Picnic recipe ideas


We bought our kids cedar point season passes for Christmas and opening day is this weekend. We’re short on $$ so we’ll be packing a cooler of food when we go instead of eating out. I’m anticipating that we’ll get tired of lunch meat/pb&j sandwiches really fast so I’m trying to think of other dishes to pack in the cooler to make a dinner out of that can be eaten cold. We’ll probably do chicken salad/tuna here and there but I’m trying to think of something else.



What about if you cook up some chicken breasts at home, slice them up and bring everything you need in ziplock bags to make a a sort of taco salad? You bring everything you need and everyone can customize with whatever they like such as tomatoes, cheeses etc. Make a fruit salad for dessert and you probably won’t feel all full and sleepy afterward either! :slight_smile:


We did this with chicken pitas before… packed the pitas, the cooked/cubed chicken breast, the bacon bits, the ceasar dressing, and the lettuce in a bag. We threw everything in the bag and shook it up until it was mixed, then served it out with tongs into the pitas. We had some fresh fruit with it- it was great!

Cold fried chicken (homemade) would be good, too, with buttered bread and a cold greenbean salad.

You could make up a turkey or roast several chickens for dinner one night, debone and slice the meat and make a loaf of homemade french bread. Pack some pickle slices and the mayo/mustard and have sandwiches like that.

I always bake cookies for packed lunches when we are travelling… everyone seems to like them and we can snack on them all day.

Yum… I am getting hungry talking about all this picnic food.


Sandwiches can made from pitas, flatbreads, and tortilla wraps. Cut the bread the night before and store in an airtight container. Fresh turkey breast, ham, chicken breast, and salamis are options. Place the sliced deli meats in the freezer. The morning of the picnic, take them out so they can slowly thaw and stay cold until they are ready to be eaten.
Individual bags of chips and other snacks eliminate lots of hands from reaching in the same bag, dirty and clean. It also eliminates opened bags of chips that need to be transported home. Nuts make a simple treat for a picnic. They need no refrigeration and can be easily transported.
Other ideas....deviled eggs, PBJ's, whole fruits, washed raw veggies....


Pimento Cheese Sandwiches
Chicken Fajita Lettuce Wraps

Random thoughts from someone who is hungry on their break.


Great suggestions! Thanks!


There is also a non-mayo potato salad that is great for picnics. I know you said you have a cooler, but this salad is great!

Red potatoes boil them until done
Quarter them, season with olive oil, vinegar, S&P, a pinch of oregano & some fresh parsley.

If you don’t want all of this, you can use your favorite Italian salad dressing.

You can also pack a shirmp cocktail. Cook the shrimp, cool them down completely and store them in a zippy bag. Put the cocktail sauce in a seperate plastic container.

Cubed cheeses, like cheddar, swiss and monteray.

Italian anti pasta plater in a plastic container. Mozzarell, marinated red sliced peppers, marinatete mushrooms, sliced pepperoni, sliced salami. Have some Italian or French bread or even pita bread will work.

Hummus is great and you can buy that a the store already made. Serve that with pita bread.

Don’t forget to pack some easy too eat fruits and grapes are a great snack.


I was also thinking about a cold pasta dish mixed with cherry tomatoes & feta cheese. Drizzle some Italian salad dressing on it.


Egg Salad, hard boiled eggs, quartered apples and oranges, any fresh fruit to snack on, baked beans, raw veggies cut up and dressing to dip in. Grapes are a great finger food.
Above all, have a great time!


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