Picnic Food Ideas

The Best Picnic Food Ideas To Escape The City For The Day

There’s nothing British people enjoy more than a picnic on a balmy summer’s evening. Our home of Yorkshire offers endless beautiful spots to host your occasions of al fresco dining with friends. Make the most of your time in the countryside and assemble a fine spread with this pick of delectable picnic treats…

Picnic Food Ideas

Skinny Coronation Chicken Pittas

Total Time: 10 minutes

Serves 2


2 tbsp korma curry paste
4 essential Waitrose Salad Onions, sliced
100g 0% Greek yogurt
2 roast chicken breast fillets, skinned and diced (approx 220g)
50g dried apricots, diced
15g toasted almonds
2 essential Waitrose Wholemeal Pittas, toasted
2 handfuls essential Waitrose Mixed Salad


1. Fry the korma paste and salad onions for 2 minutes, then stir into the yogurt and season.

2. Add the chicken, apricots and almonds to the yogurt mixture and combine well. Halve the toasted pittas, top with mixed salad and spoon over the coronation chicken.

Avocado & Smoked Salmon Boats

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 0 minutes

Serves 6


2 Waitrose Perfectly Ripe Avocados, halved and stoned
4 salad onions, thinly sliced
2 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
2 tbsp roughly chopped coriander
1 cucumber portion, peeled, deseeded and finely diced
1 tbsp Cooks’ Ingredients Chinese Rice Vinegar
2–3 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 Waitrose Little Gem Lettuce Hearts
100g smoked salmon, torn into strips
1 tbsp nigella seeds
6 slices sourdough bread, toasted and halved
½ lemon cut into thin wedges,
to serve


1. Scoop the avocado flesh from the skins into a bowl. Add the salad onions, chillies, coriander, cucumber, rice vinegar, sesame oil and a good grinding of black pepper. Use the back of a fork to crush the avocado flesh and mix the ingredients together at the same time. Keep crushing and mixing until you have a chunky, guacamole-like consistency.

2. Separate the Little Gem hearts, picking out 12 leaves that are roughly the same size. Divide the avocado mixture between the leaves.

3. Fold strips of salmon over the avocado, scatter with nigella seeds and sit each leaf on a piece of toast. Serve 2 each with a lemon wedge for squeezing over.

Picnic Food Ideas
Picnic Food Ideas

Beef and Green Bean Noodle Salad

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 5 minutes

Serves 3-4


200g fine green beans, trimmed
Juice 1 lime
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
250g pack essential Waitrose British Beef Steak Stir Fry
1 tsp sunflower oil
1 tbsp Thai red curry paste
300g pack fresh Waitrose Free Range Egg Noodles

2 Little Gem lettuce, shredded
1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
2 tbsp basil or coriander leaves


1. Cook the beans in a large pan of boiling water for 2 minutes until tender. Drain then cool under running water.

2. Stir together the lime juice and sweet chilli sauce.

3. Mix together the steak, oil and curry paste until the meat is evenly coated. Heat a wok or large frying pan and stir-fry the steak over a high heat for 3 minutes until nicely browned.

4. Toss together the cooked beans, noodles, lettuce, red onion and sweet chilli dressing. Stir through the cooked steak and scatter with herbs before serving swiftly.

Picnic Food Ideas

Easy Summer Pizza


Total Time: 15 Minutes

Serves 4


250g pack Waitrose Sunblush Tomato & Garlic Pizza Bread
1 courgette, thinly sliced diagonally
½ tbsp olive oil
Pinch chilli flakes, plus extra to serve
¼ x 250g tub ricotta
Finely grated zest 1 lemon
2 sprigs basil, leaves only



1. Preheat the grill to medium. Cook the bread upside down on a baking tray for 1-2 minutes until hot then turn over. Meanwhile, mix the courgette with the olive oil and chilli. Season.

2. Spread the bread with the ricotta, lemon zest and seasoning. Arrange the courgettes on top, right to the edges. Grill for 4-5 minutes or until the courgettes are just soft.

