Magazine Recipes

30 Recipes! How to Pack the Perfect Vegan Picnic

By Lora O’Brien

What makes for a good picnic? A nice, warm day, good friends and a green space, of course. But as for food, there are certain musts, too.

Green salads are generally a no-go, since they tend to wilt in the sun. And any foods that may get soggy or worse, go off, are also a no-no. Plus, a lot of typical picnic food is pretty stodgy: think potato chips, white bread sandwiches, lumpy potato salad and tub after tub of hummus. The best picnic foods are those which stay fresh for hours, are easy to eat with the fingers, and of course, are delicious and nutritious.

Of course, you don’t really need to cook to do a good vegan picnic. Just pack some basics, like:

  • an assortment of nuts and fruits
  • store-bought dips
  • mixed crudites, crackers or breads for the dips
  • mixed olives and antipasti like artichokes and sundried tomatoes
  • store-bought cookies, chocolate, cake or muffins
  • some water, wine and juice

But while this will keep people from starving, no one’s about to ooh and ahhh over that awesome pack of nuts you brought.

Luckily for us, a bunch of well-known vegan and vegetarian bloggers and chefs, including the fabulous Mira Manek, have offered up some recipes to help inspire all of you with some food and drink recipes to really jazz up your picnic this year in a healthy and yummy way.

Just make sure your picnic doesn’t end up being a garbage-fest. I mean, ending the day with a pile of landfill is not chic! But fear not, it’s easy to minimise your waste. My tips?

  • use Mason Jars for everything. They can store drinks, sauces, salads and more, and can also be used as glasses
  • use your hands to eat whenever possible. Take small clothes and a jar of soapy water in a Mason Jar to wash hands first if  this is a concern.
  • use old newspaper or waxed paper to wrap food like sandwiches instead of plastic or aluminium
  • take your normal forks with you. Wash them at home later. Disposable ones are so wasteful!
  • if you must use disposable cups and plates, ensure they’re made from recycled paper and then recycle them again, if possible!
  • ensure you recycle all bottles, cans and paper, in fact
  • use a metal charcoal chimney if you’re cooking. These are easily available at most hardware stores. Avoid petrol-based lighter fluid, as this causes toxic air pollution.
  • take everything with you in re-usable canvas bags – avoid plastic ones!
  • ensure you clean everything up after your picnic

All you need to do now is dust off the blankets, grab the picnic basket and pray for a sunny day!

1. Tandoori Tofu Kebabs

If you think tofu tastes like a block of nothingness, then this will simply reinvent tofu for you! And these skewers are so perfect for the picnic. You can either grill them up before and store them in a lock tight container to take alongside with you, or if you’re a modern picnicker who is going to be grilling as well as chilling, you could cook them on the go. And the tandoori edge will give the tofu lots of flavour. You could even jazz them up a little more by adding chunks of onion, pepper and other veggies!

Get the recipe here.


2. Easy & Amazing Vegan Samosas

Following on with a little bit of an Indian vibe, these samosas are another fabulous picnic recipe. They’re super delicious – I defy anyone to tell me they’re not a samosa fan – and a great food to cook up and take along to a picnic. And because they’re baked, not fried, you can eat these with your hands and avoid greasy fingers!

Get the recipe here.



3. Raw Nori Wraps with a Spicy Dipping Sauce

Gone are the days of soggy and bland sandwiches – picnicking is now a time to get a little bit creative. These nori wraps are the perfect substitute for sarnies and they’re way healthier – these guys are packed full of crunchy cabbage, carrot, cucumber and zucchini but feel free to play around with the veggies you like most. Did I mention this also comes with a spicy dipping sauce? Store the sauce in a little jar and take it along.

Get the recipe here.


4. Soba Noodle & Raw Veggie Salad

When we think of salad, we tend to think of a bunch of leafy greens and sometimes we just crave something a little bit more substantial. And this is where soba noodles are a great option. This is an Asian inspired dish, and even has added peanut butter. Can it get any better? Actually yes, because this salad tastes great whether it’s hot or cold, meaning it will be just as enjoyable when you unpack it on your picnic and dive right in. You can take real forks (no plastic, please!) to eat these with, or re-usable chopsticks.

Get the recipe here.


5. Hummus, Avocado & Sun Dried Tomato Sandwich

Okay, how could I not add a sandwich recipe? Some of us just can’t help it; we’re a fan of the old fashion sarnie when picnicking. But that doesn’t mean we need to have boring PBJ or potentially salmonella infested egg sarnies (why parents? why?) does it? No way! This is packed full of fresh and tasty ingredients. Make it the night before and store in a container ready to go the next day.

Get the recipe here.


