These family picnic ideas are perfect for having a nice time with your family or a romantic picnic date with your partner. You’ll find some simple picnic snacks, appetizers, salads, mains, and desserts.
Nothing’s more relaxing on a lazy summer day than to grab your picnic blanket, favorite picnic foods, and head outside. Maybe add some picnic games and you’ve got yourselves a perfect day.
If you’re headed beyond your backyard, you’ll want to get some big bags of ice for the cooler and make sure anything that could melt (chocolate, etc.) or go bad in the heat (deli meat, dip, etc.) gets put in there. An insulated picnic basket is also an awesome idea for ensuring food safety.
But wherever your perfect picnic location is… whether in the park, the beach, your backyard, or any other picnic spot…here are some awesome recipe ideas.
If you’re going to the beach, do check out our beach food ideas too!
Family Picnic Ideas For Every Course!
No matter what type of foods you are craving, these foods are perfect for family picnics.
Here are some healthy salads with lots of fresh veggies that’ll make your family picnic even more delicious.
Green, Meat, & Fruit Salads For Picnics
These green salads are healthy, yummy, using fresh in season ingredients and will make your picnic day so enjoyable and tasty.
A perfect fruity beautiful summer fruit salad with peach pie filling.
This cucumber and tomato salad is the perfect picnic food for those with fresh veggies from the garden who want to make a green salad to die for.
This chicken salad will be just the ticket for those wanting more filling protein rich healthy salads for your picnic.
This fruit cocktail salad will be just the ticket on those hot summer days in the backyard. I always add watermelon to mine.
This kale slaw is healthy full of super foods and will look perfect on your blanket on the grass. Perfect for the veggie lover.
This grape salad is a perfect southern addition to the picnic. Full of fresh fruit and creamy dressing, even the kids will devour this.
A really interesting salad with pesto that anyone would love to find in their backyard spread.
A vegan salad with beans that will be filling, fresh, and tasty.
A fresh yummy easy to put together fruit salad.
This black bean salad with avocado is a perfect protein packed salad to add to your backyard picnic.
Pasta Salad & Potato Salad
What Southerner doesn’t love a good pasta or potato salad? They’re easy picnic ideas to make ahead and then keep cool in your ice chest. Or bring straight out of the backdoor to your picnic blanket!
Pasta Salads & Potato Salads For Picnics
These pasta salads are great picnic recipes or for any outdoor event.
Quick and Easy Pasta Salad Recipe
Easy pasta salad with fresh cherry tomatoes.
Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad
This buffalo chicken pasta salad will satisfy the meat lovers at the picnic table.
Southern Cole Slaw
This slaw recipe is easy to make and a great side edition!
Delicious and simple non-creamy potato salad
If you are trying to make your potato salad slightly less creamy, this is a winner winner... potato salad dinner.
Bacon-Cheddar Potato Salad Recipe
This potato salad will keep everyone happy, filled, and wanting more and more.
Greek Pasta Salad
This Greek pasta salad makes any picnic complete.
Kid Friendly Pasta Salad
This pasta salad is healthy and even the kids at the picnic will love it.
Easy BLT Pasta Salad with Ranch Dressing
This BLT pasta has bacon, lettuce, tomato, and all kinds of goodness.
Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
Chicken ceasar lovers? Instead of a salad try this pasta salad which is more filling and will satisfy even the men on the picnic.
The Best Chicken Salad Recipe with Lemon & Sage
Try this chicken salad recipe on your next picnic. Put it on a salad, croissant, or an open faced piece of bread to make it even more filling. The little ones will love these sandwiches too.
Classic Macaroni Pasta Salad
This classic recipe is also vegan.
Easy And Tasty Picnic Sandwiches
Forget about the peanut butter and jelly. Want to pack some better than average sandwiches? Try these picnic food ideas for your next outing.
Picnic Sandwich Ideas
These sandwiches are perfect for family picnics.
Want a hearty and filling picnic lunch? Try this Italian sandwich, perfectly layered with meat and veggies.
This is a tall stacked giant sandwich perfect for long days of outdoor activities.
These you can even freeze ahead of time, take out and prep, and use for picnics. Great if you do a lot of picnics and want to bulk cook.
Everyone loves egg salad, provided they aren't allergic, and this is a classic made simply. Tasty edition to your spread.
A great New Orleans classic that will spice up your picnic spread.
Great in a hoagie or normal bread.
Croissants make excellent bread substitutes. If you want a tad more fancy picnic, try these.
Ah, the perfect finger food. Whether you put them on a sweet tray or in a basket, these afternoon tea sandwiches make every picnic a tad more sophisticated.
Sides, Dips & Such
If you want to bring some crackers and have some spreads for some dipping and snacking, these will help you fill up the picnic basket.
Sides, Dips, & Spreads
These salads, dips, spreads, and dishes will help round out your picnic basket.
This southern dip classic is great for picnics and cracker munching.
Want a make ahead protein packed snack? This is a crowd pleaser.
Pack some deviled eggs for your next backyard picnic. They will be gone before you've gotten bitten by the neighboring ants.
Avocado lovers in the family? Make fresh guacamole to bring to your picnic. This is an easy homemade guacamole recipe.
Redneck caviar is fresh, crunchy, and a good way to get in some fresh veggies with all those crackers.
Meat and BBQ Mains For Your Family Picnic
If you’re a meat lover or have a bunch of men coming on your picnic, then make sure and load up on some protein filled meat dishes. These picnic recipes will be perfect to make, pack, and munch away whether you’re in your own backyard or elsewhere.
