Spanish Picnic Menu Recipe Ideas

Spanish classics to take on a picnic

Summer is the time of year with plenty of sunshine and warm weather. Whether you go boating, take a hike, or spend the afternoon at the local park, part of the fun is relaxing and enjoying a meal in the fresh air.

In most regions in Spain, summers are hot and dry, and the concrete and asphalt in the cities make that heat unbearable, especially in high rise apartments. So, it's common for modern Spanish families to make weekend trips to the pueblos (towns) where their families are from. They enjoy the local festivals and spend lots of time outside strolling, socializing and eating—at home on the patio, at an outdoor cafe, or a picnic on the banks of the nearby river. If they can't leave for the weekend, madrilenos or residents of Madrid spend time at the park called El Retiro where they picnic in the shade of the trees.

Wherever you choose to picnic, try our Spanish picnic menu, including several classic Spanish menu items - and a bottle or bota of vino!

  • 01 of 09

    Classic Cold Spanish Soups

    Fresh Summer Gazpacho

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    On a picnic, a cold soup makes a great starter. Take the soup in a plastic pitcher that seals tightly or an insulated thermos, and serve in glasses. Try one of the classic cold Spanish soups in the list like classic red Gazpacho Andaluz, Salmorejo Cordobes or White Gazpacho soup.

  • 02 of 09

    Tortilla Espanola (Spanish Omelet)

    Spanish Omelet (Tortilla Española)

    The Spruce

    The classic Spanish tapa is similar to an Italian frittata. Also called tortilla de patata or potato omelet, this tortilla Espanola is a good choice for a picnic because it travels well, can be put in a baguette, or kept whole until ready to be served.

  • 03 of 09

    Empanadillas Gallegas (Little Galician Turnovers)


    Kim Steele / Getty Images

    Empanadas Gallegas or Galician Turnovers are one of the most popular dishes from Galicia. Empanadas in Galicia are traditionally large round or square turnovers that are cut into pieces to serve. They can be filled with tuna or meat with spices. The smaller individual turnovers are called empanadillas and travel well.

  • 04 of 09

    Spanish Cheeses & Chorizo Sausage or Ham

    Perfect Christmas tapa: Serrano ham on toast.

    Lauren Aloise / Spanish Sabores

    Sheep’s milk cheese primarily comes from Castilla-León, Castilla-La Mancha, the Basque Country and Navarre, the regions known for sheep's milk cheese in Spain. They are generally flavorful, semi-cured or cured cheeses. Although Manchego cheese is the most famous, ask your local delicatessen for a recommendation or taste of several, and choose one to bring on your picnic.

    Spanish cheeses & chorizo sausage or ham is the perfect picnic treat!

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    Rustic Baguettes


     Lisa & Tony Sierra

    Spaniards don't eat without bread! One or two rustic baguettes are essential to have on a picnic, especially with a Spanish menu—one to pile on ham, chorizo, etc, and the other to dip in sauces.

  • 06 of 09

    Crema de Limon (Spanish Lemon Cream)

    Crema de Limon
    Dorling Kindersley

    Crema de limon is rich and creamy and sweet with lemon flavor. This is a no-cook dessert that's great for a summer picnic. It only takes 10 minutes to prepare and 3 ingredients. Chill for 1 hour and pack in a sealed container. Instead of eating it with spoons, pack some extra plastic glasses and drink dessert!

  • 07 of 09

    Turrón (Spanish Almond Candy)

    Turron the typical Spanish Christmas sweet.

    Westend61 / Getty Images

    Turron, the candy made from almonds, egg whites and honey is really delicious and easy to transport. Cut pieces of hard or soft turron in a sealed container and enjoy with cold sparkling wine for dessert.

  • 08 of 09

    Cold Cava (Spanish Sparkling Wine)

    Glasses of cava and snacks
    Image Source / Getty Images

    Spain produces many good quality sparkling wines, called cold cava after the caves or cellars in which the wine is produced. These wines are made in the “méthode champenoise” or “Champagne method,” which is the same method that is used to make Champagne. Light and sparkly, they pair well with lots of food. Chill a bottle and bring it along in an insulated wine carrier or in the ice chest.

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    Albariño, a Cool Wine

    Summer Picnic - 4
    Eden_Images / Getty Images

    Albariño, a cool wine, which is produced in Galicia, in the Northwest corner of Spain is the perfect white wine to take on a summer picnic. It's a light wine that complements the food and is refreshing. Paco & Lola Albariño 2008 is a reasonably-priced Albariño, which you can chill and bring along with, or instead of the cava.