Beach Picnic Ideas

When you’re in the mood for good times, fun in the sun, and sand in your toes, nothing hits the spot quite like spending time on the beach on a sunny, breezy day. 

The only thing that could make this scene even more perfect? A delicious picnic, of course! 

Throwing a picnic is a ton of fun, but there are also plenty of logistical things to think about to pull it off. Namely, you want to make sure that you prep foods ahead of time and that they stay good while they’re being transported to the beach during your trip. It’s also a good idea to bring along foods that are best enjoyed with few utensils since outdoor picnics are notoriously tricky to enjoy without benches or tables. And of course, you want to make sure that your food choices are delicious! 

We’ve gathered some ideas for the best beach picnic foods that you can prep before you go, which means more time at the beach spent soaking up the sun with your favorite people. Bonus points: these recipes are also plant-based and vegan-friendly! 

14 Delicious, vegan-friendly beach picnic foods 

Balsamic Bruschetta

    There’s something just so summery about a good bruschetta, especially if you’re using high-quality, sun-ripened tomatoes and plenty of fresh flavors. This particular bruschetta recipe is also super easy to whip up and take with you on your beach forays: simply chop up some basil, fresh tomatoes, red onions, garlic, and mix it up with salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil, and you’re good to go. Don’t forget to bring along slices of your favorite crusty bread to really make this picnic appetizer pop! 

    Pesto Pasta Salad

      Bright, zingy pasta salads are the perfect dish for a picnic, whether they’re the side or the main character. No oil! We love this recipe because it’s packed with nutritious plant-based faves like vegan pesto, chickpeas, and roasted veggies, plus it doesn’t have any oil which makes it perfect for anyone watching their dietary fat intake. 

      Fun and Festive Fruit Skewers

      When it comes to outdoor picnics, when it’s way easier to forget the utensils and eat with your hands, you can’t go wrong with skewers. These fruit skewers are designed to be festive, gorgeous, and delicious, and you can add your favorite chocolate and fruit dips to sweeten the deal. In other words, it’s the perfect healthy beach picnic food!

      Hummus Pinwheels

        Pinwheels are an awesome picnic food for good reason. They’re filling and substantial, but they’re also neat enough to hold in your hands and enjoy with minimal utensils, unlike heftier sandwiches and wraps. This one is uber-flavorful and packed with hummus, sun-dried tomatoes, and other fresh veggies to satisfy everyone in attendance at your beach picnic. 

        Peatos 

          Sometimes, the best beach picnic food is as simple as a good bag of crunchy, ultra-flavorful chips. Unfortunately, junk food just doesn’t always fit the bill, especially if you’re vegan or trying to eat healthier …. unless you’re eating Peatos, that is! Peatos reinvents your favorite chips with a cleaner plant-based recipe that definitely doesn’t take away from the utter indulgence of enjoying a delicious bag of chips on the beach. 

          Vegan Charcuterie Board 

            In our humble opinion, no Insta-worthy beach picnic is complete without a gorgeous charcuterie board. They also make a ton of sense for outdoor eating, when some of your guests may prefer to be grazing rather than enjoying a full-on meal! This spread is completely vegan and packed with a variety of plant-based snacks.

            Watermelon Lemonade 

              What’s the beach without watermelon? Take advantage of those bright, refreshing flavors and mix them in with another outdoor favorite: lemonade! This easy recipe is sweet, tart, and requires only a handful of ingredients that you can quickly blend together before hitting the road. 

              Peach Berry Fruit Salad

                Don’t settle for a boring grocery store fruit salad for your beach picnic! This bright and zingy twist on fruit salads is full of fresh flavors and is way more exciting than the standard fruit mixes, especially when you consider the drool-worthy lime dressing it’s tossed in! Just make sure to omit the honey and use agave instead to keep it fully vegan-friendly. 

                Vegan Cherry Garcia Ice Cream

                  What’s a beach picnic without ice cream? This recipe takes the fan-favorite cherry and chocolate flavor combo and makes it suitable for plant-based picnics. Just make sure to keep it in a cooler with plenty of ice so that it stays good until you’re ready to enjoy.

                  Guacamole 

                    No party is complete without chips and dip, which means that your beach picnic is the perfect opportunity to throw together a fresh and zesty guacamole. Make sure to bring a variety of dippable goodies like Peatos, fresh veggies, and pita chips to keep the spread interesting.

                    Blueberry Hand Pies 

                      When it comes to picnics, “handheld” is the name of the game, which means that these blueberry hand pies are the perfect dessert to enjoy while watching the waves and soaking up the rays. They’re made with fresh blueberries and a flaky, delicious homemade crust that’ll have your guests begging for the recipe. 

                      Thai Vegetable Coconut Wraps 

                        Fresh, colorful wraps are another great beach picnic option since they’re fairly easy to eat and can definitely fill you up for the rest of your leisurely afternoon -- plus they’re super easy to make ahead of time, which is always a plus when you’re planning a party. This Thai-inspired version features plenty of fresh, crunchy veggies and herbs plus a delicious dipping sauce for even more delicious flavor. 

                        Strawberry Lemon Bars

                          There’s something about the tart and sweet combination of strawberries and lemons that just screams “fun in the sun.” So we love the idea of putting all of those delicious flavors into a dessert bar that’s best enjoyed on the beach! These bars are also both vegan and paleo-friendly, which means that your friends and loved ones can enjoy the delicious flavors guilt-free. 

                          Herby Chickpea Salad Sandwiches 

                            Aka the “Spring Goddess Sandwich,” this showstopping sandwich is beautiful, delicious, and very nutritious -- everything you could ever want out of a picnic food! It’s packed to the brim with fresh vegetables, sprouts, and a savory chickpea salad, all nestled into your bread or bagel of choice (and can you even imagine how delicious all these flavors would be in an everything bagel?). It’s a big, beautiful, and healthy sandwich that’ll leave you super satisfied. 

                            Conclusion

                            Spending plenty of time on the beach is good for the soul, and the only thing that can make it any better is sharing a gorgeous, delicious picnic with some of your favorite people. 

                            Photo by Dziana Hasanbekava: https://www.pexels.com/photo/young-couple-having-picnic-on-sandy-beach-6401656/