6. Sweet Potato and Quinoa Falafels

The best thing about falafel balls is that you can either eat them all wrapped up in a pita, stuffed with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, sauteed onions, tahini, parsley, and a bit of rocket, or if you’re trying to kill the carbs, just place these tasty nuggets onto a salad, add some tahini based dressing, and enjoy!

Get the recipe here.


7. Cool Refried Bean Wraps

Mexican food was just born to be eaten at a picnic. It’s already in its own ‘wrapper’ – that being a tortilla, normally – and it tastes so good hot or cold. This easy recipe will have everyone saying: ‘Ay, que rico!’

Get the recipe here.


8. Bruschetta with Tomato & Basil

Bruschetta is always a winner for me. Whenever I see it on a menu I have to have me some of that goodness! And what’s not to love? Crunchy toasted bread topped with delicious tomato and basil and a hint of garlic. To keep this picnic fresh, simply store the bread and the topping in separate containers and then put together when ready to eat.

Get the recipe here.

Chef Name: Rachael Ray Full Recipe Name: Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil Talent Recipe: Rachael Ray’s Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil, as seen on Food Network’s 30 Minute Meals FNK Recipe: Project:, SUMMER/APPETIZERS/PASTA Show Name: 30 Minute Meals Food Network / Cooking Channel: Food Network

9. Lentil, Mushrooms & Walnut Pate

Not only is this pate 100% vegan, it’s relatively simply to make as well. Take a loaf of freshly baked bread or some gluten free crackers, or even the bruschetta rounds (above) and smear this on them and I guarantee it will be one of your picnic fixtures from now on.

Get the recipe here.


10. Indian Char-Roasted Eggplant Dip

Whilst I will forever love hummus in all of its various guises, I can see how people get fed up of it. So this picnic season why not try something new and exciting like this Indian dip? This would be delicious on top of some flat bread, rice cakes or some gluten free crackers.

Get the recipe here.


11. Super Power Chia Bread

As I’ve mentioned a few sandwich recipes, and the need to have something on hand to dip, I’ve found this delicious and wholesome chia bread for your picnic. It’s chewy, hearty and dense making it a delicious choice for dipping or smearing with some crushed avocado.

Get the recipe here.


12. Sun Dried Tomato, Mushroom & Spinach Tofu Quiche

Is a picnic really a picnic without a quiche? I think not! So luckily for us, Angela Liddon has created this masterpiece which is 100% vegan, making it perfect for picnics – I mean, nothing goes off faster in the summer sun that eggs, right? But these have none!

Get the recipe here.


13. Chickpea Tuna Sandwich

I simply had to include this recipe because I’ve made it and it is INSANELY good! Remember that feeling as a child when you’d open up your sandwiches to find the scent of tuna has cleared everyone within a five mile radius from your side? You get it, right? TUNA STINKS (and it’s practically an endangered fish now. And it’s full of mercury…no thanks!) But no one will run away when you unleash this beast on your picnic because there’s no foul smelling fish in sight, just wonderful, wonderful chick peas and a whole lot of other good stuff.

Get the recipe here.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

14. Black Bean Burgers

For those of you who believe it’s not a picnic without some kind of burger, this one’s for you. If you’re lucky enough to be at a picnic spot that has a grill, super – pre-make these then slap them on the grill when you arrive. Otherwise, we kinda like these ones when they’re not sizzling hot, too!

Get the recipe here.


15. Best Ever Veggie Chips

Whether you’re enjoying a picnic with friends, family or little ones, it’s always a winner to have something crunchy on hand. But typical potato chips aren’t always the perfect go-to food. Most are packed with saturated fats and high salt contents and we tend to try and steer clear. So why not make your own version of with a medley of different veggies?

Get the recipe here.



16. Savory Zucchini Muffins

Bread is a bit boring, but it’s nice to have something savoury and filling on a picnic, right? These zucchini based muffins are great for picnics because you can literally throw them into an airtight container and they’ll keep really well. You could even be a right daredevil and pair these with a little sriracha for a spicy boost.

Get the recipe here.


17. Green Taco Wraps

This is a great idea: put everything together that you need to make vegan tacos, including the walnut and lentil based ‘meat’. Sautee some peppers and onions and put in a separate container. Bring some hearty leaves of Romain lettuce to act as the ‘taco’ and let people build their own. If you just can’t live without the tacos, bring some of those, too.

Get the recipe here.


18. Vegan Sushi

The modern picnic includes sushi. Not only because it’s light and delicious, but because it’s totally portable and easy to share. You can include just about any veggies you like, too!

Get the recipe here.


19. Stuffed Mushrooms

Another one that’s easy to share, and you can easily eat these with your fingers, too! Vegetarians can use the cheese based recipe, whilst vegans can opt for the tofu based one. Also – these go down a treat with a nice glass of white wine. Just saying!

Get the recipe here.


