Which picnic perk sends you to summer bliss?
The sunshine? Tasty treats, bountiful baskets, or cozy blankets?
Dining alfresco is one of the best ways to take advantage of wonderful weather. It’s not every day you get to casually scarf down an amazing meal while soaking up the sweet sounds of nature.
But if you’re gluten-free, you might get stumped on traditional picnic foods. And a picnic should be...well, a picnic:
Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
So for an absolutely breezy experience, check out these 32 gluten-free picnic foods that work for lunch, dinner, and anytime in between.
For the Easiest Picnic Ever...
Before diving into the goods, let’s talk about what makes the perfect picnic food. After all, you can’t just bring a giant steak and hope for the best.
Planning must take place!
For the easiest picnic ever, choose recipes that are:
- Weather-resistant: It’s best to stick to plant-based foods that won’t go bad in the heat or spoil quickly. Tragically, that means ice cream is out of the question.
- Easily transported: Delicate foods like sushi are a no-go.
- Great cold or room temp: While there’s nothing wrong with a good, old-fashioned thermos, it’s easier to deal with foods that are ready from the get-go.
- Simple to make: Would you rather...slave over a hot stove or have more time to lounge in the sun? Sunshine, please!
- Made to share: Crackers, baked goods, and big bowls of salads n’ dips. Family-style eating is the way to go on a picnic.
Don’t Forget! Take This Handy Picnic List
The great thing about picnics? You don’t have to pack your entire kitchen.
However, if you’re environmentally conscious, you know picnics can be a giant plastic playground. But don’t start eating from your hands yet! Here’s the full list of essentials you’ll need to bring, keeping the Earth’s health in mind:
- Cloth napkins
- Real utensils
- Reusable plates
- Glass containers, mason jars, or stainless steel containers
- A reusable cooler or bag for carrying your food
- A picnic blanket
- Glass or stainless steel water bottles so you stay on top of your H2O
- Bug spray
- Bottle opener
- Trash bag
- Kitchen towel
- Ice packs
- Any condiments or seasonings you need
Summer or Bust: 32 GF Picnic Recipes Everyone Will “Dine” For
If you’re picnicking with a crowd, it can be tough to meet everyone’s taste buds and allergy needs.
Ready or not, the following recipes are terrific for accommodating allergies and dietary preferences.
They’re all adjustable, transportable, and picnic-perfect.
Table of Contents (click to jump to a section):
- Homemade Vegan Doritos
- Greek Hummus
- Cantaloupe Caprese
- Crispy Garlic Roasted Chickpeas
- Black Bean Salsa
- Rosemary Oat Crackers
- No-Bake Energy Bites
- Healthy Baked Carrot Chips
- Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
- Broccoli Salad
- Avocado Potato Salad
- Watermelon Salad With Basil Dressing
- Cucumber and Tomato Salad
- Roasted Beet and Orange Salad
- No Mayo Macaroni Salad
- Mason Jar 7 Bean Salad
- Spring Lentil Bowl
- Easy Falafels
- BLT Summer Roll Wrap
- Chickpea Salad Sandwich
- Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce
- Easy Bean Burritos
- Hummus Stuffed Mushrooms
- Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddha Bowl
- Peanut Butter Cookies
- Blueberry Banana Bread
- Lemon Poppyseed Muffins
- Chocolate Tahini Cookies
- Cherry Cashew Cookies
- Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Easy Gluten-Free Brownies
- Buckeye Marshmallow Pops
Snack Hacks & Semi-Fancy Starters
Scrumptious snacks are at the heart of every amazing picnic.
Well, starters are for if you’re feeling fancy.
Doritos are one of those glorious snacks that were sent down straight from heaven. Every time you eat them, the tips of your fingers turn into raisins from sucking off the cheese dust...irresistible!
These homemade Doritos are gluten-free and vegan with 3 different flavors to choose from:
Cool ranch, spicy taco, and nacho cheese.
2. Greek Hummus
Hummus is the perfect snack go-to, so why not bring it along on your picnic?
Take your favorite hummus flavor, then load it with feta cheese, tomatoes, red onion, bell pepper, cucumber, and balsamic vinegar.
You’ll never be able to eat it bland again. Make some of this gluten-free vegan pita bread to dip with!
Picture bite-sized mozzarella balls layered with juicy, sweet cantaloupe and fresh basil.
