You need the best picnic lunch ideas?... Classic picnic food, perfect for your picnics?

Then you need picnic food which is...
easy to make...
easy to carry...
easy to eat!

You'll find suggestions here from our friends and family and my old recipes...

those we have used for many successful, fun, lazy picnics.

There are lots of recipes out there but, if genuine picnic food is what you want to pack in your picnic basket,
then you should start your food planning by checking these easy picnic recipe suggestions...

Top Tip...

  • Prepare your best picnic lunch ideas from these easy recipes the day before, or some, even days before, if possible.
  • Then have the food ready to pack into the picnic basket on the morning of the picnic.
  • This takes away the pressure and stress and that last minute panic! 

This really delicious picnic was prepared the day before.

A vegetable bake for a picnic.

Find recipes for these tarts below.

Best picnic lunch ideas... with picnic food, easy to eat in your fingers, or just with a plate and a fork, are our favorite ideas.

Try something from the list of really delicious sandwich ingredients… not just the school lunch variety of sandwiches.

Kids can run around munching, free... having fun!

Try a long roll, or loaf of bread... fill with tasty food... just cut into chunks at the picnic!

A small loaf of bread full of salad for a picnic.

Fill your loaf of bread with all your favorite special treats.
Make it chunky and overflowing!
All these sandwich recipes are easy for you to adapt if you wish to.

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As well as using these best picnic lunch ideas use the picnic planning check list, when you sort the things you're taking, you'll find it's so useful... invaluable! 

It is so easy to forget something vital and really annoying when you are a long way from home and you have forgotten the chairs, or knife to cut the cake... and it happens!                                          

Boxes like these can be helpful to store your easy lunch ideas… Lunch Box for Work, School - Bento Lunchboxes - Pack Fast BPA-free, single-lid, 3-compartment, bento-style food containers, insulated coolers. Healthy for kids and adults. No lead. Waste-free.

Enjoy the latest picnic recipes and valuable hints...

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OK, here we go...  find the best picnic lunch ideas and suggestions, using our easy picnic recipes.
Enjoy an appetizer of salami, tasty cheese and pate'... and a glass of red!

A Barossa platter for a picnic.

Practical and delicious picnic food!
It's a day out in the fresh air... informal and relaxed. 
No need for difficult or complicated recipes... keep this in mind for your best picnic lunch ideas.

Baskets packed for the picnic

There is something rather special about eating out...

Under the shade of an old tree, or on a beach with sand drifting through everything, including your food.

Or sitting on a hill overlooking amazing, stunning countryside.

Or lounging by a little stream, watching fish jumping and dragon flies swooping... and then, even a simple cheese sandwich is delicious, utterly delectable!

And those best picnic lunch ideas when you are dressed for a race meeting... with a silver candelabra on the picnic table.

It's the fresh air, relaxed moments... and creative gourmet food that will make the day... the food from your lunch ideas!

Plan a creative picnic from your best picnic lunch ideas.

A lovely spread for a delicious picnic.

 But now... enough dreaming and on to the real planning...
with food suggestions for your best picnic lunch ideas.

picnic lunch ideas taller

 Scroll through these ideas, with recipes, below....

  • Short crust pastry for pies… or you can use bought pastry.
  • Egg and bacon pie... a family favorite from Eileen.
  • An extra tasty egg and bacon pie with asparagus.
  • Cold meats… ham, beef, lamb, pork, or chicken and how to use them.
  • Then roast beef… with garlic and mustard, on crunchy fresh bread... ooh mouth watering.
  • Roast lamb… with rosemary and garlic... so sophisticated and yum.
  • Pork with… crunchy crackling.
  • Chicken… with lemon and basil... so versatile and can be used in many recipes.
  • Quiche … with variations.
  • Jenny’s Brussels sprouts bake... so easy and adaptable, there are other options if you don't like Brussels sprouts.
  • Easy tomato tart recipe.

