Favorite Cruise Recipes: Barbecue Ribs & Chicken for Labor Day

Favorite Cruise Recipes: Barbecue Ribs & Chicken for Labor Day

This Monday is Labor Day in the United States and other countries. It honors the labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of their country. For many, it’s a weekend to relax, spend time with family and, of course, barbecue! Some of you might even be embarking a Holland America Line cruise.

We love to host a good barbecue for our guests, and many of our cruises are enhanced by festive parties out on the Lido Deck where barbecue delicacies take center stage on the menu. From traditional favorites like chicken to more exotic entrees like salmon, there are many ways to serve up fantastic barbecue dishes.

Here are two of Holland America Line’s favorite barbecue recipes to assist you this weekend as you fire up the grill and barbecue for family and friends.



Serves: 10

2.5 pounds Chicken legs Halved into thigh/ drumstick portions
5 oz BBQ Sauce
3.5 tsp Garlic, minced
2.5 tsp BBQ spice
4 tsp Olive oil
2.5 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
4 tsp Cider vinegar
3.5 tsp Brown sugar
3.5 tsp Harissa Paste
1/2 tsp Tabasco
Scallions, chopped for garnish

1. Make two slashes, about one inch apart, into the thickest part of the drumstick and thigh meat, cutting to the bone. Season chicken with salt/pepper/ BBQ spice. Mix in garlic and olive oil.

2. In bowl, mix barbecue sauce with Tabasco, harissa paste, brown sugar and vinegar.

3. Place chicken on hot grill, cook for 20-25 minutes turning until chicken is starting to turn golden brown. Using a thermometer chicken should reach 165F internal temperature. Brush chicken generously with the barbecue sauce all over and continue cooking to create a golden brown, shiny glaze on the chicken. Remove from grill and serve.

4. Once plated, add additional sauce and garnish with chopped scallions.

Labor Day is the perfect time to try out one of Holland America Line's barbecue recipes.

Labor Day is the perfect time to try out one of Holland America Line’s barbecue recipes.


Serves: 10

5 lbs Pork Spare Ribs
2 tbsp Olive Oil
5 tsp Garlic, Minced
2.5 tsp BBQ spice
1.5 tsp Cayenne pepper
1.5 tsp Mesquite
1.5 tsp Paprika
2 tsp Chili powder
7.5 oz Barbecue Sauce
1.5 tbsp Apple juice
1/3 cup Tomato ketchup
2 tsp Cornstarch
1 tsp Water
4 tsp Apple cider vinegar
4.5 tsp Granulated sugar
1.5 tsp Mesquite for marinade
2 tsp Chili powder for marinade
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Caramelize sugar in thick-bottom pan, deglaze pan with vinegar and allow reducing until syrupy and bubbling. Add apple juice, tomato ketchup, barbecue sauce, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper, paprika, mesquite and chili powder. Bring to a simmer for 10 minutes, thicken sauce as needed with cornstarch slurry (water/cornstarch mix), strain through a china cap to remove any lumps. Save until needed.

1. In food pan marinate ribs in olive oil, garlic, barbecue spice, cayenne pepper, mesquite, paprika and chili powder for 24 hours.

2. Remove ribs from marinade and brown on hot grill at 450F. Transfer to 2-inch pan. Place in oven at 350F and bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown on outside.

3. Remove from oven and brush each rib with barbecue sauce, cover with foil and place back in oven for 25 minutes.

4. Remove foil and complete cooking for 10 more minutes until ribs are well glazed. Just prior to serving place back on hot grill to complete cooking.

5. To serve, plate ribs, then sprinkle with scallions and additional sauce on request.

Don’t forget to serve the barbecue entree with some fantastic sides like potato salad, coleslaw, baked beans and fresh fruit.

Guest choose their sides at a barbecue on deck.

Cruise guests choose their sides at a barbecue on deck.

Bottom photos courtesy of Cees Kloppenburg.

Bottom photos courtesy of Cees Kloppenburg.

And of course, a delicious dessert is a must. Shake up a traditional s’more by adding some pineapple inside, like the Westerdam team recently served.

Pineapple Smores


Which recipe will you be trying this weekend? Tell us below! Happy Labor Day!


Join the Discussion


  1. Peggy S Williamson September 15, 2015 at 11:27 am - Reply

    Loved all of your food we had during our trip to Alaska! Where can I get the recipe for the chilled Strawberry Bisque we had for dinner one evening?
    Pegg S Williamson

  2. Lilian Lim October 27, 2015 at 6:57 am - Reply

    Just came back from the Panama Canal 18 Days Cruise with HAL Westerdam (Sept-Oct 2015). Had this wonderful Lemon Tote Desserts. Love to have the recipe. Also, love the daily Chocolate and Macadamia cookies. Love to have the recipes too.
    It was a very wonderful trip … Good foods and good services.
    Thank you !!!!!
    Lilian Lim

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