Favorite Picnic Recipes from Starr - Starr Tours & Charters
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Summer is upon us and that means the season of picnic potlucks has begun!

Here are some favorite, go-to crowd-pleasers from Starr:

Paula Deen’s Broccoli Cole Slaw
This is always a big hit when I make it for BBQ’s – Lisa Lande, Human Resources


Slaw Ingredients:
2 (3 oz) bags of Ramen Noodle Soup in Oriental (other flavors will work, too)
3/4 stick of butter
1/4 cup slivered almonds
2 (12 oz) bags broccoli cole slaw
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
chopped green onions for garnish

Dressing Mix:
3/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup brown or white sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 Ramen Noodle seasoning packet


Put the Ramen noodles in a bag and crush them with a rolling pin while melting butter in a large skillet over low/medium heat. Add the crushed noodles and slivered almonds to the skillet and saute, stirring occasionally (keep temperature at low/medium heat). Meanwhile, whisk together all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Place the shredded broccoli into bowl and toss with the noodles, almonds, and sunflower seeds. Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat. Garnish with chopped green onions.

Orzo Salad
This Orzo Salad is always a hit at a party or gathering. Someone always asks for the recipe! – Diane Gillispie, Executive Assistant

12 oz. Orzo pasta
2 tablespoons + 1/2 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups crumbled seasoned Feta cheese
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
3/4 cup pitted kalamata olives
4 green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons drained capers
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts


Cook Orzo according to package directions. Drain; rinse with cold water; drain well. Transfer to a large bowl. Toss with 2 tbs. olive oil. Add crumbled Feta cheese, chopped bell peppers, Kalamata Olives, green onions, and capers.
Combine lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, oregano, and mustard in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the remaining 1/2 cup olive oil. Season dressing to taste with salt & pepper.
Add dressing to Orzo mixture and toss to blend.
Can be prepared in advance. Cover and refrigerate.

Baked Beans
Friends & family love this baked beans recipe.  Whenever I made them for parties/picnics – I got wonderful compliments.  It’s delicious – especially piping hot!! – Linda Ruggieri, Tour Services

2 (16 oz) cans of baked beans
1 onion – chopped
½ cup of brown sugar
½ cup of maple syrup
¼ cup of spicy mustard
¾ cups of ketchup
8 slices of bacon


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large bowl, stir together the baked beans, onion, brown sugar, syrup, ketchup and mustard.
Pour into a 9×13 inch baking dish.
Lay strips of bacon across the top.

Bake for 45 minutes in the preheated oven, until the bacon is browned and the beans have thickened.

Pigs in a Blanket
There isn’t much to this recipe, but they’re my favorite! – Cassie Coate, Sales Assistant

8 frankfurters
8 slices American cheese
1 (10 oz) package of refrigerated biscuit dough


Preheat over to 350 degrees F. Wrap cheese around each frankfurter, then the biscuit around that. Put on a cookie sheet with the overlap of the biscuit faced down, so you don’t have to use toothpicks. Bake in preheated oven until biscuits are brown, about 10-15 minutes.

South Carolina Sweet Vinegar Coleslaw
Among the South’s great flavormates are barbeque and coleslaw. This favored rendition – a sweet but tangy combination of shredded cabbage and onion – provides the perfect foil to smoky meats or stews. It also is a welcome addition to another Southern favorite, the vegetable plate. This salad is best made the day of serving. – Carole Brown, Starr Tour Director

2 green bell peppers, seeded and finely chopped
1 large head green cabbage, about 3 lb., cored and shredded
2 yellow onions, finely chopped
4 carrots, grated
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
½ teaspoon celery seeds
Thinly-sliced red bell pepper rings for garnish


In a large nonreactive serving bowl, combine the chopped bell peppers, cabbage, onions, and carrots and set aside.

In a small nonreactive saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, oil and vinegar.  Add the mustard, salt, pepper and celery seeds and stir until well blended.  Bring to a boil and then remove from the heat.

Pour the hot dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss until well blended and evenly coated with dressing.  Let cool to room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving to allow the flavors to blend.

To serve, garnish with thinly sliced red bell pepper rings, if desired.  Serve chilled or at room temperature.