I mean, could summer get any better?
This cantaloupe caprese is a fun twist on the traditional tomato-moz match, and it still tastes great with a drizzle of balsamic.
You need something small n’ tasty to pop in your mouth at all times.
It’s the unspoken picnic rule!
This is where these crispy garlic roasted chickpeas come in. They satisfy your urge to eat 24/7 but offer great protein and fiber content, too.
Salsa is one of those magical side dishes you just can’t resist. If you have a chip, you must dip!
The black beans in this salsa recipe give it an extra nutrient punch, and since this serves 8, it’s perfect for family-style eating.
Just make a batch, throw it in a storage container, and pop it in the cooler until you arrive at your destination.
P.S. Don’t forget the gluten-free chips!
6. Rosemary Oat Crackers (pictured above)
Cheers to short ingredient lists!
I don’t know about you, but when I think about making crackers, I want to hide under the couch.
It sounds scary!
But not these crackers. They’re only 6 ingredients, with the “hardest” step being to mill your oats in a food processor. Then you just mix, roll, bake, cut, bake again, and eat 5 at one time!
Energy bites are the best. Not only because they’re sweet n’ tasty but because you can customize them however you please.
Don’t like dried cranberries?
Take ‘em out.
Want chocolate chips?
Why not throw in the whole bag!
The most satisfying sensation of all:
Crunchy, salty goods are so tempting, especially if it’s a solid chip.
Just like these carrot ones! The carrot taste isn’t overpowering, and you get so much cinnamon, cumin, crunchiness.
Drool-Worthy Salads: Not Your Typical Spinach
If you’re taking time out of your day to eat in the fresh air, the food needs to be just as good.
So why waste time chewing spinach you don’t even like?
Make these still-healthy salads instead.
Screw spinach. Let’s talk quinoa for once.
Quinoa is loaded with precious micronutrients, protein, and fiber to keep your body healthy and strong.
And this Mediterranean twist will make you feel like you’re traveling the world in your mouth.
That’s one way to make a picnic exciting!
10. Broccoli Salad (pictured above)
You know that brilliant feeling of looking up a recipe’s ingredients only to find you already have all of them in your kitchen?
That’s exactly what this broccoli salad is like, paired with crisp broccoli, crunchy almonds, sweet cranberries, spicy red onion, a touch of salty bacon, and a smooth n’ sweet, creamy honey dressing.
Is your mouth watering yet?
To counteract all the munchies you mindlessly eat on a picnic, you might be craving somethin’ light.
Well, say hello to avocado potato salad.
It’s light since it has no mayo, while the garlic roasted potatoes add pops of flavor. Healthier, tastier, and just freaking good.
No matter what time of day, watermelon always hits the spot when it’s toasty outside. So if you’re going on a picnic in the heat of the year, you need to add this watermelon salad to your cooler.
To make it even more refreshing, the recipe includes a touch of mint and basil.
Cucumber is like the watermelon of vegetables...actually, it’s a fruit.
But you know what I mean.
And that cuc-tomato combo sure does hit the spot. You even get the goods on the BEST EVER Italian vinaigrette to drizzle over top.
And if you forget utensils? No worries! Just use your fingers.
Is there anything prettier than a beet salad? You can’t resist taking an Insta-worthy food pic every time.
To round off your already aesthetically-pleasing picnic, add this roasted beet and orange salad to the mix!
The oranges send sparks of tang around your mouth, while the beets soften it all up.
A big bowl of pasta can cure just about anything.
But for the mayo-haters out there, macaroni salad tends to ruin your picnics. Not this time!
No Mayo Macaroni Salad uses a cannellini bean, sweet relish, tahini, and dijon mustard sauce to cream it up.
And it tastes even better than the real deal.
Beans on beans on beans!
If you don’t get enough beans into your day, and you love a good mason jar meal, you need this 7 bean salad in your life.
It’s filling, beautiful, and super convenient for a day out picnicking.
Just fill your jar with your assortment of beans and other veggies, then add the dressing. When you’re ready to eat, flip over the jar, shake, and dig in!
Easy A La Mains
While snacks are much needed, the main meal is the centerpiece.
You need something that will fill you up and cool you down, so take a peek at these!
Bowl meals are the most preppable foods...all you do is throw everything together.
This spring lentil bowl is no exception, and don’t let the word “spring” fool you. It’s great for the hottest of days too, especially if you’re in need of some nutrients ASAP.
