Homemaking,  Meal and snack ideas,  Recipes

20 Delicious Picnic Food Ideas For The Family

Need picnic food ideas for your family? Look no further.

Picnic season is well on its way here in Portugal and with all the lockdown restrictions in the last few months, it’s great to be able to spend time outdoors.

One thing this pandemic has shown me is the importance of outdoor life. Nothing quite beats eating delicious food with friends and family, surrounded by nature.

So, with that in mind, I have compiled a list of picnic dishes that I love, in case you need some picnic inspiration as the CEO and ultimate homemaker of your household.

Feel free to comment and tell me some of your picnic food ideas too. 🙂

1. Pasta Pesto Salad

Pasta pesto salad

I love pasta salads for picnics! But I don’t make regular pasta salads. I make lentil pasta salads!

If you’d like to try it, just make sure you buy 100% lentil flour pasta, as there are some brands that mix potato starch or rice flour with the lentils.

To make a pesto pasta salad, simply cook the lentil pasta according to the cooking instructions, drain and add three tablespoons of pesto and 100 ml of crème fraîche (it usually has fewer additives than regular cream).

Once cooled, add lettuce or rocket, cherry tomatoes, and Fetta cheese.

Isn’t it simply divine?

2. Guacamole and Pepper Slices


Avocados are healthy as well as being super versatile. Buy them locally for the best prices.

Guacamole is one of my favourite ways to have avocado and the kids absolutely love it. To make guacamole, simply mash the avocado flesh in a bowl with a fork, and then add some salt, and the juice of one lime (or lemon).

You can also add coriander, onion and cherry tomatoes, and even some cream for some extra creaminess.

Serve the guacamole with sliced peppers. Yummy!

3. Hummus and Carrot Sticks

Hummus is a cold chickpea purée that is delicious as well as being nutritious (you can read about the proven health benefits of chickpeas here).

To make a simple hummus recipe, simply add a jar of cooked chickpeas into a jug and add two tablespoons of chickpea water (or more if needed), the juice of one lemon, salt, one teaspoon of garlic powder, and a tablespoon of olive oil.

Then blend well until silky smooth. Serve the hummus with some sliced carrots. Delectable!

4. Cream cheese and cucumber sticks

This requires almost zero preparation! Simply cut up some cucumber sticks and grab some cream cheese, and you’re good to go.

If you’d like some extra special cucumber sticks check out this recipe for miso cucumber sticks.

5. Quiche

cheese and caramelized red onion quiche

Quiche is a picnic classic. But it’s not always healthy. To solve that problem, you can make a gluten-free quiche! Try this Cheese and Caramelized Red Onion Quiche with a sweet-potato base, rather than the usual pastry base.

It’s really good, though I do say so myself! 😂

6. Wholemeal wraps

wholemeal wraps

If you don’t follow a low-carb or gluten-free diet, why not try some wholemeal wraps? Children love these as they’re a bit more special than a regular sandwich, and they’re really versatile.

If you’re not sure how to make a wrap the children can actually eat without making a mess, watch a youtube tutorial!

7. Tabbouleh


Tabbouleh is a middle-eastern salad consisting of bulgur, parsley, mint, onion, and tomatoes. There are of course other variations, but one thing they all have in common is that they’re really fresh, and healthy. I think this one looks yum.

8. Burgers

Who said you can’t eat burgers at a picnic? And they don’t have to come from your local Macdonals! Burgers can be healthy depending on the meat, the bread, and the toppings you use.

For the buns, try out this low-carb healthy burger bun recipe that I shared a few weeks ago.

In terms of the meat, simply make the burgers at home with some ground meat or buy some ready-made burgers, just make sure they are 100% meat.

And then with toppings, try out Dijon mustard, gherkins, low-sugar ketchup, and good-quality cheese. As well as lettuce, tomato, and onion!

If you’d like to try a lamb burger, this recipe looks heavenly.

9. Pizza

Pizza for a picnic? Count me in! And it doesn’t have to be loaded with trans-fats, refined carbs, and sodium. This recipe is one of the best low-carb pizza recipes I’ve ever had. It seriously tastes like a regular pizza.

Why not give it a try?

Add some good quality parma ham, a bunch of rocket and some lovely fresh tomato and make it a little more Italian!

10. Quinoa salad

quinoa salad

This one is similar to Tabbouleh and it’s a great option if you’d rather not eat wheat.

Simply cook the quinoa according to the cooking instructions, add some lemon, salt, and olive oil while it’s still warm, and once cooled add some mint, parsley, tomato, and rocket. Or anything you fancy, really. The world is your salad! 🤣

11. Lettuce cups

lettuce cups

Lettuce wraps are a great alternative to wheat wraps, if you’re following a low-carb diet. If you’re not sure how to make them, you can find a recipe here.

12. Slaw

I remember coleslaw as one of those picnic dishes we always had when I was little. Slaw in its simplest form is just shredded carrot, cabbage, mayo, salt, and pepper.

For extra zing add some apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard and some herbs.

13. Chicken pieces

chicken pieces

Chicken is always a crowd-pleaser at picnics. If you can barbeque it, great! If not just pan-fry some chicken at home and then cut it into small pieces. Make sure to take forks, though!

14. Pancakes


Ah, now we move on to sweet dishes. My favourite. 🙂

Have you ever had pancakes at a picnic? Me neither! But, why not? Pancakes make so much sense. Especially if you’re making a brunch-style picnic.

If you’d like to make gluten-free pancakes check this recipe for almond flour pancakes and this recipe for sweet potato pancakes.

In terms of toppings, choose whatever you prefer: peanut butter, jam, honey. If you’re worried about the mess, why not make the pancakes into sandwiches?

Also, don’t forget some face wipes!

15. Berries


Berries are a great fruit to take to a picnic because they’re so easy to eat without making too much of a mess, as well as being super healthy. My kids love berries, especially raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries.

Again, shop locally to find the best prices.

16. Low-carb Brownies

chocolate brownies are a great dessert for a picnic

Brownies are a hit in my household. The children literally fight over the last one. 😅

These are super fast to make and they are so yummy. What’s more, they’re healthy. Win-win-win. Click here to see the recipe.

17. Granola bars

granola bars

Granola bars are healthy, delicious, and very practical as finger food. Try this recipe here if you love peanut butter and chocolate.

18. Rainbow pizza

rainbow pizza

Ever had rainbow pizza? Not only is it a great dish you can make at home with the kids as a holiday activity, but it’s also a great dish to take to a picnic! (Take plates and cutlery though!!)

Full recipe and info here.

19. Sparkling water with lime

Sparkling water with lime

Now we move on to drinks. 😋

This one is a great one if you love 7-up but 7-up doesn’t love you!

Simply mix a 1.5-litre bottle of sparkling water with the juice of one or two limes, and a couple of drops of liquid stevia, and voilà! Healthy 7-up.

20. Iced tea

Iced tea is a great drink for a picnic

And now the great finale!! Ice-tea!

Great as an after-lunch pick-me up, to replace your usual hot cup of tea or coffee.

Simply brew a pot of tea at home, cool down, add ice-cold water, flavour with some fruit (lemon and berries work well) and mint, add some drops of stevia, and there you have it!

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20 picnic food ideas for families


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