The Best Beach Sandwiches and Snacks

Southern BLT
Photo: Monica Farber/Southern Living

Break out the cooler, because beach season calls for entire days spread out in the sun, and that means packing enough portable snacks and sandwiches to fuel those long sun-soaked days. You'll want a variety of small bites, like snack mixes and dips, but also heartier fare like cold pasta salads and sandwiches to make a complete meal. One of our editors believes that no matter what you put between two slices of bread, it tastes better on the beach in the salty air, but there's also a strategy to a great beach meal. You'll want to pack items that hold up for hours on ice, like our BLT and snacks that require little or no refrigeration, like boiled peanuts or fruit skewers to maximize cooler space. For larger groups, a variety of dips and dip-able items, like summer veggies, chips, or crackers, are an easy way to feed tons of people with little effort. And don't forget dessert! Summer sweet tooths will love our Blackberry Oat Crumble bars or if cooler space allows, our Buttermilk-Peach Popsicles and Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches. These homemade alternatives to the ice cream truck favorites are a great way to cool off, just don't wait too long to serve these cold treats.

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Smoky Field Pea Hummus

Smoky Field Pea Hummus

Recipe: Smoky Field Pea Hummus

This Southern take on the Mediterranean classic is great for the beach because it can withstand the heat. Serve with your favorite chips or summer veggies for a protein-filled snack that'll keep everyone playing in the sand.

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Bacon-Pimiento Guacamole

Bacon-Pimiento Guacamole
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Recipe: Bacon-Pimiento Guacamole

While pimientos are usually seen mixed with cheese and mayonnaise to create that all time-favorite dish, pimiento cheese, in this recipe they add their sweetness and color to help create this Southern twist on guacamole. Plus, a little bacon makes everything better, right?

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Georgia-Style Boiled Peanuts

Georgia-Style Boiled Peanuts
Alison Miksch

Recipe:Georgia-Style Boiled Peanuts

Boiled peanuts are the snack of choice for Southerners no matter the destination. It doesn't get better than a handful of these peanuts served with a cold drink on the beach.

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Summer Fruit Skewers

Summer Fruit Skewers
Southern Living

Recipe: Summer Fruit Skewers

Essentially fruit salad on a stick, these skewers are a utensil free way to serve the freshest of summer fruit on the beach. Cutting the fruit into fun shapes is extra credit, but it does make the skewers very cute.

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Texas Caviar

Texas Caviar Recipe
Photo: Caitlin Bensel; Food Stylist: Torie Cox

Recipe: Texas Caviar

Salty, tangy, and spicy– this salad nails it all. We add chopped green tomatoes to this Texan classic to give it an extra bright bite.

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Smoky Snack Mix

Smoky Snack Mix
Photo: Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Smoky Snack Mix

Sure, you could buy snack mix from the store, but this smoky version with paprika and chipotle chile powder packs in more flavor than the pre-packaged stuff. This recipe is easy to double or triple, so make a big batch to last beyond just a trip to the beach.

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Cheddar Crackers

Crack Crackers Recipe
Alison Miksch; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Anna Hampton

Recipe: Cheddar Crackers

These are not your average crackers. Seasoned with a packet of ranch dressing mix, these cheddar crackers are zesty, herby, and most importantly, since they come together in one bowl in five minutes, hassle free.

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Orange-Basil Yogurt Dip

Orange-Basil Yogurt Dip
Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Orange-Basil Yogurt Dip

This refreshing Mediterranean yogurt dip is sweetened with a touch of orange and basil to balance the yogurt's natural tang. Grilled summer squash and peppers are great companions to this dip, but pita or chips work great as well.

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Spinach-and-Vidalia Dip

Spinach and Vidalia Dip
Greg Dupree Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham

Recipe: Spinach-and-Vidalia Dip

Spinach dip is a classic, but this spin adds sweet Vidalia onions into the creamy mix. Serve with your favorite veggies or crackers for a shareable beach plate.

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Fire Crackers

Fire Crackers

Recipe: Fire Cracker

This snack begins with a humble sleeve of saltines. With the help of lots of pantry seasonings and a short trip to the oven, they transform into a spicy, crunchy snack that's easy to slip into any beach bag.

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Smoked-Tomato Salsa

Smoked-Tomato Salsa
Greg Dupree; Food Styling: Anna Hampton; Prop Styling: Ginny Branch

Recipe: Smoked-Tomato Salsa

You'll give up the jarred stuff for good after making this recipe. This simple salsa has an incredible depth of flavor from the smoked tomatoes and jalapeños, that you just won't get from store-bought versions.

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Caesar Salad Bites

Caesar Salad Bites
Photo: Jennifer Davick/Prop Styling: Lydia DeGaris Pursell/Food Styling: Marian Cooper Cairns

Recipe: Caesar Salad Bites

Leafy salad can be tricky to take to the beach. Dress them beforehand and salads can get soggy or wilt, and tossing them at the beach requires utensils and a bowl. These Caesar Salad bites are handheld versions of the classic salad, that can easily be built seaside and will remain crunchy in the heat.

