Outbound Collective logo

Campfire Recipe: 5 Tin Foil Packet Favorites

Whoever said they don’t like to camp because they don’t like freeze-dried camp food has never camped with me!

By: Matthew Eaton + Save to a List

Several years ago I was an assistant leader is my cousin’s cub-scout pack and as a younger leader, all of these young boys looked to me to make the outdoors super cool. Years later, my cousin said how much he loved camping with me because we always went to cool places, had great hikes, but more importantly, we ate great food and enjoyed the campfire! Admittedly, I do love to eat great food and everyone knows that any food tastes better at camp after a great day in the outdoors, so I never knew if my recipes were actually good or if I was just really hungry. Well, here are 5 of my favorite foil packet campfire recipes that you can check out and decide for yourself.

Photo: Matthew Eaton

To avoid puncturing and spilling your dinner in the fire, definitely use heavy duty foil. Nothing is worse than having spent a day hiking in the outdoors, working up that appetite to see it spill and become ashes in front of your eyes (trust me, I know). The risk averse could also make all of these in a dutch oven, but I’ve always preferred the packets when possible so everyone gets to make their own meal a little different. Just don’t forget to mark which one is yours!

Photo: Matthew Eaton

The key to success is building a fire in advance and getting a nice bed of coals ready. When car camping, I get my fire roaring for a while, let it settle down into some coals, then I actually add charcoal to the side of my fire which helps to ensure that all the packets cook evenly. Charcoal tends to be a more even heat with fewer cold spots than coals created from just wood. You are totally fine to skip the charcoal, just make sure that you bring a camp shovel to move around the coals to create a nice cooking space.

Photo: Matthew Eaton

For all of these recipes, you’ll want to add the ingredients into a double walled foil packet and give a light shake to mix them up. The ingredient list will make a meal for 3-4, depending on portions simply increase or decrease the amount of food you need. With that, I think you’re ready to cook!

1. Old Faithful

Photo: Matthew Eaton

  • 1 package sausage
  • 4 potatoes / bag of pre-diced, frozen potatoes
  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 1 yellow onion
  • Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
  • Olive Oil Spray
  • Cheddar Cheese

Place on hot coals for 30 minutes, rotating every 10.

2. Beef Stew

Photo: Matthew Eaton

  • 1lb stew meat
  • 2 can tomato soup
  • 1/4C red wine
  • 5 sliced carrots
  • 5 sliced potatoes
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Place on hot coals for at least 45 minutes, turning every 10 minutes. The longer you can leave this one on the fire the more tender the meat will be.

3. Mexican Chicken Hash

Photo: Matthew Eaton

  • 2 diced chicken breasts
  • 2 potatoes / one bag of pre-diced, frozen potatoes
  • 1 cup of diced hatch green chilis / 2 cans of El Paso
  • 1 can pinto or ranch style beans
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Red chili pepper
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • Lime juice from 1 lime

Place on hot coals for 30 minutes, rotating every 10.

4. Sweet Potato Tacos

Photo: Matthew Eaton

  • 2 sweet potatoes, cubed
  • I can black beans
  • 1 can white corn
  • Lime juice from 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp red chili pepper / cayenne pepper
  • Rosemary
  • Feta cheese
  • Corn tortillas
  • Avocado on top

Place on hot coals for 40 minutes, rotating every 10. A little vinegar based coleslaw makes a great side for these tacos, adding a nice crunch and can always be prepared at home if you don’t want to bring the ingredients.

5. Catch of the Day

Photo: Matthew Eaton

  • Freshly caught and filleted fish
  • Asparagus
  • Olive oil
  • Dill
  • Salt
  • Lemon

This recipe I do a little different. As fish is super delicate, I make more of a foil plate that be folded in half and layer the ingredients. Start with some pre-cooked rice on the bottom, asparagus on top of the rice, then the fish, and top with sliced lemon and dill. But don’t forget to season the fish with salt and pepper! Fold the foil over the top then place on hot coals for 30 minutes. I do not turn this recipe so the fish doesn’t get burnt, rather if when I open to check on the fish and it’s taking too long, I place a couple coals on top of the foil.

BONUS: Base Camp Breakfast Scramble

  • 2 potatoes/ one bag of pre-diced, frozen potatoes
  • 1lb hot sausage
  • 1 cup of diced hatch green chilis/ 2 cans of El Paso
  • 6 eggs prepped for scrambled style but not cooked
  • Cheddar Cheese

Cover photo: Matthew Eaton

Don't see your favorite adventure on The Outbound? Show us by creating an adventure.

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Do you love the outdoors?

Yep, us too. That's why we send you the best local adventures, stories, and expert advice, right to your inbox.


8 Amazing national park lakes to explore this Summer

The Outbound Collective

Add these three North Carolina destinations to your must-visit list

The Outbound Collective

California national parks 101

The Outbound Collective

You gotta make this camping recipe for herby red lentil spread

Emily Nielson