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The Best Picnic Foods

summer picnic ideas

Who doesn’t love a good picnic?  Simple yet delicious foods, beautiful scenery, fresh air, and lounging on a blanket in the sunshine with friends.  Yes, please!

picnic ideas

Need inspiration for foods to bring along?  Check out my super easy guide to dining al fresco.  There you’ll find food ideas and tips for easier (and greener) picnicking.

GIVEAWAY ENDED
Need picnic supplies?  Enter our giveaway!

Just leave a comment below with your favorite picnic food or picnic spot, and you’ll be entered to win one of two fabulous prizes:

1.  A picnic basket that includes:

  • $75 gift card to Whole Foods
  • Picnic backpack, filled with plates, goblets, flatware and napkins for four, a bread knife, wooden cutting board, salt and pepper shakers, a wine corkscrew, a detachable wine cooler, and a blanket!
  • Coupons for FREE Stonyfield organic dairy products

2.  Four bottles of the perfect picnic wine!

  • 4 bottles of CalNaturale™ wine, the “official wine of summer,” in Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon
  •  CalNaturale™ is made from certified organically-grown California grapes, tastes great, and comes in Tetra Pak packaging, so it’s perfect for a picnic or any other occasion where you need wine one-the-go.  You will love having wine in lightweight, eco-friendly, re-closable containers that can be taken anywhere at anytime!
  • Check out CalNaturale’s Facebook page for your chance to win their Summer Prize Pack, valued at $1000!

Two winners will be randomly chosen on Tuesday evening, July 10, 2012.  Prizes will be mailed directly to the winners.  Don’t miss your chance to win!!

Remember, all you have to do is leave a comment below with your favorite picnic food or picnic spot and you’re entered.

Good luck!

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75 Comments

  • Reply
    Darlene Avery
    July 6, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    my favorite picnic spot is on the beach of Newfound Lake in beautiful NH!

  • Reply
    Miranda
    July 6, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    My favorite picnic food is crackers with cheese. So simple and delicious!

  • Reply
    Cherissa Alldredge
    July 6, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    We like to picnic in the park with our kiddos! Fresh fruit, raw veggies, juice boxes and plenty of water are musts.

  • Reply
    Courtney Guadiz
    July 6, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    Our favorite picnic spot is Sunrise park in Ballard, WA

  • Reply
    Tessa
    July 6, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    I love having picnics while hiking! I work up an appetite and always have a great view.

  • Reply
    Frieda
    July 6, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    We love a picnic too! Our favorite place is Lake Padden, Bellingham, WA. My favorite picnic food is a traditional greek salad. But I think my kids’ vote for favorite food would be cookies or brownies 🙂

  • Reply
    Sue
    July 6, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    Fresh strawberries, halved, and stuffed with a very small amount of goat cheese that has been creamed with finely minced fresh cilantro

    Large white mushrooms, sliced, and used to dip into a spinach-yoghurt dip.

    Cucumber sandwiches, made with artisan bread lightly spread with olive oil, and filled with sliced cucumbers, and cream cheese that has been mixed with lemon juice and honey.

    For dessert, serve Trader Joe’s Meyer Lemon Cookies. Hint: buy more boxes of these than you think you’ll need.

  • Reply
    Stephanie
    July 7, 2012 at 12:00 am

    I love deviled eggs, but rarely make them these days.

  • Reply
    Jen
    July 7, 2012 at 4:10 am

    Fave picnic food is pasta salad.

  • Reply
    Bridget Robinson
    July 7, 2012 at 6:56 am

    Robbins Hill beach Brewster MA or Balboa Park San Diego CA

  • Reply
    Dana
    July 7, 2012 at 8:04 am

    I love picnics at Lowman Beach in West Seattle and my fave thing to bring is kale salad with green onions, avocado and fresh tomatoes.

  • Reply
    Jennie
    July 7, 2012 at 8:24 am

    I love Antrim Park in Columbus, OH – so pretty and lots of shady benches in the summer!