           Other Helpful quick links...

Pastry can be stressful to think about, although this simple recipe is quite easy.

If you are worried, or lacking time, just buy a packet of frozen pastry already prepared... no one will know! 

We have a lovely buttery pastry made locally, which I sometimes use and although it is a bit more expensive to buy, it is delicious and can save time when making lunch ideas.

This is so useful for best picnic lunch ideas...

   Add this to your best picnic lunch ideas, so you can use this recipe repeatedly.

   Basic Pastry... so simple, you will wonder why you haven't made it before.

   You Will Need...

  • Plain flour 350gm  (12oz)            
  • Butter (or margarine) 125gm (5oz)
  • 1 small egg
  • Pinch salt
  • Small amount cold water         

   To Put Together...

  •   Place flour, butter and pinch salt in food processor.
  •   Pulse... until it resembles bread crumbs.
  •   Add egg... while motor running.
  •   Process for very few seconds then add small amount water until dough forms a ball (don’t over process).
  •  Roll ball on floured area, wrap in a damp clean tea towel, or plastic wrap.
  •  Chill for 30 minutes before rolling out to use in your lunch ideas.

A table of delicious picnic food with pieA table of delicious picnic food... with a scrumptious egg and bacon pie.

My Mother-in-law, Eileen, who lived in the Barossa Valley in South Australia, was a wonderful cook... and was always catering for large groups of family and friends... her lunch ideas were legendary... they were the best picnic lunch ideas.

Often this Egg and Bacon Pie recipe was doubled... or made even larger for more people... and then baked in a roasting pan for those larger amounts.

Then she would cut the pie into large squares to serve... or if made in a log tin it was easy to cut for serving.

It was a winner with everyone!

Egg and Bacon Pie... the basic recipe with a little Dill added... this is optional.

Egg and Bacon Pie… this is Eileen's original old recipe from her best picnic lunch ideas.

This is delicious both hot and cold and will serve approximately 6-8 people when used for one of your lunch ideas.

Egg and bacon pie ready to cook

      You Will Need...

  • Purchased good short crust pastry, or make your own... see above 
  • 4-6 rashers of good smoky bacon 
  • 6-8 large whole eggs 
  • Salt and pepper 
  • An extra egg yolk and teaspoon of water… for glaze

To Put Together...

  • Grease, then line 20cm (8”) baking tin approximately 7-10cm (3-4”)  deep.                                                  
  • Chill pastry and roll out on lightly floured board… you will need 2/3 of the pastry for bottom and sides… make sure the bottom isn’t pierced... to prevent mixture leaking under pie crust.
  • Lay pastry over flan dish and ease into dish, pushing into corners.
  • Roll rolling pin over top to trim edge.
  • Cut rind off bacon, cut into 3 or 4 pieces and fry until crisp. Drain on paper towel to absorb excess fat, then spread on pastry.
  • Break eggs into pie case leaving eggs whole… be careful not to pierce yolks.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Either cover with remaining rolled out pastry, sealing edges brushed with milk glaze… or just leave open.
  • If topping with pastry, brush with egg yolk and water glaze.
  • If you are leaving pastry off the top, seal and cover with tin foil... removing for last 5-10 min until eggs are just set.
  • Bake in mod-hot oven 190 C (375F) for 10-15min then lower temp to moderate 175 C (350F) for 30 min until top is golden brown… or eggs are set if baked without pastry top.

 Optional extras, really worth adding... to make best picnic lunch ideas

Handful of pitted olives, semi dried tomatoes, crumbled Feta cheese and chopped parsley and other herbs like dill, or fresh oregano, to add to this pie....

just sprinkle between the eggs as you prepare, before baking.

This mixture can also be made into small individual egg and bacon pies...
Like this little egg and bacon pie

A small egg and bacon pie.

This little egg and bacon pie has had dill, grated cheese and a cherry tomato added.

