9 Essential Picnic Foods: From Deli Salads to Desserts

We’re taking al fresco dining to another level by packing a picnic for the park. You could put in a lot of prep work and make all of your plant-based bites from scratch, but sometimes, you just get the spontaneous urge to enjoy a picnic with friends. For the days when nice weather beckons you outside, turn to pre-made vegan goods and get on with your picnic. We prefer the latter option. Grab your blanket and your basket and stock up on these nine tasty, vegan products.

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What do vegans take on a picnic?

With more vegan products on the market than ever before, there are numerous snack options, spanning from fresh fruit to packaged vegan goods, to take on a picnic. Seriously, from Trader Joe’s to Walmart to Whole Foods, the shelves are packed with tasty plant-based options. But if you’re having trouble narrowing it down, here are some of our top vegan picnic suggestions. 

RELATED: 23 Creative Ways to Use Avocado, From Cakes to Ice Cream

Pack these 9 vegan foods for your next picnic

From dips to dessert, these pre-made, plant-based foods will make picnic prep a breeze.


1 Vegan deli slices

Back in the day, vegan meats were passable in a sandwich but avoided on their own. Today, these products are so good we eat them as a protein-heavy snack. Try Tofurky Deli Slices in Hickory Smoked and Peppered or Unreal Deli’s Roasted Turk’y, Corn’d Beef, and Steak Slices.

Mini Cupcakes@glutenfreecharlotte/Instagram

2 Cupcakes

Cake typically does not travel well—the frosting makes any journey a perilous one as it’s prone to melting or becoming smushed by even the slightest pressure in your picnic basket. The solution: individually packaged store-bought cupcakes and cake bites.

From Better Bites Bakery to Just Desserts, you can find several options of carefully contained vegan treats at your local grocer. Try the Better Bites Lil’ Mo Cupcakes (Hostess cupcake analogs) or Rubicon Bakers’ single-serve vegan cupcakes in chocolate and Neopolitan flavors. Vegan muffin brand Abe’s has also gotten in on the cupcake game. For larger gathering, grab a 12-count box of Abe’s chocolate or vanilla cupcakes.

Canned Draft LatteLa Colombe

Canned cold brews 

The sun is beating down and it’s high time for that afternoon slump, but you can side-step the drowsiness with a single-serving cold brew or canned latte. La Colombe makes creamy and frothy oat milk lattes in a sweet Vanilla flavor and extra-strength Double variety. Check out more of our favorite caffeine kicks here, then down one right before round two of your pick-up picnic frisbee game.

Tuna Deli SaladRabbit Hole Foods

4 Vegan deli salads

Yep, the grocery store has deli salad covered, too, and you don’t have to go to the hot bar for it. Check out your local market’s refrigerated premade meal section for an array of plant-based deli salads. Most Whole Foods locations now stock Rabbit Hole Foods’ classic deli salads. Choose from Un-Egg, Un-Tuna, Un-Crab, and Spinachoke Dip. 


5 Premade wraps

Grocery stores equipped with prepared food sections are stepping up their vegan game, and now you can find several grab-and-go options in the refrigerated meal section. Scan the shelves of your local Whole Foods for Urban Remedy’s Upbeet Vegan Cheeseburger Wrap (yes, it’s good cold). Trader Joe’s also offers the Veggie Wrap With Hummus, which is a healthy, nourishing option guaranteed to keep you going. Pair your handheld meal with a bag of cotton candy grapes and you’re set for the afternoon. 


6 Dips

Is it a picnic without at least one dip? Doubtful. Grab a bag of chips or crudité and pair them with Kite Hill’s Queso or Spinach Artichoke dip. If you’re going for a slightly more upscale outdoor experience, create an al fresco cheeseboard. Miyoko’s Roadhouse Cheddar and Treeline’s Soft French-Style Nut Cheeses both come in convenient tubs you can pack in your basket or cooler. Fend off double-dip villains by giving each picnic partner their own knife.


7 Chips

You need a crunchy vessel for those dips, and carrot sticks and celery don’t always satisfy like a chip. Gluten-sensitive or intolerant picnickers should grab a box of Simple Mills’ Organic Seed or Almond Flour crackers (avoid the cheddar varieties) to dip to their heart’s delight. Run out of dip? Snacklins’ Plant Crisps, and Vegan Rob’s puffs all itch that crunchy-salty craving and are best served straight from the bag and into your mouth.

VegNews.cheapvegansnackswalmart.partakefoodsPartake Foods

8 Cookies

Cookies make for the perfect picnic dessert. We love Parktake Foods, Maxine’s Heavenly, Lenny & Larry’s, and Rule Breaker Snacks (the latter is more of a brownie than a cookie, but these chickpea-based treats are too delightful to exclude).


9 Kombucha

Alcohol may not be allowed at the park, but there’s nothing prohibiting kombucha. Humm, Rowdy Mermaid, Boochcraft, Brew Dr., and Health-Ade all make seasonal, fruit-forward flavors. Cheers to the perfect picnic with no prep required.

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