The peppery arugula, tasty lentils, and garlic flavors come together in a royal way, giving both your mouth and tummy something to talk about.
18. Easy Falafels (pictured above)
Falafels deserve a celebration just for existing. Chickpeas are already a wondrous food, and when fried, they go to a whole nother level.
You might be after this easy falafel recipe. It makes a giant batch- perfect for a picnic for many and is super easy to make before you walk out the door.
Bonus points if you have an air fryer!
Cold, no-cook foods are essential to summer. Hello, wraps!
Except these BLT roll wraps are delicately swaddled in rice paper instead of bread, which means your taste buds get more bacon-tomato-avocado action.
And no tummy ache!
If you’re worried about them falling apart during transport, stick a toothpick in the middle.
By this point, I’m convinced there’s nothing chickpeas can’t do.
They’re so versatile, even going to replace chicken in this to-die-for sammy!
You generously coat them in tahini, dijon mustard, maple syrup, celery, green onion, and relish:
Of course, for GF-dieters, swap out regular sandwich bread for a GF sliced loaf.
Back on the roll train!
Spring rolls are the epitome of light and refreshing, particularly when filled with beautiful veggies.
Spring rolls with peanut sauce!
Picnic food doesn’t get any easier than this.
Here, you’re just combining refried beans, pumpkin or sweet potato puree, taco seasoning, and cheese, then spreading it onto a GF tortilla.
Heads up! Make sure your taco seasoning is free from gluten, too.
Hummus may be a great snack, but you can also turn it into a full-blown picnic meal!
And if you love spinach and artichoke dip, you’ll love these hummus-stuffed mushrooms. They take less than 30 minutes to make and are super easy to store.
Plus, they’re one of those foods you can just continuously pop in your mouth without shame.
Doesn’t get any better than that.
Back to center stage, bowls!
In this bowl, you’re basically taking some of the most healthy ingredients on the planet and combining them into one amazingly good meal.
Bake, chop, n’ drizzle! Then pack away to the picnic.
Need for Sweet: Picnic Proof Desserts
To round off your day in the sun, you’ll probably be craving something sweet.
But since ice cream cones, popsicles, and fro-yo are out of the question, use these recipes instead!
Bet yah 20 oranges you’ve never had peanut butter cookies like these before!
Twice the peanut butter along with a healthy dose of peanut butter chips. Then, you get the softest, most delicious gluten-free peanut butter cookies on the planet.
In the mood for something moist, fruity, sweet, gluten-free, AND free from refined sugars?
Behold, blueberry banana bread.
If you’ve got ripe bananas, extra blueberries, and gluten-free baking ingredients lying around, this bread is a picnic no-brainer.
Lemon goes with summer like salt goes with pepper.
You can’t have one without the other!
These lemon poppyseed muffins are a cinch to make and come with all the fixings of a mindblowing muffin:
Fluffy, moist, and topped with glaze.
Tahini? In a cookie?
Savory sesame paste (otherwise known as tahini) creates a slightly nutty taste in your chocolate cookie but also results in a terrific texture.
Not to mention the amazing nutrients, too, which is the perfect excuse for eating as much chocolate as you want.
Cashew nuts combined with chewy cherries make for one darn good cookie.
Plus, it’s a one-bowl recipe that only takes 30 minutes.
Be prepared for a cashew, cherry, coconut, vanilla bash in your mouth!
A picnic isn’t complete without chocolate chip cookies.
(This is the other unspoken picnic rule.)
And these almond flour chocolate chip cookies pave the way with a basic baking mixture:
Almond flour, egg, butter, sugar, vanilla, salt, baking soda, and chocolate chips.
Ditch the boxed mix.
This is better!
Gluten-free brownies might sound tricky. It can be hard to reach that gewy, thick touch.
But it’s all in the name here.
Without sacrificing texture.
Way to bring on the creativity!
Buckeye marshmallow pops are marshmallows on sticks dipped in layers of peanut butter and chocolate.
It’s the picnic popsicle version because you don’t have to worry about them melting like crazy.
Plus, you can’t go wrong with a classic peanut butter-choc combo.
Stick It to a Picnic! Gluten-Free Summer Food for Days
Cheers to a stress-free picnic!
Now, you have everything you need and more to create the best summer day ever:
Magical picnic food!