Top 10 picnic recipes

Updated on 21 June 2017 | 0 Comments

Who needs the supermarket when you can fill your hamper with homemade treats? Make a summer picnic to be proud of with our top 10 al fresco essentials.

Pork pies

…of the Melton Mowbray kind, of course (pictued above). Use fresh pork chopped by hand, flavour with anchovy essence and fresh sage, and make your pastry crust extra thick. It’s a bit tricky to master this recipe, but patience will be rewarded.  Why not make them mini for the sake of your picnic?

Warm focaccia

Focaccia breadFresh from the River café, this recipe originates from the village of Recco in Liguria, Italy. Unlike most bread recipes, it’s very quick to make (ready in 30 minutes) and if served warm the slightly sour, creamy Stracchino cheese will melt-in-the-mouth.


Chutney“A fridge without chutney is like a car without a spare tyre,” says chef Valentine Warner. We’re sure he keeps his hamper stocked with the stuff, too. Here he combines onions and runner beans with turmeric and wholegrain mustard for chutney with a kick.

Fresh pasta salad

pastaAvocado and mint make this pasta dish glow with fresh green colour. Peter Sidwell uses farfalle pasta in his recipe, but it would work just as well with any other kind. Feta and a last-minute squeeze of lime make it the perfect veggie summer salad.

Bacon roly-polies

bacon The second meaty hit to your picnic, these roly-polies designed by Michelin chef Marcus Wareing are perfect swirls of bacon and cheese wrapped up in pastry. We challenge you not to eat any when they come fresh out of the oven… it’s impossible!

Potted salmon

Potted salmonAnother deceptively easy recipe to make, this time from The Hairy Bikers. All you’ll need is salmon, lemon, butter, soft cheese, and fresh herbs to make a little tub of this, which is best eaten with French toast – or the homemade focaccia you’re already bringing.

Cheese salad

Cheese saladA picnic needs at least two hearty salads in it. We’ve already got our avocado pasta (see above), and this recipe will give you all the foliage you need. Use chicory salad leaves, mint and a trio of cheeses – sheep’s, cow’s and goat’s – to make it authentically Spanish.

Cooling drink

slushieA pitcher of this summer slushie will keep thirst at bay. And it’s a sneaky way of packing added vitamins into your picnic – the recipe calls for whizzed beetroot –, so will be the perfect beverage for kids too. Check out that groovy sunset effect!

Lemon cupcakes

cupcakeEasy to transport and even easier to make, Ruth Clemens’ zesty cupcakes are her favourite recipe of all time. They only take 30 minutes to make and use six ingredients. Whip up a whole batch for your family and fight over the last remaining crumbs.

Little apple tarts

tartThe more sophisticated pudding, which recipe author Rick Stein first tasted in Tudella, Sri Lanka. Here he layers homemade pastry cream with poached apples and a butterscotch glaze, all wrapped up in sweet pastry. Finish with cloves and nutmeg spices. 

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