Summer Recipes for the Perfect Picnic

20 Easy Picnic Recipes You'll Love

Crispy Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Daniel Loiselle-Getty Images


Summer means picnics! Whether you're planning a picnic with your sweetie, your friend group, or the family, we've got you covered with these picnic recipes that are wonderful enjoyed outdoors. Browse through our awesome recipes for picnic appetizers, salads, fried chicken, sandwiches and wraps, desserts, and beverages, to put together your perfect picnic menu this summer.

Do keep in mind that not all summer-friendly foods make perfect picnic food, though do some work better than others....MORE It's a good idea to ensure what foods will and won't work for your picnic, and make sure your outdoor dining practices are safe ones.

  • 01 of 20
    Cold Tomato Soup (Gazpacho)
    Diana Rattray  

    Originating in Spain, gazpacho is a yummy, refreshing cold soup that is the perfect starter to a picnic on a hot summer day. This easy gazpacho recipe is as authentic and healthy as it gets. Whip up a batch to pour into a thermos, for packing into your picnic basket. Easy to drink from a glass, or serve in soup bowls, this European cold soup is tasty, cooling, and a little bit glamorous.


  • 02 of 20
    Greek Mini Frittatas
    Katie Workman/

    Frittatas are essentially Italian omelets. Usually made in one large frying pan, they're also super easy to prepare in muffin tins, and the results are these cute mini frittatas. Wonderfully portable and easy to pack for picnics, you'll love these savory little egg bites with feta cheese, that you can dress up with your favorite vegetables and herbs, for a personalized picnic snack. Kids love them, too!


  • 03 of 20
    Thai Basil Chicken Lettuce Wraps
    Darlene Schmidt  

    These crunchy, flavorful lettuce wraps filled with yummy seasoned chicken, herbs and vegetables are a fabulous snack or light lunch idea for picnics. Bursting with flavor and fun to eat, tasty, nutritious, protein-rich wraps are easy to make with this popular recipe.


    • 04 of 20
      Heirloom Tomato and Ricotta Phyllo Tart
      Leah Maroney  

      Fresh, local tomatoes are one of the joys of summer. Make this elegant, savory tart recipe with green, yellow, and red tomatoes for your next picnic. Bright, lemony ricotta spread provides a perfect accent for fresh tomatoes and light, buttery, flaky phyllo dough pastry. This tart tastes great served at room temperature, making it perfect for enjoying on hot summer days.

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      • 05 of 20
        Grilled Corn Salad Recipe
        Lisa Hubbard-Getty Images  

        This grilled corn salad recipe is the ideal way to enjoy the sweet and crunchy flavor of cooked corn, when you're craving something extra. Perfect for summer picnics, this tasty side dish salad delivers mega flavor, thanks to avocado, feta cheese, and plenty of chopped fresh herbs and vegetables.

      • 06 of 20
        Tuna Pasta Salad With Dill
        Diana Rattray  

        Pasta salad is a favorite picnic dish that's perfect for enjoying in warmer weather. It needs little cooking, can be made ahead, and tastes great served cold or at room temperature. This yummy, protein-rich pasta salad features canned tuna, chopped fresh vegetables, and a creamy, easy homemade dressing, with fresh dill and lemon juice to add brightness.


      • 07 of 20
        Asparagus Pasta Salad
        RGundrum-Getty images  

        Here's a vegetarian and vegan friendly pasta salad that makes the most of asparagus in season, and is great as a side dish at picnics. Soft, cooked pasta noodles are tossed with tomatoes, parsley and just-cooked asparagus, carrots, and bell peppers, in a quick and easy balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

      • 08 of 20
        Easy Broccoli Slaw With Raisins
        Diana Rattray  

        This light and crunchy broccoli slaw is full of flavor, thanks to a few inspired ingredients. Easy to make in about 20 minutes, with a homemade creamy dressing that's so delicious and easy to whip up, it makes a wonderful salad idea for picnics this summer.


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      • 09 of 20
        Vegan Black Bean and Mango Salad
        nata_vkusidey-Getty Images  

        Colorful and bursting with flavor, this wonderfully nutritious, crowd-pleasing bean salad makes a great contribution to picnics and potlucks this summer. Black beans and mangoes combine with fresh bell pepper, fresh jalapeno peppers and cilantro in this simple vegetarian, vegan, high-protein, low-fat, and gluten-free picnic salad recipe.