      A Really Tasty Egg and Bacon Pie using the basic recipe, but adding extra ingredients.

yummy egg and bacon pie

This delicious egg and bacon pie was made by adding a few tasty ingredients to the basic recipe above.

Egg and bacon pie ingredients
  • Place some of the crispy bacon across the base, then place uncooked asparagus along the base, over the bacon.
  • Sprinkle a layer of tasty cheese including a few chunky bits of Feta.
  • Scatter a few semi-dried tomatoes and olives (no stones)
  • Make a layer of eggs... carefully placed to keep yolks intact.
  • Add more bacon and asparagus if you have it.
  • Pepper and salt to taste and a sprinkle of parsley and basil.
  • A scatter of cheese
  • Place pastry across the top.
  • Baste with milk or egg yolk and place in your mod-hot oven.
  • Bake in mod-hot oven 190 C (375F) for 10-15min then lower temp to moderate 175 C (350F) for 30 min until top is golden brown

To serve with pie...

Chop about a cup of cherry tomatoes and torn basil with a few lengths of  thinly sliced red onion... scatter around the pie.

In another bowl, smash avocado ( 2 large or 4 small) with the juice of a lemon... stir in with a fork.P and S to taste.

Add torn basil, chunky bits of Feta and coarsely chopped macadamia nuts, roasted in honey ( or roasted walnuts) ... fold in carefully.

Add a good dollop of avocado and a spoonful of tomatoes, with a slice of pie... really YUM!

 Best picnic lunch ideas using Cold Meats... beef and lamb, or pork... ham and roast pork.

 Here's one way to use cold meats…

 A slice of thick ham, or rare roast beef on fresh, crunchy, crusty, bread with yummy mustard... old favorites.

A delicious open faced sandwich with crusty thick sliced bread...

A fabulous open sandwich.

Rare roast beef, avocado and heritage tomatoes, boiled eggs and chunks of Feta cheese...
dill cucumber,  with a few greens and herbs... pretty too!
Hmm… what’s for lunch!?


 A cold roast is quite versatile!  Use for one of these best picnic lunch ideas...

  •  For sandwich, or roll fillings.
  •  Or, on its own with a salad.
  •  Or, cut into strips and make it part of the salad.
  •  On a plate, to add to the other meats and food you have chosen.
  •  On crunchy thick bread... with mustard, or horseradish... our absolute favorite !

An added bonus...

  • If time permits, a roast… beef, lamb, or pork, are great for your lunch ideas... we love these for a picnic!
  • I cook the day before and make sure we have enough for a meal at home too... with roast veg... while the roast meat is hot.
  • Roast extra vegetables, chopped into small squares to add to a salad... or slices to add to sandwiches. So tasty!

To be really decadent, sop up the delicious juices from the roast, with fresh bread… eat, yum!

Our family "fights" over this… the juices, not the fat.

Try sharing, just let them taste the rare roast beef juices. Would you tell them what it is?

They will be excited about the picnic food coming!

One of the best picnic lunch ideas... Rare roast beef

Lovely rare roast beef for lunch ideas.

This roast beef cooked in French mustard and garlic... yum!

 Choose your roast... for one of the best picnic lunch ideas.

  Beef…choose your favorite cut of, sirloin, scotch fillet or topside for example.

  Lamb… I like a leg, or part of... with the bone still in... this gives added flavor.

  • Boned lamb will work well too… maybe with a tasty stuffing.
  • Or try a delicious marinade of garlic, anchovies, rosemary and lemon... Rub into skin and marinade for a few hours before cooking.

  Rolled Pork... tasty and easy for a picnic.

  Have a chat with your Butcher about …

  • The best roast for you… your budget and favorite cut.
  • The amount needed for the number of people going on your picnic lunch.
  • Also check with the butcher how long your choice of meat should be cooked, it will vary with the size of your roast.

