Picnic Finger Foods For Eating Outdoors With No Utensils
As fun as picnics might be, let’s face it: they can be a real pain to organize and enjoy. Even though the idea of enjoying a meal in the great outdoors and in picturesque nature may sound fun, battling the elements and eating your food outside while sitting on the ground or a camp chair can be messy and uncomfortable even in the best of times.
Enter: finger foods! Rather than stressing about the logistics and having to bring along your entire cutlery cabinet, planning a picnic using handheld finger foods is a great way to more comfortably enjoy your food and the company of your loved ones.
These plant-based picnic finger foods are easy to enjoy with zero utensils and no fuss, so you can soak up the sun and enjoy the great outdoors to the fullest.
Vegan Kabobs with Eggplant, Tofu, and Butternut Squash
Kabobs are a handheld staple for summer parties and outdoor picnics, and you don’t have to miss out on the grilling fun if you don’t eat meat. This recipe uses cubed eggplants, butternut squash, and tofu that are strung onto skewers, marinaded in a savory miso sauce, and thrown onto the grill. It’s a fun vegan alternative to a popular picnic favorite and is nutritious to boot!
Vegan Tea Sandwiches
Light, dainty, and airy, tea sandwiches are the quintessential finger foods, perfectly paired with tea or coffee (or whatever other fancy beverage you’re serving at your picnic). This recipe covers three different finger sandwiches to diversify your spread: a classic cucumber sandwich, a sweet onion & hummus option, and a roasted pepper & pesto sandwich. Make sure to use light, airy white bread sliced thin to keep these hors d’eovures perfectly bite-sized.
Few foods are as synonymous with “finger foods” as chips! If you’re looking to satisfy your craving for crunchy, flavor-packed junk food but don’t want to sacrifice your health goals in the process, Peatos is the perfect option. These plant-based chips are made with smarter ingredients but just as much flavor as your favorite brand of chips so that you can snack to your heart’s content.
Grilled Pineapple and Tofu Kebabs
Another kebab option, but this one has a sweet and tangy twist! It’s built with a variety of colorful vegetables, plus pineapple for that extra burst of summery sweetness, then grilled with a delicious vegan barbecue sauce for all those classic summer grilling flavors you love minus the animal-based products.
Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms
Stuffed mushrooms are a tried-and-true party favorite, and they do very well as a satisfying handheld picnic food. This vegan version of the classic recipe is made with vegan parmesan cheese, panko bread crumbs, and grated carrot to make it suitable for everyone in attendance no matter what their dietary restrictions are.
Baked Jalapeno Poppers
For a healthy twist on a spicy favorite, consider making baked jalapeno poppers with plant-based ingredients! Instead of the typical heavy dairy products and the deep frying, this jalapeno popper recipe is crafted with vegan alternatives and roasted in the oven for a lighter, vegan-friendly alternative that’s just as satisfying at the original.
Cucumber Roll Hors D’oeuvres
For a picturesque appetizer and your fanciest tea parties or picnics, whip up these beautiful cucumber rolls! You’ll need to use a mandolin or a very thin knife to cut a cucumber lengthwise into very thin slices. Then you’ll roll them up and fill them with a creamy avocado spread to pull it altogether. It’s a beautiful and crowd-pleasing appetizer that’s suited for your nicest occasions but will do just as nicely for a pretty picnic in the sun.
Vegan Deviled “Eggs”
Deviled eggs are a quintessential finger food during most parties and outdoor cookouts, but eggs are obviously not a great choice for every eater. Enter: deviled potatoes! This twist takes all those tangy flavors you love from deviled eggs but uses potatoes and hummus instead of eggs for a nutritious vegan alternative that everyone can enjoy.
Crispy Polenta Fries
Polenta fries are a luxe upgrade to your regular potato fries, and they’re surprisingly easy to make. You’ll need polenta (aka cornmeal), oats for breading, and a variety of spices. Once cooked, you can chill, toss into an oven, and bake for a crispy and delicious finger food appetizer. This recipe also pairs the polenta fries with an addictive cashew-garlic dip that’ll have your guests reaching for more.
Vegan Chocolate Croissants
Mini pastries are a great option for light and satisfying desserts, and these vegan chocolate croissants don’t disappoint. They’re made without butter, and the best part is that they take less than five minutes to prep as long as you have some puff pastry ready!
Savory Vegan Cajun Hand Pies
It’s all in the name: hand pies are an awesome entree option for handheld picnic foods. This recipe is made using a chicken alternative and a variety of spicy, savory cajun spices, all nestled into a golden puff pastry for a hand pie that packs a major flavor punch … zero forks, knives, or spoons required.
Vegan Spinach Artichoke Cups
Creamy spinach-and-artichoke dips are super satisfying snacks, and this recipe takes those favorite flavors and turns them into a convenient, bite-sized appetizer perfect for your gatherings. They’re also pretty easy to make: just fill up mini pastry shells with your artichoke-spinach mixture, toss in the oven, and you’ll have a new favorite party appetizer in minutes.
Carrot Bacon Apple Bites
If you’re in the mood to tackle a showstopping appetizer that’s as aesthetically pleasing as it is delicious, give these carrot “bacon” apple bites a try! You’ll need to make carrot “bacon” by peeling and marinating thinly sliced carrots, then baking or air frying to get the right texture. Once that’s done, you can start assembling your bites with apple slices, vegan cream cheese, and a balsamic glaze, then wrapping it with your carrot bacon. It’s going to take a bit of work, but it’s definitely one to impress your guests!
Wild Garlic Pesto Pinwheels
Flaky, garlicky, and really easy to make … does it get any better than this? These pinwheels are flavored with wild garlic pesto and homemade Cashew parmesan, all enclosed in a roll of puff pastry dough. It’s an incredibly flavorful finger food that’s perfect for outdoor eating -- just make sure to bring some gum or mints for after!
If you’re throwing a picnic and don’t want to deal with a ton of mess, finger foods are an easy solution. These plant-based foods are twists on classic favorites so that you and all of your loved ones can enjoy your time in the great outdoors with less mess and utensils.
Photo by Анна Галашева: https://www.pexels.com/photo/cherries-2852438/