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Picnics can be great fun. Chilling on a blanket with friends or family and eating al fresco is a great way to spend a sunny afternoon. You don’t need to fuss over pots and pans on the stove or sweat over a hot oven. There are some great picnic recipes you can make in advance and pack them in your picnic basket. They’re always delicious and worth making and even if it starts to rain, they taste just as good served indoors!

Pressed Italian Picnic Sandwiches

Overhead view of a basket of pressed Italian sandwiches.
Pressed Italian Picnic Sandwiches. Photo credit: Pressed Italian Picnic Sandwiches.

Not just for picnics, pressed Italian sandwiches are a delicious lunch option that brings authentic flavors of Italy to your taste buds. With their incredible flavors and portability, these sandwiches are perfect for indulging in an Italian culinary experience anytime, anywhere.
Get the Recipe: Pressed Italian Picnic Sandwiches

Italian Panzanella Salad

Italian panzanella salad in a large bowl.
Italian Panzanella Salad. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

Panzanella salad is a refreshing summer side dish that combines juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, and chunks of crusty bread, all tossed in a tangy vinaigrette. It’s the perfect accompaniment to grilled meats and a delightful way to enjoy the flavors of the season.
Get the Recipe: Italian Panzanella Salad

Tomatillo Red Chili Salsa

Homemade red salsa in a bowl with a tortilla chip in it.
Tomatillo Red Chili Salsa – Copycat Chipotle Hot Salsa. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

Make your own fresh tomatillo red chili salsa with this easy copycat Chipotle recipe that’s perfect as a snack or appetizer with chips or crackers, and goes great with steak, chicken, or any south of the border inspired meal.
Get the Recipe: Tomatillo Red Chili Salsa

5 Layer Bean Dip

5 Layer bean dip in a glass dish.
Mexican 5 Layer Bean Dip with Ground Beef. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

This Mexican layered dip with ground beef is a crowd-pleasing appetizer that can be enjoyed on any occasion. Its layers of pinto beans, ground beef, tequila lime sour cream, pico de gallo, and cheese make it a flavorful and satisfying treat.
Get the Recipe: 5 Layer Bean Dip

Italian Rice Salad – Insalata di Riso

Italian rice salad in a large bowl.
Italian Rice Salad – Insalata di Riso. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

This colourful, flavourful Italian rice salad is perfect for a picnic, potluck, summer BBQ, or as a versatile side dish for a simple lunch or dinner. Every mouthful of this Mediterranean brown rice salad is bursting with fresh ingredients such as tasty salad vegetables.
Get the Recipe: Italian Rice Salad – Insalata di Riso

Bloody Mary Deviled Eggs

A platter full of deviled eggs.
Bloody Mary Deviled Eggs. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

Loaded deviled eggs such as these Bloody Mary eggs are always a welcome part of the BBQ, cookout, or picnic table. They’re also a handy snack at any time since you can make these unique gourmet deviled eggs ahead.
Get the Recipe: Bloody Mary Deviled Eggs

Strawberry Shortcake in a Jar

Strawberry shortcake in a jar.
Strawberry Shortcake in a Jar. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

You don’t need many different ingredients for this mini dessert, and it’s a nice easy recipe to showcase fresh strawberries. Served in a mini mason jar, this individually sized dessert is perfect to pack in a picnic.
Get the Recipe: Strawberry Shortcake in a Jar

Antipasto Skewers

Antipasto skewers on a platter.
Antipasto Skewers. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

Impress your guests with easy-to-make antipasto skewers, perfect for any occasion! Made with classic Italian flavors, these crowd-pleasing bites are ideal for parties, picnics, and more.
Get the Recipe: Antipasto Skewers

Hot Italian Sliders

Sliders with deli meats and cheeses on a platter.
Hot Italian Sliders. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

Spice up your next gathering with hot Italian sliders – the perfect appetizer for tailgating or backyard picnics! Made with slider rolls, deli meats, and cheeses, these mini sandwiches are a crowd-pleaser. Don’t forget the marinara dipping sauce for an extra kick of flavor!
Get the Recipe: Hot Italian Sliders

Bacon Steak Wraps

A steak wrap cut in half on a plate.
Bacon Steak Wraps. Photo credit: Bacon Steak Wraps.

Enjoy a rich and hearty lunch with these bacon steak wraps featuring a homemade blue cheese dressing. Add add your favorite ingredients for a personalized touch to this easy-to-make lunch.
Get the Recipe: Bacon Steak Wraps

Atlantic Canada Lobster Roll

A basket with a lobster roll and some potato chips.
Atlantic Canada Lobster Roll. Photo credit: Atlantic Canada Lobster Roll.

