7 brilliant picnic food recipes for summer rides

What better way to reach your picnic spot than by bike?

What could be better than cycling to a beautiful spot, then breaking open a raft of delicious dishes to enjoy at a leisurely pace before cycling home. The picnic is a mighty invention, made all the better with a spot of cycling.

Of course, while the bike adds a number of benefits to the experience, such as the ability to get to a prime spot quicker, or out to a remote spot that others can't reach, it also presents a few limitations. In particular, you need both hands free, so items that can be safely stowed in a backpack without leaking everywhere are a priority.

Luckily, we've got a selection of delicious dishes to tempt you with.

We've partnered with Olive Magazine (also published by Immediate Media) to bring you the very best recipes for cyclists. All the recipes are easy to follow and take you through step-by-step how to create everything from homemade nutrition products to tasty and hearty post-ride meals. 

Fennel-spiced sausage plait

A good sturdy sausage roll will give you plenty of energy for the ride home
A good sturdy sausage roll will give you plenty of energy for the ride home

Sausage rolls aren't by any means the healthiest of picnic snacks, but they are traditional and relatively easy to transport by bike.

Making it yourself, which is surprisingly easy, also cuts down on the fat as you can opt for lean pork, up the meat content and drop the pastry percentage.

This version adds a herby twist to the classic, with fennel, chilli and mustard. Don't fancy mustard? Swap it out for a tasty red onion chutney or similar.

Prawn and avocado Vietnamese summer rolls

Light and tasty summer rolls
Light and tasty summer rolls

Easily transportable, these fresh and flavoursome little wraps are light on the tongue and the tummy. Combining crunchy vegetables with ginger, chilli, coriander and lime, they're perfect on a hot day.

Try and keep them cool in an insulated bag if you're planning on riding far on a hot day!

If you don't fancy prawns, opt for silken tofu, oyster mushrooms, or just extra veg.

Marmite and cheddar muffins

Savoury muffins make a nice change from sweet
Savoury muffins make a nice change from sweet

Ditch the sandwiches... when you want cheese and Marmite, these muffins are the way to go! The combination of a nice strong cheddar with the salty tang of Marmite — the yeast extract that's loved and hated in equal measure — is a tasty, savoury treat.

They're great on their own, or split them open and serve them with a little butter or a slather of cream cheese.

Classic Cornish pasties

The Cornish pasty is probably the original fast food on the go
The Cornish pasty is probably the original fast food on the go

The ultimate portable comfort food, the Cornish pasty is a self-contained pastry package of meat and potato. Substantial enough to satisfy the stomach of the hungriest cyclist!

The pasty is a great choice for mountain bikers heading out into the back of beyond, or how about making mini-versions to stow in the back pockets of the road cyclists jerseys? Okay, that might be pushing it!

Once you've got the pastry recipe right, you can start experimenting with fillings. While the classic pasty is strictly steak and potato, there are hundreds of combinations you could try, such as leek, potato and cheddar, or chickpea and chorizo. Get creative!

Mini picnic frittatas

Frittatas are easy and quick to make
Frittatas are easy and quick to make

Short on time and space? These tasty egg-based treats are super quick and easy to make, and what's more they're relatively light in calories and have good protein content.

These versions includes chorizo, red peppers, peas and ham hock, but you can add whatever you feel like or whatever you have left over at home. They also make a great brunch on the go or a light lunch.

Scotch eggs

The classic Scotch egg is a picnic stable
The classic Scotch egg is a picnic stable

You can't go wrong with a Scotch egg. Another traditional picnic food, the combo of tasty sausage meat and a whole egg is almost a meal in a breadcrumbed ball itself.

Don't go overboard here; fried food isn't the healthiest, but if you are going to tuck into a tasty egg then homemade is always best. Whip up a batch and impress your riding buddies.

Red devil and green goddess dips

Vegetable dips for your vitamin intake
Vegetable dips for your vitamin intake

Feeling like the above list of suggestions is a little light on the veggies? Get a concentrated dose with these two easy dips.

Bring some crunchy veg or breadsticks, pop the dips into sealable plastic container, and you've got canapes on the go!

The red dip is made with a combination of red-coloured foods, and combines peppers, harrissa and garlic, while the green contains avocado, basil and mint.

Check out our other tasty recipes and get yourself fuelled for cycling from sunrise to sunset:

Aoife Glass

Women's Cycling Editor
A mountain biker at heart, also drawn to the open road. Likes big long adventures in the mountains. Usually to be found in the Mendip Hills or the Somerset Levels in the UK. Passionate about women's cycling at all levels.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road
  • Preferred Terrain: Rocky, rough and a long way from anywhere.
  • Current Bikes: Liv Avail Advanced Pro 2015, Juliana Furtado 2013, Canyon Roadlite AL
  • Dream Bike: Juliana Roubion, Liv Avail Advanced SL
  • Beer of Choice: Red wine for the win!
  • Location: Weston Super Mare, Somerset, UK

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