22 Summer Recipes for the Perfect Picnic

Recipes Everyone Will Love

Turkey Bacon Avocado Club Sandwich

The Spruce / Leah Maroney


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 wonderfully enjoyed outdoors.

Whether you like to eat sandwiches on picnics, or you like to lay out a full picnic spread with fried chicken and side salads to enjoy, we've collected great recipes for picnics here, so you can choose your favorites and put together your own perfect summer picnic menu.

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. 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 22

    Buffalo Chicken Roll-ups

    Buffalo Chicken Roll Ups

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney 

    Buffalo chicken roll-ups are quick and easy to make for your picnic basket. They are full of delicious roasted chicken, spicy wing sauce, and tangy blue cheese, and have barely any cooking involved. Use a store-bought rotisserie chicken, or leftover cooked chicken breasts, to make this easy picnic snack that kids and adults alike will enjoy.

  • 02 of 22

    Thai Basil Chicken Lettuce Wraps

    Thai Basil Chicken Lettuce Wraps

    The Spruce / Darlene Schmidt  

    These crunchy, flavorful Thai basil chicken 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.

  • 03 of 22

    Herbaceous Avocado Hummus

    Herbaceous Avocado Hummus

    The Spruce / Anita Schecter

    Hummus is a super picnic-friendly food because it makes a great spread for sandwiches and wraps, or an easy, kid-pleasing dip for crackers and cut up vegetable sticks. This nutritious, easy herbaceous avocado hummus recipe has a beautifully rich taste and smooth texture, thanks to the addition of heart-healthy avocado.

  • 04 of 22

    Grilled Corn Salad

    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.

    Continue to 5 of 22 below.
  • 05 of 22

    Tuna Pasta Salad With Dill

    Tuna Pasta Salad With Dill

    The Spruce / 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 tuna pasta salad with dill features canned tuna, chopped fresh vegetables, and a creamy, easy homemade dressing, with fresh dill and lemon juice to add brightness.

  • 06 of 22

    Roasted Garlic Pasta Salad

    Easy cold herbed pasta salad recipe

    The Spruce Eats / Emily Hawkes

    Roasted garlic pasta salad makes a perfect picnic dish! It's a fun new take on regular old pasta salad. The roasted garlic adds a sweet and garlicky flavor, while the tomatoes and spinach provide a nice, fresh pop of color and taste.

  • 07 of 22

    Easy Broccoli Slaw With Raisins

    Easy broccoli slaw

    The Spruce

    This light and easy broccoli slaw with raisins 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.

  • 08 of 22

    Vegan Black Bean and Mango Salad

    Black bean and mango salad recipe

    ​The Spruce Eats / Emily Hawkes

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

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  • 09 of 22

    Potato Salad

    Potato Salad

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray


    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 not too many ingredients, but so delicious to eat, this picnic salad would be fantastic as a side dish to fried chicken, sandwiches or wraps.

  • 10 of 22

    Classic Crab Roll

    Classic Crab Roll

    Elaine Lemm

    A seafood salad roll and warm weather just go together, and this classic crab roll is a delicious addition to your picnic basket. Canned or frozen crab meat is mixed with a spicy lemon mayonnaise and nestled into a brioche roll. The special finishing touch is the homemade pickled vegetables layered on top, adding a nice tangy bite.

  • 11 of 22

    Crispy Buttermilk Fried Chicken

    Crispy Buttermilk Fried Chicken

     Daniel Loiselle / Getty Images

    We're pretty sure this crispy buttermilk fried chicken is the best 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 22

    Turkey Bacon Avocado Club Sandwich

    Turkey Bacon Avocado Club Sandwich Recipe

     The Spruce

    Bacon makes everything better, including your picnic lunch! This awesome turkey bacon avocado club sandwich is packed with satisfying flavor. Yum!

    Continue to 13 of 22 below.
  • 13 of 22

    Italian Caprese Sandwich

    Italian caprese sandwich

    The Spruce

    This Italian Caprese sandwich is a classic 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 22

    Turkey and Hummus Sandwich

    Turkey and hummus sandwich

    The Spruce Eats / Nita West

    Beet hummus, beautiful and vibrantly pink, is the star of this healthy turkey and hummus sandwich that's jam-packed with antioxidants, 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 22

    Vegetarian Greek Sandwich Wrap

    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 Greek 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 22

    Slab Pie

    Slab Pie

    The Spruce Eats / Kristina Vanni

    Planning a large picnic? Slab pie is the perfect dessert. The sheet pan recipe creates a large mixed berry pie with the same crust and filling you're used to. Make it with fresh or frozen berries or switch out the fruit for a dessert that will make everyone happy.

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  • 17 of 22

    Mini Cheesecakes in a Jar

    Mini Cheesecakes in a Jar

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray  

    These adorable and scrumptious mini cheesecakes in a jar 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.

  • 18 of 22

    Banana Split on a Stick

    Banana Splits On A Stick
    The Spruce  

    Kids will go bananas over this healthier, portable version of banana split on a stick 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.

  • 19 of 22

    Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

    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.

  • 20 of 22

    Marinated Fruit Salad

    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 a special flavor to honeydew and cantaloupe melon balls.

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  • 21 of 22

    Watermelon Iced Tea

    Watermelon Iced Tea

    GMVozd / Getty Images  

    Iced tea is a favorite picnic drink. We're wild about this refreshing and fruity variation of watermelon iced tea. 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.

  • 22 of 22

    Fresh Fruit Salsa With Homemade Cinnamon Crisps

    Fruit Salsa With Homemade Cinnamon Crisps

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney


    Fresh fruit salsa with homemade cinnamon crisps is a refreshingly sweet and easy to prepare treat, that makes a great picnic dessert. With just a few easy ingredients, it can be made last minute, too, in case you decide to put together a picnic on a whim! The fruit salsa is made with red berries, kiwis, and apples, but you can add (or substitute) peaches, pears, blueberries, or any other favorite fruits. A homemade cinnamon crisp recipe is included in the recipe, but you can also buy cinnamon sugar pita chips at the store.