Best food and snack ideas for the perfect picnic

assorted foods on platters on picnic rug

Jacinta Costanzo

Posted October 11, 2022

Picnic season and warmer weather have finally arrived. Here are some top picks for foods and snacks to bring to a picnic.

We’re lucky to have beautiful picnic spots across Victoria to suit any group, couple or individual. From national parks and rugged coastlines in regional Victoria to manicured gardens in metro Melbourne, you’ll be wanting to pack a rug, basket and delicious snacks wherever you venture.

Preparing for a picnic shouldn't be an overly stressful or expensive exercise. Picnic food choices only need to be simple – classic, healthy and sweet nibbles are sure to please the crowd and cater to a variety of different tastes and dietary requirements.

Also keep in mind that you don’t want to be carrying loads of containers to your picnic spot. After all, picnics are supposed to be a relaxing outing - enjoying nature and warmer weather with those closest to you.

RACV Members can save money on snacks and ingredients for picnic recipes with discounted Woolworths Store eGift Cards. Before heading out, download the arevo by RACV app to find the cheapest fuel available in your local area and plan the most efficient route to your picnic spot.

Best recipes and ideas for your next picnic

Easy picnic recipes

Grazing board

Bring everyone together to share a grazing board, which might include your favourite cheeses, cold meats, dips, fruits and crackers. Not only are grazing boards easy to put together, but they can be adapted to suit various dietary requirements.

Draw some inspiration from Sojourn, one of Melbourne's top rooftop restaurants, which has an antipasto dish combining prosciutto, wagyu bresaola and fennel, and garlic salami from Istra in Daylesford. Team these types of smallgoods with Mount Zero olives for a luxe picnic. For your cheese platter, add some quince paste and grapes for that gourmet touch.

RACV Members receive discounts on selected hampers, produce and wine purchases and Woolworths Store eGift Cards.

Sausage rolls 

Time and time again, the humble sausage roll proves its popularity at gatherings and events. Not only are homemade sausage rolls relatively simple to make (and even quicker and easier with an air fryer), they're also easy to share around at a picnic.

See this easy sausage roll recipe created by Le Petit Gateau Executive Pastry Chef Amit Sinha, to create a juicy and flavoursome sausage roll wrapped in golden flaky pastry.


Your next picnic doesn’t have to be an over-the-top affair requiring lots of cooking beforehand. Why not find a picnic spot that has a public barbeque available? Picnic-goers simply bring their own choice of meats or foods to cook on the barbeque – eliminating over-catering and waste by cooking only what's needed.

Brush up on our tips to having the perfect barbeque and cooking the perfect sausage here.

Non-alcoholic mojito mocktail

What do you get when you combine apple juice, lime, mint leaves and cucumber? A delicious non-alcoholic refreshment to pair with tasty snacks on your next afternoon picnic. With few ingredients, you can easily make mojito mocktails to share and refresh your fellow picnic-goers.

See here for a local non-alcoholic spin on the classic mojito recipe, created by the team at leading Melbourne bar Bourke Street Green.

You can also enhance the flavour and fizz of your warm-weather picnic with this summer mocktail.


Try a delicious non-alcoholic mojito for a picnic refreshment

Healthy picnic food recipes

Zucchini muffin

For a healthy, vegetarian-friendly picnic snack, a zucchini muffin might just be what you’re looking for. This savoury option is flavoursome and perfect for a morning or afternoon picnic snack, and even easy enough to make that you can get the kids involved.

See RACV City Club Executive Chef Jason Camillo’s mini zucchini muffin recipe here.

Fruit salad

There’s no simpler picnic recipe (or crowd pleaser) than cutting up your favourite fruit that’s in season to make a delicious and healthy fruit salad. Grapes, mangoes and peaches are back in season and ready to refresh guests when the afternoon sun hits.

RACV Members save money on farm-fresh produce with Victorian Farmers Direct who proudly support local small producers.

Chicken sandwich

Sandwiches are the ideal addition to a picnic – easy to transport and simple to make.

For a substantial and refreshing picnic bite, there’s not much better than fresh lettuce, cucumber and bread paired with flavoursome grilled chicken. Remember to store the sandwich in a portable cooler to prevent bacterial growth.

Take your picnic to the next level with this gourmet grilled chicken sandwich recipe from the RACV City Club kitchen.


Sausage rolls are easy to make and share at a picnic. Image: Getty.
Share delicious fresh meats, cheeses and fillers with a grazing board. Image: Getty.

Sweet picnic food recipes


A traditional favourite for picnic-goers, scones are light and fluffy, easy to carry and able to be enjoyed with jam or honey, or even plain. The best part is that baking fresh scones isn’t a difficult process and can be done in the morning before an afternoon picnic.

Master the art of baking classic scones with this easy scones recipe.

Rocky road

Rocky road is easy to make and will be a talking point of your picnic – long after it’s finished. You can even put your own spin on rocky road and add different textures to the slice with your favourite lollies or nuts. 

See this classic rocky road recipe from Le Petit Gateau.

Banana bread

Do you have bananas on your countertop that are starting to look a bit bruised? Luckily, these bananas are perfect to use in a delicious banana bread for your next picnic. Check your pantry, you may already have the necessary ingredients required as banana bread is a simple treat to make.

See must-know tips and an easy recipe to make the perfect banana bread here.

rocky road squares

Get the kids involved and bake homemade rocky road before your picnic. Image: Getty.


Sponge cake 

Have you been delegated dessert duties for the next picnic, but not sure where to start? You don’t need to be a masterchef to bake a light and fluffy sponge cake, which is perfect for a picnic (or special occasion).

The team at Le Petit Gateau has created a simple sponge cake recipe that only requires one bowl.


Homemade cookies are always a crowd favourite. The gooey caramel, delicious chocolate and moreish texture of salted caramel cookies will win the tastebuds of everyone - even those who say they don’t have a sweet tooth.

Check out the perfect recipe to baking salted caramel chocolate chip cookies from Le Petit Gateau - but you can always adjust any ingredients to suit your favourite cookie flavours. Cookies can even be baked efficiently with an air fryer.


cookies on tray with strawberries

Cookies are a simple picnic treat. Image: Getty.


Decadent picnic desserts

Vegan chocolate cake

Vegans and non-vegans alike can get their chocolate fix and satisfy their sweet tooth with this egg-free, dairy-free vegan chocolate cake recipe from RACV Executive Chef Himanshu Sharda. It's sure to be a picnic dessert sensation.

Alternatively, try this classic (and flourless) chocolate cake using use high-quality couverture chocolate that will leave chocolate lovers swooning. Pair with coffee and summer berries to elevate your picnic dessert to the next level of indulgence.

Lemon tart 

Bake mini lemon tarts for your next picnic to add a touch of decadence. This classic dessert is the ideal mix of citrus and sweet flavours, and perfect for a warm summer outing. For those extra special occasions, pair the lemon tarts with your favourite champagne or dessert wine (be sure to check with the local council about public alcohol consumption rules).

For inspiration, watch how master pastry chefs at Le Petit Gateau create the perfect lemon tart below. Or pick up a classic lemon tart from one of Melbourne's best patisseries.


See how master pastry chefs make the perfect lemon tart

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