Best family picnic recipes – BBC Good Food

When the sun comes out, so do the picnic blankets. It’s the perfect relaxed family gathering – you can adapt your basketful of goodies to different diets, and include as much make-ahead or on-the-spot prep as you like with your preferred balance of sweet and savoury.

Check out our best family picnic recipes and make sure you’re equipped for the day with our round-up of the best picnic accessories and best picnic hampers. We’ve also got plenty more family picnic recipes to choose from, or visit our best ever picnic ideas page for more food and drink ideas, plus gadget guides.

Summer sandwiches

We have a great variety of stunning sandwiches kids and adults will love. Kids can help prepare our colourful stuffed rainbow baguette. Pile it high with vibrant veg such as beetroot, red pepper, carrot and green leaves, along with hummus, pesto and slices of cheddar – each mouthful will be a feast. The baguette is easily transportable if you wrap it in baking parchment tied with string. Remember to take a bread knife along with you so you can slice it.

If you have a large family, then this irresistibly cheesy garlic tear-and-share bread will also go down a treat. For something smaller, our triangular egg & cress sandwiches are delightfully dainty and quick to make, or vegans could opt for our egg-less mayo sandwiches. Toast the bread lightly for contrast with the creamy filling, and skewer each sandwich with a pick to keep them together when carrying your picnic.

Find more super sandwiches and picnic breads:
Pressed picnic sandwich
Crispy chicken & smashed avocado baps
Spiced prawn cocktail picnic subs
Pitta bread
Leek, cheddar & bacon loaf sandwich
Pesto focaccia sandwich

Find more sandwich and baguette recipes. Need some inspiration for your sarnies? Read our guides on sandwich fillings for kids.

Flatbreads and wraps

Wraps are an easy way to transport lots of tasty fillings without spillage en route. Give your picnic food a Greek twist with these chicken skewer & tzatziki wraps that can be barbecued or cooked on the griddle beforehand, then wrapped with green salad. Or try our veggie-packed wraps which you can customise with a range of mouthwatering fillings, including pickled onions, roasted veg, coconut tzatziki and spicy green sauce.

Try our other favourite picnic wraps:
Lemon & yogurt chicken flatbreads
Veggie olive wraps with mustard vinaigrette
Turkish kebabs with tomato chilli sauce
Turkey, pea guacamole & radish wrap
No-cook burritos

Discover more wrap recipes.

Savoury snacks

Arm yourself with an array of perfectly sized savoury snacking options. Our mini cheese & onion pasties are packed with a gooey cheddar, mustard, thyme and onion filling, encased in a buttery shortcrust pastry. If short on prep time, our sticky lime & coconut chicken drumsticks deliver on flavour with minimal ingredients. The combination of sweet honey and zingy lime forms a delicious marinade, while also tenderising the chicken. As these are best eaten with your hands, we advise bringing wipes for sticky little fingers!

Savoury muffins are a neat alternative to sandwiches that you can bake the night before, then box up. Our cheesy Greek salad muffins are flavoured with feta which you can enhance with parmesan – or, even better, the Greek cheese kefalotiri if you can find it at the deli. Even speedier to prep are mini chorizo, pea & potato frittatas that you can bake in muffin tins for an easily portable, kid-friendly snack.Whip up a batch of sweet potato crisps for nibbling, too.

Try our other savoury snacks:
Smoked salmon scotch eggs
Seeded cheese & chive flapjacks
Spinach & cheese pide
Pea & ham picnic eggs
Chorizo & manchego scones
Triple cheese & onion muffins
Welsh rarebit muffins
Coronation chicken scones

Easy cupcakes

Want to get creative? Try making our easy vanilla cupcakes with swirled buttercream icing for a pretty snack. Or mimic the colours of a popular ice cream combo with these gorgeous Neapolitan cupcakes using chocolate chips, cocoa powder and colourful frosting. Our basic cupcakes are also a quick and easy recipe that can be whipped up in only 35 mins!

Get the kids baking with more picnic cake recipes:
Fairy cakes
Chocolate cupcakes
Strawberry cupcakes
Caramel button cupcakes
Unicorn cupcakes
Brown butter & cherry friands

Get your baking hats on and whip up more cute cupcake recipes.

