Lunch Ideas... Great for a Picnic!
Start your food planning using our easy picnic recipes.

  Prepare your easy picnic recipes the day before, or some, even days before, if possible.

  Then have the food ready to pack into the picnic basket on the morning of the picnic.

  This takes away the pressure and stress and that last minute panic! 

Picnic food, easy to eat in your fingers, or just with a plate and a fork, are our favorite lunch ideas. Try something from the list of really delicious sandwich ingredients… not just the school lunch variety of sandwiches. Kids can run around munching… free, having fun!

Try a long roll, or loaf of bread... fill with delicious food... just cut into chunks at the picnic!

Fill your loaf of bread with all your favorite special treats. Make it chunky and overflowing!
All these recipes are easy for you to adapt, if you wish to.

Use the picnic planning check list, when you sort the things you're taking, you'll find it's so useful... invaluable!  It is so easy to forget something vital and really annoying when you are a long way from home and you have forgotten the chairs, or knife to cut the cake... and it happens!                                          

Boxes like these can be helpful to store your easy lunch ideas… Lunch Box for Work, School - Bento Lunchboxes - Pack Fast BPA-free, single-lid, 3-compartment, bento-style food containers, insulated coolers. Healthy for kids and adults. No lead. Waste-free.


OK, here we go...  a few lunch ideas and suggestions using our easy picnic recipes.

Practical and delicious picnic food!
It's a day out in the fresh air... informal and relaxed.
It was under the shade of the old gum tree for this picnic. 
 
No need for difficult or complicated recipes
... keep this in mind for your picnic lunch ideas.

The best part about taking food to a picnic is is that it can be as simple as you like... or as complicated as you want it to be... but it will always be delicious!

There is something rather special about eating out... under the shade of an old tree, or on a beach with sand drifting through everything, including your food. Or sitting on a hill overlooking amazing, stunning  countryside... or lounging by a little stream, watching fish jumping and dragon flies swooping... and then, even a simple cheese sandwich is delicious, utterly delectable!

  And when you are dressed for a race meeting... with a silver candelabra on the picnic table... it is the fresh air, relaxed moments... and creative gourmet food to top the day... from your lunch ideas!

 But now... enough dreaming and on to the real planning...

food suggestions for your picnic lunch ideas.

  • Short crust pastry for pies… or you can use bought pastry.
  • Egg and bacon pie... a family favorite from Eileen.
  • Cold meats… ham, beef, lamb, pork, or chicken.
  • Then roast Beef… with garlic and mustard, on crunchy fresh bread... ooh mouth watering.
  • Roast lamb… with rosemary and garlic... so sophisticated and yum.
  • Pork with… crunchy crackling.
  • Chicken… with lemon and basil... so versatile and can be used in many recipes.
  • Quiche … with variations... But here's what to do for a last minute picnic when time is short.
  • Jenny’s Brussels sprouts bake... so easy and adaptable, there are other options if you don't like Brussels Sprouts.
  • Great salad recipes... simple to do and so refreshing and moreish to compliment these lunch ideas.

Pastry can be stressful to think about, although this simple recipe is quite easy. If you are worried, or lacking time, just buy a packet of frozen pastry already prepared... no one will know! 

We have a lovely buttery pastry made locally and although it is a bit more expensive to buy, it is delicious and can save time.

 Basic Pastryso simple, you will wonder why you haven't made it before.

   You Will Need...

  • Plain flour 350gm  (12oz)            
  • Butter (or margarine) 125gm (5oz)
  • 1 small egg
  • Pinch salt
  • Small amount cold water         

   To Put Together...

  •   Place flour, butter and pinch salt in food processor.
  •   Pulse... until it resembles bread crumbs.
  •   Add egg... while motor running.
  •   Process for very few seconds then add small amount water until dough forms a ball (don’t over process).
  •  Roll ball on floured area, wrap in a damp clean tea towel, or plastic wrap.
  •  Chill for 30 minutes before rolling out to use in your lunch ideas.

My Mother-in-law, Eileen, who lived in the Barossa Valley in South Australia, was a wonderful cook... and was always catering for large groups of family and friends... her lunch ideas were legendary.

Often this Egg and Bacon Pie recipe was doubled... or made even larger for more people... and then baked in a roasting pan for those larger amounts.

Then she would cut the pie into large squares to serve... it was a winner with everyone!

 Egg and Bacon Piethis is the original old recipe.

 This is delicious both hot and cold and will serve approximately 6-8 people when used for one of your lunch ideas.

 You Will Need...

  • Purchased good short crust pastry, or make your own... see above 
  • 4-6 rashers of bacon 
  • 6-8 whole eggs 
  • Salt and pepper 
  • An extra egg yolk and teaspoon water… for glaze

 To Put Together...