Indulge in the taste of the Atlantic with this flavor-packed lobster roll recipe, perfect for seafood lovers. The combination of lobster tail meat with garlic, shallot, hot pepper, dill, and lemon creates a mouthwatering filling that’s best served in a buttery or split-top hot dog bun.
Get the Recipe: Atlantic Canada Lobster Roll

Smoked Potato Salad with Bacon

Smoked potato salad in a wooden bowl.
Smoked Potato Salad with Bacon. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

This recipe for smoked potato salad with bacon combines the smoky flavors of potatoes and hard-boiled eggs, making it an ideal dish for summer gatherings and barbecues that will surely impress your guests. Go ahead and add this to your list of the best summer side dish recipes!
Get the Recipe: Smoked Potato Salad with Bacon

Muffaletta Sandwich

A homemade muffaletta sandwich on a table.
Muffaletta Sandwich. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

Savor the deliciousness of a homemade muffaletta sandwich, featuring a flavorful olive spread, deli meats, and cheese. With a simple recipe that you can make at home, this satisfying sandwich is sure to become a culinary highlight that will impress even the heartiest of appetites.
Get the Recipe: Muffaletta Sandwich

Watermelon Feta Cucumber Salad

Overhead view of a watermelon feta cucumber salad on a large platter.
Watermelon Feta Cucumber Salad. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

This refreshing watermelon feta cucumber salad is a colorful and easy-to-make side dish that brings together sweet, savory, and tangy flavors inspired by Greek cuisine. With only 4 ingredients for the salad and 3 for the dressing, this easy salad recipe is quick and easy to make.
Get the Recipe: Watermelon Feta Cucumber Salad

Avocado Herb Green Goddess Dip

Side view of avocado herb green dip with vegatbles on the side.
Avocado Herb Green Goddess Dip. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

Whether you want to dip veggie sticks, melba toast, chips, crackers, or something else, this avocado herb green goddess dip is really good. Pair it with a vegetable board or charcuterie platter and enjoy the fresh flavours in every mouthful.
Get the Recipe: Avocado Herb Green Goddess Dip

Italian Stromboli Recipe

Italian stromboli on a plate.
Italian Stromboli Recipe. Photo credit: Italian Stromboli Recipe.

Experience the taste of true Italian flavors with this authentic stromboli recipe, originating from South Philly where Italian immigrants first created this Italian-American dish. With its combination of deli meats, cheese, and rich Italian flavors rolled into a delicious sandwich, this easy-to-make stromboli is a great way to spice up any pizza night.
Get the Recipe: Italian Stromboli Recipe

Chunky Guacamole

A large bowl of homemade guacamole.
Chunky Guacamole. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

This chunky guacamole recipe is a delicious and easy-to-make dish that can be customized to suit your taste preferences. Made with avocados, tomatoes, green onions, chilies, lime juice, and cilantro, it is a perfect addition to any meal.
Get the Recipe: Chunky Guacamole

Garden Veggie Macaroni Salad

A vegetable pasta salad in a wood serving bowl.
Garden Veggie Macaroni Salad. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

For a colorful and healthy lunch or side dish, try this garden veggie macaroni salad with a creamy avocado dressing. The garlic, horseradish, and avocado dressing pairs perfectly with the pasta and veggies, creating a fresh and flavorful salad that is sure to impress.
Get the Recipe: Garden Veggie Macaroni Salad

Smoked Italian Pasta Salad

Smoked pasta salad in a bowl.
Smoked Italian Pasta Salad. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

Add some smoky flavour to your favorite pasta salad with this delicious smoked Italian pasta salad recipe. Packed with pepperoni, salami, mozzarella cheese, and a pepperoncini dressing, it’s the perfect dish for your summer BBQ.
Get the Recipe: Smoked Italian Pasta Salad

Easy Pink Beetroot Hummus

Above view of pink hummus with crackers.
Easy Pink Beetroot Hummus. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

This healthy and colourful appetizer is a nice change from a classic hummus recipe. Roasted beets and tahini are the star ingredients of this easy pink beetroot hummus recipe. This homemade hummus is the perfect dip or healthy spread for any occasion.
Get the Recipe: Easy Pink Beetroot Hummus

Italian Tuna White Bean Salad

A large bowl of tuna bean salad.
Italian Tuna White Bean Salad. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

Simple ingredients combine to make this Tuscan classic. Juicy fresh tuna pairs with beans for a Tuscan tuna white bean salad everyone will enjoy. It makes a tasty meal, whatever the season.
Get the Recipe: Italian Tuna White Bean Salad

Heirloom Tomato Burrata Caprese Salad

Overhead view of a heirloom tomato and burrata salad.
Heirloom Tomato Burrata Caprese Salad. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

This authentic Italian burrata caprese salad is a delicious side dish or appetizer that features heirloom tomatoes and creamy burrata cheese, with balsamic vinegar and truffle salt for added flavor. With every bite, you’ll savor the delicious flavors of this simple yet impressive dish.
Get the Recipe: Heirloom Tomato Burrata Caprese Salad

Picnic Basket Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Fried chicken on a plate
Picnic Basket Buttermilk Fried Chicken. Photo credit: Noshing with the Nolands.

