The weather is cooling down and the leaves are changing color, which can only mean one thing: it’s time to start planning your fall picnics!
Whether you’re looking for simple snacks or full-blown meal ideas, we’ve got you covered.
Here are fall picnic food ideas.
7 Fall Picnic Food Ideas
Planning a picnic for the fall and an outdoor meal?
Make sure to bring all the fall flavors like roasted pumpkin seeds, homemade spiced apple cider, and cinnamon sugar donuts.
For a savory option, bring some thick vegetable soup complete with freshly baked whole wheat rolls.
Stuff celery sticks with cream cheese and sprinkles them with dried cranberries for a healthy snack that’s full of flavor and color.
Sweet Potato Salad
Sweet potatoes are a great dish to include in your fall picnic menu.
Their bright flavor is sure to bring life to the table, with ingredients like bacon and apples complementing them perfectly.
You can either roast or mash sweet potatoes before adding other ingredients such as celery, mayonnaise, red onion, fresh herbs, and a pinch of sugar for an extra hint of sweetness.
Add a bit of zest by including dried cranberries, pecans, Parmesan cheese, or various dressings of your choice.
Broccoli and Mushroom Salad
For a delicious, healthy fall picnic option, why not consider a broccoli and mushroom salad?
Start by prepping your veggies – chop the mushrooms into uniform pieces and blanch the broccoli to make it juicy.
For the dressing, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, garlic powder, and pepper to create a zesty mix.
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and get ready to enjoy a flavorful addition to any outdoor gathering!
Chopped Winter Salad With Butternut Squash, Apple, and Feta
Winter salad recipes are a great option for fall picnics.
Start with an easy and delicious chopped winter salad recipe with butternut squash, apple, and feta cheese.
Begin by prepping the butternut squash by slicing it into cubes and roasting it in a single layer on a greased baking dish at 375 degrees until lightly browned and caramelized to perfection, about 20 minutes.
Once done, let cool before adding to your salad bowl.
Add diced apples for sweetness and crumbled feta for a nice salty kick.
Packed with healthy ingredients, like sweet potatoes, cranberries, and walnuts, these burst with flavor.
Not only do they give a festive touch to any meal, but they provide a hearty meal that everyone can enjoy – even vegetarians.
Even better, they’re incredibly easy to prepare ahead of time and are just as delicious when served cold as when hot!
Packed with flavor, this colorful dish has something to offer everyone and is one of the few make-ahead salads!
To create a guilt-free version, choose whole wheat or gluten-free pasta. Add in some fresh vegetables like kale, spinach, peppers, and tomatoes for a nutrient-dense meal.
Top it off with flavorful herbs and seasonings such as oregano, basil, and garlic powder for extra zest.
For those looking for the meatier option, include grilled chicken or sausage to make it a complete meal.
Antipasti sandwiches are a crowd-pleasing option for any fall picnic.
These flavorful sandwiches pair thin salami, prosciutto, and other Italian meats with sharp cheeses, olives, and pickles on hearty rolls.
The antipasti ingredients remain chilled before serving, so they taste delightfully fresh.
Feel free to get creative with the fillings – add Capicola ham, roasted peppers, and artichokes hearts – the options are limitless!
These sandwiches will make your picnic special. Enjoy them with hearty dips.
Classic Pimiento Cheese
Classic Pimiento Cheese is the perfect dish to bring to any fall picnic!
Made with sharp cheddar and good-quality mayonnaise, this delicious spread is a breeze to make at home.
Toss in some diced pimentos for extra flavor and texture, and serve it on baguette slices for an easy appetizer.
If you’re looking for more ways to enjoy your classic Pimiento Cheese, take your sandwiches up a notch by adding it as a topping or use it to make grilled cheese.
Your picnic guests will thank you.
Dianne’s Southwestern Cornbread Salad
Made with crunchy mixed greens, corn, black beans, and cheese topped off with a light and zesty lime vinaigrette, it’s loaded with flavor and texture to satisfy even the heartiest of appetites.
And because it keeps well in the fridge come warmer temperatures, you don’t have to worry about it spoiling before your event.
It does make a great option for those seeking something more than the usual sandwiches and potato salad!
The iconic dessert’s sweet filling, coupled with its crunchy crust, makes it a great snack for outdoor activities.
For a twist on the classic, try adding dried cranberries or making it with a lattice top.
Pre-made refrigerated and frozen dough is available for convenience at most grocery stores.
To keep apple pieces moist when making your pie from scratch, sprinkle them lightly with lemon juice before baking – add a little bit of cinnamon and sugar or dried fruit to enhance the flavor even more!
Why Are Fall Picnics Special?
Temperatures are cooler and more comfortable, vibrant colors fill the landscape, and there’s a general feeling of cozy contentment in the air.
Fall also brings an abundance of delicious seasonal produce to bring to your picnic: apples, squash, and sweet potatoes – each adding unique flavor to any meal you can create.
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And what could be more satisfying than sharing yummy food with friends and family in a beautiful outdoor setting?
The flavors linger, the leaves crunch beneath your feet, and the conversation blends with an active chorus of birds into a relaxing chorus of happy noise.
Fall Picnic Ideas
To make your fall picnic memorable, gather up your warmest blankets and jackets before heading out.
Snacks like fresh apples and cooled cider go well with the season, while mini-fires and outdoor games are sure to make the experience even more fun.
Desserts like apple pie are also popular during the season.
Consider packing ingredients for s’mores or hot dogs that can be cooked over an open fire pit.
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Fall Picnic Finger Food
Celebrate the changing of the season by providing easy finger foods that will be sure to please everyone.
Preparing bite-sized snacks such as fruit kabobs, grilled cheese sandwiches, veggie wraps, beef sliders, and apple crostini are all delicious options.
With minimal effort, you can create a diverse array of tasty picnic food that will have everyone asking for seconds.
Hot Beverage For Cooler Weather A Perfect Picnic
A perfect picnic for a cool fall day comes alive when sitting by the fire with a steaming hot beverage in hand.
Whether your go-to is coffee, tea, or hot cocoa, beverages like these can complete the autumn ambiance.
From homemade treats to conversations with friends and family, a hot drink can be the cherry on top of an idyllic fall afternoon outside.
Fall is the perfect time to enjoy a glass of wine with crackers and bread.
Simply grab all of your favorite foods, choose a spot surrounded by changing leaves, and don’t forget something warm to sip on!