheese! This Boursin cheese is so irresistible, you’ll want to dip on repeat. Read More

2 hrs 5 mins

Whipped Goat Cheese

Whipped Goat Cheese with Honey

Goat Cheese Spread is an easy goat cheese appetizer made with whipped goat cheese, honey, herbs and fresh cracked pepper. It takes less than 5 minutes to make and is always a crowd pleaser! Read More

5 mins

Jalapeño Dip

Creamy Jalapeño Dip

This Creamy Jalapeño Dip is an easy dip recipe to throw together and serve a crowd! It’s a stand out dip that’s perfect for parties, tailgates and will have everyone talking! Read More

25 mins

Chocolate Chip Salted Caramel Cookie Bars

These salted caramel chocolate chip cookie bars are the ultimate combination of sweet and salty flavors, and just as easy as a sheet of cookies. A decadent caramel sauce creates a chewy, buttery flavor that combines with a burst of sweet chocolate chips for a treat your family will inhale! Read More

40 mins

Kitchen Sink Cookies

Kitchen Sink Cookies

Kitchen sink cookies are made with toffee, pretzels and white chocolate chips. They are perfectly crunchy and delightfully chewy, sweet and salty.  Read More

25 mins

Last but not least, we’re sharing our favorite picnic sandwich recipe! These sandwiches are such a great way to upgrade a classic picnic food – plus they’re wholesome, filling, and so easy to eat on the go.

Prevent your screen from going dark

  • Preheat oven to 400℉.

  • Slice bread to size and in half, longways, and place on baking sheet. Bake bread 8-10 minutes or according to package directions.

    13 ounces take and bake loaf

  • Remove from oven and immediately add sliced cheese to each sandwich (to make it slightly melted).

    ¼ pound havarti cheese

  • Brush butter onto top of bread while it’s warm and sprinkle with fresh cracked sea salt.

    2 tablespoons butter, ¼ teaspoon sea salt

  • Add lunch meat and any additional toppings to the sandwich. Close the top and serve or wrap for a picnic lunch.

    ½ pound deli meat

  • While these sandwiches don’t *need* condiments, you can add them! To keep the bread from getting soggy, add condiments between the layers of meats, cheese or any lettuce, onions or tomato slices that you add. Just try not to let the condiments touch the bread – it’s such a great trick to avoid soggy packed sandwiches! 
  • Packaging these picnic sandwiches like your favorite sandwich shop adds an extra special touch. Wrap in parchment paper and tie with a ribbon for guests for a gorgeous presentation!
  • Look for take and bake bread in your grocer’s bakery department.

Calories: 445kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 58mg | Sodium: 1635mg | Potassium: 245mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 400IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 228mg | Iron: 4mg

Estimated nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed.

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