Simple, Delicious Picnic Menus & Ideas for Picnic Foods
Sometimes, choosing picnic menus can be even more complicated than, say, choosing menus for a fancy dinner party. Why? Because you have to consider a ton of different
variables: how easy a recipe is to eat, how well it transports, what temperature it should be served at, etc. Not to mention how it tastes!
Because I have a deep and abiding love of the almighty picnic, I've spent a lot of time putting together some of my favorite picnic menus and recipes. Here, you'll find
some creative and some classic ideas for picnic foods, starting off with my favorite menus for a picnic (including recipes!). Looking for more picnic games and themes
, menus, and more?
You'll find them at picnic planning central!
Don't want to use my menu? Create your own with the ideas for picnic foods at the bottom of this page.
My Favorite Picnic Menus
As you flip through my picnic pages, you'll see I've put together lots of new picnic ideas, including the different kinds of recipes and menus I tend to choose when planning an outdoor picnic. These menus
range from ultra simple to elegant and complex.
This menu is one of my very favorites, because it's the perfect balance between elegant and adult, and totally kid-pleasing. It works just as well for a group of adult friends as a
family of four. Or eight. Click each dish for the recipe, or click the link above for the whole menu and recipes.
Chevre, Leek, and Shallot Tart
Simple Roasted Chicken, Served Cold
Spinach Salad with Leeks, Apples, and Pecans
Easy Pastry-Free Dutch Apple Pie
Very few things are as wonderfully romantic as a private little picnic in a shady little spot. And you don't need a bunch of fancy, expensive, complicated food to do it.
This romantic menu is simple, elegant, and tastes divine.
Turkey, Avocado, and Brie Sandwiches with Herb Mayonnaise
French Green Bean, Cucumber, and Red Potato Salad
Cold Tomato, Garlic, and Basil Soup
Chocolate-covered strawberries or Chocolate Nutella Mousse
Ooh-la-la! If you really want to impress, the simplest menu can make the most impact. This wonderful, simple menu is made of up wonderful French cheese and wine,
and a lot of little extras your guests will love.
Selection of French Cheeses
Ham, Port, and Gruyere Olive Bread
Duck pate and Green Olive Tapenade
Sliced Pears and Apples
Served with: French Wines
Nowhere do they pull off a picnic like in the American south. This is the quintessential classic picnic, complete with cold fried chicken and buttermilk biscuits.
Oven-Fried Picnic Chicken, cold
Spinach Bacon Salad with Honey-Bacon Dressing
Roasted Garlic and Potato Salad
Easy Pastry-Free Dutch Apple Pie
Sliced Chilled Watermelon (or vodka melon for the adults!)
There's no reason why feeding the whole family should mean choosing boring picnic foods. Don't stick to PB & J! This menu is made of up creative, elegant
recipes that will please both kids and adults. Really!
Chicken and Boursin Stuffed Pastry Triangles
Roasted Tomato Salad with Basil
Italian Baked Potato Salad
Crusty French bread or Ciabatta
Brownies, chocolate cookies, or cupcakes
You don't have to be sitting under a tree in Tuscany to have an authentic Italian picnic. This simple menu is filling, fun, and has something for everybody. After all, how
can you go wrong with Italian?
Cheese and Meat Antipasto Platter
Ciabatta Bread or Foccacia
White Chocolate, Coconut, and Limoncello Truffles
Chilled Prosecco or Limoncello
More Ideas for Picnic Foods
The menus above can be a great choice for a picnic! But you don't have to stick to my menus, or even my recipes. With some many great recipe resources on the
web, the sky's the limit. With some of the great picnic food and recipe ideas below, you won't have any problem putting together a great picnic menu of your own. Go
Other Appetizers, Snacks, and Side Dishes
Various Dips (cream cheese, bean, etc.)
Chips and Salsa and/or Guacamole
Potato Chips or Homemade Sweet Potato Chips
Pickles, Olives, Pickled Peppers, Sundried Tomatoes, etc.
Veggies and Dip (Onion Dip, Hummus, etc.)
Melon con Jamón
Hummus & Pita Chips
Popcorn or Caramel Popcorn
Desserts for a Picnic
Sliced fresh Fruit
Bar Cookies (Lemon bars, oatmeal bars, etc.)
Yogurt or Yogurt Parfait
Homemade Pudding or Pudding Cups
Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips
Peanut Butter or Chocolate Fruit Dip
Drinks for a Picnic
Lemonade (or flavored lemonade)
Minted Iced Tea
Sparkling Water with Lime
Limoncello or other Liqueur
Margaritas or other Cocktails
Main Dish Items for a Picnic
Sandwiches or Subs
Cold, cooked meat (chicken, beef, etc.)
Quiche or Frittata
Pasties or Other Individual Meat Pie
Pigs in a Blanket
Cold Cooked Salmon
Cheese, Crackers, and Bread
Peanut Butter & Jelly Wraps or Subs
Tuna, Egg, or Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Shrimp Cocktail (any chilled shrimp dish)
Cold Buffalo Wings
Chicken or Pork Lettuce Wraps
Main Dish Salads for a Picnic
Lobster or Shrimp Salad
Chicken Salad (Chicken caesar, etc.)
Chilled Salmon Salad
Antipasti Platter or Salad
Salad Side Dishes for a Picnic
Pasta or Tortellini Salad (mayonnaise or olive-oil based)
Leafy Green Salad
Bean or Green Bean Salad
Panzanella (Italian Bread Salad)
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