Super crispy double-dipped buttermilk fried chicken. The kind that you see everyone makes on TV and that makes you drool.
Get the Recipe: Picnic Basket Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Easy Pasta Salad with Creamy Basil Dressing

Vegetable pasta salad on a white plate
Easy Pasta Salad with Creamy Basil Dressing. Photo credit: Salted Mint.

This easy pasta salad is tossed with the easiest, creamiest basil dressing and topped with all the best things from a late summer harvest. Juicy peaches and fresh tomatoes, sweet corn and creamy avocado and crunchy green beans all tossed into a bowl with bowtie pasta for the perfect summer meal.
Get the Recipe: Easy Pasta Salad with Creamy Basil Dressing

Simple Rainbow Tomato Bruschetta with Grilled Halloumi Cheese

Bruchetta with rainbow vegetables
Simple Rainbow Tomato Bruschetta with Grilled Halloumi Cheese. Photo credit: Salted Mint.

This simple tomato bruschetta is the perfect (make ahead) appetiser bursting with fresh Italian flavours of juicy cherry tomatoes, bright fresh basil and sweet and tangy balsamic vinegar. It’s all topped onto golden crusty bread and smoky grilled halloumi cheese. The perfect (easy) show stopping appetiser or snack.
Get the Recipe: Simple Rainbow Tomato Bruschetta with Grilled Halloumi Cheese

Grape Salad

Grape salad in a bowl with nuts on top
Grape Salad. Photo credit: Julies Eats and Treats.

Creamy Grape Salad is a classic Midwestern recipe that everyone loves for a side dish. Bursting with juicy fresh grapes in a sweet and tangy cream cheese dressing that’s sprinkled with brown sugar and pecans. It’s makes the perfect easy side for a potluck, summer picnic or party!
Get the Recipe: Grape Salad

Classic Turkey Club

Turkey deli meat with bacon, lettuce and tomato stacked on toasted bread
Classic Turkey Club. Photo credit: Sugar and Soul.

Stack turkey, bacon, lettuce and tomato to make this classic club sandwich. It makes a great picnic sandwich that packs well and hits the spot, no matter where you enjoy it.
Get the Recipe: Classic Turkey Club

Texas Cowboy Caviar Dip

Cowboy caviar dip and tortilla chips.
Texas Cowboy Caviar Dip. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

Despite its name, this Texan recipe doesn’t actually contain any fish or caviar, but it’s a delicious and colorful appetizer that’s perfect for summer barbecues, and a great option for those looking for a vegan Southwest-style dip or a bean and corn salsa.
Get the Recipe: Texas Cowboy Caviar Dip

Cold Veggie Pizza

Vegetable pizza on crescent roll crust
Cold Veggie Pizza. Photo credit: Scratch Market.

Use crescent rolls to make this cold veggie pizza for a delicious picnic option. The flaky crust is delicious paired with the creamy sauce and crisp, fresh veggies.
Get the Recipe: Cold Veggie Pizza

Bacon Blue Cheese Pasta Salad

Pasta salad with dressing, broccoli, bacon and blue cheese crumbles in a bowl with a spoon
Bacon Blue Cheese Pasta Salad. Photo credit: Nibble and Dine.

Bacon and blue cheese are perfect partners to make an extra tasty summer salad. This recipe has a medley of flavors in the mix for a fresh food option for your next picnic.
Get the Recipe: Bacon Blue Cheese Pasta Salad

Falafel Pita Pockets

Falafel, cucumbers, tomatoes and onions inside of a pita
Falafel Pita Pockets. Photo credit: Non Guilty Pleasures.

Tuck tasty falafel into pita pockets for the perfect picnic food. This healthy option is just the thing to pack in your basket for a tasty meal outside.
Get the Recipe: Falafel Pita Pockets

Caprese Pasta Salad

Fresh pasta, tomatoes, mozzarella and basil on a plate with a fork
Caprese Pasta Salad. Photo credit: In the Kitch.

