3 Foil Packet Sides for Cooking Outdoors

July 11, 2017

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It’s been quite awhile since I’ve shared any recipes on here, but I hope you’ll indulge me a bit with the rare food post, because it is still something I love doing. And since we’re smack in the center of prime outdoor cooking season, I wanted to share 3 simple, but amazing foil packet sides you can cook on the grill, over a fire or even in the oven if you prefer. Versatility is key, and prepping in advance will save you a lot of trouble come meal time.

• To create larger packets, for group and family sharing, use extra wide, heavy-duty foil.
• Foil rips easily, especially on a grill grate or on top of coals in a fire. Use two or even three layers to prevent leakage should the outer layer rip, and also to reduce the intense heat and decrease burning.
• Embrace the rustic and imperfect nature of foil cooking. The purpose of it is so you can enjoy the outdoors and not worry about dinner!
• For packets with a lot of liquid in them, use a baking sheet to form your foil packet so the liquid doesn’t spill out.

Foil Packet Sides for Outdoor Cooking

1. Potatoes, Bacon & Kale (serves 6)
• 2 lbs new potatoes, medium dice
• 4 cups baby kale (or regular kale, washed thoroughly, stems removed and greens chopped)
• 10 pieces thick cut bacon, cooked and chopped
• 1 small sweet onion, diced
• 5 garlic cloves, chopped
• 2 tsp salt
• 2 tsp ground black pepper
• 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Potato, bacon & kale foil packet dinner

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, toss together to mix evenly and pour onto foil. Fold tightly and cook on indirect heat for 30-40 minutes, until potatoes are tender.

Potatoes, bacon & kale foil packet dinner

2. Shrimp & Sausage Brown Rice Jambalaya (serves 8)
• 1 lb 16-20 deveined shrimp
• 5 links andouille sausage, sliced
• 1 medium sweet onion, diced
• 1 green bell pepper, diced
• 1 red bell pepper, diced
• 2 stalks celery, small diced
• 1 14oz can fire roasted, diced tomatoes
• 6 sprigs thyme (leaves removed if preferred, though that can be a pain so I just toss them in and instruct people not to eat the stems)
• 4 sprigs oregano, leaves only
• 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
• 3 cups instant brown rice (this is important – regular brown rice takes too long to cook and everything will burn before the rice becomes tender)
• 1 lemon, sliced and deseeded (another thing to instruct people not to eat)
• 5 garlic cloves, chopped
• 1.5 cups chicken stock
• 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
• 2 tsp salt
• 2 tsp black pepper
• 1 Tbsp liquid smoke (optional)

Shrimp & Sausage Jambalaya Foil Packet Dinner

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, toss together to mix evenly and pour onto foil. Fold tightly and cook on indirect heat for 40-50 minutes, until rice is tender and no excess liquid remains.

Shrimp & Sausage Jambalaya Foil Packet Dinner

3. Lemon Berry Cobbler (serves 8)
• 16oz fresh strawberries
• 1 pint fresh blueberries
• 1/2 pint fresh blackberries
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 80z cream cheese
• 1 box Betty Crocker Super Moist Lemon Cake mix
• 1 stick unsalted butter, melted

Lemon Berry Cobbler

Toss the berries with the sugar and salt and let sit for 20 minutes. Add cream cheese in small cubes and toss together. Pour in cake mix, along with the melted butter and toss together. Pour onto foil and cook over indirect heat for 30-40 minutes. Best served with a scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream.

Lemon Berry Cobbler


3 Foil Packet Sides for Outdoor Cooking

You can see in the above picture that all of the burners directly under a foil packet were turned to low, and the other was turned to high to create an oven effect once the lid was closed. If you feel a certain packet may burn, turn its burner off and allow the ambient heat to continue cooking it more gently. If cooking over coals, use fewer coals than you would a faster cooking, smaller tinfoil dinner.

3 Foil Packet Sides for Outdoor Cooking

Which one sounds best to you and where would you cook it? Any fun camping trips or cookouts you could use these at? Would love to hear all about it, and I hope y’all are having as great of a summer as we are. Take care, Internet friends!

What do you think?

  1. Meike says:

    HI! I normally love your recipes and you guys seem to be a great balance of healthy yet tasty. But this one I found odd. Why are you using aluminum with heat? While there is still uncertainty about exactly what happens when using aluminum, I think most people agree there is more leeching during the application of heat to aluminum. It just seemed like you guys would be on top of something like this! Of course the recipes themsleves looke great, and I’m sure aluminum can easily be replaced.

    • Brooks says:

      I would assume that it’s in tin foil rather than just in the oven because tin foil dinners are commonly used while camping, where an oven isn’t available

  2. Amber says:

    I made the potatoes and jambalaya the other night in the oven just in bake pans. I didn’t have regular potatoes so I used sweet potatoes and it was so so good!!! Thanks for the recipes! I need to do some tweaking with the jambalaya- didn’t have all the ingredients and did some substituting but it was still pretty good! I’d love to do it on the grill or smoker sometime too. Summer is so awesome food wise!!!

