Whether it’s a family picnic or a romantic picnic for two, here are some of our favorite picnic meal suggestions. We guarantee everything for the ideal picnic, including the greatest food.
When the weather is hot and summer is in full swing, my family likes to go to the beach, pack a picnic, and spend the day in the water, eating through the day. It saves us a lot of money and is quite expensive, but it is easy to create a great variety of adult and kid-friendly foods in one basket.
You will find everything you need to have the ultimate picnic basket and everything you need to put inside the basket. Any tips and tricks to have the best picnic experience that everyone can enjoy.
Table of Contents
The Best Spot for a picnic
One nice thing about a picnic is that there is no wrong spot; they can be held anywhere. But if you’re looking for something that’s not your usual spot, here are a few of my favorite spots.
- Scenic area
- Outside of a zoo or amusement park
- Near a hiking trail
When you’re packing for your picnic, you want to make sure you have all the necessary equipment. Depending on the type of picnic you are having, what you bring will depend on what you bring, but there are some key essential ingredients you will want to make sure you have.
- Picnic blanket: to make it a picnic, you need to first start with a blanket. It’s always nice to have something nice to sit on; don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with sitting on the grass. Any blanket will work, but these checkered ones are so classic.
- Picnic table cloth and clips I honestly prefer sitting at a picnic table if I have the option, and it’s nice to be able to cover the top and seats not have to worry about it blowing away. I didn’t even know these were something you could find, but now that I have found them, I love them. There are so many different designs out there, but I like that you can use them, take them home, and wash them for the next picnic.
- Picnic Basket This is a definite essential item, and you need a place to keep all of the stuff. We usually use a cooler so that it can stay nice and cold, but a traditional picnic basket is a nice touch as well. There are so many different options available; this is my favorite.
- Serving ware This is simply what you are going to eat off of and what you are going to eat with (a plate, napkins, and utensils). It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant; it can be paper plates and plastic utensils if that’s what works best for you.
- Trash bags I like to bring along a trash bag. Most places I go have a place to dispose of the garbage, but occasionally this isn’t the case, so I like to be prepared and bring along my trash bag. (It’s always nice to leave the space nice and clean with no garbage left behind.)
Best Summer Picnic Ideas
If you’re ready to pack your picnic basket and start to fill it, this is my favorite part of choosing different items for your perfect picnic outing. There are an endless number of items you can put in your picnic basket, but I hope these ideas help you along the way.
Sandwiches and Wraps
Sandwiches and wraps are always nice on a picnic as long as they are packed correctly. Sometimes, if you have a sandwich with mayo or dressing, it can get a little soggy. My way of getting around that is to place a slice of cheese in between before adding your choices of meats and veggies.
- homemade meat sandwich (turkey, ham, pepperoni, salami, or bologna).
- Egg, tuna, or chicken salad sandwich
- Club Sandwiches (chicken or turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and mayo)
- Tortilla rollups (these are my favorites, and I will post a recipe at the bottom of this post.)
- Oven fried chicken
- Air fryer chicken
Salads are always a nice addition to a picnic basket, and there are so many salads that it’s hard to limit it to just a few, but I’m sure there will be a good start for you.
If you cut the fruit yourself or get one of those beautiful fruit trays from your neighborhood grocery shop, fruit is the ideal grab-and-go food. They are the ideal addition to the picnic basket.
- Honey Dew
All of these fruits work perfectly together; you can combine them into a fruit salad, or I like to have all the fruit cut and ready and then place it on skewers. If you want to be really creative, you can add a piece of cake or brownie to them as well.
Nothing says when it comes to a picnic basket that you cannot keep it on the lighter side, even sometimes I like to just pack fruits and veggies. Veggies are nice with just a little dip on side so refreshing but still so delicious.
- Baby Carrots
- Bell Pepper
- Baby Zucchini
Don’t forget about what your going to dip those vegetables into.
finger Foods and Snacks
A picnic basket also needs a few finger foods and snacks; you can, of course, just fill it up with snacks and finger foods and it would still be fantastic.
- Pepperoni sticks
- Chips or Pretzels
- Granola bars
- Trail mix
- Chez mix or nuts and bolts
- Cheese Strings or your favorite type of cheese
Now you didn’t think I would forget those sweet treats on top of all of that savory, right? We need something sweet now, don’t we? Here are some great options for that sweet treat you need in this picnic basket.
- Cheesecake cupcakes
- Chocolate Brownies
- Butterscotch Brownies
- Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Rice Krispy Treats
Then one of the final items to go into the picnic basket are beverages. The type of drink will depend on the type of picnic you’re having. If it’s a picnic too, you might have your favorite bottle of wine or a drink of your personal preference. For me, in the summer, I like a refreshing drink like this.
Ham and Cheese Pinwheels
- 1 pkg flour tortilla 8 count
- 2 lbs deli ham
- 2 pkg cream cheese softened
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 3 green onions Finely dice
- Finely dice the green onions (whites and greens)
- In a medium bowl, blend together the cream cheese, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic powder until well-blended. Gently stir in the diced green onions.
- On each tortilla, spread a layer of the cream cheese mixture. Top with deli-sliced ham, leaving a 1/4-inch border on one side. Starting on the opposite end, tightly roll up the tortilla with the ham and cream cheese inside.
- Turn the roll-up where the seam is face-down and slice into pinwheels that are 1/2-inch thick.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Fruit Kabobs and Fruit Dip
- 10 skewers
- 1 block cream cheese
- 1 container marshmallow creme
- 2-3 tbsp orange juice or any flavor
- any fruit of your choice
- In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and marshmallow creme.
- Add juice and beat until smooth.
- Transfer to a smaller bowl and cover with plastic wrap or place in an airtight container and place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
- Clean and wash fruit.
- Place fruit in bowls.
- Thread skewer with a variety of fruit.
- Serve immediately or chill with fruit dip.
The Best Veggie Dip
- 16 oz sour cream
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp dried minced onion
- 1 tsp dried dill weed
- 1 tsp dried chives
- ⅛ tsp Paprika
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- ½ tsp salt
- Mix together the sour cream, mayo, garlic powder, minced onion, dill weed, freeze-dried chives, paprika, parsley, and salt until combined.
- Cover and chill the veggie dip until serving, or for several hours.
- Serve with veggies of choice such as cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, broccoli, celery, or bell peppers.