top of page

The Great Outdoors: Top Ten Easy Picnic Meals

The Great Outdoors at Mustard Seed Sentinel
Credit: Kylie Lugo in

Top Ten Easy Picnic Meals

Head Outside for a Picnic This Weekend

by Joanne Troppello

I enjoy being outdoors whether I’m going for a walk or hiking with my family or friends. Going for a picnic is a great way to get outside and enjoy the surroundings—whether you live in the country, the city, or somewhere in between.

There is a nice park ten minutes from our house. They have baseball and soccer fields, as well as a large playground and walking trails. My husband and I have enjoyed bringing a picnic lunch to the park and sitting at one of the tables under the pavilion, then taking a walk on one of the trails.

When you go on a picnic, you usually want to bring some type of food that is easy to prepare—and not messy to eat.

The following list details my top ten easy picnic meals that are great for the next picnic you’ll take with your family or friends this weekend or sometime during this Spring, Summer, or Fall.

1. Sandwiches – I like keeping it simple. Tuna is my favorite, but my husband prefers Italian meats like salami or prosciutto. Whether you’re into PB&J sandwiches or ham and swiss cheese, this is a great simple go-to meal option for your picnic basket.

2. Pasta Salad – You might not be in the mood for sandwiches. If that’s the case, you can make a simple pasta salad or pick one up at your local deli. They’re great for a picnic and would be perfect paired with crusty Italian bread and cheese.

3. Simple Favorites – If you don’t have time to make sandwiches or pasta salad, grab some of your favorites from the fridge like cheese, olives, and bring along a loaf of French or Italian bread with your preferred meats like salami—and take along grapes or other fruit.

4. Healthy Snacks – If you’re not exactly hungry for a full picnic meal, pack your basket with healthy snacks like nuts, granola, apple slices, celery, cucumbers, or whatever other types of snack foods you like. You’ll get an energy boost to finish hiking on the trails or taking a walk after you eat.

5. Salads – I love to eat salads. My husband and I eat salad every night with our meals. This is a simple food that is easy to prepare. I usually dress the salad with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and seasoning. However, you’ll want to keep your dressing (whether homemade or store bought) on the side until you’re ready to eat so the greens won’t get soggy.

6. Dessert – Maybe you’ve eaten lunch or dinner already and want to try something different. Pack a basket of your favorite desserts and bring along a thermos of coffee or tea to enjoy as you watch the sun go down. Coffee cake or apple pie are some of my favorites.

7. Grilled Food – This one will take a bit more time so make sure you plan out when you’re having your picnic. Grill some chicken cutlets and pack them well so they’ll stay reasonably warm. Season them and add a squeeze of lemon juice for flavor. Just make sure to bring the silverware and some napkins! Bring along a fresh garden salad, potato salad, or fruit too.

8. Smoothies – This is not your traditional picnic food. However, if you’d hoped to get in a run (or walk) with your spouse or significant other, why not stop first at your favorite spot and relax with a smoothie before getting exercise outside.

9. Wraps – I love wraps, especially now that I’ve been trying to lose weight and have opted to either eat sandwiches with wheat bread or wraps (not white bread or my favorite, Italian bread like my husband eats with his sandwiches at lunch). I like spinach or roasted tomato wraps since they’re healthier than regular tortilla wraps. You can also opt for wheat tortillas too as a healthy choice.

10. Hummus – Another healthy option would be to bring hummus and baked pita chips. Choose healthy chips that have been kettle cooked or baked and seasoned with sea salt, rather than chips that are high in saturated fats.

“Nothing’s better than a picnic.” – Zooey Deschanel

I couldn’t agree more with that quote. Last Fall, my sister and I went on a picnic at a different local park (than the one my husband and I like to go to). The park consists of several acres and has multiple lakes. It’s very serene and we both enjoyed each other’s company and getting out into nature.

Family Time at Mustard Seed Sentinel

Do you like picnics?


About the Author

Joanne Troppello at Mustard Seed Sentinel

Joanne Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel. Connect with Joanne on Twitter. You can find Joanne on these social media channels—Twitter, Facebook, Parler, Spreely, and Clouthub—with the same username, @JoanneTroppello—and @joannetroppello.mseedsentinel on Instagram. Visit the Mustard Seed Sentinel YouTube Channel. Check out MSS Live Well Corner.

bottom of page