20. Sweet Carrot Ginger Salad

Forget lettuce – it gets all wilty. Carrots are the veg of choice for picnics, and this recipe, with its lemon and ginger zing, is practically a dessert! Kids will love it, too.

Get the recipe here.


21. The Best Vegan, Gluten Free Banana Bread

The best part of a picnic is when you’ve devoured all of the lunch bits and are ready for something a little bit sweeter. Banana bread is a really good thing to bake for a picnic because it’s delicious hot or cold, and is easily stored. The best part is how versatile you can make it. Like it sweet? Add some chocolate chips or raisins. Prefer a little bit of a crunch? Throw is some crushed pecans and walnuts.

Get the recipe here.


22. Raw Lemon Meltaway Balls

I adore anything lemony because I just find it so refreshing, so these raw balls are perfect for a picnic. The best part about them is that they’re raw, so there’s no baking involved. You can literally throw these together for those spur of the moment picnics and go, go, go! You even have options. You can eat them plain, roll them in either shredded coconut or almond flour for a nutty edge, or even dust them with some powdered sugar.

Get the recipe here.

23. Sweet Potato Brownies

This is possibly my favourite Delicious Ella recipe – sweet potato brownies! Who knew you could have your cake (okay, brownies) and quite literally eat it? These are the perfect sweet treat to have on hand for your picnic as the base of them is so healthy – medjool dates and sweet potato. And unlike those chocolate brownies you often buy in shops that are packed full of sickly sweet chocolate, the sweetness is these is down to natural foods, so if you’re giving these to kiddies there won’t be that mad sugar high after eating them.

Get the recipe here.


24. Vegan Twix Bars

Twix bars were always my favourite chocolate bar to snack on. The crispy biscuit layer, the caramel encased in delicious chocolate . . . so good! So I was thrilled to discover we can all still enjoy our favourite chocolate bars, just in a much healthier way! Not only are these gluten free, they’re also free of refined sugar, meaning all of that great sweetness in these bars comes from natural sources such as cacao powder and agave syrup. These are the perfect sweet snack for your picnic, as they’ll store pretty well in a container and the best part is that adults and kids alike will rejoice over the fact these are just like a Twix bar!

Get the recipe here.


25. Fruit Salad with a Matcha & Ginger Vinaigrette

A picnic isn’t really a picnic without a faithful fruit salad. It’s such a tradition! So why not really spice up your fruit salad this summer with this matcha and ginger vinaigrette? Just a word of caution though – Matcha really is a pungent flavour, so stick to the measurements as you don’t want it to overbear this recipe.

Get the recipe here.


26. Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries

Every single thing about this recipe gets a huge YES! from me. Strawberries are such a quintessentially British fruit to eat at a picnic over a bottle of champers, but why not add a little twist to your strawbs this year with a chocolate chip cheesecake stuffing? Perfect if you like your cheesecake with more fruit than fat.

Get the recipe here.


27. Oatmeal Cookies

Picnics need cookies! But please, not those palm-oil-and-sugar laden, store bought ones that are the cause of so much obesity in this country. Instead, make your own healthy oatmeal cookies like these – totally gluten and redined-sugar free, but tasty as all heck!

Get the recipe here.


28. Homemade Orange & Mango Juice

For me growing up, my favourite part of diving into the picnic hamper was finding something delicious to quench my childhood thirst. Sure, water is great and good for us, but sometimes we just want something a little bit more exciting. And what’s more refreshing than a freshly squeezed cup of OJ? Well, orange and mango in my opinion. The combination just works, and I always feel so refreshed after a glass. Make this juice the night before or the morning of and store it in either a large mason jar or a lock tight pitcher and enjoy!

Get the recipe here.


29. Lilac Cordial

How intriguing does this recipe sound? Lilac cordial? I’d never even heard of it until finding this recipe, but it sounds so delicious for a picnic, I just had to add it. The lilac comes from the obvious addition of lilac flowers, but there’s a little hint of lemon and sugar for sweetness. Make a huge mason jar of this and surprise your guests at a picnic with a unique beverage they won’t be expecting.

Get the recipe here.


30. Vodka Firefighters

Ok, it’s time to admit that a picnic requires some booze. Even the cleanest eating of us out there wouldn’t mind a cocktail every now and then! And this one has Aloe Vera juice in it (along with basil, strawberries and other fruits) so it makes it seem ok (of course, you can make a ‘virgin’ version of this, too!).

Get the recipe here.

Stoli Vodka Cocktails-mosphere

Main image from

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    Aug 18, 2017 at 3:50 am

    I love all the ideas here. I like to use a spray bottle of water or sometimes I just have tap water in an old water bottle (separate from my drinking water) to wash my hands. I am not so sure about storing sandwiches in newspaper though. The newspapers I get leave smudges of ink on my hands. Looking forward to a fun picnic with good food!

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