Picnic Food Ideas For Throwing The Perfect Outdoor Party
Who doesn’t love a good picnic?
If you’re looking for recipe inspiration for throwing the ultimate party in the outdoors, we’ve rounded up some of the best vegan picnic food ideas for every occasion so that you and your guests can dine in style.
Appetizers and light bites
Creamy, tangy, and delicious, spinach-artichoke dip is a crowd-pleasing party favorite that gets a major vegan upgrade in this recipe. Make sure to grab plenty of crusty bread -- you’re going to need it!
Texas Caviar, aka “Cowboy Caviar,” is a super-nutritious salsa packed with beans, corn, and veggies, all topped with generous amounts of cilantro and lime.
These skewers take your favorite antipasto flavors (think tangy olives, salty cheeses, and complex cured meats) and turns them into a convenient and plant-based appetizer that’s perfect for picnics. Even better: you don’t have to cook them at all, just skewer and go!
If you’re in the mood for crunchy, indulgent junk food but don’t want to put your health or your plant-based priorities on the back burner, Peatos is a great option. These plant-based snacks are just as delicious and addictive as your favorite junk food chips but made with thoughtful ingredients so you can snack with zero guilt.
No picnic is complete without a gorgeous spread! This vegan appetizer platter is chock-full of delicious plant-based favorites like hummus and almond cheese, and it’s customizable enough that you can include all of your favorite snacks.
If you’re looking for a bright summer salad that’s packed with sweet and salty flavors, you can’t do much better than this! It’s chock full of blueberries, corn, and almond cheese for a healthy flavor explosion.
Boring potato salads? Not here! The classic and satisfying potato salad gets a plant-based makeover with insanely delicious fried onions and an incredibly flavor-forward dressing.
For plenty of umami flavors and crunch, this sesame noodle salad has you covered. This Asian-inspired salad is quick and easy to mix up but full of nutritious veggies and tons of flavor.
This recipe was crafted specifically for your outdoor adventures! It features plenty of fresh veggies and gluten-free pasta, all pulled together with a delicious avocado dressing.
If you prefer your potato salads on the lighter side, this bright and herby lemon dill potato salad fits the bill perfectly.
Esquites are a Mexican street food similar to elotes, but served off of the cob. This pasta salad takes all of those bright summer flavors and turns them into a pasta salad!
Macaroni salads are the perfect cookout side for any main dish. This recipe swaps the usual mayo for a vegan version with a creamy homemade dressing.
Sandwiches, wraps, and roll-ups
Few things pair better with outdoor eating than tomatoes, which is why we love this roasted tomato sandwich recipe! Another incredible selling point? The homemade lemon garlic aioli that brings the whole sandwich together.
If this doesn’t get your tastebuds going, we don’t know what will! This sandwich is an upscale, vegan twist on a classic favorite.
Veggie-forward and summer-inspired, these grilled summer sandwiches are the ultimate option for a hot summer picnic.
We love pinwheels for picnics since they’re so easy to handle without utensils -- always a bonus when you’re eating outside and trying to balance your food on your lap!
Craving a Caesar salad but don’t want to deal with the mess? This recipe features classic flavors, plenty of protein, and tons of texture.
Is there any food that screams “picnic” quite like a club sandwich? We don’t think so! This filling vegan sandwich contains all of those classic flavors you love but in a plant-based recipe.
Quesadillas are among the easiest quick bites to whip up, and you don’t need to rule them out even if you’re vegan! These loaded quesadillas use vegan queso dip and a huge variety of delicious vegetables for flavor and satisfaction in every bite.
For your picnic guests that enjoy a little heat, try bringing along these spicy kale wraps to satisfy their cravings for something spicy.
You don’t have to give up ice cream if you eat plant-based! This recipe for butter pecan ice cream is made with just 8 ingredients, all of which are super clean and perfect for indulging on a hot day spent outdoors.
Or, if you’d prefer something a little more seasonal, try this healthy pumpkin ice cream recipe with zero added sugars.
Perfect for autumnal picnics, these sweet cookies are perfectly spiced and sweetened, making for an incredibly cozy picnic dessert option.
Who says nachos have to be savory? These apple nachos are made with sliced apples and topped with decadent toppings like chocolate and nut butter, perfectly toeing the line between indulgent and healthy.
Lemon desserts are the ultimate picnic food favorite! These lemon sugar cookies are completely plant-based and are perfect for enjoying out in the sun.
Perfectly quaint, adorable, and practically synonymous with springtime picnics, thumbprint cookies are small bite-sized cookies filled with jam. This recipe uses a tart homemade raspberry jam, but feel free to use the jam you like best!
Breakfast/brunch picnic ideas
If you happen to be throwing a brunch or breakfast picnic, few foods fit the bill quite as perfectly as a sweet Danish. This recipe makes crafting these breakfast favorites super easy with premade vegan pastry dough and a perfectly sweetened apple cinnamon filling.
Another sweet and splurge-worthy favorite, these vegan cinnamon rolls are light, fluffy, and sealed with a delicious maple glaze for the ultimate indulgence.
Fruit salads are a staple food for brunches and picnics alike, and this recipe takes it to a whole other level with a drool-worthy coconut dressing.
If you’re looking to whip up a full meal for your breakfast picnic, you can’t go wrong with a bagel breakfast sandwich. These sandwiches are piled high with a ton of delicious veggies and a homemade, protein-packed vegan cream cheese that will leave everyone in your party stuffed and satisfied.
Don’t forget the picturesque beverages! This blueberry ginger mocktail is light, refreshing, and goes swimmingly well with light bites and picnic desserts.
Lemonade is a quintessential staple for parties and picnics, and this lavender-infused recipe takes it to a whole other level. It’s as delicious as it is beautiful!
If you happen to be throwing a breakfast or brunch picnic, it wouldn’t be complete without a mimosa! These beautiful “Blushing Mimosas” are made with a gorgeous mix of pineapple juice, orange juice, and grenadine. If you want to make it alcohol-free, simply replace the champagne with ginger ale.
This recipe was made with camping in mind, but it goes just as great with a picnic. We love that this recipe packs single servings of Sangria in individual mason jars so you can get them all ready way in advance and transport easily to your picnic.
Throwing a picnic takes a little bit of planning but pays off in a huge way. Happy eating!
Photo by Anna Guerrero: https://www.pexels.com/photo/picnic-1956974/