Easy Foil Packet

Packet cooking is a dream for anyone feeding a family — individual servings can be cooked up as needed, and there’s virtually no cleanup for you to do. Even better? The packets can be cooked outside on the grill, meaning you won’t be heating up the whole kitchen during the summer.

Foil packets are my go-to for quick weeknight dinners and entertaining alike. These recipes will show you how you can use your grill every night of the week for complete and easy meals.

  • Preheat the grill to 400 to 425°F: This will be medium or medium-high depending on your grill. If you’re cooking these packets in the oven instead, preheat to 425°F.
  • Cut the foil packets before you start: Prepare 8 (8-inch long) sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil and set aside. You’ll use two per packet — when grilling, a double layer of foil ensures the food is properly insulated and that it won’t cook too quickly. It also prevents leaks.
  • Tightly seal your packets: Packet cooking utilizes steam to cook the food, so tightly seal each packet by folding the seam tightly to completely seal.

 Easy Foil Packet Meals for the Grill

  • The grains: You can (and should!) cook pasta, rice, and grains in foil packets. Just make sure they are small, quick-cooking shapes and that they are first in the packet and therefore closest to the grill grates.
  • The proteins: The recipes below call for a variety of protein — some are sliced, some are kept whole. Consider the other ingredients in the packet when choosing which proteins to use and how to prepare them. For example, whole chicken breasts should be paired with long-cooking potatoes, while quick-cooking shrimp is best paired with quick-cooking orzo and asparagus.
  • Cooking liquids: Packets with grains like rice require more liquid — such as water and broth — while vegetable and protein-only packets just need a simple sauce like pesto or salsa. For the shrimp packet, the shrimp and asparagus let off enough liquid to cook the orzo pasta.