  • Grease, then line 20cm (8”) baking tin approximately 7-10cm (3-4”)  deep.                                                  
  • Chill pastry and roll out on lightly floured board… you will need 2/3 of the pastry for bottom and sides… make sure bottom isn’t pierced... to prevent mixture leaking under pie crust.
  • Lay pastry over flan dish and ease into dish, pushing into corners.
  • Roll rolling pin over top to trim edge.
  • Cut rind off bacon, cut into 3 or 4 pieces and fry until crisp. Drain on paper towel to absorb excess fat, then spread on pastry.
  • Break eggs into pie case leaving eggs whole… be careful not to pierce yolks.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Either cover with remaining rolled out pastry, sealing edges brushed with milk glaze… or just leave open.
  • If topping with pastry, brush with egg yolk and water glaze.
  • Bake in mod-hot oven 190 C (375F) for 10-15min then lower temp to moderate 175 C (350F) for 30 min until top is golden brown… or eggs are set if baked without pastry top.

 Optional extras, really worth adding...

Handful of pitted olives, semi dried tomatoes, crumbled Feta cheese and chopped parsley and other herbs like Dill or fresh Oregano to add to this pie.... just sprinkle between the eggs as you prepare, before baking this pie.

This mixture can also be made into small individual egg and bacon pies...

This little pie has had dill, grated cheese and a cherry tomato added.


 Lunch Ideas Using Cold Meats... beef and lamb, or pork... ham and roast pork.

 How to use cold meats…

 A slice of thick ham, or rare roast beef on fresh, crunchy, crusty, bread with yummy mustard... old favorites.

 Hmm… what’s for lunch!?

A delicious open faced sandwich with crusty thick sliced bread...
rare roast beef, avocado and heritage tomatoes, boiled eggs and chunks of Feta cheese...
dill cucumber,  with a few greens and herbs... pretty too!


 A cold roast is great... use for one of these lunch ideas.

  •  For sandwich fillings.
  •  Or on its own… with a salad ... or part of the salad.
  •  On a plate, to add to the other food you have chosen.
  •  On  crunchy thick bread... our absolute favorite for lunch ideas!

TOP TIPS... With an added bonus!

  • If time permits, a roast… beef, lamb, or pork, are great for your lunch ideas... we love these for a picnic!
  • I cook the day before and make sure we have enough for a meal at home too... with roast veg... while the roast meat is hot.
  • Roast extra vegetables, chopped into small squares to add to a salad... or slices to add to sandwiches. So tasty!

Bonus... To be really decadent, sop up the delicious juices from the roast, with fresh bread… eat, yum!

Our family "fights" over this… the juices, not the fat.

Try sharing, just let them taste the rare roast beef juices, would you tell them what it is?… They will be excited about the picnic food coming!

Rare roast beef cooked in French mustard and garlic... yum!

  Choose your roast...

  Beef…choose your favorite cut of, sirloin, scotch fillet or topside for example.

  Lamb… I like a leg, or part of. This gives added flavor with the bone still in. Boned lamb will work well too…maybe with a tasty stuffing, or a marinade.

  Rolled Pork... tasty and easy in your lunch ideas for a picnic.

  Have a chat with your Butcher about …

  • The best roast for you…your budget and favorite cut.
  • The amount needed for the number of people going on your picnic lunch.
  • Also check with the butcher how long your choice of meat should be cooked, it will vary with the size of your roast.

  You will have…
  very delicious roast beef and/or lamb to use for picnic lunch ideas.

  • Beef, or lamb of your choice for these lunch ideas.
  • 2-3 tablespoons French/Dijon mustard… or Horseradish sauce.
  • I find mustard makes the meat salty enough but you can add extra salt and pepper if you wish… use ground if possible.
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic… more if the cloves are small and you love garlic.
  • For lamb I poke sprigs of fresh rosemary in with the garlic.

   How to cook a roast... 

  • Have the meat at room temperature if possible.
  • Cloves of garlic cut into slithers and poked into the meat randomly on both sides.
  • Spread two table spoons of French/Dijon mustard, or Horseradish sauce, over the roast, with a knife.
  • Meat can be put on a rack in the roasting pan, but the juices from these roasts are delicious and you will want to save them to pour over the cooked meat or the fresh bread!
  • Now back to the cooking... Place the meat into a heavy roasting pan and put into a hot oven… 230⁰C or 450⁰F for 15-20 minutes.
  • Lower the temperature to 175 ⁰C or 350⁰F… (Medium heat) and cook until the meat is to your liking. I like it brown on the outside with some juice dripping through... from the pink center, but if you like it well done cook longer.
  • Take out of the oven and leave to rest out of oven for 15-20 minutes before carving.
  • Carve across the grain for tender slices.

   Try a very delicious Roast Pork  for the picnic menu lunch ideas…

  • Wipe pork with paper towel to make sure it is dry.
  • Rub olive oil over the skin
  • Then rub salt into the oil on the skin... to make crunchy crackling for this easy picnic lunch idea.
  • Set the hot oven… 230⁰C or 450⁰F ... it can take longer to crackle the skin sometimes.
  • Then lower the temperature to Medium until cooked through.