  • Reply
    christa
    July 7, 2012 at 9:38 am

    it’s a lazy picnic lunch… but i like going to a local co-op and getting pre-made salads and fresh fruit. this way there is literally NO planning required. you can be spontaneous, fast, and eat deliciously!

  • Reply
    Rebecca
    July 7, 2012 at 11:23 am

    Lately, our favorite picnic spot has been beside our neighborhood pool…it’s been HOT in Memphis 🙂 !

    • Reply
      Amelia
      July 12, 2012 at 10:50 pm

      Glad you have the pool to stay cool, Rebecca! Give the kids a hug from us!

  • Reply
    manda
    July 7, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    I like cheese and fruit on picnics! Great giveaway!

  • Reply
    Cori
    July 7, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    My husband and I had a fabulous picnic in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy. We took a train from Florence and enjoyed Caprese sandwiches we had brought with us that morning. We hope to do it again in the future!

  • Reply
    Melanie @ Nutritious Eats
    July 7, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    My favorite picnic food is an assortment of meat & cheeses with crackers, olives, wine, berries. 🙂

    • Reply
      Amelia
      July 8, 2012 at 1:42 pm

      Sounds perfect to me too!

  • Reply
    Elise
    July 7, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    I’m a big fan of watermelon or cherries at a piknick!

  • Reply
    Carolyn G
    July 7, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    Our favorite picnic spot is in Cherokee, NC. There is a little area near the Natahala River that is perfect

  • Reply
    Devin Mequio
    July 7, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    My favorite picnic food is watermelon. I love enjoying a picnic at MacDill AFB near the bay!

  • Reply
    The Healthy Apple
    July 8, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    My favorite picnic spot is Central Park in Manhattan! Such an AMAZING Giveaway. xo

    • Reply
      Amelia
      July 9, 2012 at 9:42 am

      Wish I could come picnic with you this summer!!

  • Reply
    Jill
    July 8, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    Our favorite place to picnic in Flagstaff is Thorpe Park. Fun place for the kiddos to play.

  • Reply
    Tt
    July 8, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    That whole foods giftcard would be so awesome!!! I love to picnic in central park during the free summer concerts with hummus and veggies, deli salads from whole foods and prosecco!

  • Reply
    Carly
    July 9, 2012 at 9:15 am

    My favorite picnic food is baguette and brie!

    • Reply
      Amelia
      July 9, 2012 at 9:43 am

      Mmmm, what more does a person need?!

  • Reply
    shelley hudson
    July 9, 2012 at 10:42 am

    I’m very lucky to be spoiled with so many beautiful options in Southern California! I think my favorite picnic spot is the beach–at sunset. A thermos of wine and a couple of sandwiches or cheese and fruit are simple and easy to carry (and enjoy!). My second choice would be one of the amazing ocean-view hiking trails in Palos Verdes…nothing like overlooking all of Santa Monica Bay and refueling after a sweaty hike 🙂

    • Reply
      Amelia
      July 9, 2012 at 11:00 am

      Thermos of wine + Palos Verdes views = heaven!

  • Reply
    Jessica P
    July 9, 2012 at 11:20 am

    My favorite picnic spot in on the beach during the week with my family. I love eating by the shore and enjoying nature at it’s best 🙂

  • Reply
    Ray
    July 9, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Avocado turkey sandwiches on a picnic hiking trip!

  • Reply
    Alex LG
    July 9, 2012 at 11:28 am

    I’m luck to live near the Blue Ridge Mountains, and one of the local apple orchards hosts picnics on Thursday nights to watch the sunset. It is the perfect spot to eat some fresh produce and have a glass of wine with friends.

  • Reply
    Natalie @ Freshlifefindings
    July 9, 2012 at 11:32 am

    My favorite picnic food is wine and cheese with crackers!

  • Reply
    Georgiana
    July 9, 2012 at 11:33 am

    I love bringing fresh fruit and cheese and crackers for a family beach picnic to snack on all afternoon while we all enjoy the sun and sand!