  You will have very delicious roast beef and/or lamb to use for best picnic lunch ideas.

  • Beef, or lamb of your choice.
  • 2-3 tablespoons French/Dijon mustard… or Horseradish sauce.
  • I find mustard makes the meat salty enough but you can add extra salt and pepper if you wish… use ground if possible.
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic… more if the cloves are small and you love garlic.
  • For lamb I poke sprigs of fresh rosemary in with the garlic.

   How to cook a roast... 

  • Have the meat at room temperature if possible.
  • Cloves of garlic cut into slithers and poked into the meat randomly on both sides.
  • Spread two table spoons of French/Dijon mustard, or Horseradish sauce, over the roast, with a knife.
  • Meat can be put on a rack in the roasting pan, but the juices from these roasts are delicious and you will want to save them to pour over the cooked meat, or the fresh bread!
  • Now back to the cooking... Place the meat into a heavy roasting pan and put into a hot oven… 230⁰C or 450⁰F for 15-20 minutes.
  • Lower the temperature to 175 ⁰C or 350⁰F… (Medium heat) and cook until the meat is to your liking. I like it brown on the outside with some juice dripping through... from the pink center, but if you like it well done cook longer.
  • Remember the meat will continue to cook a little after leaving the oven.
  • Take out of the oven and leave to rest out of oven for 15-20 minutes before carving.
  • Carve across the grain for tender slices.

What's better than thick slices of crunchy olive bread... and really delicious roast beef with mustard?

Crunchy bread with beef.

Just add salad... find a glass of your favorite... and a comfy picnic chair!

   Try a very delicious Roast Pork for one of the best picnic lunch ideas…

  • We like organic, free range pork.
  • Wipe pork with paper towel... to make sure it is dry.
  • Rub olive oil over the skin with your hands.
  • Then rub plenty of salt into the oil on the skin... to make crunchy crackling for this easy picnic lunch idea.
  • Set the hot oven… 230⁰C or 450⁰F ... it can take longer to crackle the skin sometimes.
  • If you have trouble with crackling, just place it under the grille until crackling forms. Just watch that it doesn't burn.
  • Then lower the temperature to Medium until cooked through.

 Another of the yum lunch ideas from easy picnic recipes.

You will have to fight  the family for the crackling!

Ham... or cold chicken from the shop

Ham and cucumber and cheese on thick slices of bread.

 Couldn’t be easier to prepare for lunch!

Sliced ham, especially fresh slices of leg ham... is really very delicious (preferably not from a packet, but freshly cut from the bone)

There are some great butchers near us who use pork from local breeders who really care for the welfare of their pigs, so have excellent products.

These meats for best picnic lunch ideas, will go so well after your easy appetizers... and are so simple.

We have taken many whole chooks from the chicken shop to our picnics too, especially for a last minute picnic.

Chicken with Lemon, Basil and Tarragon, then tossed in Avocado… so delicious!

A picnic lunch with avocado chicken

For these best picnic lunch ideas using a really tasty chicken, you will need...

  • 4-6 Chicken fillets, or a whole chicken
  • 1 good sized lemon
  • ½ Bunch fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried Tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons currants, or dried blueberries
  • Splash of olive oil
  • Pepper and Salt
  • 1 big clove of garlic


  • Cut any fat from the chicken
  • Place chicken in a casserole dish
  • Chop basil and sprinkle over chicken with… Tarragon
  • Crushed garlic
  • Zest from lemon
  • Currants or dried blueberries
  • Squeezed lemon juice
  • Add olive oil... pour over ingredients
  • Cover with a lid or tin foil
  • Cook in 190-200C (375-400F) oven 45-60 minutes
  • Can be eaten hot, but is equally delicious cold
  • Cut into thick slices and pour juices over

You will find this is even tastier if left overnight...

chicken in avocado

 Then just before serving...

