Italian picnic loaf with salami

Best ever picnic recipes

Our best ever picnic recipes make it easy to enjoy the British summer - from sandwiches and cupcakes to muffins and refreshing cocktails, ideal for a sunny day out

Check out our best picnic food ideas. From fun sandwich ideas to portable dips, to pork pies and savoury picnic recipes, and a selection of summery salads, our picnic ideas are quick and easy to make and easily portable to your favourite picnic spot. Try our sweet treats including brownies, cheesecake bars, muffins and more. Here are our picnic ideas…

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Picnic sandwiches

Our sandwich recipes are quick and easy to make. We have cut muffuletta and focaccia into squares so they’re portable, and created individual bagels to take along and enjoy.

Muffuletta squares

The zingy olive salad is the essential ingredient of a New Orleans muffuletta stuffed sandwich. Cut into squares, after pressing, before you pack up your picnic, and you’re good to go

Muffuletta squares

Italian picnic loaf

A fantastic easy-to-make recipe using a ciabatta bread mix, baked then stuffed with an olive salad, salami, roasted red peppers, mozzarella and spinach. Wrap in foil and slice to serve

Italian picnic loaf

Salt beef and Swiss bagel melts

Midweek meal inspiration right here! This super quick and easy salt beef bagel is packed with melting Swiss cheese, gherkins and a generous dollop of sweet American mustard.

Salt beef and swiss bagel melts

Stuffed focaccia

Stuff a classic Italian bread with mozzarella cheese and antipasti for an instant crowd-pleaser. Learn to make this delicious savoury bread with our easy step-by-step guide – perfect for tearing and sharing with family and friends.

stuffed focaccia

We have plenty more sandwich inspiration here


Burritos with black beans, sweetcorn and quinoa

A colourful, vegan burrito recipe, rammed with tomatoes, black beans, sweetcorn, lime, coriander, avocado and red chilli. It’s a super lunch idea, ready in 30 minutes.

Black bean burritos

Fennel-spiced sausage plait

This fennel-spiced sausage plait is a grown-up take on everyone’s favourite picnic snack. Made with an added kick of chilli and mustard with a crunch of sesame, this makes for a comforting midweek meal.

Sausage plait

Picnic dips

There’s nothing like a punchy dip to take on a picnic. Whip up a batch and pop into jars to then dip your crisps and breadsticks into.

Green goddess and red devil dips with homemade breadsticks and veg

These green goddess and red devil dips are a great way to make your picnic more interesting and they’re great as a snack with drinks.

Green and red devil dips

Picnic dip jars

Not only are these snacks packed with flavour, but they’re also a great alternative to the usual picnic food. Simple and quick to prepare, the dip jars will become a family favourite in no time.

picnic dip jars

Red cabbage kimchi

Lacto-fermenting vegetables is bang-on-trend and an ancient way of preserving fresh food to last all year. The lacto bit refers to the lactic acid created during the ferment and the process of fermenting increases both nutrient and probiotic levels making these the healthiest pickles around. One of the best known ferments is this gloriously spicy kimchi from Korea.

Kimchi - superfood 2017

Picnic pies

A pie is a must at a picnic, try one of our ideas from cute pork pies to a picnic pie jam-packed with flavour.

Mini pork and chorizo picnic pies

These mini pork and chorizo picnic pies have got a hidden quail’s egg in the middle and make a great snack. Chorizo-style sausages have the same soft texture as regular sausages but added paprika and garlic. If you can’t find them, add 1/2 tsp of smoked paprika to regular pork sausages. 

Mini picnic pies

Picnic pie 

You’ll need to put in some extra effort for this recipe, but the payoff will be great. This meaty picnic pie makes a mean, hearty meal.


 Picnic snacks

Go the extra mile with your picnic and add some savoury snacks to enjoy alongside your sandwiches. From summery Vietnamese rolls and bitesize muffins, to frittata pieces.

Prawn and avocado Vietnamese summer rolls

Fresh and easy rice paper rolls. These are filled with prawns, avocado, chilli and ginger, shredded carrot and noodles. Serve with chilli sauce for a dip.


Scotch eggs

Make the perfect picnic snack from scratch using our easiest ever scotch egg recipe. This method gives you a perfectly cooked yolk, juicy sausage meat filling and a crunchy breadcrumb coating


Mini picnic frittatas

These mini picnic frittatas are really quick to whip up as a last minute picnic treat. To make them even easier to make, we have used Two Chicks liquid whole eggs. Make a large batch and then enjoy throughout the week for a snack or with a salad for a speedy meal. Check out our best frittata recipes here.

mini picnic frittatas

Honeyed fig and curd cheese tart

This recipe for honeyed fig and curd cheese tart is easy and ready in under an hour. Use cow or goat’s curd for this. Both are young and fresh but the goat’s curd will give you more of a tang. 

Fig tart

Gruyère, spring onion and marmite muffins

Marmite adds a fun twist to this recipe and gives a delicious savoury flavour to these cheese and onion muffins. Perfect for a quick snack on-the-go.

marmite muffins

Classic cornish pasties

A true Cornish pasty will only contain onion, swede, potato and skirt steak. Make sure you season the filling really well with pepper to get the characteristic flavour.