Mains & Meats For Your Picnic
Here are some yummy mains and meats for your picnic.
These yummy carnitas can be made ahead of time quickly in the instant pot!
Now what's a Southern picnic without fried chicken? Here's a gluten and dairy-free recipe.
Or if you prefer, make some traditional fried chicken in the skillet!
This oven pulled pork is tasty and great to put in sandwiches or on open faced garlic bread slices.
Or if you want to add bacon to your chicken, try this.
Desserts For Your Backyard Picnic
Now we’re getting to the good stuff… Don’t just pack a box of your favorite cookie!
If you’ve got any space left in your tummy at this point, these treats are the perfect sweet ending to your picnic lunch.
These desserts are perfect for casual spreads at a picnic party.
Since picnic season is warm, be sure to keep your desserts in your cooler if they have ingredients like whipped cream or chocolate chips, so you don't end up with a runny melted mess!
A Southern classic dessert with oranges that is fresh and tasty. Adults and little ones will all love this dessert.
Oranges can also be used to make this scrumptious pound cake.
What Southerner doesn't love pineapples? For another fruit flavored pound cake, try this one.
Apple pound cake is the jam and the caramel icing on top makes it even better.
Another beautiful fruity cake. You can make it a few days ahead of time and pack it in slices for Picnic Day.
As long as you're not in super high temperatures, this will be perfect for the chocolate lovers in your party.
For a fresh, easy to make traditional tasting pound cake, this whipping cream cake fits the bill.
For a more cinnamony flavor, this will take the cake, so to speak.
Since you're at a picnic and not worried about presentation, pack this dump cake in a tupperware and enjoy!
Festive & Fruity Drinks
You can’t have an awesome summer picnic in your backyard (or elsewhere) without yummy drinks!
Festive Summer Drinks For Picnics
These drinks will be perfect to pack up and bring along with you to a picnic.
No southern picnic would be complete without iced tea, of course.
Lemonade is the classic picnic drink, here's an easy recipe you can make ahead of time.
Or.... PUT THEM TOGETHER!
These recipes will help you put some lovely sweet fruity flavors into your water for refreshing drinks!
You'll love this cool and refreshing limeade. It's the perfect drink to enjoy in your backyard in the summer heat.
We hope you’ll enjoy our picnic food ideas! Let us know what you tried out!
35 Delicious Family Picnic Ideas
- picnic basket
- Fabulous Fruit Salad With Peach Pie Filling For Maximum Flavor (southerneatsandgoodies.com)
- Spicy Cucumber Tomato and Water Chestnut Salad – Kitchen Gone Rogue
- Easy 7-Layer Chicken Taco Salad – Two Healthy Kitchens
- Fresh Fruit Cocktail Salad – a healthy dessert for your BBQ or cookout (recipesformen.com)
- Kale Slaw (With A Creamy Lemon Garlic Dressing) – Earth, Food, and Fire (earthfoodandfire.com)
- Easy Southern Grape Salad – Recipes From A Pantry
- Barley Pea Pesto Salad with Grana Padano and Prosciutto – The Petite Cook™
- Easy Bean Salad| Vegan, Gluten-free – Food Meanderings
- Summer Fruit Salad Recipe for Your Next Picnic | Foodal
- Easy Black Bean Avocado Salad – Dancing Through the Rain
Potato and Pasta Salads
- Quick and Easy Pasta Salad Recipe – Snappy Gourmet
- Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad – Two Healthy Kitchens
- 5 Ingredient Southern Cole Slaw – Southern Eats & Goodies (southerneatsandgoodies.com)
- Best Non-Creamy Potato Salad Recipe (Grandma’s Old-Fashioned Large-Batch!) – Sustain My Cooking Habit
- Bacon-Cheddar Potato Salad Recipe – Home Cooking Memories
- Greek Pasta Salad – Candy Jar Chronicles
- Kid-Friendly Pasta Salad – Little Sunny Kitchen
- BLT Pasta Salad with Ranch Dressing – Evolving Table
- Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad – Simply Stacie
- Amazing Lemon Chicken Salad – Amee's Savory Dish (ameessavorydish.com)
- Classic Macaroni Pasta Salad (vegan, wfpb) – Ve Eat Cook Bake
- Italian Picnic Sandwich – Dukes and Duchesses
- Giant Sandwich Recipe (eatingrichly.com)
- Make Ahead Hot Roast Beef or Ham Sandwiches – Freezer Meals 101
- Creamy Egg Salad – a delicious sandwich filling or side salad for your BBQ (recipesformen.com)
- Summer Sandwich Recipe: Muffuletta Style Kid Friendly | Create Kids Club
- Summer Picnic Sandwich Recipe by Tasty
- Chicken Salad Croissant Sandwiches (life-in-the-lofthouse.com)
- Afternoon tea sandwiches recipe | BBC Good Food
Sides & Dips
- Classic Guacamole – Southern Eats & Goodies (southerneatsandgoodies.com)
- Pimento Cheese Dip That Southerners Love (Kids Too!) (southerneatsandgoodies.com)
- An Awesome Bacon Ranch Cheeseball To Snack On! (southerneatsandgoodies.com)
- Southern Deviled Eggs That'll Fly Off The Potluck Table (southerneatsandgoodies.com)
- Ultimate Redneck Caviar, aka Southern Caviar | gritsandpinecones.com
- Select foods for your picnic from the list above.
- Follow the links to the recipes.
- Prepare and enjoy!
Great list! Thanks!