The Easiest & Best Hobo Packets Recipe


Hobo packet foil recipes are one of the easiest ways to eat a balanced home-cooked meal on busy nights, and even while camping or having a BBQ! A hobo dinner is a hearty combination of meat, savory vegetables, melted cheese, potatoes, and seasonings is enough to make your mouth water! 

Easy hobo packets recipe - one packet meal dinner idea shown in two foil wrapped packets filled with meat, vegetables and cheese with a fork in the front of the image lifting a bite - Kids Activities Blog
This hobo dinner recipe is incredibly easy and kids LOVE the adventure!

HOW TO MAKE HOBO PACKETS

My family loves whenever I make any type of hobo packets recipe for dinner, and I love that it’s super easy to prep after a long day! A hobo dinner is a dish that pretty much “makes” itself! 

The best thing about dinner foil packets recipes, is that they are made from the most basic pantry/fridge ingredients–and you don’t even need to really dirty a pan, thanks to the foil!

You can tweak foil bag dinners like these grilled hobo packets to suit whatever meat and veggies you have on hand!

Not only is this a great recipe for camping trips, cookouts, and busy nights, it’s also a great recipe when you are running low on groceries, and need creative meal ideas before your next shopping trip. It’s time to make hobo dinners! It sounds weird, but I promise these hobo dinner foil packets are worth it.

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THIS HOBO PACKETS RECIPE

  • Serves: 4-6
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20-25 minutes

Ingredients Needed to Make Hobo Dinner Packets

Ingredients needed to make hobo dinner packets - beef, mayo, worcestershire sauce, minced onions, baby potatoes, carrots, onion, olive oil, italian seasoning, cheese and parsley
This is what you will need to make yummy hobo packets for dinner.
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef 
  • ½ cup mayonnaise 
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 
  • 2 tablespoons dried minced onions 
  • 1 pound baby potatoes or small potatoes, cut in half
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 small white or yellow onion, sliced thinly 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning, divided, homemade or store bought
  • 8 ounces colby jack cheese, grated 
  • Fresh parsley for garnish, optional 

INSTRUCTIONS TO MAKE HOBO PACKETS

Step 1

Step 1 - Hobo Dinner Packets Recipe - bowl with beef, mayo, worcestershire sauce and minced onions from above
Let’s start by spicing up the beef!

In a large bowl, combine ground beef, mayo, Worcestershire sauce and minced onions and well combined.

Tip: I usually wear disposable gloves to mix up the meat, so any spicy seasonings don’t stay on my fingertips even after washing (ow, eyes!), and it helps with clean up!

Step 2

Step 2 - Hobo Dinner Packets Recipe - seasoned meat separated and pressed into 6 flat patties on a cookie sheet
Form the seasoned meat into patties to put in your hobo packets.

Form your seasoned meat into 6 flat patties.

Step 3

Step 3 - Hobo Dinner Packets Recipe - vegetables prepared, sliced and seasoned in a bowl with a wooden spoon
We often pre-prep the veggies so putting together the hobo packets is quicker at dinner.
  1. Clean and cut potatoes, carrots and onion and add to a large bowl.
  2. Drizzle half of the oil and sprinkle with half of the Italian seasoning.
  3. Stir.
  4. Add the remaining oil and Italian seasoning.
  5. Stir again.

Step 4

Step 4 - Hobo Dinner Packets Recipe - aluminum foil square topped with seasoned veggies and beef patty
Time to make our individual foil packets for each person eating dinner!

Spread out 6 aluminum foil squares and add a portion of the vegetables onto each foil in the middle. Top each seasoned vegetable group with a beef patty.

Seal Each Foil Packet

  1. Fold the left and right foil edge up to the middle of the middle with overlap allowing you to fold over the edges several times in a roll.
  2. Fold in the top and the bottom edges into a fold.
  3. Crinkle areas that need a little extra “sealing”.

Step 5

Heat grill to medium heat or 325 degrees F. Place packets on grill and cook for 20-25 minutes turning and slightly shaking packet regularly to prevent burning.

Step 6

Step 6 - Hobo Dinner Packets Recipe - aluminum foil packets on the grill with the closest one open with a fully cooked beef patty and roasted vegetables inside

Remove when vegetables are tender and hamburger is 150 degrees F for medium well done.

Step 7

Serve immediately!

How to Store Leftover Hobo Packets

First, allow the cooked hobo packet to cool completely. If it is not fully sealed, place it inside of a sealed container or plastic bag and store in the fridge for up to 2 days.

How to Re-Heat Hobo Dinner packets

Re-heat your aluminum foil packets in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until warm throughout.

Can Hobo Dinner Packets be Cooked in Oven?

Yes, you can cook hobo dinners wrapped in foil in the oven. Start by pre-heating the oven to 375 degrees F. Follow the instructions above for this recipe and then place in the middle of your pre-heated oven for 35-45 minutes or until the beef is done. The cooking time can vary due to the thickness of your beef patty.

When is the Beef Done?

Keep in mind that it’s essential to ensure that the beef is fully cooked to avoid foodborne illnesses. The USDA recommends cooking beef to a minimum internal temperature of 145°F (63°C) for medium-rare, and 160°F (71°C) for medium. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the beef before consuming.