Bring caprese flavor to pasta salad for a cool and refreshing meal that is so fresh, you are going to want to enjoy it with someone special on a picnic.
Get the Recipe: Caprese Pasta Salad

Zesty Tex Mex Chicken Pasta Salad

A pasta salad in a large wood bowl on a table.
Zesty Tex Mex Chicken Pasta Salad. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

Try this Tex Mex chicken pasta salad that combines the best of all worlds – a southwest pasta salad with chicken. Bursting with color and flavor, this salad is perfect for a BBQ or as a flavorful side dish option. You will agree this one of the best summer side dish recipes!
Get the Recipe: Zesty Tex Mex Chicken Pasta Salad

Zesty Italian Pasta Salad

Pasta salad with mozarella cheese, fresh tomatoes, olives and salami chunks
Zesty Italian Pasta Salad. Photo credit: Rich and Delish.

Pasta salad packs easily for a picnic and this recipe brings plenty of zesty flavors. You will love the homemade dressing paired with creamy mozzarella pearls.
Get the Recipe: Zesty Italian Pasta Salad

Lemon Orzo Pasta with Asparagus and Feta

Orzo pasta salad topped with asparagus, feta cheese and peas.
Lemon Orzo Pasta with Asparagus and Feta. Photo credit: Spig and Spoon.

This pasta salad has so many delicious flavors combined into one dish. With pasta, lemon and asparagus, this is a filling picnic option that everyone will enjoy.
Get the Recipe: Lemon Orzo Pasta with Asparagus and Feta

Mexican Three Bean Salad

Green beans, black beans and garbanzo beans in a white bowl with a fork
Mexican Three Bean Salad. Photo credit: Tasting Page.

Pick your favorite three beans and mix them together to make this salad. It packs nicely for a picnic and has the best blend of spice ad a tangy kick of lime juice.
Get the Recipe: Mexican Three Bean Salad

Macaroni Salad with Frozen Peas

Macaroni noodles, peas, onions and creamy dressing in a bowl
Macaroni Salad with Frozen Peas. Photo credit: Mama Likes to Cook.

Classic macaroni salad is always a really good picnic dish. The frozen peas in this recipe help keep the salad cool as you transport it, and they offer such a vibrant color.
Get the Recipe: Macaroni Salad with Frozen Peas

Smoked Tuna Dip

Smoked tuna dip in a bowl served with carrot sticks and crackers.
Smoked Tuna Dip. Photo credit: Simple Living Recipes.

This recipe starts out like your classic tuna salad with mayo and tuna, but the addition of liquid smoke makes this so good! Serve with crackers, bread or veggies for a really great picnic food to share.
Get the Recipe: Smoked Tuna Dip

Layered Brunch Salad

Layered salad of tomatoes, berries, bagels, lettuce and bacon in a bowl
Layered Brunch Salad. Photo credit: Made in a Pinch.

Make a layered salad that has a little bit of everything in it with this brunch salad. It has blueberries, bacon, nuts and even chunks of tasty bagels in the mix for a healthy and filling meal idea.
Get the Recipe: Layered Brunch Salad

Smoked Salmon Sandwiches

Bread with cream cheese, greens, smoked salmon and capers
Smoked Salmon Sandwiches. Photo credit: Where Is My Spoon.

Layer cream cheese, smoked salmon and capers on your favorite bread to make these elegant and easy open faced sammy’s for your next outdoor meal.
Get the Recipe: Smoked Salmon Sandwiches

Truffle Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs with truffles on a serving plate
Truffle Deviled Eggs. Photo credit: Burrata and Bubbles.

Deviled eggs are always a good idea but this recipe makes them extra tasty with the addition of truffles. Everyone will love the eartly flavor of this easy picnic food.
Get the Recipe: Truffle Deviled Eggs

The Best Egg Salad Sandwiches

Egg salad sandwiches served on crossiants with lettuce
The Best Egg Salad Sandwiches. Photo credit: Simply Stacie.

You can’t go wrong with a classic offering like egg salad. This recipe makes the best recipe, hands down! It has a fluffy, creamy texture that everyone will love.
Get the Recipe: The Best Egg Salad Sandwiches

Avocado Ranch Hummus Wraps

Avocado and veggies served in a wrap on a cutting board
Avocado Ranch Hummus Wraps. Photo credit: Modern Honey.

Avocado and hummus are a great combination for these wraps. They are loaded with healthy veggies and have a delicious kick of ranch flavor to make them completely cravable.
Get the Recipe: Avocado Ranch Hummus Wraps

Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti is a Canadian-based syndicated food, travel, and lifestyle writer, photographer, and creator at xoxoBella. She founded xoxoBella in 2015, where she shares her love for food, dogs, sustainability, fitness, crafts, outdoor adventures, travel, and philanthropy to encourage others to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places, and stand for a cause. Bella creates stress-free and family-friendly recipes for weeknight dinners and festive feasts.


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