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grilled shrimp and veggies in a foil pack

Take advantage of warm summer nights with these foil-pack recipes, designed for outdoor cooking over your grill or a campfire. When you’re done, simply rinse and reuse or recycle the foil for stress-free cleanup.

If you want to enjoy these recipes after summer’s long gone, they’re easy to bring indoors, too. Simply place your foil packs on a sheet pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes, and check for doneness before enjoying.

Note: Some studies have shown that when aluminum foil is baked, small amounts of aluminum can leach into your food, particularly if the temperature exceeds 450 degrees F. But don’t toss your foil just yet: Your flame likely won’t be that hot — and if it is, only about 0.1 percent of that ingested aluminum is absorbed by your body; the rest is eliminated by your gastrointestinal tract.

Campfire Cooking

To enjoy these recipes around the campfire, follow these instructions.

  1. For consistent heat, build a campfire with two sections: one for a rolling fire and one for hot embers. Start a steady fire and continuously transfer embers to the other half of the pit. Be patient; this can take 30 to 40 minutes.
  2. Place a grate over the fire pit.
  3. Place foil packs directly on the grate over the embers. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes, flipping halfway through. Carefully open the foil pack to test for doneness.
  4. Maintain consistent heat by transferring embers from the fire to beneath the foil packs. Add logs to the burning fire as needed. (See “How to Build a Campfire” for more tips.)

Shrimp Boil Foil Pack

shrimp and veggies grilled in a foil pack

Yields 6 servings | Prep time 25 minutes | Cook time 25 minutes

  • 6 oz. precooked pork or chicken andouille sausage, sliced
  • 2 medium red potatoes, diced
  • 2 ears of corn, cut into thirds
  • 2 cups stemmed and chopped collard greens or Tuscan kale
  • 3 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

Seasoning Blend

  • 2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 3/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

Directions

  1. Preheat grill to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place sausage and vegetables in a large bowl. Add olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper and stir to combine.
  3. In a small bowl, mix seasoning-blend ingredients to create a paste. Pat shrimp dry, then place in a large bowl and toss with paste to evenly coat.
  4. Cut six 12-inch squares of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Evenly divide sausage and vegetable mixture among the squares, then top with shrimp.
  5. Place foil packs on the grill and close the cover. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes, flipping halfway through. Carefully open the foil pack and test potatoes for doneness before enjoying.

Italian Chicken and Veggies Foil Pack

Italian chicken and mixed veggies in a foil pack

Yields 4 servings | Prep time 20 minutes (plus one hour optional marinating time) | Cook time 30 minutes

  • 1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced into half-moons
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • Shredded Parmesan to garnish (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat grill to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss until everything is evenly coated with oil and spices. (Optional: Allow to marinate for an hour before cooking.)
  3. Cut four 12-inch squares of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Evenly divide mixture among the squares.
  4. Place foil packs directly on the grill and close the cover. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes, flipping halfway through. Carefully open the foil pack and test chicken for doneness before enjoying.

Spicy Ginger Tempeh and Eggplant Foil Pack

spicy ginger tempeh and veggies in a foil pack

Yields 4 servings | Prep time 15 minutes (plus 30 minutes to eight hours of marinating time) | Cook time 30 minutes

  • 1 small eggplant, sliced into half-moons
  • 1/2 cup julienned carrots
  • 4 heads baby bok choy, halved
  • 8 oz. organic tempeh, cubed
  • Sliced scallions and cashews to garnish (optional)

Marinade

  • 1/3 cup tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tbs. honey
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp. red-pepper flakes

Directions

  1. Preheat grill to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk marinade ingredients until combined.
  3. In a large bowl, toss vegetables and tempeh with marinade until evenly coated. Set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes at room temperature, or in the refrigerator for up to eight hours.
  4. Cut four 12-inch squares of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Evenly divide mixture among the squares.
  5. Place foil packs directly on the grill and close the cover. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes, flipping halfway through. Carefully open the foil pack and test veggies for doneness before enjoying.

Chili-Lime Tilapia Foil Pack

Chili lime tilapia and veggies in a foil pack

Yields 4 servings | Prep time 15 minutes | Cook time 30 minutes

  • 4 6-oz. tilapia fillets
  • 2 15-oz. cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 medium red bell peppers, sliced
  • 3/4 cup sliced red onion

Chili-Lime Paste

  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • 4 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 4 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tbs. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. lime zest

Directions

  1. Preheat grill to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk ingredients for chili-lime paste until combined.
  3. Pat tilapia dry, then divide chili-lime paste evenly onto each fillet, spreading to cover both sides.
  4. Cut four 12-inch squares of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Distribute black beans evenly among the squares. Place tilapia fillet on top of beans, then top with bell peppers and onions.
  5. Place foil packs directly on the grill and close the cover. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes, flipping halfway through. Carefully open the foil pack and test fish for doneness before serving.

WEBEXTRA

Steak and Potatoes Foil Pack

Yields 4 servings | Prep time 15 minutes | Cook time 20 minutes

  • 2 1/2 cups chopped broccoli
  • 1 lb. fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 4 6-oz. sirloin steaks

Spice Rub

  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. organic cane sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder

Directions

  1. Preheat grill to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place broccoli and potatoes in a large bowl. Add 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, sea salt, black pepper, and sliced garlic. Stir until evenly coated.
  3. Pat steak dry, then coat both sides of each steak with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk spice-rub ingredients until combined. Add 1 teaspoon of spice rub to each steak and use your hands to gently spread mixture to cover the whole steak.
  5. Cut four 12-inch squares of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Evenly distribute vegetable mixture among the squares, then top with steak.
  6. Create pack by folding the shorter ends of the foil over the contents, and then tightly folding the sides and pinching together to create a leakproof seal.
  7. Place foil packs directly on the grill and close cover. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, flipping halfway through. Use a meat thermometer to monitor steak temperature to reach desired doneness. Steak is medium-rare at 135 degrees F.
  8. Allow foil packs to rest for 10 minutes before enjoying.

This article originally appeared as “Pack It Up” in the June 2021 issue of Experience Life.

Photos: Andrea D’Agosto; Prop Styling: Alicia Buszczak; Food Styling: Paul Jackman
Maddie
Maddie Augustin

Maddie Augustin is a Minneapolis-based recipe developer.

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