 Another of the yum lunch ideas from easy picnic recipes.

You will have to fight  the family for the crackling!


  Ham or cold chicken from the shop…

 These meats for lunch ideas, will go so well after your easy appetizers... and are so simple.

 We have taken many whole chooks from the chicken shop to our picnics, especially for a last minute picnic.

 Sliced ham, especially fresh slices of leg ham... is really very delicious (preferably not from a packet, but freshly cut from the bone)

  Couldn’t be easier to prepare for lunch!

  Chicken with Lemon, Basil and Tarragon… so easy for one of your lunch ideas.

  You Will Need...

  • 4-6 Chicken fillets or a whole chicken
  • 1 good sized lemon
  • ½ Bunch fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried Tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons currants or dried blueberries
  • Splash of olive oil
  • Pepper and Salt
  • 1 big clove of garlic

  Method

  • Place chicken in a casserole dish
  • Chop basil and sprinkle over chicken with… Tarragon
  • Crushed garlic
  • Zest from lemon
  • Currants or dried blueberries
  • Squeezed lemon juice
  • Add olive oil... pour over ingredients
  • Cook in 190-200C (375-400F) oven 45-60 minutes
  • Can be eaten hot, but is equally delicious cold
  • Cut into thick slices and pour juices over

  You will find this is even tastier if left over night...

  and is delicious cold on thick crunchy bread, or with salad.

 A Simple Quiche is very versatile for lunch ideas...



Quiche... and Variations

  One of the best lunch ideas is quiche.

  This amount is for a 23cm (9”) flan tin.

  If you purchase a packet of pastry… follow instructions on packet... but if you like the satisfaction of making   pastry yourself for your lunch ideas, follow above.




Filling… Ingredients for basic quiche.

  • 4 eggs½ cup chopped bacon
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 ¼ cups milk… or cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup grated tasty matured cheese
  • Pepper and salt to taste

Method

  • Fry bacon and onion until soft
  • Drain on paper towel to remove excess fat
  • Lightly beat eggs and milk (or cream for yummy rich custard)
  • Add nutmeg and cheese and seasonings… stir in
  • Place bacon and onion on pastry case
  • Gently pour egg milk custard over
  • Bake in moderate oven 30-40 minutes until set

  This quiche is equally delicious hot or cold… so handy for lunch ideas.

  Other suggestions… just add to basic quiche for easy picnic recipes...

  Spinach Quiche

  • If using fresh spinach, cook about 1cup
  • Wash spinach and steam for a few minutes
  • Drain really well on paper towel... squeeze juice out... then puree, or chop coarsely
  • Or... use 250 gm frozen spinach
  • Spread, well drained, cool spinach over pastry base with bacon and onion (above)
  • Gently pour egg milk/cream custard over
  • Bake in moderate oven 30-40 minutes until set

Tomato and basil and zucchini (courgette) Quiche

  • 4 medium tomatoes chopped
  • 300gm finely sliced zucchini
  • Small bunch fresh basil chopped
  • Cook above gently for few minutes…to soften
  • Spread evenly over pastry base
  • Dot pastry case with stoned olives
  • Gently pour egg and milk/cream custard over
  • Bake in moderate oven 30-40 minutes until set

Rich and Cheesy Quiche

  • Bocconcini cheese balls
  • Blue cheese… optional
  • Mozzarella
  • Extra onion
  • Dot pastry case with extra cheeses
  • Gently pour egg milk custard over
  • Bake in hot oven 30-40 minutes until set

  Quiche is ideal for the picnic menu and easy to transport.

   Brussels Sprout Bake...  my friend Jenny's recipe.

You don't like Brussels Sprouts?... then we can easily change this bake to  something delicious you do like!

   Ingredients

  • 3 cups of vegetable of your choice plus...We have used Brussels Sprouts, but try pumpkin, broccoli or corn.
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 rashers of bacon
  • 1 cup grated tasty matured cheese
  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • Fresh parsley
  • ½ teaspoon each…oregano, rosemary and basil
  • 1 stock cube
  • 5 medium eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 ½ tablespoons tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

   Method

  • Lightly grease quiche tin
  • Finely chop Brussels sprouts (or other vegetable) and onion and vegetables
  • Lightly fry bacon and drain on kitchen paper
  • Combine… Brussels sprout, onion, bacon, cheese, flour and crumbled stock cube in large basin
  • Lightly beat eggs milk and tomato paste until just combined
  • Fold through Brussels sprouts mixture and pour into lightly greased quiche dish.
  • Bake for 35-40minutes at 180C…until a knife inserted into the center comes out cleanly
  • Allow to stand for 19 minutes before slicing

   Serves 6-8 people


  These lunch ideas using easy picnic recipes will give you a great start with the picnic menu.



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