  3. Shelley says:

    Everything looks delicious! I especially love jambalaya and can’t wait to give this recipe a try. Thanks so much for sharing.

  4. Debby says:

    I love your food posts, please don’t be apologizing for squeezing it in!

  5. Keo Wallace says:

    Hi!!!! Sorry if this is a super annoying question, but could I make these in the oven?? We don’t have a grill but I reeealllyy want to try these recipes! Thanks!

  6. Rachel A. says:

    Last night I read this post right before I went to bed, and I actually dreamed that Chris made this food for me and I ate it. It must say, it was delicious. ;-)

    One more thing, can you tell me how you like the beddys for the girls bunk beds? I have been on the fence for years about getting them for my kids beds (wanting the tidy look of a made up bed, but not sure if they look too…form fitting), I would LOVE your feedback! I really like the way they look on the bunks, not sure if they are too structured for a free standing twin.

    • Julia says:

      They’re so convenient for bunks and it really makes it easy for the girls to make their own beds (even our 3 year old!) every day. For a free-standing twin, it might be JUST as easy to just go with a duvet honestly.

  7. Meredith says:

    Definitely want to try all three of these! Yum!

  8. Sali says:

    I love the three options! I live in Spain and we also do a lot of BBQ during summer here, so I’ll try to cook at least number one and two next weekend…we rarely find cake mixes here. But great ideas all of them!!!!

  9. Jules says:

    These look amazing! I was planning to cook these on our next camping trip (we live in Colorado) but now there’s a fire ban. Going to Mt. Rainier at the end of the month and putting these on the list for that trip! Can’t wait!

  10. Meike says:

    Looks delicious, but I recently read a study that cooking with aluminum can increase the leeching of aluminum into the foods. Its fine for storage but better to avoid at higher temperatures, maybe could be solved by using some wax paper inside the aluminum.

  11. Mary says:

    Chris – I was looking at all your recipes on the blog today and found your ebooks for the the Chris loves Chicken wings/tacos/burgers. I clicked on the link to check them out from an old blog post, but it wasn’t valid. Are you guys still selling these?

    Thanks! All the recipes look amazing!

  12. kelly says:

    Can you add about how many servings each of these recipes provide please? They all sound great!

  13. Trisha says:

    I love when you do recipe posts! These look great! We recently got a fire pit, so we have been doing a lot of foil dinners, I can’t wait to give these a try. One of our current favorites is couscous, asparagus and salmon with a bit of garlic and thyme butter. Thanks for the great looking recipes!

  14. lu says:

    Cake mix!?!??! Foil!?!?!? That’s Genius!!!

  15. Morgan says:

    Love this! We are all about the foil packet. My favorite is brussels sprouts – they cook so well in a foil pack on the grill! The kale and veg looks great to me.

  16. Tanae says:

    hey i haven’t been on the blog for a bit…summer has me a little distracted. I got on this morning and wanted to say that I love the new blog layout, it looks awesome!

  17. jen says:

    Always love your food posts, a few of the Thanksgiving recipes have become a household favorite during the holidays!!

    Can’t wait to try these, especially the kale and potato one =)

  18. Dana says:

    Not really related to this, but I made your cilantro lime chicken wings yesterday on the bbq. They were so good! We will surely be making them again.

  19. Christina says:

    Salivating and inspired! Keep these posts coming every few weeks!!!

  20. Heather Bird says:

    This is awesome I am always looking for new camping recipes. Loved seeing these!

  21. Britt says:

    Looks so good! Where do you get your serving platters?

  22. Emelia says:

    I love the occasional food post! Question: We just got a pellet grill smoker and it’s made some killer pork chops and ribs. If we used it for the cobbler do you think it would take on a smokey flavor? Thanks!

    • Chris says:

      If you use a couple extra layers of foil (on top of what is mentioned in the post), and stagger the seams (wrap, flip over, wrap, flip over, wrap etc) then you’re much less likely to get smoke flavor into the dessert. Smoke is pretty invasive so even still there’s a small chance of a bit getting through, but this would really minimize it to a point where I don’t think you’d mind it at all.

  23. Kerry says:

    Yay!! I had asked on IG about the potatoes packet – so glad there’s a blog post to go along with it now! Chris, you’re always making the best recipes – so glad you’re sharing them :) Headed camping in a couple of weeks and I know what I’m making! Thanks!

  24. Crystal Diaz says:

    Can’t wait to try! Thanks for sharing!!

  25. Amber says:

    Thank you!! I was hoping for the recipe from your stories. Now excited for them all!

  26. Amanda McNutt says:

    I love these ideas! I also love that you compiled them into a post – when Julia posted about the potato, bacon & kale dish on insta-stories the other day I listened to it a few times to get all of the ingredients written down on a scrap piece of paper. ;) Please share more grilling recipes as the summer continues! I tried your grilled peaches last year and ever since I’ve been waiting for peach season to resurface just so I can have them again. (SOO good!!)

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