Classic cornish pasties

Pickled onion and rarebit flatbreads

These simple pickled onion and rarebit flatbreads are quick and easy to make. Cook at home then take along to a picnic for a posh savoury snack.

Pickled Onion and Rarebit Flatbreads

Classic tortilla

A well-made tortilla is the best addition to a tapas menu. This easy recipe with just four ingredients is typically Spanish. Serve with a selection of other dishes for a Spanish feast. 

Classic tortilla recipe

Cheddar, leek and amaranth flapjack

Amaranth is an incredible little seed that’s gluten-free and high in protein, calcium and vitamin C. This cheesy, herby flapjack makes a filling and wholesome snack that would go well with a bowl of soup or as a post-workout energy bar.

Amaranth Flapjack - superfood 2017

Spiralized summer rolls

Spiralized veg takes the place of noodles in these super-healthy, Vietnamese-style vegan rolls. They’re great to pack for a posh picnic.


Picnic salads

Make a large salad to share out at your next picnic. We have some refreshing, summery ideas, and even a handy way of carrying your salad to your favourite picnic spot. Going on a picnic last minute? Here are our favourite 15 minute salad recipes to try.

Jam jar salads

Deliciously healthy and packed with fresh ingredients, this salad can be made in advance and is ideal for picnics. Need ideas for dressing? Rapeseed oil is a good choice, as it is low in saturated fat and rich in omega 3.

jam jar salads

Thai watermelon salad

Watermelon is this year’s trendy ingredient and stands in for green papaya in this update of a Thai classic. It’s best to buy a whole watermelon and use the flesh closest to the skin as this tends to be a bit firmer.

Thai Watermelon salad

Kale waldorf salad with buttermilk dressing

This kale waldorf salad with buttermilk dressing is a clever update on a classic and with a good amount of crunch and tangy dressing, it makes for a really useful side dish.

kale waldorf salad

Sweet picnic treats

You can’t have a picnic without some sweet treats. Retro brownies, coffee cupcakes, delicious loaf cakes, we have it all. We’ve even made it possible to carry cheesecake to your picnic, with our portable apricot cheesecake bars.

Lemon and blueberry bars

These simple lemon and blueberry bars are seriously moorish, gooey on the inside and crunchy on the out, the ideal summertime picnic treat.

Lemon and blueberry slice

Apricot cheesecake bars

Check out these bright summery cheesecake bars. We’ve used fresh seasonal apricots and crunchy amaretti biscuits. Perfectly portable to satisfy your cheesecake craving on the move!

Apricot Cheesecake

Wagon Wheel brownies

We’re going old-school with these knockout jammie Wagon Wheel brownies! Wagon Wheels are a favourite lunch box treat, so they’re perfect for a retro recipe. Fluffy marshmallow, crunchy Wagon Wheel biscuit and sweet raspberries make a brilliant brownie batter.

Wagon Wheel Brownie

Coffee and walnut cupcakes

Coffee and walnut cake is a teatime favourite. With this recipe, we’ve given it a modern makeover by giving it the cupcake treatment. Pipe the icing sky-high for maximum cake drama.

coffee and walnut cupcakes

Salted peanut and honeycomb rocky road

These salted peanut and honeycomb rocky road squares are a great twist on a classic and will please everyone. Plus, they’re really easy and only take 15 minutes of work.

salted peanut and honeycomb rocky road

Easy banana bread with peanut butter frosting

It’s hard to improve on a classic banana bread, but we think the peanut butter addition just edges it! A real nutty twist on everyone’s favourite. Serve with your freshly brewed morning coffee.

Peanut butter banana bread

Custard cream blondies

Ever thought of adding custard creams to your blondie mixture? It’s genius! Have a go this weekend and let us know how you get on (@olivemagazine)

Custard creme blondies

Pink pickled turnips

These pink pickled turnips look stunning and make a great, easy-to-make addition to any lunch table or mezze spread

pink pickled turnips

Picnic drinks

Drinks are often an after thought at a picnic, usually resorting to shop bought drinks. Make your picnic extra special with our refreshing summer drinks recipes, from iced tea cocktails to super healthy smoothies and portable cocktail bottles.

Iced mint and apple tea

This refreshing summer cocktail of apple (and brandy) infused iced tea is easy to make and perfect for a balmy summer evening. Makes enough to share with friends.

Iced mint and apple tea

Contessa cocktail bottles

Pre-made cocktails are all the rage at the moment and they’re as practical as they are delicious. Think of the contessa as a summery version of a negroni. The orangey Aperol and dry vermouth help lighten things up.

Contessa cocktail bottles

Berry smoothie

Our best berry and banana smoothie, made without yogurt. It uses avocado for creaminess, plus apple juice and fresh lime juice. For more healthy smoothie recipes, click here.

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Berry smoothie (without yogurt)

Blackberry vodka

What better way to make use of a glut of blackberries than to make blackberry vodka? You can experiment with different amounts of sugar but blackberries are quite tart so a little helps bring out the berry flavours. 

blackberry vodka

we share tips on how to have the perfect picnic (whatever the weather)

olive magazine podcast ep12 – perfect picnics, epic fish recipes and gender stereotypes in food and drink