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Easy Picnic Food Ideas

With Summer fast approaching and the promise of sunshine and warmer weather, what better way to relax and enjoy the outdoors than by dining out in the open with a homemade picnic hamper, full of sweet treats and savoury surprises for a delicious spread. From simple salads, sandwiches and scotch eggs to energy balls, granola bars, baked goods and jellies, the possibilities for picnic hampers are endless. We've put together a selection of our favourite summertime recipes for you to add to your bag, alongside some suggestions for how you can pack up your food in an easy, sustainable and mess-free fashion.

Easy Picnic Food Ideas

Savoury Surprises 

For those that travel light or want something to take that's a little more substantial, try packing a vibrant salad into a large jam jar. Put shredded lettuce at the base, then add your choice of additional vegetables - we love crunchy carrot, cherry tomatoes, fresh cucumber and yellow pepper for a bright array or colours, flavours and textures! Top with a source of protein to make your salad more satiating, drizzle with a salad dressing and lightly shake the jar to ensure all of its contents are well coated.

Jam jars can also be used to carry vegetable sticks and hummus - place the hummus at the bottom, then add sticks or carrot, celery, cucumber, pepper and pitta bread to the jar. Empty jars are incredibly useful at the end of the picnic for taking any uneaten food or rubbish back home where it can be disposed of correctly and responsibly. 


Sandwiches are also a great choice to cater to a wide range of tastes. Make up several sandwiches with different fillings (ham, cheese, egg mayonnaise, PB&J and chickpea 'tuna' are a few of the classics), cut into quarters and then make up a full sandwich for each person from each of the quarters for maximum variety. Top Tip: Toast your bread before making your sandwiches - this can help to prevent your bread from becoming soggy if you have a wet filling (such as avocado, cucumber or tomato).

Savoury Recipes

Take a look at our selection of some other savoury picnic favourites below:

Spinach and Ricotta Picnic Bites

Spread out your chequered blanket and napkins, these deliciously crisp spinach and ricotta bites...

Gluten Free Garlic and Coriander Flatbreads

These quick and tasty flatbreads are perfect for mopping up a curry dish or can be a delicious...

Red Onion and Courgette Quiche

Quiche is a classic British dish we all know and love. This particular quiche delivers cheese and...

Chive and Parmesan Scones

Savoury scones infused with chives and baked with a buttery parmesan crust.

Classic Hummus

This nutritious hummus recipe uses store cupboard ingredients, made in minutes in the Dualit Hand...

Pesto, Tapenade & Tomato Bread Rolls

Brittany-born baker Richard Bertinet came up with this imaginative idea of topping bite-sized...

Quick and Easy Loaf

This basic bread recipe is quick and easy and can be adapted to your own taste.

Kachumber Salad

Kachumber is a fresh and flavourful Indian dish consisting of cucumber, tomato, onion, chilli,...

Sweet Surprises

For those that enjoy the finer things in life, whip up a batch of plain vanilla cake batter and bake as cupcakes until golden brown, then decorate each cupcake differently according to your friends' favourite flavours, toppings and treats. For the chocoholic, try chocolate buttercream with a square of their favourite chocolate bar. For those who like things a little less sweet, try lemon buttercream and top with mini meringues. Perhaps strawberries are your sisters' favourite fruit? Try strawberry buttercream and garnish with chunks of fresh strawberry. It's time to get creative!


Granola bars and energy balls also make slightly healthier options, thanks to their lower sugar and higher fibre content. Wholegrain oats also provide long lasting energy, making these super snacks for those enjoying their picnic post park workout or morning run! Both options can also be customised according to dietary requirements and can easily be made vegan, dairy free and nut free if necessary.

Simply Smooth Deserts

An option for the younger guests at your picnic is a jelly or chocolate mousse - make up a large batch and scoop it into individual pots that you have at home. You can use yoghurt pots or even old desert glass ramekin's! Just be sure to check that each container is well set, kept upright and covered with foil or a wrap to avoid any mess. You can even add fresh fruit in bite-size pieces to help your little one work towards their five a day.


Check out some of our other sweet treat recipes:

Chocolate Mousse

A rich, indulgent yet beautifully airy mousse.

Vegan Fruit Scones

Golden brown, vegan scones made with sweet sultanas. Best served with plant-based butter or vegan...

Coconut Macaroons

Crispy on the outside and chewy in the middle, these sweet and delicious coconut macaroons are...

Vegan Flapjack

Using a variety of whatever dried fruit, nuts or seeds you have available, you can tailor this...

Chocolate Brownies

This recipe has everything you'd want in a brownie - chocolatey, rich, fudgy goodness. Our recipe...

Vanilla Fairy Cakes

Great for kids (and adults too!) these fairy cakes taste delicious and provide a great base to...

Jaffa Cakes

Bake Dualit's vegan friendly version of a family favourite, created by blogger, Brit Woodruff.

White Chocolate and Raspberry Blondies

Blondies are a rich and sweet dessert bar that resemble a traditional brownie. They are made...

Delicious Drinks

If one person has been designated to supply drinks for the group, try thoroughly rinsing and re-using an old juice carton or 2l bottle of your favourite fizzy drink and simply re-fill with your choice of beverage. Our homemade lemonade is a fantastic option for a hot summer's day as it's refreshing and zingy, full of flavour and suitable for all tastebuds.


Don't forget to bring enough cups and metal straws to cater for every member of the group, and if it's a little colder, try bringing a flask of hot tea, coffee or hot chocolate to keep you warm from the inside out.


For some other drink suggestions, we've put together a selection of recipes for you to try:


Use your juicer to make this delicious, healthy homemade lemonade - no added sugar required!...

Strawberry Sparkle

This cocktail is just perfect for special occassions. Champagne and strawberries are a match...

Homemade Ginger Beer

Better than anything you will buy in the shops - all the taste without the sugar!

Watermelon and Mint Cooler

A juice perfect for summer, using seasonal ingredients.

Strawberry Gin Fizz

Start your weekend right with this delicious Strawberry Gin Fizz. If you are a fan of your fruity...

Rosemary Ferguson's Rainbow Juice

Former supermodel Rosemary Ferguson hails from a family of homeopaths and nutritional experts....

Iced Coffee

This Iced Coffee is a quick and easy way to make a cooling drink with just three ingredients.

Hot Chocolate

A delectable take on your standard Hot Chocolate. Follow our recipe below to improve this tasty...

Packing Up Your Picnic

Now, how are you going to store all your delicious, scrumptious homemade food? Lunch boxes are a great option for packing up your picnic. They are reusable, assists in portion control to create minimal to no food waste, aids the prevention of leaks or spillages, and best of all - they are a great way to cater for loved ones with allergies and intolerances. Just portion the food out between each person according to their requirements. But don't forget to label each box with a name to avoid any confusion later down the line!

Top Tip: If you're worried about the food moving around too much with the box, try wrapping your food in bees' wax wraps. This will keep your food both secure and fresh.

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