  • Reply
    Lori Olsen
    July 9, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Favorite picnic food is ham and cheese on a nice panini bread. Yumm

  • Reply
    Merri B
    July 9, 2012 at 11:38 am

    My daughters, husband & I just had our first picnic on July 4th. Watermelon was a HUGE hit!

  • Reply
    Miri
    July 9, 2012 at 11:39 am

    My favorite picnic spot here in Madison, WI is on our beautiful Capital square. When we go to the farmer’s market on saturdays (around the square), my favorite picnic fare is to buy some seasonal fruit, veggies and a great local WI cheese with fresh bread from Madison Sourdough for our picnic!

  • Reply
    Robin O (@rkosully)
    July 9, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Picnics in the park are the best! My favorite picnic foods are crackers & veggie sticks with hummus; and mini pinwheel wrap sandwiches–in a beautiful picnic basket, of course!

    Thanks for the giveaway!!

  • Reply
    Kathy Earls
    July 9, 2012 at 11:40 am

    My favorite spot to picnic is at the lake near our house. Lots of ducks and wildlife to liven it up a bit.

  • Reply
    Rebecca
    July 9, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Watermelon in the park with my kids 🙂 perfect food, perfect place, best people!!

  • Reply
    Geeta Ranbhor
    July 9, 2012 at 11:43 am

    I love to have picnics by the lakeside. We often go to the White Rock lake in Dallas with our picnic basket and blanket. My favorite snack to carry is veggie-cheese sandwiches.

  • Reply
    Haley Southey
    July 9, 2012 at 11:45 am

    I absolutely love Watermelon! My favorite picnic food! But I think “Pie-in-a-Jar” is the perfect picnic addition!! So adorable!!

  • Reply
    Nichole Thomas
    July 9, 2012 at 11:46 am

    My favorite picnic food is fresh tomato with mozzarella and basil ontop a great piece of bread. Yum!

  • Reply
    Katie @wishandwhimsy
    July 9, 2012 at 11:46 am

    What a fun giveaway! I adore picnics. I think some of my favorite picnic items include chilled roasted veggies, simple sandwiches, hummus, salads with fruits….I love it all. I enjoy picnics in the park, especially when there’s a local community concert series.

  • Reply
    Christina
    July 9, 2012 at 11:47 am

    We love to picnic in the park, then play at the playground for a bit. Our favorite picnic food is Snikiddy snacks! :o)

  • Reply
    Holly S
    July 9, 2012 at 11:51 am

    For “everyday” picnics, our neighborhood park with pb & j, grapes, and watermelon. But best picnic place ever would have to be Paris’ Tuileries garden with a fresh baguette, cheese, proscuitto, olives, fruit, and wine!

  • Reply
    Yuen
    July 9, 2012 at 11:51 am

    Fav picnic food is canteloupe wrapped in prosciutto, or caprese salad using my home-grown tomatos & basil!

    • Reply
      Amelia
      July 9, 2012 at 11:53 am

      Doesn’t get better than homegrown tomatoes with basil – So summery!

  • Reply
    Fallan
    July 9, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    My all-time, hands-down favorite picnic food is ice cold watermelon. Goes with everything and keep your hydrated. Also need to have potato salad.
    We love to go to this little park near our house in Central Florida for picnics, with space for kite playing and a playground.

  • Reply
    Anna F.
    July 9, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    I love to bring a chilled bottle of d’Asti Moscato. Perfect beverage accompaniment to a picnic!

  • Reply
    Renata
    July 9, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Favorite Picnic food is trail mix and fresh fruit! Yummy raw food that’s healthy and nutritious to give my body fuel on a walk through the park!

  • Reply
    Jasmine
    July 9, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    My favorite picnic food would definitely have to be healthy chicken salad (just some simple mixed greens and chopped veggies with baked/grilled chicken breast), fruit salad, some non-greasy olives and a small amount of mozzarella! Yum!

