15 Picnic-Perfect Sandwiches for Taking on the Go

Bring these tasty creations to your next park day

Traditional Cuban Panini

The Spruce

When packing the picnic basket for a trip to the park, sandwiches are an essential portable meal that fits in your hand. These tasty recipes work well on a blanket, in a cooler, and anywhere the great outdoors calls you and yours. Keep food safety in mind when getting ready to eat outside. Cold cuts, meats, and mayonnaise or dairy-based ingredients must remain cool. While your refrigerator should stay at below 40 F in the refrigerator or cooler, it can sit at room temperature for a couple of hours. If the mercury rises at your outdoor gathering, keep an eye on the food to ensure it doesn't get too warm.

  • 01 of 15

    Classic Italian Sub

    Classic Italian Sub

    Photo from Grilled Cheese Social

    Sinking your teeth into a perfectly made Italian sub that tastes just like a New York deli made it. Because the flavors meld as the sandwich sits, this one lends itself especially well to a picnic lunch. Wrap it tightly in wax paper to keep the sandwich together, then peel the wrapping back as you eat, to keep your fingers clean and the fillings all contained

  • 02 of 15

    Mozzarella, Salami, and Roasted Red Pepper Sandwich

    Salami, Mozzarella and Roasted Red Pepper Sandwich

    Photo from Grilled Cheese Social

    Nothing beats juicy, ruby red tomatoes and this classic sandwich makes the best use of them. Use the ripest tomatoes you can find, along with fresh mozzarella, salami, basil, and smoky roasted red peppers for a symphony of delicious flavors. Sandwich the juicy tomatoes between the mozzarella and the meat so they don't get the bread too soggy in transit.

  • 03 of 15

    Spicy Thai Chicken Salad Wrap

    Thai Peanut Chicken Salad Wrap

    Photo from Grilled Cheese Social

    Because this Thai-inspired chicken salad wrap doesn't use any mayonnaise, it works especially well for dining al fresco on warm afternoons. The combination of nutty and spicy tastes just like Thai takeout, but in a perfectly portable container. Dress it all with some fresh mint, English cucumber, some chopped cilantro, and a drizzle of Sriracha for a delicious wrap that will really hit the spot.

  • 04 of 15

    Cuban Sandwich

    Traditional Cuban Panini

    The Spruce

    Floridians may already know the classic Cuban sandwich. The rich, tangy flavor tastes like the coast wherever you enjoy it. If you can find real Cuban-roasted pork, that has the best and most authentic character. You can also use French or Italian if you can't find a traditional Cuban loaf.

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  • 05 of 15

    Middle Eastern Veggie Pita Sandwich

    Middle Eastern Vegetable Pita Sandwich

    Photo from Grilled Cheese Social

    Stuffed with a ton of fresh vegetables and herbs, not to mention lots of garlicky tzatziki sauce and protein-packed tabbouleh, you will never miss the meat in this Middle Eastern sandwich. Tabbouleh, an herb-studded bulgar wheat salad, tastes better as it sits, so try making that element ahead of time. You may want to bring the sauce in a separate container and drizzle it over before serving if you don't want it soaking into the rest of the pita.

  • 06 of 15

    Turkey, Bacon, and Avocado Club

    Turkey bacon avocado club

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    If bacon doesn't make this sandwich the perfect choice, avocado definitely sends it over the top. Making bacon in the oven instead of the stovetop minimizes the mess and avocado adds a creamy element that contrasts beautifully with bacon's crunch. Use leftover turkey from dinner or purchase deli slices for an easier preparation. As always, the freshest veggies taste best.

  • 07 of 15

    Hummus, Sprouts, and Turkey Sandwich

    Turkey and Hummus Sandwiches

    Photo from Grilled Cheese Social

    Feathery kale sprouts, vibrant beet hummus, and thinly sliced peppered turkey all come together for an unusual sandwich that tastes great on crusty bread. To keep the sandwich from getting mushy, toast the bread before putting it all together. Sourdough works well, but try another sturdy variety if you don't prefer the slightly tangy flavor.

