25 Delicious and Creative Sandwich Recipes for Picnics

Summer is just around the corner, and that means it’s time to start planning your next picnic! But what makes a great picnic meal?

Picnics are a fun and relaxing way to enjoy the outdoors with friends and family. Whether you’re heading to the park, the beach, or your own backyard, there’s nothing quite like spreading out a blanket and enjoying a delicious meal in the sunshine. Today I’m sharing creative sandwich recipes for picnics, tips, and ideas including what to serve with your sandwiches and more.

Sandwiches are a beloved meal option for people of all ages, and for good reason. They are quick, easy to make, and can be customized to suit any taste preference. However, sometimes it’s nice to get creative and try out some new sandwich ideas especially when you’re planning a picnic.

Packing a picnic lunch for our hike at Stringer’s Ridge in Downtown Chattanooga.

Picnics are a great way to enjoy the outdoors and spend time with friends and family. And what better meal to bring to a picnic than a delicious, creative sandwich? Here are a few reasons why sandwiches make the perfect picnic food:

Easy to Transport: Sandwiches are easy to pack up and take on the go, making them the perfect food for a picnic. You can pack them in individual containers or wrap them in foil or plastic wrap to keep them fresh.

No Need for Utensils: When you’re eating outside, you don’t want to have to worry about bringing a bunch of utensils and plates. With sandwiches, you can simply grab them with your hands and enjoy.

Something for Everyone: With so many different sandwich options, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re a meat lover or a vegetarian, you can customize your sandwich to suit your taste.

Picnics offer a chance to get outside, soak up some sun, and enjoy some quality time with loved ones. You can play games, go for a walk, or simply relax and enjoy the scenery.

Plus, picnics don’t have to be complicated. All you really need is a blanket, some food, and good company.

Left to Right: Me, Hannah, and Laura

Why Get Creative with Sandwiches?

While a basic sandwich can be satisfying, getting creative with your ingredients and toppings can take your meal to the next level. By swapping out a few ingredients or adding some unique condiments or spreads, you can completely transform the flavor profile of your sandwich. Plus, it’s a fun way to experiment with different flavors and textures.

Classic Sandwich Upgrades

Sometimes all it takes is a few simple upgrades to turn a classic sandwich into something more exciting. Here are a few ideas:

  • Swap out plain white bread for a crusty baguette or hearty sourdough.
  • Add some crunch by topping your sandwich with sliced cucumbers, radishes, or pickles.
  • Use flavored mayo or mustard to add some extra flavor to your sandwich. Try chipotle mayo, honey mustard, or garlic aioli.
  • Use different cheeses to change up the flavor. Try brie, feta, or goat cheese instead of the usual cheddar or American.
  • Grilling vegetables like eggplant, zucchini, and bell peppers can add a smoky and savory flavor to your sandwich. Plus, they add a nice texture contrast to the soft bread and filling.
  • Adding fresh herbs like basil, cilantro, or parsley to your sandwich can give it a burst of fresh flavor.
  • If you’re a fan of heat, try adding some spicy toppings to your sandwich like jalapenos, sriracha, or hot sauce. This can be a great way to add a little kick to an otherwise ordinary sandwich. I love Wickles Spicy Red Sandwich Spread!
  • Pickled vegetables like cucumbers, carrots, and radishes can add a tangy and refreshing element to your sandwich.
  • Bacon: Everything’s better with bacon, right? Adding crispy bacon to your sandwich can take it to the next level. Try it on a BLT or a turkey club for a classic upgrade.
Me and Marlowe 🙂

Unique Ingredient Combinations

If you’re feeling more adventurous, try incorporating some unique ingredient combinations into your sandwich. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Mix sweet and savory flavors by adding fruit to your sandwich. Try sliced apples or pears with turkey, or grilled pineapple with ham.
  • Play with different textures by adding crunchy ingredients like fried onions or crispy bacon to your sandwich.
  • Experiment with different flavor profiles by using international ingredients. Try a banh mi sandwich with pickled veggies and sriracha mayo, or a Mediterranean-inspired sandwich with hummus and roasted red peppers.