      • 10 of 20
        Mother's Potato Salad
        Linda Larsen  

        Can you even call it a picnic without potato salad? We're always on the lookout for the best potato salad recipes and this one is a real contender for the top prize. So simple to make, with only a handful of ingredients, but so delicious to eat, this picnic salad would be fantastic as a side dish to fried chicken, sandwiches or wraps.


      • 11 of 20
        Crispy Buttermilk Fried Chicken
         Daniel Loiselle/Getty Images

        We're pretty sure this is the best fried chicken recipe ever, and we think you'll agree once you make it. It uses a tried and true method — first, you marinate the chicken in buttermilk and spices, before dredging it in a seasoned flour coating, and frying it up in the pan. The result is crunchy, moist, juicy chicken pieces that are so satisfying and delicious, you'll find it hard to stop eating them.


      • 12 of 20
        Chicken Waldorf Sandwiches
        Linda Larsen  

        Raisin bread takes this classic chicken waldorf sandwich recipe to the next level, giving it a sweet and hearty flavor that's absolutely irresistible. Chopped apples, celery and walnuts are combined with cooked chicken (use a store-bought rotisserie bird) in a creamy mayonnaise and honey mustard dressing. Wonderful, different, and filling, this is our favorite chicken sandwich recipe to pack for summer picnics.


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      • 13 of 20
        Italian Caprese Sandwiches
        Grilled Cheese Social  

        The caprese sandwich is a classic Italian vegetarian sub that is packed full of flavor, while also being super easy to make, with only a handful of ingredients, making it a great picnic sandwich choice. Thick, creamy slices of fresh mozzarella cheese, sweet red tomatoes, herbaceous basil, rich extra virgin olive oil, and tangy balsamic glaze are a flavor combination made in heaven.


      • 14 of 20
        Turkey and Hummus Sandwiches
        Grilled Cheese Social  

        Beet hummus, beautiful and vibrantly pink, is the star of this healthy turkey sandwich that's jam-packed with anti-oxidants, protein, and superfood nutrients. Oh yes, and it tastes fantastic, too, thanks to thin-sliced turkey, juicy tomatoes, salty feta cheese, red onion for bite, and crunchy kale sprouts. Make it on baguette slices, for a hearty picnic lunch you can feel great about enjoying.


      • 15 of 20
        Vegetarian Greek Sandwich Wraps
        Emma Gutteridge-Getty Images  

        Are you a vegetarian, or just want to eat lighter at your next picnic? Here's a great recipe for a healthy, flavorful vegetarian sandwich wrap, inspired by the flavors of Greek cooking. Yummy feta cheese and lightly marinated veggies are wrapped up in a healthy whole wheat flour tortilla with black olives, for an easy and tasty wrap sandwich that makes a great hand-held picnic lunch.


      • 16 of 20
        Mini Cheesecakes in a Jar
        Diana Rattray  

        These adorable and scrumptious mini cheesecakes are assembled, baked and stored in glass jars, for a super cute presentation. Make them ahead of time and chill until you're ready to pack them into your picnic basket. You can also dress up these yummy desserts by topping them with chocolate sauce, chocolate chips, nuts, fruits, or caramel sauce.


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      • 17 of 20
        Banana Splits On A Stick
        The Spruce  

        Kids will go bananas over this healthier, portable version of the classic banana split dessert everyone knows and loves. Perfect for serving at picnics and potlucks, this recipe uses fresh fruit, chopped nuts, and melted chocolate to make an easily customizable sweet treat you can feel great about making and sharing with kids.


      • 18 of 20
        Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
        Night and Day Images-Getty Images

        Cookies make a great, hand-held dessert to enjoy at picnics, and they're a favorite of kids and adults alike. These chewy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies have a wonderfully soft texture that will make them disappear fast. Made with coconut oil instead of the usual shortening, these cookies have a sweet, nutty taste you'll love.


      • 19 of 20
        Marinated Fruit Salad
        Lauri Patterson/Getty Images  

        Fruit salad is always a welcome dessert at picnics, especially if you've indulged on lunch. This easy, elegant, marinated fruit salad goes beyond the usual cut up fruit, with an easy honey and citrus dressing adding special flavor to honeydew and cantaloupe melon balls.


      • 20 of 20
        Watermelon Iced Tea
        GMVozd-Getty Images  

        Iced tea is a favorite picnic drink. We're wild about this refreshing and fruity variation on the usual iced tea recipe. Cubed watermelon is blended together with lemon juice, mint and sugar, then combined with chilled black tea. Fabulous, cooling, and sweet, this iced tea is sure to please your picnic guests.