3. Scatter over the basil leaves and extra chilli flakes, if using. Delicious served with a mixed salad.

Olive & Sundried Tomato Scones

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 10-12 minutes

Serves 10


350g self-raising flour, plus extra for rolling
1 tsp baking powder
75g essential Waitrose Olive Spread
6 Cooks’ Ingredients Sundried Tomatoes, roughly chopped
20g black pitted olives, roughly chopped
2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp dried)
150g Total 0% Fat Yogurt
6 tbsp semi-skimmed milk
2 tsp essential Waitrose Grated Parmigiano Reggiano


1. Preheat the oven to 220°C, gas mark 7. Place the flour, baking powder and olive spread in a food processor and whizz until blended.

2. Add the sundried tomatoes, olives and rosemary, and pulse again until well mixed.

3. Tip the mixture into a bowl, make a well in the centre and add the yogurt and 4 tbsp of the milk. Using a table knife, bring the mixture together to make a fairly soft dough.

4. On a floured surface, shape the dough into a ball then press out to a thickness of about 2cm. Using a 6cm cutter, stamp out rounds, re-using the trimmings to make 10 scones.

5. Place on a non-stick baking sheet, brush the tops with the remaining milk and scatter with the cheese. Bake for 10-12 minutes until risen and golden. Cool on a wire rack before serving.

Picnic Food Ideas
Picnic Food Ideas

Crushed Potato Salad With Coriander Chutney

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 40 minutes

Serves 4-6 as a side


1kg Jersey Royal or Charlotte potatoes, any large ones halved, parboiled for 5–7 minutes
2 tbsp light olive oil
1 tbsp black mustard seeds
2 tbsp dried curry leaves
½ tsp turmeric

28g pack fresh coriander, leaves only

160ml can coconut cream
Juice 2 limes
1 green chilli, deseeded



1 Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. In a large bowl, toss the parboiled potatoes with the oil, mustard seeds, curry leaves, turmeric and some seasoning. Tip into a roasting tin and place in the oven for 20 minutes.

2 Gently crush the potatoes with the back of a spoon then return to the oven for a further 10 minutes or until crisp.

3 Meanwhile, in a small food processor, blitz the coriander leaves with the coconut cream, lime juice and green chilli. Season and serve alongside the hot crispy potatoes.

Picnic Food Ideas

Banana, Oat, Almond & Blueberry Muffins

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Serves 12


150g rolled oats
150g spelt flour
2 tsp baking powder
100g almonds, lightly toasted and chopped
100g blueberries
2 tsp mixed spice
¼ tsp salt
2 bananas, peeled and mashed
140ml maple syrup
100ml rapeseed oil
2 medium Waitrose British Blacktail Free Range Eggs, beaten


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Line a 12-hole muffin tray with 12 paper cases.

2. In a large bowl combine the oats, spelt flour, baking powder, almonds, blueberries, mixed spice and salt.

3. In another bowl, mix together the bananas, maple syrup, rapeseed oil, eggs and 60ml cold water. Stir this well into the dry ingredients until combined.

4. Divide the mixture between the muffin cases and bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out almost clean. Remove and leave to cool. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


Rievaulx Terrace

If you’re a lover of the great outdoors, put Rievlaux Terrace at the top of your list of places-to-picnic. Situated in the beautiful North York Moors, the terrace at the top of the wildflower-adorned embankments overlooks the grand ruins of Rievlaux Abbey. After your picturesque picnic, take a leisurely stroll through the woodland that edges the terrace before watching the sun go down over the rolling hills of North Yorkshire.

Aysgarth Falls

Carved out by the River Ure, Aysgarth Falls in the quaint village of Wenslydale is known for its dramatic thirty meter drop. Sweeping across the top of the falls is a pathway along the enchanting wooded area. It is said that wild birds, squirrels and even deer are spotted here – so don’t forget your binoculars. Aysgarth is at its finest on a warm summer’s day after rainfall has cleared the haziness.

Picnic Food Ideas

Bag and glasses case: Maxwell-Scott, Sunglasses: Ollie Quinn, Picnic blanket: Tolly McRae

The Picnic Edit

All recipes are by Waitrose.