(From The South: The Beautiful Cookbook: Authentic Recipes from the American South, HarperCollins Publishers Inc., 1996, pp. 40-41)

Antipasto on a stick
This goes really well with a glass of wine (I recommend a nice Rose) and Italian bread! – Randi Charen, Retail & Group Travel Advisor


Fresh Basil
Small mozzarella balls
Grape tomatoes
Assorted Italian meats
* you can substitute for your taste preference


Place food onto a long toothpick in any order you choose
Lay on a plate
Drizzle with balsamic glaze and EVOO, pinch of kosher salt and pepper
Refrigerate and enjoy.

Star Spangled Dip from Tostitos
I love making food that looks like something else! When you’re finished, this layered bean dip looks like the American flag. – Dawn Nachbaur, Tour Services

1 bag of Tostitos Bite Size Tortilla Chips
1 jar of medium salsa
2 cans of Fritos bean dip
2 cups of shredded cheese
2 cups guacamole
1 bunch of chopped scallions
1 (24 oz) container of sour cream
35 grape tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
50 sliced olives – drained on a paper towel


Evenly spread your bean dip on the bottom of a 13×9 casserole dish. Generously sprinkle the cheddar cheese and scallions on top.
Add a layer of salsa.
Layer on the guacamole, and top it off with a sour cream layer. Use as much sour cream as you need to give your flag a white base.
Build the rows of tomato and Tostitos chips, alternating tomato and chip until you have 3 rows (stripes) of tomatoes, and 3 rows of chips.
When you get to the third chip row, start placing your olives on the top left half (corner). Be sure your olives are “dry” so that the juice doesn’t run on the sour cream. The spacing of the olives is a row of 6, then a row of 5, until there are 9 rows and 50 “stars.”
Continue making the tomato and chip stripes on the right side until you have finished your flag.

Beef Hamburgers
These simple burgers are always a crowd pleaser! – Margie Mangione, Travel Advisor

1 lb. ground beef
1 package of Hidden Valley Ranch dry dressing & seasoning mix
2 onions
a handful of chopped parsley


Mix all of the ingredients together and form hamburgers. Poke a small hole in the center with your finger and toss on the grill.

Marilyn’s Green Salad
This recipe from my grandmother is from the good ol’ days of Jello salads and was always my favorite as a kid! It’s sweet, refreshing, and lightly savory.  – Shana D’Attilio, Marketing

1 large package of lime jello
1 1/2 cups hot water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup of cottage cheese
1 small can of crushed pineapple
1/2 cup of mayonaise
1/3 cup canned Cowden milk


Dissolve the jello in the hot water and add sugar. Add the remainder of the ingredients and refrigerate until firm.

Rice Pudding
I was never a fan of rice pudding, until I tried this recipe. It’s to die for! – Nancy Reese, Product Development

3 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 cup of rice
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1 teaspoon of vanilla


Heat milk, 1/4 cup of sugar, and cinnamon stick. Stir in rice; reduce heat; cover and simmer for 40 minutes.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks, cream, and remaining sugar and vanilla.
Stir in rice mixture. Bring to a boil; cook; stirring for 2 minutes.
Transfer to a serving dish; cool and serve.


Share your favorite picnic recipes in the comments below!


  1. This is always a BIG hit at summer picnics…I’m always asked to bring it!!

    Sangria Sunset


    1 750 ml bottle of white wine
    1 medium orange sliced into wedges
    1 lemon sliced into wedges
    1 red apple sliced and chunked
    1 green apple sliced and chunked
    2 20 oz cans of pineapple chunks…reserve the juice and add it to fill up the pitcher if there is room
    1/4 cup of sugar
    4 cups of ginger ale
    4 shots of coconut rum
    sprig of mint (optional)


    Pour wine into a large pitcher
    squeeze the juice wedges from the lemon and orange into the white wine. Toss in the fruit wedges (leaving out seeds if possible) add pineapple then add sugar. Chill overnight. Add ginger ale, rum and ice just before serving.
    If you’d like to serve right away, use chilled white wine and serve over lots of ice. However, remember that the best Sangria’s are chilled around 24 hours in the frig. – allowing the flavors to really marinate into each other…sit back and enjoy!!

    I’ve also added peaches and nectarines depends on what I have on hand…it always turns out FANTABULOUS!

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