45 Beach Picnic Recipes You Need This Summer

Updated: Jun. 27, 2024

Pack up easy-to-eat beach picnic recipes, including snacks, sandwiches and pasta salads. Everything can be made in advance, will travel in your cooler and can be eaten cold or at room temp. Surf’s up!

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Bomb Pop Cookies

The sound of the ice cream truck has even my husband running out to the curb with money in hand. Our neighborhood has a big potluck on the Fourth of July, so I decided to make cookies that resemble Bomb Pops. These were a big hit! —Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon

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Psst! These beach games will get all everyone in for the summer fun and adventure!

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Turkey and Pasta Ranch Salad

This easy pasta salad is loaded with fresh veggies, and the classic ranch dressing makes it appealing to kids. —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland
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Spicy Asian Ham Sandwiches

We love these sandwiches with ham, but you can use leftover cooked pork instead, if desired. —Janice Elder, Charlotte, North Carolina
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Mustard Pretzel Nuggets

This quick and fun snack is similar to the mustard pretzels you can buy at the store, but you can make it for a fraction of the price. It's a killer recipe for all kinds of parties and football gatherings. —Sarah Mathews, Ava Missouri
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Chocolate Chip, PB & Banana Sandwiches

I love finding new ways to combine peanut butter, chocolate and bananas. I was shocked when my nephews (who are very picky eaters) loved these sammies. —Charlotte Gehle, Brownstown, Michigan
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Crunchy Granola Pretzel Sticks

I love this healthier portable snack that's sweet, crunchy and fun to make. If you don't have granola, use other cereals or nuts. You can even do bacon bits.—Kelly Silvers, Edmond, Oklahoma
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Homemade Honey Grahams

The way my boys eat them, I would spend a fortune on honey graham crackers at the grocery store. So I decided to make a homemade version that is less processed—and less expensive. These are wonderful, although they still don't last long. —Crystal Jo Bruns, Iliff, Colorado
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Beach Picnic Fruit and Cheese Kabobs

We came up with this fresh and fruity summer snack idea. It's easy to make ahead and carry to the ballpark, beach or playground, and the cinnamon-spiced yogurt dip adds a fun touch kids love. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

We can’t get enough of these picnic side dishes, either.

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Parmesan-Ranch Snack Mix

This is a quick, easy and delicious snack, especially for kids. No one I've made it for can have just one handful—they always come back for more, and more! So if you’re thinking about cutting the recipe in half to make less, I wouldn’t recommend it. —Tammy Landry, Saucier, Mississippi
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Avocado-Ranch Chicken Wraps

My grandchildren love these wraps. My daughter gave me the recipe years ago, and now I make them as an afternoon snack or a light meal. I make the dressing from a simple ranch dressing mix. —Janice Stoltenow, Lebanon, Missouri
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Giant Lemon Sugar Cookies

These wonderfully chewy cookies have a light lemon flavor from both the juice and zest. The sanding sugar on top adds sparkle and a bit of crunch. —Michael Vyskocil, Glen Rock, Pennsylvania
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Avocado Salsa

I was planning a party and thought it might be fun to try a different kind of avocado salsa. This recipe was an absolute success. Scoop it up with chips, spoon it over chicken or steak, or eat it on its own! —Susan Vandermeer, Ogden, Utah
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Layered Picnic Loaves

This big sandwich, inspired by one I tried at a New York deli, is a favorite with our football-watching crowd. Made ahead, it's easily carted to any gathering. Kids and adults alike say it's super. —Marion Lowery, Medford, Oregon
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Peanut Butter Popcorn Bars

If you're looking for a fun snack for kids, try this chewy peanut butter popcorn recipe that have a mild peanut butter taste. They're easy to mix and can be pressed into a pan to form bars, or shaped into balls. —Kathy Oswald, Wauzeka, Wisconsin
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Tri-Color Pasta Salad

Tackle gatherings with a bright side dish. This tri-color pasta salad with broccoli, tomatoes, olives and a hardworking dressing is one of the easiest cold pasta salad recipes you could take. —Amanda Cable, Boxford, Massachusetts
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Chocolate Chip Blondies

Folks who adore the classic cookies will enjoy that same beloved flavor in these chocolate chip bars. This blondie recipe can be mixed up in a jiffy, tastes wonderful, and is perfect for occasions when company drops by unexpectedly or you need a treat in a hurry. —Rhonda Knight, Hecker, Illinois
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Loaded Avocado BLT

My husband invented this twist on a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. I like to make it with extra slices of bacon; if you want, you can leave the Gorgonzola cheese out of the avocado spread. —Lori Grant, Kingsport, Tennessee
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So-Easy Snack Mix

I eat this tasty treat just as much as (if not more than) the kids! Have fun with it by adding other goodies into the mix, like nuts, cereal, pretzels and more. —Jeff King, Duluth, Minnesota
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Loaded-Up Pretzel Cookies

Coconut, M&M’s and salty, crunchy pretzels make these loaded cookies unlike any you’ve ever tasted—or resisted. —Jackie Ruckwardt, Cottage Grove, Oregon
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Beef ‘n’ Cheese Wraps

These make-ahead wraps are delicious, portable, and ideal for picnics and tailgates. Enjoy them whole or slice them into 1-inch pieces to serve them as an appetizer. They also make an excellent lunch on the go. —Sue Sibson, Howard, South Carolina
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Roasted Cheddar Herb Almonds