Smash an avocado in a bowl with juice of a lemon and pepper and salt... toss chicken in this until well covered.
  This is delicious cold with salads... or on thick crunchy bread...yum!

 A Simple Quiche is very versatile for another of the best picnic lunch ideas

Ingredients for a quiche

Quiche... and Variations

This should serve 4-6 people.

One of the best lunch ideas is a quiche and this is the recipe we use.

This amount is for a 23cm (9”) flan tin.

If you purchase a packet of pastry… follow instructions on packet... but if you like the satisfaction of making pastry yourself for your best picnic lunch ideas, follow the recipe above.

Make sure the pastry is chilled for at least 30min before rolling and pushing into the quiche flan

Filling Ingredients for basic quiche.

  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup chopped bacon
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 ¼ cups milk… or cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup grated tasty matured cheese
  • Pepper and salt to taste


  • Fry bacon and onion until soft and golden
  • Drain on paper towel to remove excess fat
  • Lightly beat eggs and milk (or use cream for yummy rich custard)
  • Add nutmeg and cheese and seasonings… stir in
  • Place bacon and onion on pastry case
  • Gently pour egg milk mixture over bacon and onion
  • Bake in moderate oven 180C/350F for 30-40 minutes, until set

This quiche is equally delicious hot or cold… so handy for your best picnic lunch ideas.

Quiche and salad for a picnic.

Other suggestions below… just add to basic quiche for easy picnic recipes...

Spinach Quiche

  • If using fresh spinach, cook about 1cup
  • Wash spinach and steam for a few minutes
  • Drain really well on paper towel... squeeze juice out... then puree, or chop coarsely
  • Or... use 250 gm frozen spinach
  • Spread, well drained, cool spinach over pastry base with bacon and onion (above)
  • Gently pour egg milk/cream custard over
  • Bake in moderate oven 180C/350F for 30-40 minutes, until set

Tomato and Basil and Zucchini (courgette) Quiche

  • 4 medium tomatoes chopped
  • 300gm finely sliced zucchini
  • Small bunch fresh basil chopped
  • Cook above gently for few minutes…to soften
  • Spread evenly over pastry base
  • Dot pastry case with stoned olives
  • Gently pour egg and milk/cream custard over
  • Bake in moderate oven 180C/350F for 30-40 minutes, until set
A rich and cheesy quiche.

Rich and Cheesy Quiche

  • Bocconcini cheese balls
  • Blue cheese… optional
  • Mozzarella
  • Extra onion
  • Dot pastry case with extra cheeses
  • Gently pour egg milk custard over
  • Bake in moderate oven 180C/350F 30-40 minutes until set

  Quiche is ideal for one of the best picnic lunch ideas and easy to transport.

   Brussels Sprout, Vegetable Bake... a version of Frittata... my friend Jenny's recipe.

You don't like Brussels sprouts?... then you can easily change this bake to something delicious that you do like!


Ingredients for a vegetable bake or frittata.

3 cups of vegetables of your choice... We have used Brussels Sprouts, pumpkin, broccoli, cauliflower, beans and other favorites in this one. Even herbs, including basil, oregano, parsley and fresh thyme. A touch of rosemary, mint, or dill etc would be tasty too... use your favorites!

  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 rashers of bacon cut into chunks
  • 1 good teaspoon each, of mustard and horseradish
  • 1 cup coarsely grated tasty matured cheese... save a tablespoon to sprinkle over
  • 3/4 cup self raising flour (I have used Gluten Free and that was good too)
  • 5 medium eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Lightly grease quiche tin or dish
  • Gently fry bacon and drain on kitchen paper
  • Combine… chopped Brussels Sprouts and other vegetables and onion
  • In a large bowl, lightly whisk eggs, milk and stir in cheese, mustard and horseradish until just combined
  • If you are making half into a gluten free bake... divide the mixture into two amounts and then add different flours to each... keep separate and add half the vegetables to each mixture. 
  • Fold through Brussels sprouts, vegetable mixture and pour into greased quiche dish
  • Sometimes you will have enough mixture to make a couple of muffins as well... just cook for less time.
  • Save a tablespoon of cheese to sprinkle over the top.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes at 180C… until a knife inserted into the center comes out cleanly... don't over cook.
  • Allow to stand for 20 minutes before slicing
  • It's great hot, warm, or cold!

