17 Picnic Recipes Perfect for the Beach

Nicole Austin

My kids and I love to spend the day at the beach. Living so close to the ocean has given us more than our fair share of opportunities to explore the shore.

When we go to the beach, I find it’s easiest and most economical to plan ahead for a picnic and pack up everything we want to snack on to keep us satisfied.

It keeps us free to stay at the beach, avoiding the crowds and parking, and prevents us from spending unnecessary money on convenience foods.

While I head to the beach with kids, I want to point out that a beach picnic is a perfect date idea, whether it be a first date or with a long-time partner.

These picnic-perfect recipes will become your go-to when planning ahead for a day in the sun - and all of them are super easy to make ahead of time!

1. Blackened Shrimp Lettuce Wraps with Mango Salsa

Fresh, homemade mango salsa with zesty jalapeños and deliciously seasoned blackened shrimp pair well together in this lettuce wrap recipe that’s perfect for bringing along to the beach! Prep the shrimp and mango and bring along crispy lettuce for easy assembly whenever you're feeling hungry and need a bite.

2. BBQ Chicken Summer Rolls Recipe

Classic spring rolls turn upside down on their head with this delicious summer recipe. Homemade BBQ sauce is the highlight of these fresh, tasty barbecue chicken summer rolls, and the unexpected pop of flavor from pineapple will give you that sunny, summer feeling! Make these in the morning before heading to the beach and thank me later.

3. Zucchini and Hummus Pita Sandwiches Recipe

Loaded with fresh veggies, filling hummus, and salty feta, these flavor-filled pita bread wraps will leave you satisfied. I love finding new ways to mix up pita bread and hummus, especially for my vegetarian daughter. My whole family loves fresh veggies and I feel good about giving them seconds!

4. Texas Caviar Recipe

Black eyed peas, bell pepper, red onion, garlic, and green chiles are highlighted by a homemade dressing in this Texas caviar recipe. It's perfect for dipping corn chips, filling pita bread, or eating by the spoonful. Chilled, flavorful, and easy to make and pack, this is the perfect summer go-to for a fun filled picnic trip.

5. Taco Pasta Salad Recipe

This creamy taco pasta salad recipe is topped with everything you love about tacos! It's simple to make (the kids can even help), and it can be made in bulk to enjoy leftovers the day after your picnic. It’s the perfect side for burgers and hot dogs on the charcoal grill at the beach. The whole family will love it!

6. Rocket Sandwich Recipe

Prosciutto, arugula, lemon pepper spread, avocado, and parmesan cheese taste incredible atop French baguette in this easy to make and easier to love rocket sandwich recipe that delivers the perfect sandwich. It's a cool upgrade to the ham and cheese sandwich you’re probably bored with by now.

7. Beet Hummus Recipe

Beet and garlic-based hummus tastes great as a dip for fresh veggies or your family’s favorite crackers. The bright, fun color makes it interesting to young children, and allows you to introduce beets to your family in a lively way!

8. Grilled Herb Hummus Chicken Kebabs Recipe

I’m guilty of buying chicken every time it’s on sale - neither me nor my kids get tired of having it in a multitude of ways. It’s healthy, hearty and it’s simple to prepare and pair with other foods. These kebabs turn hummus into a new way to have chicken - one you’ll never regret. Perfect warm or chilled, these grilled kebabs are ideal for making ahead and packing for a picnic.

9. Broiled Eggplant Sandwich Recipe

Broiled eggplant and lemon-flavored avocado mash keep this broiled eggplant sandwich recipe lively and flavorful! Enjoy your share of fresh veggies this summer in a multitude of ways, and use up the abundance from your garden. Prep these in advance, assemble them before leaving and picnic in style.

10. Homemade Fudge Stripe Cookies Recipe

Have the kids pitch in and help you prepare these delicious homemade fudge stripe cookies that are super simple to make and will disappear in no time, especially after a day of swimming! These simple sugary cookies are a perfect way to finish off your meal at the beach.

11. Chicken Club Wrap Recipe

This chicken club wrap recipe is an excellent way to use leftover chicken, or you can make it with frozen or ready-to-eat chicken strips or rotisserie chicken. These tortilla wraps are filled with fresh veggies and chicken for a sandwich that will cool you down, but also fill you up on a hot summer day spent at the beach.

12. Roasted Corn and Tomato Salad Recipe

This delicious cold salad mix will have you coming back for more! Fresh corn and cilantro are highlighted by cherry tomatoes and crumbled queso fresco, and topped with a homemade vinaigrette that will add just the right amount of zesty flavor to your recipe. Perfect alone or as a side!

13. Mediterranean Chopped Chickpea Couscous Salad Recipe

Refreshing and filling, this Mediterranean chopped chickpea couscous salad is one you’ll make again! A homemade dressing tops this couscous, cucumber, onion, cherry tomato, and chickpea blend with fresh herbs and sunflower seeds. It keeps well for a few days so make it ahead and pack it up on the go.

14. Pasta Salad with Pumpkin Seed Pesto Recipe

A delicious new pesto made with pumpkin seeds instead of pine nuts will have your mouth watering in this tasty pasta salad that’s loaded with cherry tomatoes and mozzarella pearls. This recipe calls for gluten free pasta, but you can replace it with any kind of pasta shell you please. Make it the day before and enjoy it at the beach the next day.

15. Mediterranean Tuna Pasta Salad Recipe

Veggie filled and flavorful, this Mediterranean tuna pasta salad has everything you need - protein, vitamins, carbs, and a light, delicious dressing that will please all ages! This recipe is simple, but the result will feel like you spent a long time preparing the perfect summer meal for your crew. Don’t skip it!

16. Paleo Chicken Salad Recipe

If you’re on a specific diet, it can be hard to find something easy to pack up and bring with you. Never fear! This Paleo chicken salad recipe comes to the rescue, and with this blend of juicy grapes, Dijon mustard, and shredded chicken, among other top-notch ingredients, you won’t miss out on a thing!

17. Quinoa Greek Salad Recipe

Flavorful kalamata olives and feta cheese (my favorites) are made into a quinoa-based spinoff of Greek salad for a tasty combo that you’ll crave all year long. Make this quinoa Greek salad recipe ahead and chill it for the perfect picnic side.

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Picnics, Summer, Easy Lunches, Easy, Make Ahead, Family Meals and Snacks
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