I prepared these one Christmas for my son, who was on a low-carb diet. I was afraid he'd be disappointed because he couldn't eat holiday cookies, but these made up for it—he loved them! Save a handful to chop and sprinkle over a green salad or pasta. —Mary Bilyeu, Ann Arbor, Michigan
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Antipasto Kabobs

My husband and I met at a cooking class. We have loved creating menus and entertaining ever since. These make-ahead antipasto skewers are always a hit. —Denise Hazen, Cincinnati, Ohio
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Super Supper Hero

Here's a hearty handheld meal you can eat on the go or pack for a picnic. Serve this versatile sandwich the way the recipe's written or stuff it with the works. —Maribeth Edwards, Follansbee, West Virginia
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White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Hawaiian nuts and melty morsels make a fantastic combination in these buttery white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. —Cathy Lennon, Newport, Tennessee
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Green Bean Pasta Salad

I like to prepare this special green bean pasta salad with fresh green beans and homegrown dill. Serve chilled or at room temperature. —Chris Snyder, Boulder, Colorado
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Homemade Guacamole

I always judge a Tex-Mex restaurant by its guacamole. And although it's simple to prepare, it can go wrong oh, so easily. I've spent many years perfecting mine, to the point where I think it's better than most restaurants. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Beach Picnic Brownies

Coffee granules enhance the chocolate flavor in these amazingly fudgy brownies. Add chocolate chips to the batter and you’ve got some seriously irresistible treats. —Sarah Farmer, Waukesha, Wisconsin
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Veggie Ranch Tortilla Pinwheels

These terrific bite-size appetizers are always a hit wherever I take them. They're easy to make ahead of time, and are a great addition to other party fare! —Lori Kostecki, Wausau, Wisconsin
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Snack Crackers

Our 13-year-old daughter, Dana, loves to make this crunchy and flavorful snack for us. Her four older brothers finish off a batch in no time. —Sue Manel, Milladore, Wisconsin
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Candy Bar Brownies

The two kinds of candy bars baked into these brownies make them an extra-special treat. —Sharon Evans, Clear Lake, Iowa
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Turkey Guacamole Wraps

Tuck smoked turkey and a creamy avocado spread into tortilla wraps and add a dash of hot sauce for a little heat. —Margee Berry, White Salmon, Washington
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Party Pretzels

Not only are these a perfect mid-morning or afternoon snack at work, they're perfect for hungry kids just home from school. Plus, they make for fantastic party food! —Carrie Shaub, Mount Joy, Pennsylvania
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Kiddie Crunch Mix

This no-bake snack mix is a delightful treat for kids, and you can easily increase the amount to fit your needs. Place in individual bags, or pour some into colored ice cream cones for a fun presentation. —Kara de la Vega, Santa Rosa, California
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Garlic Garbanzo Bean Spread

My friends and family always ask me to make it. I guarantee you’ll be asked for the recipe. —Lisa Moore, North Syracuse, New York
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Fruity Peanut Butter Pitas

My kids ask for these pita sandwiches all the time. They haven’t noticed that as good as the pitas taste, they’re good for them too.—Kim Holmes, Emerald Park, Saskatchewan
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Turkey Salad on Wheat Bread

When one of my favorite lunch spots closed, this recipe let me hold on to more than just good memories. The peas, bacon and cheese are such a fun and springy combo. I make big batches of the salad for parties—turns out I'm not the only fan! —Merrijane Rice, Kaysville, Utah
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Granola Trail Mix

My family has always enjoyed this crunchy four-ingredient snack. When we go camping, each person includes one additional ingredient like mini marshmallows, corn chips or cookie pieces. The taste is never the same, and we're often surprised by the combinations. —Shelley Riddlespurger, Amarillo, Texas
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Fresh Veggie Pockets

One summer I worked at a health food store that sold sandwiches. We were close to a college campus, so I made lots of these fresh-filled pitas for the students. Crunchy with crisp vegetables and nutty sunflower kernels, they're a fast-to-fix lunch when you're on the go. -Linda Reeves, Cloverdale, Indiana
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Bacon-Turkey Subs

On balmy fall days, this sweet and smoky sandwich is a big treat. When it gets colder, we pull out our countertop grill to make melts. Just switch to pita bread. —Rachel Bindulski, Corolla, NC
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Chocolate Chip Bars

People are always surprised when I tell them these chocolate chip bars come from the microwave. Chockfull of chocolate chips, the bars are especially good served with a big glass of cold milk. —Shirley A. Glaab, Hattiesburg, Mississippi
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Hummus & Veggie Wrap-Up

I had a vegan wrap that was similar to this once when I stopped at a diner while on a long and arduous walk. I enjoyed it so much that I modified it to my own taste and now have it for lunch on a regular basis. Everyone at work wants to know how to make it. —Michael Steffens, Indianapolis, Indiana
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Sprinkle Fruit Dip

Making this creamy mixture especially festive are its bright candy sprinkles. An assortment of fresh fruit "dippers" adds even more goodness. —Leslie Miller, Butler, Pennsylvania
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Pizza Wraps

This recipe features the flavors of your favorite pie but only takes a few minutes to make—and there’s no cooking or baking required. Perfect for when you’re rushing to get kids on the bus! —Elizabeth Dumont, Boulder, Colorado
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Best Hummus

Hummus is my go-to appetizer when I need something quick, easy and impressive. Over the years I’ve picked up a number of tricks that make this the best hummus recipe you’ll ever have. —James Schend, Dairy Freed