These traditional Irish picnic foods will satisfy your taste buds and nourish your soul. So, gather your loved ones, pack your picnic basket, and embark on a delightful journey celebrating the beauty of Ireland's summertime.

While Ireland's weather doesn't always cooperate, this summer has been on the whole delightful so far. If you're lucky enough to be heading out into the countryside this weekend or even your local park why not make an afternoon of it and pack a picnic? 

Here, we will delve into the world of traditional Irish picnic foods, share delightful recipes, and provide insights into what essentials to pack for a perfect Irish picnic.

Soda bread sandwiches

Irish soda bread.

Irish soda bread.

Soda bread, a staple in Irish cuisine, takes center stage in the form of hearty sandwiches for picnics. These sandwiches feature a variety of fillings, from classic ham and cheese to smoked salmon and cucumber. The dense, slightly sweet soda bread complements the fillings perfectly.


- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
-  Fillings of your choice (e.g., ham, cheese, smoked salmon, lettuce, cucumber)


Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

Gradually add the buttermilk, mixing until a soft dough forms.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead lightly.

Shape the dough into a round loaf and place it on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.

Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing it into thick slices for sandwiches.

Fill the sandwiches with your desired ingredients and pack them for your picnic.

Egg sandwiches

Egg sandwiches.

Egg sandwiches.

A staple of Irish picnics, egg and onion sandwiches are simple yet flavorful. The creamy egg salad with a hint of tangy onion is a classic combination that can be enjoyed on freshly baked soda bread or crusty rolls.


- 4 hard-boiled eggs, finely chopped
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Slices of white bread or crusty rolls.


In a bowl, combine the chopped eggs, onion, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper.

Mix well until all ingredients are evenly incorporated.

(Option: Add chopped tomatoes or lettuce to the mix)

Spread the egg salad generously onto your bread.

Cut the sandwiches into desired shapes and pack them for your picnic.

Smoked salmon and dill cream cheese wraps

For a taste of luxury, incorporate smoked salmon into your Irish picnic spread. These wraps combine the delicate flavors of smoked salmon with a creamy dill-infused cream cheese, creating an elegant and satisfying dish. 


- 4 large flour tortillas
- 8 ounces of cream cheese, softened
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
- 8 ounces smoked salmon slices
- Fresh lettuce leaves


In a bowl, mix the softened cream cheese with fresh dill until well combined.

Spread a generous amount of the cream cheese mixture onto each flour tortilla.

Arrange smoked salmon slices and lettuce leaves evenly on top of the cream cheese.

Roll up the tortillas tightly and secure with toothpicks, if necessary.

Slice the wraps diagonally into smaller portions and pack them securely for your picnic.

Fresh fruit salad

Incorporate the vibrant colors and flavors of fresh Irish produce into your picnic with a refreshing fruit salad. Choose seasonal fruits such as strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and sliced apples. For an extra burst of flavor, drizzle the fruit salad with a honey-lime dressing.


- 2 cups mixed berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries)
- 1 apple, thinly sliced
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Fresh mint leaves (optional, for garnish)


In a bowl, combine the mixed berries and sliced apple.

In a separate small bowl, whisk together the lime juice and honey.

Drizzle the honey-lime dressing over the fruit and gently toss to combine.

Garnish with mint.

Irish cheese and charcuterie board

Irish cheese and charcuterie board

Irish cheese and charcuterie board

Embrace the rich tradition of Irish cheese and create a mouthwatering charcuterie board for your picnic. Include a variety of locally produced cheeses, such as Cashel Blue, Dubliner, and Knockdrinna. Pair them with slices of cured meats, artisan bread, chutneys, and fresh fruits for a delightful grazing experience in the great outdoors.

Traditional beverages

To quench your thirst on a warm summer day, consider packing traditional Irish beverages. A refreshing option is a homemade lemonade, combining freshly squeezed lemons, sugar, and sparkling water. For those who prefer a taste of Ireland, a bottle of craft cider or a flask of Irish whiskey mixed with ginger ale can add a touch of authenticity to your picnic experience.

* Originally published in 2023, updated in April 2024.