Picnic Food Ideas

Picnics in national parks or any park really, are one of the great pleasures in life. Inexpensive, delicious, fun and even romantic, picnics score sky high in my list of ways to spend a lazy Sunday.  I love them so much, I even celebrated my first wedding anniversary with a picnic in a national park.

But still the same question arises, 'what should we take for the picnic?'  Suddenly, excitement turns to frustration and uncertainty and the picnic becomes work. Or even worse, you go to the gourmet market and randomly start putting items in your basket - a nice picnic for two on the way.  Upon checking out at the register, you see the three figure number of $177 and you freeze. This is not supposed to be a mortgage payment, just a simple picnic for two. 

So to make arranging a picnic much easier, quicker and inexpensive, I have compiled a list of picnic food ideas for two ( double it for four).  Just tick an item from each category and you are ready to go.   The particular fillings below have been selected because they don't go soggy, are quick and easy to make, as well as being delicious. Just dry your lettuce very well and use mayo or butter before laying down the lettuce.


Select 1 of the following to share:

  • 60 grams of your favorite cheese to share with crackers
  • 1 slice of spinach and feta quiche to share (homemade or from the bakery) 
  • 1 slice of quiche lorraine or frittata

If you select quiche, ensure it has enough filling to taste good cold (not too eggy).

SANDWICH (using fresh bread from bakery if possible):  

Select any 2 of the following to share (cut into halves or triangles): 

  • 1 x Cucumber & Cream Cheese Sandwich (put cream cheese on both sides)
  • 1 x Egg Sandwich (mix the egg with mayonnaise and salt - curry optional)
  • 1 x Lettuce, Crispy Bacon & Mayo Sandwich
  • 1 x Ham & Pickles Sandwich (put a scraping of butter on before the pickles)


Select 1 of the following: 

  • 2 small bananas (1 each) 
  • 2 small handfuls of Grapes
  • 8 x strawberries


Select 1 of the following: 

  • Any 2 mini/fun size chocolate bars ( the ones that are 20 gms or less each)
  • 2 small chocolate Cadbury Caramello Koalas (for those that live in Australia) 
  • 2 small pots of Chocolate Mousse (homemade or from supermarket) 
  • 2 small handfuls of mixed lollies (snakes, raspberry&creams - all the good ones)
  • 2 cupcakes
  • 1 piece of cake or slice from bakery to share

If you don't like sweets, you can exchange them for 60gms of mixed nuts to share.


  • 2 or more litres plain sparkling mineral water with a touch of freshly squeezed lemon or orange juice in it.  Optional extras: Wine, Beer, Tea/Coffee.


  • Ice packs
  • Soft easy-carry picnic cooler
  • Serviettes
  • Plastic all purpose glasses
  • Cutlery ( plastic knives, forks, spoons)
  • 1 x steel knife to cut cakes or quiche/frittata/ or cheese (if selected) 
  • Paper plates
  • Picnic Blanket (or camp chairs and a portable small table)
  • A beautiful location

Although I love the look of wicker picnic baskets, do use a soft picnic cooler that is flexible and easy to manage. It fits everything, even the car keys.  It was a birthday present from a friend (one of the most genius, useful, loved birthday presents I've ever received).  Some ten years later, I am still grateful for it on every picnic.

Picnic food

 To hike a few hours to a great spot with a waterhole, indulge with a lovely picnic, then hike back to civilization, is pure bliss - the ultimate day out to me.

If you have any great ideas for quick and easy picnic food, please make suggestions using comments - thank you.