  • 08 of 15

    Traditional Chicken Waldorf Sandwich

    Chicken salad sandwich

    TheCrimsonMonkey / Getty Images

    This recipe combine chopped Granny Smith apples, dried cranberries, celery, walnuts, and shredded chicken into a sandwich with sweet, sour, and creamy notes. Don't look sideways at cinnamon raisin bread; it actually complements the sweetness of the fruit perfectly. If you plan to eat your picnic later in the day, pack the bread and filling separately. It can sit for a period of time but could get soggy after several hours.

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  • 09 of 15

    French-style Goat Cheese and Ham Sandwich

    Goat Cheese, Apple, Rosemary Ham + Honey Sandwich with Fresh Arugula

    Photo from Grilled Cheese Social

    Picnic like Baudelaire with this goat cheese, arugula, ham, and apple sandwich drizzled with honey and spritzed with lemon juice for zip. It just screams for a crusty baguette as the bread—and a glass of crisp white wine or sparkling cider on the side for sipping. To keep the filling more intact for travel (and for fewer carbs), try scooping out the inside of the baguette before assembling.

  • 10 of 15

    Pressed Muffaletta Sandwich

    Muffuletta Sandwich Recipe

    Photo from Grilled Cheese Social

    Because it requires at least 30 minutes of pressing to get the flavors to meld, this New Orleans sandwich works beautifully in a picnic lunch. The secret lies in the olives, giardiniera, banana peppers, and pickled red onions, which all give it a briney kick that distinguishes it from other meat sandwiches. Use high-quality deli meat—all those pickles don't need any extra salt from over-processed protein.

  • 11 of 15

    Pimiento Cheese Sandwich

    Pimiento Cheese

    Carolyn Taylor Photography / Stockbyte / Getty Images

    Among the Southern crowd, pimiento cheese needs no introduction. The creamy, peppery cheese tastes equally delightful as a spread as it does between two pieces of bread. When you need an easy and satisfying sandwich for your picnic, look no further. For a real lunchbox treat, sprinkle some potato chips on top of the pimiento cheese before topping it with the second slice of bread.

  • 12 of 15

    BLT Wrap Sandwich

    BLT Wrap Sandwich
    Lauri Patterson / Getty Images

    Wraps can work great as picnic sandwiches because the bread can't get flattened as easily between the other cooler occupants. When assembling for portability, place the lettuce and avocado between the wrap and the tomatoes, so the juicy fruits don't soak into the wrap too much. For an even more fun variation, try spinach, roasted vegetable, or other flavored tortillas.

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  • 13 of 15

    Zesty Ham Salad Sandwich

    Ham Salad Sandwiches

    David Loftus / Getty Images

    Ham salad makes excellent use of leftovers after a big dinner in an interesting way. Omit the onion if you want a milder flavor or add chopped pickle, relish, hard-boiled egg, avocado, or additional dressings for a fancier salad. While this meat salad works better for a picnic than tuna, it does contain mayonnaise, so pack some ice or cooler packs as well.

  • 14 of 15

    Mexican Cemita Pulled Pork Sandwich

    Mexican Pueblan Cemita Sandwich

    Photo from Grilled Cheese Social

    Cold pulled pork tastes amazing on this Mexican sandwich called a cemita. Go with traditional roast pork if you can get it, then combine that with adobo sauce, strips of chipotle peppers, avocado, tomato, pulled queso, and cilantro. If you can't find a traditional cemita bun, another buttery roll will work, too.

  • 15 of 15

    Raw Lettuce 'Burritos'

    Raw vegan lettuce wraps

    Dana Hoff / Getty Images

    Even if you avoid carbs and animal products, you don't have to forego the sandwich spread. These raw food burritos come packed with vegetables, all rolled up in a lettuce leaf for handheld eating. Add a little tofu or tempeh for a vegetarian or vegan sandwich that has a little extra protein. You won't miss the bread at all.