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12 Picnic Party Food Ideas

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Have you noticed how eating outdoors seems to make everything taste better? I think it’s something about all the senses being stimulated by nature or maybe it is simply the slowing down to enjoy your dining companions and noticing the food you’re eating!

Whatever it is, summertime is a great season for picnics. We’ve rounded up a dozen great ideas for you to try. No bugs included!

A plate of food on a table, with Picnic and Potluck


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A bowl of food, with Salad and Picnic

1. Avocado Potato Salad Recipe

From The Country Chic Cottage

We are confident that you and your family will adore this great spin on a potato salad recipe! Avocado potato salad is perfect for your upcoming summer parties and picnics! The ingredients are pretty standard for potato salads, but the addition of the avocados adds a little something unexpected and extra delicious.

A close up of a bowl of food, with Salad and Pasta

2. Elbow Macaroni Salad

From Spaceships and Laser Beams

A go-to classic dish for any outdoor event has to be elbow macaroni salad. Made with just a few simple ingredients, your BBQ, picnic or party will not be complete without this delicious addition that is always a crowd favorite.

A cut in half sandwich sitting on top of a piece of cake

3. Copycat Chik-a-Fil Chicken Salad Recipe

From Mom Foodie

Your family will love this copycat Chik-Fil-A chicken salad recipe. It is packed with delicious flavors, and you’d never know from the taste how easy it is to make! It’s a great option for using up leftover cooked and chopped chicken meat too! Just add some chopped celery, boiled egg, sweet pickle relish, mayonnaise, and salt and pepper! Spread it on your favorite slices of whole wheat bread and add some loose leaf lettuce for a great texture.

A plate of food and a cup of coffee, with Picnic

4. Hot Chicken Salad

From Not Just Paper & Paint

Make this hot chicken salad your go-to dish for summer parties and picnics! It’s great for a light lunch with a side of fruit, or can be filling for dinner served with a side salad and bread. You can make it a day ahead and even simplify the recipe using a rotisserie chicken. Winner, winner hot chicken salad dinner!

A cake with fruit on top of a table

5. Picnic Party Food & Printables

From I’m Topsy Turvy

This post about picnic party food is filled with so many great ideas! You’ll feel inspired to host your own picnic party. There are great picnic party food ideas, as well as fun ways to package various menu items. You’ll love the food trays for serving sandwiches and sides and the chevron fry containers that were a great home for potato chips! Plus, check out the clever utensil sets made using cellophane bags. How handy! Don’t miss the free printables labels at the end of the post!

A piece of cake on a plate, with Salad and Ham

6. Ham Salad Recipe

From Ann’s Entitled Life

Sure to please, this recipe for ham salad is simple to make, only requires a few ingredients (minced ham, mayonnaise, sweet relish, pepper), and is perfect for making sandwiches, serving as an hors d’oeuvres, or eating on crackers! It’s an especially great choice for using up leftover ham from Sunday dinner or holiday meals.

A bowl of salad, with Bean and Salsa

7. Black Bean & Corn Salsa

From Mission: to Save

Be the star at your next summer picnic or party! Make up a batch of this black bean and corn salsa and serve with a bag of tortilla chips! Other than some slicing and dicing, prep is really easy! You’ll need cans of black beans and corn, tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, cumin, and lemon juice! Simply follow the easy recipe for picnic food perfection!

A plate of food with broccoli, with Salad and Picnic

8. Yummy Broccoli Salad with Bacon & Cashews

From One Creative Mommy

When life gives you broccoli, you definitely make broccoli salad! This yummy broccoli salad is especially delicious with the addition of bacon and cashews. Serve it up at your next summer potluck or picnic and watch how quickly it disappears! It’s rumored to be the best broccoli salad ever!

Food on a table, with Pie and Apple

9. 4 Bite Apple Pies

From The Kitchen Is My Playground

Get ready for a cookie that is more like a mini pie! These 4 bite apple pies are made from pie crust rounds that are filled with a chunky homemade apple pie filling and then topped with another pie crust round sealed on the edges using a fork. Imagine serving them warm from the oven with a side of ice cream!

A cake with a dessert on a plate, with Blueberry and Trifle

10. Summer Peach Blueberry Trifle Recipe

From Practically Functional

The perfect summer dessert recipe is just a click away! Summer peach blueberry trifle couldn’t be any easier to make and can even be no bake if you purchase ready-made cake! Simply cut and layer fruit, cream, and cake. This recipe is so versatile because any fruit can be substituted to suit various tastes. Trifles can also feed a crowd, making them a great party food!

A plate of food sitting on top of a wooden table, with Salad and Chicken

11. Pasta Salad for a Party

From Bless This Mess

The perfect party salad, or a great recipe for a summer picnic or meal on your back patio, this pasta salad can be assembled in a flash and is filling without leaving you feeling heavy. It’s a perfect highlight of some of summer’s best garden vegetables and fresh herbs. Pair it with pork chops or grilled chicken and add a side of fresh fruit for a complete meal.

A plate of food, with Salad and Picnic

12. Caprese Pasta Salad

From Spaceships and Laser Beams

The warmer weather is perfect for enjoying this simple caprese pasta salad. Filled with fresh mozzerella cheeses, ripe tomatoes and a light balsamic vinegarette dressing, it’s a perfect summer salad. Pack it up for a picnic on the go or as a side dish for a neighborhood block party, this pasta salad will be a hit with everyone!

Bring your favorite picnic food idea to your next outdoor event with these great sources gathered by the crew at Spaceships and Laser Beams.

(Amazon Affiliate Links)

  • Outdoor Picnic Blanket
  • Waterproof Outdoor Blanket
  • Wicker Picnic Basket
  • Picnic Basket for Four
  • Insulated Picnic Basket
  • Glass Food Containers
  • Leak Proof Food Storage
  • Picnic Food Cover

Check out more great ideas for cooking outdoors.

  • New Recipes To Try On The Grill

Plus, don’t miss out on 10 Outdoor Party Ideas We Love

A stack of flyers on a table

Proudly Prepared by the Spaceships Kitchen

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