Did you know that April 23 happens to be National Picnic Day? It seems fitting that it would fall just about the time when we’re all quite ready to get outside and enjoy a bit of warm sunshine and a slower pace. And, let’s be honest, pretty much any day without rain or freezing temperatures ia a good day for some al fresco dining! I’m not sure what your picnic traditions include, or if you even have any but, there’s just something special about a picnic. It’s not that the food is fancier than most days, it’s the change of scenery and being in the middle of the budding and blooming color all around us. Just to make it easier for you to celebrate, I’ve gathered up over 30 recipes for delicious (and easy!) picnic food for you to try with your family.
To get you started, you’ll find 6 Tips and Menu Ideas for a Day at the Zoo or Park that may include several picnic opportunities. If you are traveling and need some ideas for picnicking on the road, this post could help, too! Some of these sandwiches are often served hot, but I think they’d be fine cold, or the meat could be put in a thermal container to keep it warm. Others could be made at home and wrapped up to take with you, like the Hawaiian BBQ or Chicken Bacon Ranch Sandwiches.
Pita Pockets Make Perfect Picnic Food
One of the best perks of these recipes is that the meats can be cooked in the crock pot and they all freeze well, which means if you make up an extra large batch now, you’ll be ready for weeks of impromptu picnics. And let’s face it, there are literally endless ways to fill pita pockets
- Greek Chicken Pitas from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.
- These Greek Pita Sandwiches start with meatballs and just get better and better from there.
- Chicken Gyros from Kate’s Recipe Box.
- Beef Gyros are a great way to serve steak on a picnic.
- We enjoy serving our Beef Shwarma with a cucumber-yogurt sauce instead of the traditional tahini sauce.
- You can prep and freeze the meat for these Chicken Broccoli Picnic Pitas and add all the veggies to be served in the pita as a chicken salad. A perfectly tasty and tidy picnic option.
- My African Pulled Beef Sandwich is served with a yogurt-mint sauce and based on a sandwich served at the Animal Kingdom. Yum!
Shredded Meat Sandwiches are easy to make ahead and so filling
- Good Cheap Eats has a Sweet and Sour Pulled Chicken Sandwiches with a nice combination of Asian spices and Hawaiian King Rolls.
- The Hawaiian BBQ Sandwiches is based on a dinner we had a few years ago from The Earl of Sandwich in Downtown Disney. Great make ahead picnic food that keeps the whole family happy!
- Peach Pork BBQ topped with apple coleslaw combine BBQ pork, peach salsa, apple coleslaw and Hawaiian king rolls … what’s not to love about that?
- This Chicken Bacon Ranch Sandwiches with creamy slaw is another tasty sandwich with slow cooker ranch chicken and topped with ranch slaw.
- Jerk Chicken Sandwiches with Cucumber Mango Salsa can be prepped in the slow cooker or the Instant Pot. The combination of a spicier chicken and fresh fruit salsa is a refreshing dish any time or year.
Chicken Salads & Sandwiches are always a hit
- Variations on this Crunchy Chicken Taco Salad are one of our favorite types of picnic food! We do buy a salad mix sometimes to make it even more simple. Mmmm!
- The Balsamic Chicken Salad Sandwich from Add a Pinch call for balsamic vinegar and croissants and sound delicious.
- My Peach Chutney Chicken Salad Sandwich uses cooked chicken and a delightful combination of ingredients that taste great and come together quickly.
Summer Picnic Classics never fail to impress
- Slow Cooker Beer Brats are a classic summer grill idea with only 2 ingredients that can actually be made in the slow cooker.
- 70s Fried Baloney Sandwich and other such sandwiches are sure to make the kids happy with their classic simplicity.
- Gina’s Club Sandwiches were named for my sister, and as you would imagine, it’s a tasty club sandwich for any day of the week, especially if a picnic is involved.
- Tomato Sandwiches are perfect when those fresh tomatoes start showing up in the garden or your local farmer’s market. Nothing says summer like a thick sliced juicy fresh tomato.
- The secret to these PBJ on Depression Era Bread is the tasty Depression Era Bread. It just takes the classic PBJ up a notch or two.
- These Egg Salad Sandwiches are a classic recipe that includes how to boil the eggs, and a great little item to have the kids help whip up.
- Loaded Hot Dogs can be made with 3-ingredient “Cheater Chili” and a little slaw.
Classics with a Twist keep things fun and interesting
- My Ham and Apple Sandwich are filling and tasty and come with lots of suggestions for changing it up with extra toppings.
- Apple and Brie Sandwiches are a tasty combination of tart apples, brie cheese, and cinnamon swirl bread.
- Let’s just say that Peanut butter, cream cheese, apple, cinnamon, and pecans make a great combo in these Peanut Butter Apple Pecan Sandwiches
Roulades, Frittata Bites & Chicken Legs are too good to pass up
- These Ham & Swiss Roulades from Carmella at Assortment Blog are made using handmade or store-bought pizza dough and can be filled with a variety of meats and cheeses based on what sort of mood you’re in.
- This Bacon Spinach Frittata Bites recipe from Jessica at Life as a Mom would be perfect for a breakfast picnic with some fresh fruit because picnics aren’t just for lunch and dinner!
- Chili Sauce Chicken Legs are a tasty warm option that is easy to eat and slightly messy in a good way, making them perfect picnic food.
- Sweet and Spicy Chicken Legs are a good choice for those who prefer a little less spice.
- If you’re not quite up for a brand new recipe, but tired of the usual sandwich, then you’ll definitely enjoy these 10 cures for the common sandwich.
And there you have it, over 30 recipes for celebrating National Picnic Day on April 23 or any day you like!
Do you have a favorite picnic food? What about a favorite picnic spot, whether it’s one you go to now or one you enjoyed as a child?