It's good to have a list going for what to pack for a picnic. The last thing you need once you arrive at your picnic spot is to see you've forgotten something!
Though a good picnic is all about the food, it's not going to be much fun if you don't have plates and utensils, right?
We love this wicker basket with everything you'll need for a small family picnic. It's even insulated!
Use our picnic checklist so you don't forget a thing when hosting your next picnic!
These are the things you just must have for a successful picnic:
Whether you have a real cloth tablecloth (for an elegant picnic), a vinyl washable table cover, or a plastic one from that you can throw away when done, you must have something to put over the picnic table.
If you're planning your picnic for a small group or on the beach, don't forget a picnic blanket.
We like to get two sizes. Medium size plates are great for appetizers like spinach dip and chips and can later be used for dessert. Large plates are perfect for holding that fried chicken and broccoli salad.
This compostable set has everything including utensils and it's a great way to take care of the environment.
If you have a lot of people bringing things, ask them to bring a serving spoon with their dish. You should still have a few serving spoons for those who forget, because they will!
If you're picnic location has grills and you're planning to cook burgers and hot dogs, you'll need those grilling utensils, too.
Keeping hot food warm is fairly easy as long as you keep it covered, but keeping cold food cold is another story.
A cooler filled with ice packs for salads and meats is the best way to keep cold things cold. Meats, poultry, fish, and even potatoes can end up harboring bacteria which can pose a health risk. A bowl with ice or ice-filled appetizer tray are both great options.
Vegetable salads, pasta salads, and fruit salad that can be served at room temperature are the best picnic foods!
Even if there are trash cans in the picnic area, especially if you have a large group, it's a good idea to bring your own trash bag. It will be much easier than running back and forth to the trash can.
Paper towels are an essential item. Wet wipes are a nice touch so guests can wipe off their hands.
Typically the person doing the grilling of burgers and dogs is in charge of the catsup, mustard, mayo, relish, pickles, etc.
Make sure to remind them, and if you're heading up this thing, bonus points if you remember to bring extras!
You know that mom who has several kids and is always busy? Ask her to stop by the grocery store and bring a gallon of iced tea and a gallon of lemonade or a case of cold water bottles. This Lavender Meyer Lemonade is so good.
Once you have a head count, you can plan for how many drinks you'll need. Don't forget a bottle opener and corkscrew for those who bring beer or a bottle of wine!
I love easy picnic food recipes because I can pack it up and take it just about anywhere. I think we have your outing covered for food with this long list of perfect picnic food!
Whether you're planning to get outside for Memorial Day, the 4th of July, Labor Day, a fun summer gathering, or even need easy picnic food recipes for two, you'll find a bunch of recipes here to make your life easier!
And now for the easy picnic food! This list begins with appetizers, but scroll down for main dishes, side dishes, and lots of delicious desserts that are all picnic-friendly!
90+ Easy Recipes
These are tried and true easy picnic food recipes from my favorite food bloggers. Whether you're looking for cold picnic recipes or something to put on the grill, you'll have so many choices on this list.
For a morning or early afternoon picnic, a breakfast charcuterie board would be fun!
I'm hoping having this list helps you have a marvelous day with your family and friends! Enjoy!
Spinach Dip Recipe
Black Olive Tapenade
How to Make Charcuterie Cones
Watermelon Salsa Recipe
Little Smokies Recipe
Vegan Hummus Recipe
Individual 6 Layer Dip Cups
Authentic Mexican Salsa Recipe with Fresh Tomatoes
Summer Charcuterie Board
Oven Baked French Dip Sliders
Cast Iron Chicken Thighs with Citrus & Cilantro
Shrimp & Pineapple Skewers Perfect for Hot Summer Nights!
Italian Pressed Picnic Sandwich
Pressed Italian Sandwiches with Olive Tapenade
Honey Bourbon Grilled Chicken Thighs
Veggie Kabobs With Halloumi
Skillet Fried Chicken
Summer Picnic Roll
Grilled Naan Chicken Salad Wraps with Cherry Salsa!