  • Reply
    Mariya
    July 9, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Chicken salad sandwiches and fruit salad are the best.

  • Reply
    Jennifer M
    July 9, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    My favorite pinic food is turkey and cheese sandwhich with homemade potato salad on the side.

  • Reply
    Sarah @ Learning to Feed Yourself
    July 9, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    My favorite picnic food is definitely the simple yet so delicious peanut butter and jelly sandwich!

  • Reply
    Laurel C
    July 9, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Peach pie is the perfect picnic treat 🙂

  • Reply
    Maggie tharp
    July 9, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    My favorite spot is in Huroc Park, Flat Rock, MI. Climb down to the crick and no one can find you. Very peaceful.

  • Reply
    Ilene
    July 9, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    watermelon!

  • Reply
    Nancy Reinertsen
    July 9, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    We vacation on the North Fork of Long Island, New York as often as we can. It’s the nicer side, the one with 70+ wineries, organic farms, oyster-ponds, clammers and fishermen not the chi-chi overpriced Hamptons side. My husband and I love to pack a dinner picnic and listen to music at a local winery. Our favorite is Raphael’s in Southold on Thursday nights all summer long. We buy a bottle of wine, usually rose, eat, and dance and laugh all night. The winery looks just looks a castle in Tuscany, and we dance to a 50’s-60’s-70’s band till midnight! Oh and if we don’t like whomever’s is playing-we tae our picnic to the beach-with a bottle of wine of course!

    I’ll grill whatever’s local and delicious, like Peconic Bay scallops, homemade crab-cakes and veggies like eggplant, onions, corn and zucchini, pack up some local goat cheese and honey and fresh bread from Blue Duck Bakery, slice some just-picked organic heirloom tomatoes from KK’s and wash a few peaches. HEAVENLY.

    • Reply
      Amelia
      July 12, 2012 at 9:55 pm

      This sounds so dreamy, Nancy!

  • Reply
    StoriesAndSweetPotatoes
    July 9, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    My favorite picnic food is the classic sandwich!

  • Reply
    M.
    July 9, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    My favorite picnic treat is watermelon-soaked angel food cake.

    • Reply
      Amelia
      July 9, 2012 at 10:45 pm

      Never thought to do this but sounds delicious!

  • Reply
    steph
    July 9, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    our local state park is our favorite!!

  • Reply
    Renata
    July 9, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Love to pack turkey, lettuce, avocado and tomato sandwiches with fresh fruit, trail mix, cheese and cracker to snack on as we visit the national park here and have a lovely lunch under the trees with my family!

  • Reply
    Megin Cress
    July 9, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    Pickle wraps! They are crunchy, cold and yummy!

  • Reply
    Janice
    July 10, 2012 at 6:36 am

    assorted fruits, but especially watermelon!

  • Reply
    Wen
    July 10, 2012 at 6:52 am

    hot dogs

  • Reply
    Elizabeth
    July 10, 2012 at 9:43 am

    My favorite picnic spot is any kind of beach! I love watching my son play in the water before and after a great lunch!

  • Reply
    Gina M
    July 10, 2012 at 9:55 am

    watermelon is our favorite picnic food.
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    gina.m.maddox (at) gmail (dot) com

  • Reply
    Elisabeth
    July 10, 2012 at 11:45 am

    I love having watermelon on a picnic!

  • Reply
    Amelia Brower
    July 10, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    My favorite picnic food is a pasta salad, with corn, fresh red bell peper in little cubes, cucumber, tomatoes, cold salmon (cooked the night before)….toss with a lithg vinagret and sprinke parmesan and fresh ground peper!

  • Reply
    Erin T
    July 10, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    Love to pack some yummy sandwiches, fresh fruit, cheese and crackers. Best place is a nice tree filled park!

  • Reply
    Elizabeth
    July 12, 2012 at 10:23 am

    Chilled white wine.

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