Vegetarian and Vegan Options

If you’re looking for some vegetarian or vegan sandwich options, there are plenty of delicious ideas out there. Here are a few to try:

  • Grilled portobello mushroom sandwich with roasted red peppers and goat cheese.
  • Vegan BLT sandwich with tempeh bacon, lettuce, tomato, and avocado mayo.
  • Chickpea salad sandwich with mashed chickpeas, celery, onion, and mayo.
  • Tofu banh mi sandwich with marinated tofu, pickled veggies, and spicy mayo.
  • Roasted vegetable sandwich with hummus, arugula, and roasted red peppers.

What to Serve with Your Sandwiches

While sandwiches make for a convenient and delicious picnic meal, they can be even better when paired with the right sides and snacks.

Here are a few ideas for what to serve with your sandwiches on a picnic:

Chips and Dip: A bag of chips and a container of dip is a classic picnic snack that pairs perfectly with sandwiches. You can go with traditional potato chips and onion dip, or mix it up with tortilla chips and salsa or guacamole.

Fruit: Fresh fruit is a refreshing and healthy option to serve alongside your sandwiches. Grapes, strawberries, and sliced apples or pears are all great choices. You can also pack some dried fruit for a longer shelf life.

Crudité: Another healthy option is a plate of crudité, which is just a fancy way of saying sliced veggies. Carrots, celery, bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes all work well. Serve with a container of hummus or ranch dressing for dipping.

Cheese and Crackers: A plate of cheese and crackers is a great way to add some variety to your picnic spread. Choose a few different types of cheese and pair them with crackers or sliced baguette.

Pasta Salad: A cold pasta salad is a great side dish that can be made in advance and packed in a cooler. You can go with a classic macaroni salad or try something more adventurous like a Greek pasta salad with feta and olives.

Chilled Soups: Gazpacho or cucumber soup are refreshing chilled soups that make a great side dish on a hot day. Pack them in thermoses to keep them cold.

Charcuterie Board: A charcuterie board is a fancy way to say a plate of cured meats and cheeses. This is a great option if you’re looking for something a little more upscale to serve alongside your sandwiches.

Potato Salad: Another classic picnic side dish is potato salad. You can make it with mayo or try a vinegar-based dressing for a lighter option.

Roasted Vegetables: Roasted veggies like asparagus, zucchini, and bell peppers are delicious and easy to pack in a container. They can be eaten cold or at room temperature.

Trail Mix: If you’re looking for a portable snack to pack in a backpack or purse, trail mix is a great option. You can make your own mix with nuts, dried fruit, and chocolate chips.

Cookies or Brownies: For a sweet treat, pack some cookies or brownies to enjoy after your sandwiches. You can make them from scratch or pick up a package at the store.

Drinks: Don’t forget to pack plenty of drinks to stay hydrated. Water is a must, but you can also bring juice, soda.

When planning your picnic, it’s important to consider the logistics of packing and transporting your food. Make sure to choose items that can withstand being packed in a cooler or picnic basket and won’t get too messy or difficult to eat outdoors.

By pairing your sandwiches with the right sides and snacks, you can create a well-rounded picnic meal that everyone will love. So grab your picnic blanket and head to your favorite outdoor spot to enjoy some delicious food and good company.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What kind of sandwiches are best for picnics? A: Any sandwich that can be made in advance and transported easily is a good option. Wraps, paninis, and subs all work well.

Q: How do I keep my food cold on a picnic? A: Use a cooler with plenty of ice to keep your food and drinks cold. You can also freeze water bottles or juice boxes to use as ice packs.

Q: What are some easy side dishes to bring to a picnic? A: Chips and dip, fruit salad, pasta salad, and roasted veggies are all easy to make and transport.


Sandwiches may be a classic meal option, but that doesn’t mean they have to be boring. By getting creative with your ingredients and toppings, you can turn a basic sandwich into something exciting and delicious.

Whether you’re a meat lover or a vegetarian, there are plenty of unique sandwich ideas to try. So next time you’re in the mood for a sandwich, step out of your comfort zone and try something new! And if you have any creative sandwich ideas of your own, be sure to share them in the comments below!

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