Paneer Tikka (Made in Oven or StoveTop)
Italian Dressing Chicken
Hot Dog Toppings Ideas
Easy Grilled Fajita Burgers with Guacamole
Grilled Chicken Wraps
One Pan Mexican Quinoa
Quinoa Chickpea Salad Recipe
Easy Greek Orzo Salad Recipe
Delicious Pizza Salad Recipe
Broccoli Salad Recipe
My Mom’s Potato Salad
Perogy Potato Salad
Pesto Tortellini Pasta Salad — Salt & Baker
Pasta and Pea Salad
Coleslaw Orzo Salad
Bacon Deviled Eggs
Healthy Egg Salad with Dill
Creamy Mac and Cheese Recipe
Mexican Fruit Salad
Cold Peanut Noodle Salad
Food Truck Hawaiian Macaroni Salad
Creamy Avocado Pasta Salad
Hummus Pasta Salad
Cucumber Caprese Salad Recipe
Strawberry Spinach Salad with Feta (VIDEO) - Key To My Lime
Carrot Mint Salad with Honey Lime Dressing
Easy Southern Grape Salad
Creamy Vegan Potato Salad
Mediterranean Tuna Antipasto Salad
The Best Homemade Chicken Salad!
Corn and Quinoa Caprese Salad
Zesty Summer Pasta Salad Recipe
No Mayo Coleslaw
Cucumber and Cream Cheese Sandwich Rolls
Creamy Pasta Salad
Black Bean and Corn Salad
Mediterranean Orzo Salad
White Bean & Cabbage Slaw with Apples & Cider Vinaigrette
Green Goddess Cobb Salad
Coleslaw Pasta Salad
Vegan Pasta Salad
Bacon Balsamic Macaroni Salad
Asian Ramen Noodle Salad
Orzo and Chicken Salad Recipe
Pesto Pasta Salad
Pickle Slaw with Bacon
Fresh Peach Salsa Recipe
10-Minute Pineapple Salsa Recipe
Spicy Mango Salsa
Best Key Lime Pie Recipe
Peanut Butter Brownies
Ladybug Picnic Cupcakes
Healthy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Easy Butter Pecan Cookie Bar Recipe
Easy Churro Cheesecake Bars
Lemon Lime Cupcakes
Blue Moon Boozy Cupcakes
Strawberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Patriotic S’mores Brownies
Patriotic Popcorn Crunch: Red, White & Blue Snack Fun!
Homemade Brownies with Raspberry Frosting
Apricot-Cherry Slab Pie
Easy Biscoff Flapjack
Red, White, & Blue Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries
Patriotic Layered Smoothie Recipe for the 4th of July
Red White and Blue Popsicles (Aka Firecracker Popsicles or Bomb Pops)
No-Bake Caramel Oat Bites Recipe
Double Chocolate Pecan Bars
Salted Peanut Bars
Chocolate Orange Madeleines
Homemade Peanut Butter Cups
Blueberry-Lemon Angel Food Cake Recipe
Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies
When planning, most people aren't prepared to tell the host what they will be bringing a month out. However, asking if they will be bringing either a dessert, a dip, or a salad is expected, so ask! There's nothing worse than have 25 desserts and potato salad!
A roll of plastic wrap is good to have. Though everyone will bring covered dishes, the wrap could get thrown away or blow away, so it's good to be prepared.
Make sure you have LOTS of ice! I can't tell you the number of times I've been to a party where someone has had to go out for ice. That friend who is always late? Ask them to do you one favor and bring a bag of ice!
Designate a couple of coolers for of canned or bottled drinks and one dedicated to ice just for drinks, equipped with an ice scoop.
Have lots of disposable cups available along with a Sharpie so people can put their names on their cups.
Especially in the evening, bug spray is essential in the great outdoors.
For a special treat for the adults, give a couple of people the recipes for this spiked Peach Arnold Palmer cocktail!