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Sweet Potato Chips

Sweet Potato Chips
Photo: Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Sweet Potato Chips

You might think homemade chips aren't worth the effort, but fresh chips crunch like no other. The secret to these crisp sweet potato chips is to fry in small batches at a low temperature and trust us, your effort will be greatly rewarded.

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Chili-Roasted Black Eyed Peas

Chili-Roasted Black Eyed Peas
Southern Living

Recipe: Chili-Roasted Black Eyed Peas

This recipe transforms a simple can of black eyed peas into a savory and spicy snack with just a handful of ingredients. Feel free to get creative and play with the seasonings, subbing in your favorite spice blend for the chili powder and cumin.

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Cheddar Cheese Straws

Cheddar Cheese Straws
Lee Harrelson

Recipe: Cheddar Cheese Straws

This Southern staple is a great cheesy snack to add to your beach bag rotation. It's a big hit with the kids and a welcome substitution for Goldfish crackers or Cheezits.

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Creamy Avocado Dip

Creamy Avocado Dip
Johnny Autry; Prop and Food Styling: Charlotte L. Autry

Recipe: Creamy Avocado Dip

Not to be confused with guacamole, this tangier cousin of the classic dip is a refreshing twist that tastes just as good on tortilla chips. It also doubles as a delicious sandwich spread.

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Watermelon-and-Feta Orzo Salad

Watermelon-and-Feta Orzo Salad
Photo: Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Watermelon-and-Feta Orzo Salad

Watermelon is an integral part of the summer, but instead of serving it sliced and plain, try this savory recipe for summer's favorite fruit. With salty feta and peppery arugula, this flavorful salad is an exciting addition to any beach spread.

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Classic Southern BLT

Southern BLT
Monica Farber/Southern Living

Recipe: Classic Southern BLT

Three little ingredients combine for what many would argue is the best sandwich. With a touch of garlic added to the mayo, we've given this classic the SL spin, but knew better than to mess too much with a good thing.

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Bacon Bow Tie Crackers

Bacon Bow Tie Crackers
Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Prop Styling: Lydia Pursell; Food Styling: Tami Hardeman

Recipe: Bacon Bow Tie Crackers

In this snack bacon is the center of attention. It also happens to be one of only two ingredients in this easy to pull together treat.

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Buttermilk-Peach Popsicles

Buttermilk-Peach Popsicles
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Ginny Branch; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Buttermilk-Peach Popsicles

Is there anything more summery than a popsicle? Plus, making homemade popsicles is a fun and very easy activity to do with kids. These come together quickly in a blender, the only hard part is waiting for them to freeze.

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No-Bake Granola Bars

No-Bake Granola Bars
Photo: Linda Pugliese; Prop Styling: Claire Spollen; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: No-Bake Granola Bars

During hot Southern summers nobody wants to turn on an oven. Luckily these portable treats come together without baking and use a variety of pantry staples you likely already have on hand.

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Chicken Caesar Salad Sandwiches

Chicken Caesar Salad Sandwiches
Jennifer Causey; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Chicken Caesar Salad Sandwiches

This is the ideal beach sandwich as the chicken salad mixture can be made a day ahead and assembled into sandwiches seaside. This way you avoid soggy bread or limp lettuce.

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Black Bean and Corn Salsa

black bean and corn salsa in a bowl with a bowl of chips and some beer
Photographer: Jen Causey, Prop Stylist: Christine Keely, Food Stylist: Ana Kelly

Recipe: Black Bean and Corn Salsa

Summertime is salsa time. This one is fresh, flavorful, creamy, and crunchy. It packs in the flavor thanks to a mix of spices, herbs, citrus, and a jalapeño.

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Stove-Top Bacon Popcorn

Stove-Top Bacon Popcorn
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Christine Keely

Recipe: Stove-Top Bacon Popcorn

Don't save homemade popcorn just for movie nights, the light and crunchy snack is a great treat for munching on while devouring the latest summer beach reads. This recipe adds bits of smoky bacon into the popcorn for an even more delicious snack.

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Tomato-and-Watermelon Salad

Tomato and Watermelon Salad
Oxmoor House

Recipe: Tomato-and-Watermelon Salad

A salad that combines the best of summer produce in one? Sign us up! This refreshing chilled salad with zesty red onion and a bright red wine vinaigrette will quickly become your summer go-to.

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Mini Tomato Sandwiches With Bacon Mayonnaise

Mini Tomato Sandwiches With Bacon Mayonnaise
Victor Protasio

Recipe: Mini Tomato Sandwiches With Bacon Mayonnaise

Why is it that everything is just a little bit cuter, mini? These bite-sized sandwiches are a take on a classic BLT, sans lettuce, but with the addition of multi-colored heirloom tomatoes and a rich bacon mayonnaise.