   Serves 6-8 people for one of the best picnic lunch ideas

And here they are, Brussels Sprout, Vegetable Bakes, just out of the oven

Brussels Sprout, Vegetable Bakes, just out of the oven... yum!

One gluten free... Yum!

TOP TIP... I saw this amazingly helpful tip recently and wanted to share it.

A helpful tip...cut a length of silver foil, fold in three
  • When making pies or a bake, cut a length of silver foil... or baking paper... fold in three, length wise and place across the bottom of the buttered dish... butter this too.
  • Take foil up the sides and over the edge. Leave long enough for you to use foil ends as handles.
  • Sometimes you will need more than one band if it is a big pie.
  • Pour the mixture, or place the pastry over the foil and cook as usual.
  • When you are ready to remove the pie, or bake... just lift it carefully with the foil band and place on your plate.
  • If you can remove the foil easily, do so. If not, just tuck it under out of sight.
  • You will still need to cut/ease around the edge of the dish to free the pie... and you will find it easier to move when still warm before the base goes hard and sticks.

Now best picnic lunch ideas should have an
Easy Tomato Tart Recipe to really impress!

Oooh, delicious tomato flan just out of the oven.

To make this for best picnic lunch ideas...

You will need...

  • A whole packet of good puff pastry
  • 3-4 tablespoons of tomato chutney... or tomato paste
  • Thick slices of big tomatoes, or cherry tomatoes cut in halves... enough tomatoes to cover the pastry
  • 2 small jars of Anchovies… or slices of lightly grilled pancetta if you prefer
  • A sprinkle of chili flakes
  • Pepper and Salt
  • A drizzle of garlic olive oil
  • Bunch fresh basil leaves
  • Shaved Parmesan
  • Olives... optional


  • Thaw a whole packet of good puff pastry and lay it out on a baking tray. Roll the edges inwards about an inch/or 3cm
  • Divide pastry into two if you would like two smaller tarts... or a whole lot of smaller squares of pastry for individual tarts.
  • Cover and chill for 30 min
  • Brush a little milk or egg onto the rolled edge.
  • Prick the center of the pastry, crumple grease proof paper and fill with dried beans, or rice, to weigh down when cooking.
  • Follow the instructions on the packet to blind bake it... until just lightly colored... approximately 10-15 min
  • Take the pastry out of the oven, remove paper and weights... put back in oven for 2-3 min to finish light cooking.
Easy Tomato Tart Recipe ready to bake.
  • Let pastry cool a little.
  • Spread tomato chutney over the pastry... just roughly spread.
  • Place sliced tomatoes evenly over this. You will see that I have used cherry tomatoes, (We had so many on the bush in the veggie patch) but big tomatoes are fine to use.
  • Divide Anchovies and place them in rows across the tart... then across the tart the other way to make a pattern.
  • Drizzle with a little garlic olive oil and a small amount of chilies
  • Cook in oven for 25-30min until tomatoes are cooked
  • Remove from oven and let cool. It can be eaten hot or cool.

A slice of tomato flan... so yummy!

To serve...

Scatter with Basil leaves and shaved Parmesan cheese (optional)

Add olives (if you wish), with the basil leaves in a pattern, before serving.

This is really tasty both hot and cold.

Slice into squares or long rectangles.


These lunch ideas... using the best picnic lunch ideas, with easy picnic recipes, will give you a great start with your picnic menu.

Enjoy the latest picnic recipes and valuable hints...

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Join our FREE "Picnic Chatter"

Let’s chat picnics. 

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