top of page
  • Writer's pictureA Wild Lass

The Ultimate Summer Beach Picnic for Foodies

When you head to the shoreline, taking snacks, treats, and drinks is part of the deal. Lugging a cooler down the steps to the water’s edge? That’s on you, but I can help with the menu planning.

Cheesy crackers, apples, store packs of cookies; those are staples, and taste just fine. But if you’re a foodie and want something a little swankier for your beach picnic, check out the ideas below. I've got you covered from main dishes to dessert.

*Disclaimer: Some of the links you see may be affiliate links. All that means is if you click through and end up making a purchase, I’ll earn a commission.


Start off with the center of the meal, a unique twist on cold summer chicken salad. Try Coronation Chicken Salad instead, with a creamy curry flavor sweetened by apricot jam or chutney. I like to simplify it and cut out any red wine, scallions, or fruit. Just a mayonnaise/curry dressing and chicken, with some herbs for color.

Pro tip: use flat leaf parsley not curly leaf (here’s why).

Pair your chicken salad with mini brioche buns, croissants (sliced lobster style) or rosemary almond flour crackers for a salty crunch, and serve with some fresh raspberries.


To go with your main dish, slice some pears and cheese. Here’s how to choose the best pears for your picnic. Plate a fruit slice with a slice of herbed white cheddar and drizzle local honey on top. Crack some fresh black pepper over the fruit and cheese.

A cold mini quiche would go well accompanying these sides. These can be baked ahead and chilled before your trip to the beach. I’d suggest ham or bacon quiche with onion, but only a mild cheese if any. Here’s an easy quiche recipe. Bake in small ramekins for a dainty addition to your picnic.


Dark chocolate is the perfect finisher to this elegant beachside meal. Bring a bar of your favorite artisan chocolate or put in a little more prep time and make grasshopper tartlets.

To Drink

My ultimate pairing for this picnic would be a decent bottle of prosecco or rose. Be sure you bring real wine glasses in your picnic basket. You could also make white sangria and bring a pitcher of that, if you want a sweeter option. For more cocktail ideas, try this post from our basement bar.

Here’s a friendly reminder that if the weather looks scorching, bring plenty of water to drink as well.

If you want to combine dessert and drinks, bring a pitcher of chocolate martinis to the beach instead of the chocolate and prosecco. Use equal parts Godiva liqueur, vanilla vodka, Bailey’s, and creme de cacao. Garnish with a butter wafer.

A Note About Presentation

Glass plates are essential to complete the experience of a dazzling summer picnic with an airy, elegant feel. I recommend a white picnic blanket on the sand or even a table if you can manage it. This meal would also work well on the back patio, if you don’t want to haul it down to the water’s edge.

Choose plates and glassware and table service that fit the mood, and real napkins. Also pay special attention to how the food fits on the plate, and add a leafy garnish if you can find a box of salad greens in the fridge.

Bon Appetit

Looking for daily dinner tips? Join our Facebook Group What’s For Dinner? to find a community of adventurous moms who are looking for the same kind of help.

Let us know how it goes: post a comment below or on our socials.

Read more blog posts about meals and cooking by visiting our In the Kitchen section of the blog.

*Disclaimer: Some of the links you see may be affiliate links. All that means is if you click through and end up making a purchase, I’ll earn a commission.

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page