If you have a child born in Spring or Summer and are thinking about a birthday party outdoors, then these picnic party food ideas are just what you need to make the picnic a success. Stress free party food.

Planning Picnic Party Food

When planning a picnic party, there are a few things you need to consider when organising the menu. To start with, picnic party food needs to be easy to transport, and delicious to eat both hot or cold.

You want the party to be stress-free, so if your picnic is at a public place like a park or the beach, then you’ll need to consider how you’ll dispose of any rubbish ahead of time, or make sure you pack food without lots of packets and wrappers.

Finger food is great for picnics because you don’t have to pack extra cutlery (for eating or serving), and serviettes could be used instead of plates (don’t forget to take some wet wipes with you for sticky fingers).

A birthday party outdoors should mean little fuss and hardly any cleaning up, so try to keep it simple, and remember party food is only a part of the celebration. With that in mind, here are some great picnic party food ideas.

Picnic party food for outdoor parties

Club Sandwiches


Club sandwiches are a good party stand by, and they are great for picnics. Either make traditional stacked sandwiches, or try making them in a mold for something a little different.

Traditional Club Sandwiches

There are no right or wrong fillings to have in a club sandwich, but it’s useful to have something in each layer which will help stick the bread together. When stacking the fillings, try to layer your coloured ingredients so that the sandwiches not only taste good, but look good as well.

You will need:

  • Thin Sliced Bread
  • Butter

Fillings of your choice. Some popular club sandwich fillings are:

  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Grated Cheese
  • Onion
  • Cucumber
  • Mashed Hard Boiled Egg
  • Ham or Cold Meat
  • Mayonnaise

To make:

  1. Butter all your bread, and carefully cut the crusts off every slice
  2. Lay out 1/3 of your bread slices, and place one or two fillings on each piece.
  3. Lay a second piece of bread on top of the fillings (butter side up), and put a different filling or two on top of that.
  4. Lay a third piece of bread (butter side down) on top of the second filling layer, and press down firmly to ensure the sandwich stays together.
  5. With a sharp knife, carefully cut the sandwich into three fingers, and stack them in a plastic container ready to take on your picnic. To make smaller sandwiches (but more of them), cut the sandwich from corner to corner to make four triangles.


  • Mashing hard boiled egg with a small amount of mayonnaise or butter tastes delicious, and is easier to use in club sandwiches than egg slices.
  • You can also add chopped parsley to hard boiled egg, which adds to both the look and the flavour.

‘Jelly Mold’ Sandwiches

Jelly mold sandwiches are so quick and easy to make, and they are perfect for picnics because they are so easy to transport.

You will need:

  • A ring shaped jelly mold with a lid
  • Thin Sliced Bread
  • Butter
  • A selection of fillings (as above)

To make:

  1. Butter all of your bread, and carefully cut the crusts off every slice.
  2. Lay slices of bread in the jelly mold (butter side in), so that the bottom and sides of the mold are completely covered. You will need to make sure that each piece slightly overlaps another.
  3. Place one or two ingredients all the way around the bottom of the jelly mold to form a first layer of fillings.
  4. Slice some buttered bread into strips, and lay them (butter side up), on top of the first layer of fillings. Make sure that each piece slightly overlaps the next.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 with different fillings, until your layers have reached slightly higher than the top of the jelly mold. Make sure that the last layer of bread is butter side in, and covers the complete width of the ring.
  6. Place the lid on top of the jelly ring, pushing the sandwich stack down so that it squashes together, and put in the refrigerator to ‘set’.
  7. Take the sandwich ring to your picnic while still in the mold. To serve, tip the mold upside down onto a plate and jiggle the mold so that the sandwiches fall out. Use a sharp knife to cut your sandwich ring into slices. If there is any left over, you can simply carry them home back in the mold.


  • If you are using slices of tomato or cucumber in your sandwiches, press the slices between two pieces of paper towel before putting them on the bread. This gets rid of any excess juice, and helps to stop the bread going soggy.
  • Mixing grated cheese with a tablespoon or two of milk will create a spreadable paste. This makes it easy to use in your sandwich and helps keep the slices of bread together. You can also add finely chopped onion to the mix if you choose.

Puff Pastry CirclesPicnic-party---puff-pastry


These must be the easiest snacks in the world to make, and you can make either sweet or savoury versions.

For Sweet Circles you will need:

  • A packet of puff pastry sheets
  • Melted Butter
  • Cinnamon and Sugar
  • Icing sugar to dust

For Savoury Circles you will need:

  • A packet of puff pastry sheets
  • Grated Cheese
  • Marmite or Vegemite

To make:

  1. Use a cookie cutter or drinking glass to cut out circles from your puff pastry sheets.
  2. Put either your sweet of savoury ingredients on top of a pastry circle, then put another pastry circle on top. Add a second layer of ingredients, then another pastry circle on top again.
  3. Bake at 180*C for approximately 10 minutes, or until pastry is puffed and brown.

Mini Bacon and Egg Pies

Bacon and Egg Pie is a classic kiwi picnic food, and making miniature versions makes them perfect for kids.

You will need:

  • A packet of flaky pastry sheets
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 1 cup of bacon (chopped)
  • 6 eggs
  • 5 tablespoons milk
  • Chutney

To make:

  1. Use a cookie cutter of drinking glass to cut your pastry sheets into circles, and use them to line 24 greased muffin tins.
  2. Beat the eggs and milk together and set aside.
  3. In the bottom of each muffin tin place a teaspoon of chutney, a teaspoon of onion, and a tablespoon of bacon.
  4. Pour your egg mixture over the top, and bake at 200*C for approximately 35 minutes, or until the egg mixture is set.

If you like you can put a piece of pastry on top, although it’s not really necessary.

More Great Ideas

  • Lemonade cordial is a great choice for drinks at an outdoor picnic party. You just need to bring bottles of still, or sparkling water to top up the cordial. Check out our Old fashioned lemonade cordial concentrate recipe.
  • Ordinary muffins are almost meal size for small children, but mini muffins mean they get a taste without filling up just on dough. You can use any of your favourite muffin recipes and simply bake them in mini muffin tins. Try out this Cheesy muffin recipe as a mini.
  • A great picnic alternative to the mini bacon and egg pie, that kid’s just love, are mini bacon and egg toast cups.
  • Fruit is great to include on a picnic, but you don’t want to be left with lots of skins or half eaten cores to attract the bees. Instead make up some fruit kebabs using pineapple chunks, melon, grapes and marshmallows. The only thing you’ll need to get rid of is the sticks.
  • Pizza is a great picnic food, as you can cook them the day before and take them cold. Check out our Pizzas article for some great dough recipes and topping ideas.
  • Instead of packing a huge picnic for everyone, why not pack each child an individual picnic box. They can be responsible for carrying their own picnic box, and disposing of their own rubbish. Or, you could include each child’s goodie bag inside the picnic box, and let them take the picnic box home with any leftover cake.
  • You should also check out our Vegetarian party food article, as the recipes there are perfect as picnic food.
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This information was compiled by the Kiwi Families team.

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