Variations for Hobo Dinner Packets

  • Change out the vegetable ingredients in your hobo packet recipe: There are a number of ways to make these! If you don’t like carrots, you can use fresh green beans. Or if you don’t want regular potatoes you can use sweet potatoes.
  • Substitute veggies for the potatoes: Cut up onions, green peppers, red peppers, and mushrooms if you don’t want potatoes. It’ll be more of a stir-fry blend.
  • Dairy Free Hobo Packets: Can’t have dairy? Dairy-free cheese is great on top of the hamburger patties. If you don’t like dairy-free cheese, then you can top it with a packet of brown gravy mix. I’d break it up between packs, not just put 1 pack in a hobo dinner packet.
  • Hobo packet topping idea: You could also top with onion soup mix, but limit it because it is salty. But it would be a great flavor over the top of the veggies too.
  • Substitute the beef in your hobo pockets: Not a beef fan? Don’t want ground beef patties? You can use ground turkey, ground chicken, or ground venison as well. Ground venison might need a pat of butter on top because it is so lean. Using vegetarian meat substitute crumbles also works really well in this campfire meal.

Prep Time
15 minutes

Cook Time
25 minutes

Total Time
40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dried minced onions
  • 1 pound baby potatoes or small potatoes, cut in half
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 small white or yellow onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning, divided, homemade or store bought
  • 8 ounces colby jack cheese, grated
  • Fresh parsley for garnish, optional

Instructions

    1. In a large bowl, combine ground beef, mayo, Worcestershire sauce and minced onions and well combined.
    2. Form into 6 patties.
    3. Clean and cut potatoes, carrots and onion and add to large bowl.
    4. Drizzle with half of the oil and sprinkle with half of the Italian seasoning, stir.
    5. Drizzle with remaining oil and sprinkle remaining seasoning, stir.
    6. Divide vegetables into 6 packets and place hamburger patty on top of vegetables.
    7. Fold foil over and seal packet.
    8. Heat grill to medium heat or 325 degrees F.
    9. Place packets on grill and cook for 20-25 minutes turning and slightly shaking packet often to prevent burning.
    10. Remove when vegetables are tender and hamburger is 150 degrees F for medium well done.
    11. Serve immediately.
    12. Store leftovers in refrigerator. 

What is a hobo dinner?

A hobo dinner is a foil-wrapped dinner that includes everything for a single meal, in individual portions – meat, veggies, and seasonings. Hobo dinners are sometimes called campfire meals literally because they are so handy when camping or having a cookout. It is meant to be an easy-to-prep, easy-to-cook, whole meal in a package of foil.

Hobo dinners sound boring but they are actually quite delicious. They layer together hearty flavors then the foil packet is sealed tightly to trap in the flavors and juices while cooking. This method of cooking allows for easy cleanup and individual portion sizes. There is not even a pan to wash because you just throw away the used foil!

Can you cook hobo dinner in the oven?

Absolutely! Not only are hobo dinners super easy and convenient for camping and outdoor meals, but they also make a great dish for busy weeknights. Hobo dinners are also a great way to make dinner fun. Even my pickiest eater will make her own hobo packet if she gets to include the vegetables she actually likes.

Hobo dinners are also good for the meal plan when you have lots of vegetables in the vegetable drawer. You can change up what you include based on each person’s preference, use up those remnants of veggies that would otherwise go bad, and prep your meal the night before to pop in the oven as soon as you get home.

  1. Preheat your oven to the desired temperature, typically around 375°F (190°C).
  2. Prepare your ingredients by chopping meat, vegetables, and seasoning as desired.
  3. Tear off a large piece of aluminum foil, around 12-18 inches in length, and place it on a baking sheet.
  4. Place your ingredients in the center of the foil, layering them as desired. Make sure to season and season each layer as you go.
  5. Fold the foil over the ingredients to create a packet, sealing it tightly to prevent any steam from escaping during cooking. Fold the edges of the foil over and crimp them to ensure a tight seal.
  6. Repeat the process for each individual hobo dinner packet.
  7. Place the packets on the baking sheet and transfer it to the preheated oven.
  8. Bake for approximately 30-45 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Cooking times may vary depending on the ingredients and packet size.
  9. Carefully remove the hobo dinner packets from the oven using oven mitts or tongs.
  10. Allow the packets to cool slightly before opening, as they will release steam when opened.
  11. Open the foil packets carefully, being mindful of the hot steam, and serve the contents directly from the foil or transfer them to plates.

What sort of ingredients can I use in a hobo dinner?

Hobo dinners are the solution to staring endlessly in your refrigerator wondering what to cook for dinner. Remember the model is meat + vegetables + seasonings = dinner. So take a look at our list of top ingredients that work well in a hobo dinner if you are planning a camping trip or just dinner at home.

  • Ground beef
  • Chicken breast
  • Sliced steak
  • Shrimp
  • Salmon fillet
  • Sausage links
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Bell peppers
  • Zucchini
  • Corn on the cob
  • Green beans
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Mushrooms
  • Garlic
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Spinach or kale
  • Asparagus
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Butternut squash
  • Eggplant
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Cabbage
  • Rice or quinoa
  • Black beans or chickpeas
  • Parmesan or cheddar cheese
  • Bacon
  • Fresh herbs (such as rosemary, thyme, or basil)
  • Lemon or lime slices
  • Soy sauce or teriyaki sauce
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Olive oil or butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • Paprika or chili powder
  • Cumin or coriander
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Honey or maple syrup

EASY CAMPFIRE & GRILL RECIPES FROM KIDS ACTIVITIES BLOG

What are your favorite ingredients to add into a hobo packet recipe? 



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