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Blackberry-Oat Crumble Bars

Blackberry-Oat Crumble Bars
Photo: Helen Norman; Prop Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller; Food Styling: Marian Cooper Cairns

Recipe: Blackberry-Oat Crumble Bars

This bar tastes like a twist between a blackberry cobbler and a bar cookie. Made with fresh summer blackberries and lots of butter, you'd better pack extra in the beach bag, because this treat will go fast.

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Salmon Bagel Sandwiches

Salmon Bagel Sandwiches
Photo: Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Torie Cox; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke

Recipe: Salmon Bagel Sandwiches

This fresh take on a breakfast favorite uses slow-cooked salmon, seasoned with an aromatic blend of lemongrass, fennel, scallions, and dry white wine to transform a lox bagel into a hearty sandwich for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

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Summer Pasta Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

Summer Pasta Salad with Lime Vinaigrette
Alison Miksch

Recipe: Summer Pasta Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

This dish will come together in the time it takes the pasta to cook. Sliced zucchini and nectarines pair well with the tart lime vinaigrette, but it's okay to swap in other stone fruit and tender veggies as well.

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Greek Grilled Chicken Pita

Greek Grilled Chicken Pita
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Greek Grilled Chicken Pita

Bored of sandwiches at the beach? Here's an idea: Go Greek. Trade sliced bread for pita and cold cuts for garlic marinated grilled chicken. This recipe is worth making for the tzatziki alone; the creamy yogurt sauce will quickly become your new favorite condiment to drizzle on everything.

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Mini Muffulettas

Mini Muffulettas
Jennifer Davick; Styling: Amy Burke

Recipe: Mini Muffulettas

Stuffed with layers of cheese, cold cuts, and pickled vegetables, these are sure to please everyone at the beach this summer. Make them a day ahead and throw them in the cooler when ready to depart for the beach.

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Three-Bean Pasta Salad

Three-Bean Pasta Salad
Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Prop Styling: Lydia Pursell; Food Styling: Toni Brogan

Recipe: Three-Bean Pasta Salad

What's better than one classic salad? Combining two together. This mash-up of pasta and three-bean salad delivers on flavor with a honey lemon dressing and lots of crunch from the slices of blanched, bright green celery.

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Turkey, Apple, and Brie Sandwich

Turkey, Apple, and Brie Sandwich
Photo: Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Lindsey Lower; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer

Recipe: Turkey, Apple, and Brie Sandwich

Turkey sandwiches are just as good at the beach as they are the day after Thanksgiving. With crunchy apple and creamy brie, roasted turkey makes for an anything but boring beach sandwich.

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Open-Faced Tomato Sandwiches with Creamy Cucumber Spread

Open-Faced Tomato Sandwiches with Creamy Cucumber Spread
Alison Miksch

Recipe: Open-Faced Tomato Sandwiches with Creamy Cucumber Spread

Tomato sandwiches in the summer are a given, but these open-faced heirloom tomato sandwiches mix it up a little bit. The herbaceous cream cheese cucumber spread is the ideal mate to sweet summer tomatoes, which are best enjoyed in every color under the rainbow.

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Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches
Photographer Victor Protasio, Food Stylist Ali Ramee, Prop Stylist Heather Chadduck

Recipe: Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Not all sandwiches need to be savory on the beach. These ice cream sandwiches taste like brownie batter ice cream and beat whatever the ice cream truck is selling every time.

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Tropical Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Tropical Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Photo: Jennifer Causey; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Tropical Chicken Lettuce Wraps

On the hottest of summer days all you need is something light and refreshing to fill you up. Wrapped in tender butter lettuce and garnished with cashews for crunch, these lettuce wraps have more flavor and texture than you would expect in their small package and lend a taste of the tropics to your next beach outing.

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Spicy Pineapple Slaw Recipe

Spicy Pineapple Slaw
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Kellie Kelley; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke

Recipe: Spicy Pineapple Slaw

Who can resist a crunchy, festive, and colorful coleslaw recipe when the temperature starts to climb? Not only is this coleslaw an easy and tasty way to use up seasonal produce, but it's also a simple side dish that comes together quickly using very few ingredients.

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Red Potato Salad

Red Potato Salad
Antonis Achilleos

Recipe: Red Potato Salad

This mayo free potato salad (yes, you read that correctly), may not taste like Mom's, but has smoky bacon, a hint of sugar, bright herbs, and a zingy dressing, for a lighter and more flavorful salad than old-fashioned recipes.

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Crunchy Pecan Pie Bites

Crunchy Pecan Pie Bites
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Crunchy Pecan Pie Bites

These two-bite clusters condense all the flavors of pecan pie into adorable and portable mini desserts. Sticky, sweet, and crunchy, we bet you won't be able to eat just one.

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