Lunch Ideas Using Our Easy Picnic Recipes

Your picnic lunch should be easy to carry and... the main course food which is prepared and ready to just put out on the table, a bonus too.

Picnic foods which are easy to eat in your fingers, or perhaps just using a plate and fork, are our favorites…especially with the kids. You will find sandwiches are often popular as finger food and can be really delicious.

It helps to prepare easy picnic recipes the day before and then just pack into the picnic basket, or esky, on the morning of the picnic…don’t forget the check off list when you pack the lunch, you will find this 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!

These boxes can be helpful to store your easy lunch ideas...
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Lunch ideas using our easy picnic recipes...

Practical and delicious!

  • Short crust pastry for pies…or you can use bought pastry.
  • Egg and bacon pie...a family favorite.
  • Cold meats …ham, beef, lamb, pork, or chicken…
  • Roast Beef …with garlic and mustard...mouth watering.
  • Roast lamb… with rosemary and garlic...ooh yum.
  • Pork with… crunchy crackling.
  • Chicken… with lemon and basil...yum.
  • Quiche … with versatile.
  • Jenny’s Brussels sprouts easy and adaptable.
  • Great salad recipes ... simple to do.

    It is a day out in the fresh air... an informal and relaxed day... keep this in mind for your picnic food.  No need for difficult or complicated recipes.

  • Enjoy relaxing over the picnic lunch! This is some of our family lazing by a lake in the Adelaide Hills.

    Basic Pastry…


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

  • 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)
  • Chill for 30 minutes
  • Roll out on floured area
  • Push into flan dish and roll rolling pin over top to trim edge

  • Egg and Bacon Pie…a winner with everyone!


  • Purchase good short crust pastry or make your own...see above
  • You will need...

  • 4-6 rashers of bacon
  • 6-8 whole eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • An extra egg yolk and teaspoon water…for glaze
  • Optional extras…

  • Handful of olives, semi dried tomatoes, crumbled cheese and chopped parsley to add to these lunch ideas.
  • Method

  • 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)
  • Cut rind off bacon, cut into 3 or 4 pieces and fry until crisp. Drain and spread on pastry
  • Break eggs into pie case leaving eggs whole …careful not to pierce yolks
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Either cover with remaining rolled out pastry, sealing edges with 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
  • This is delicious both hot and cold and will serve approximately 6-8 people.

    My Mother-in-law who was a great cook and always catering for large groups of family and friends, used to double this recipe and bake in a roasting pan for large amounts…and for ease of serving, she would cut the pie into squares.

    Lunch Ideas Using Cold Meats

    Ham or cold chicken from the shop… so simple. If time permits, a roast… beef, lamb, chicken or pork are great for the picnic menu.

    Have cold meats…

  • on their own with salads… even in a salad
  • or on a plate, to add to the other food you have chosen
  • on crunchy thick bread!
  • a great base for sandwich fillings, for easy picnic recipes.

  • Sliced ham, especially fresh slices of leg ham are really delicious (preferably not from a packet but freshly cut from the bone) Couldn’t be easier to prepare for lunch ideas!
  • Cooked chickens from the chicken shop have been taken to many of our picnics, especially for a last minute picnic. These meats for lunch ideas to go with easy appetizers are pretty simple.

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

    Hmm…what’s for lunch!?

    Roast Beef, Roast Lamb or Roast Pork for the Picnic Menu

    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.

    Rolled Pork...which can be stuffed, is possibly one of the easiest lunch ideas for a picnic.

    Have a chat with your Butcher about …

  • The best roast for you…and your budget.
  • 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.
  • You will need…

  • Beef or lamb of your choice for the picnic menu.
  • 2-3 tablespoons French/Dijon mustard…or Horseradish.
  • I find mustard makes the meat salty enough but you can add extra salt and pepper if you wish…use ground if you can.
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic…more if the cloves are small.
  • For lamb I poke sprigs of fresh rosemary in with the garlic.
  • How to cook a very delicious roast beef and lamb for the picnic menu…

  • Have the meat at room temperature if possible.
  • Cloves of garlic cut into slithers and poked into the meat randomly on both sides.
  • Two table spoons of French /Dijon mustard or Horseradish spread over the roast with a knife.
  • Meat can be put on a rack in the roasting pan.
  • 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.
  • Leave to rest out of oven for 15-20minutes …or until cold, before carving.
  • Carve across the grain for tender slices.

  • Roast Pork

    Follow the instructions for beef and lamb... but instead of mustard or horseradish, use oil with salt rubbed into the skin to make crunchy of the easy picnic recipes.

    The hot oven … 230⁰C or 450⁰F may take longer to crackle the skin...then lower the temperature to Medium until cooked through...Another of the yum lunch ideas from easy picnic recipes.

    Chicken with Lemon, Basil and Tarragon…so easy


  • 4-6 Chicken fillets or a whole chicken
  • 1 small lemon
  • ½ Bunch fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried Tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons currants or dried blueberries
  • 1 cup cream
  • 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 cream and gently stir around 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 cream mixture over
  • You will find this is even tastier if left over night
  • Delicious on thick crunchy bread or with salad

  • Quiche...and Variations

    One of the ideal easy picnic recipes is quiche.

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

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


    Ingredients for basic quiche to go on the picnic menu.


  • 4 eggs
  • ½ 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 …add to basic quiche for easy picnic recipes.


  • If using fresh spinach, cook about 1cup
  • Wash spinach and steam for a few minutes
  • Drain well then puree or chop coarsely
  • Or...250 gm frozen spinach can be used
  • 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)

  • 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

  • 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
  • Other optional suggestions…

  • Garlic, parsley and or extras herbs (oregano, thyme) can be added to any of the above.
  • Smoked salmon pieces or drained canned salmon are other options.
  • Pesto dotted among other ingredients is really tasty too.
  • Pastrami pieces or metwurst or salami…or other sausages
  • Mushrooms
  • Really there are endless options…just add your favorite ingredients.
  • Quiche is ideal for the picnic menu and easy to transport.

    Jenny’s Brussels Sprouts Bake

    Even if you are not a fan of brussels sprouts this is very tasty and you could substitute with chopped pumpkin, or similar for your picnic lunch ideas from my friend Jenny. It is so easy to cook I thought I should include it in the easy picnic recipes.


  • 3 cups of vegetable of your choice plus...
  • 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
  • Lightly greased quiche tin
  • Method

  • 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 plate
  • 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 should give you a great start with the picnic menu.

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