Jazzy jars

Liven up your picnic hamper with homemade food jars – they’re easy to transport and they look amazing! These tasty red berry granola pots are a perfect summer dessert, made with strawberries and raspberry coulis, topped with a layer of creamy yogurt and crunchy granola. For a veggie jar packed with goodness, try making up our coconut chicken noodle salads. Layer up noodles, beans, cherry tomatoes, spinach and chicken and drizzle with a tasty coconut and peanut dressing.

For more sweet and savoury picnic jar ideas:
Strawberries & cream cheesecake jars
Layered rainbow salad pots
Berry yogurt pots
Griddled salad jar
Stripy hummus salad jar

Picnic pies

Load your picnic hamper high with delicious pies and pastries. Capture the tastes and colours of summer with our beautiful rainbow veggie pie which will make a stunning centrepiece for any picnic blanket. Part tortilla, part pie, this kaleidoscopic composition is formed by layering up beetroot slices, peppers, squash, onions, feta, potatoes, peas, eggs and herbs. Now that’s what you call a perfect pie!

Whether you like Marmite or not, we think these Marmite & cheese sausage rolls may be the best you’ll ever taste, or try our veggie and vegan sausage rolls for meat-free alternatives. Get more meaty bites with these South American-style beef & chorizo empanadas which are packed with flavour. For something lighter, try our roasted tomato, parmesan & pancetta quiches – so tasty that little fingers are guaranteed to be reaching for more!

Tuck into more tasty pastries:
Mini pizza quiches
Picnic pie
Quiche Lorraine
Pickled onion pork pies
Picnic quiches
Tomato tarts

Easy picnic drinks

Strawberry and vanilla milkshakes in milk bottles with straws and berries

Cool down on a hot summer’s day with these cute and fruity mini milkshakes. There are three delicious flavour options to choose from – banana, strawberry & raspberry, or mango & coconut – so nobody will be disappointed. Store in the fridge before transporting these and serve in milk bottles with colourful straws. For something a little spicier, bottle up our homemade ginger beer and enjoy topped up with sparkling soda water.

We’ve got plenty more refreshing picnic drinks to quench your thirst:
Watermelon lemonade
Peach iced tea
Mint & mango iced tea
Homemade elderflower cordial
Rhubarb cordial
Watermelon & strawberry slushie
Sunshine smoothie

Cool down with more of our best picnic drinks ideas.

Sharing food

Curate the ultimate picnic sharing platter for al fresco dining. With a selection of cooked and smoked salmon, stuffed eggs, cucumber, yogurt and dill salad, you’ll be spoilt for choice! Or make our easy prosciutto or chorizo skewers by alternating the meat with manchego cheese, mozzarella, juicy grapes and basil for super-tasty finger food. To serve young children, slide everything off the skewers.

Cheese, chive & ham tear-and-share bread
Grazing platter
Spring sharing board
Tear-and-share feta flatbreads

Sweets and treats

This picnic trail mix is a delightful combo of sweet and salty flavours to munch on while you explore the countryside. Packed with nuts, dried fruit, pretzels and chocolate chips, they’re easy to customise with whatever you have in the storecupboard. Our sweet and fruity cherry & coconut flapjacks are also easy to make ahead, divide up and pack in your picnic box. For all cookie monsters and chocoholics, we’ve also got the ideal snack combination in these easily portable peanut butter cookie cups.

More sweet treats:
Tropical rocky road
Millionaire’s shortbread
Strawberry & cinnamon streusel bars
Peanut butter cookies
Lemon sherbet jammy dodgers
Easy honey flapjacks

Satisfy your sweet tooth with more picnic dessert recipes.

Healthier snacks

Ring-shaped apple cut-outs with colourful sprinkles

Looking for a lighter bite? Try our apple ‘doughnuts’ – kids will love making these ring-shaped apple slices with nut butter and colourful sprinkles. For something savoury, our veggie falafel Scotch eggs combine the best of two snack favourites.

Try more healthier options:
Chocolate & berry mousse pots
Healthier flapjacks
Fruity coconut creams
Lighter spanakopita
Lighter gingerbread

Browse our healthy picnic recipes for plenty more light summer treats.

Check out our other family guides and collections…

All our picnic recipes
Top 50 picnic recipes
Kids’ picnic recipes
Quick picnic recipes
Easy Easter picnic ideas
Our top recipes for dining outdoors
Top vegan picnic recipes
Our favourite healthy picnic ideas
The best picnic gadgets

What do you take on a family picnic? Let us know in the comments below…

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