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Six simplePicnic recipesby Phoebe Taplin

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To celebrate National Picnic Week here are some recipe ideas for food that is easy to take with you on a trip. From sausage rolls to blueberry scones, these are traditional picnic favourites or golden oldies with a twist. Since we have vegans and veggies in our family, these are mostly vegan-friendly, but they all have lashings of flavour are easy to make. Enjoy them in woods or fields, on beaches or riverbanks, in your own back garden or even on the living room carpet. It all helps ring the changes on our long days at home this summer.

  • County: by Phoebe Taplin
  • Great for: food and drink | Nature | outdoor activities | Picnics |
  • Refreshments: picnic food
  • Please note: researched/updated in June 2020. If anything’s changed or you have more tips to share, do get in touch:
  1. 4. Onion bhajis

    If you’ve got chickpea flour (aka gram flour) handy, then these bhajis are quite simple. They make a stackable snack for a picnic. They’re not quite as good cold as they are as fresh out of the pan, but still yummy enough, especially on a grey day…


    • 2 thinly sliced onions
    • 100g gram flour
    • ½ tsp each of baking powder, chilli powder and turmeric
    • 1 chopped green chilli and some chopped fresh coriander (optional)
    • vegetable oil

    What to do: Soak the onions in cold water for ten minutes, then drain and mix with all the other ingredients. Deep fry spoonfuls in hot oil. Sprinkle with salt to taste and try not to eat them all before you get there…

    Variations: If you want to make them more complicated, Felicity Cloake has suggestions in her feature on how to make the perfect onion bhajis.

  1. 5. Vegetable Wraps

    Those big floppy tortilla wraps you can get in the supermarket make a useful container for salads and messy things like avocado on a picnic. The fillings are infinitely variable and one option is to get picnickers to to fill their own at home. Just warn them not to put too much in or it won’t fit!


    • Soft tortilla wraps (white, wholemeal or flavoured)
    • Any selection of fresh veg like chopped avocado, sliced peppers, grated carrots, salad leaves
    • Tasty additions like pitted olives and sliced sun-dried tomatoes
    • small amount of dressing (mayo, squeeze of lemon, drizzle of olive oil…)

    What to do: assemble ingredients and wrap up. Then wrap the wrap in an empty bread bag, beeswax wrap, foil or something similar to stop it unravelling in transit.

    Variations: Grated cheese of some sort. Or toasted seeds. We happened to have some fresh crab and so the non-veggies added that too – eating those wraps by a flower-fringed stream was almost like having crab sandwiches at the seaside…

  1. 6. Flapjacks

    Another versatile picnic recipe, these oat and syrup bars have sustained us on various country rambles. My most recent batch had apricots, pistachios and honey, as suggested in this recipe. I never find they need quite as long to cook as the recipe suggests and – unlike most cake-type things – actually seem to get better over following day or so.


    • 150g rolled oats
    • 120g butter
    • 100g sugar
    • 3 tbsp honey or golden syrup
    • small handful chopped pistachios
    • and some chopped dried apricots.

    What to do: 

    • Melt the butter and dissolve sugar, honey and syrup in it.
    • Mix in everything else.
    • Tip into a baking tray lined with baking paper (the paper is quite crucial if you don’t want the mixture to fuse to the tray during cooking).
    • Cook at about 170°C for about 25 minutes or until golden brown.
    • Leave to cool (important!) Then slice into bars.

    Variations: almost any dried fruit and/or nuts can go into flapjacks. For a really simple sweet snack (another of Klara’s ideas!) just put toasted half-walnuts into pitted dates and eat them like sweets.