Cooking with Foil Packets

If you enjoy making these delicious Cooking with Foil Packets (Campfire Stew) over a fire while camping, now you can make them anytime, at school or home, in the convenience of your oven. It’s a great way to incorporate a variety of nutrients and food groups!



  • Ask students to list the dinners they’ve eaten in the last week or two. After they’ve made their lists, ask them to circle any meals that were homemade and draw a line through any that were fast food, takeout or delivery, frozen dinners or any other premade food.  What’s left?
  • Discuss that many people turn to these premade convenience foods for many reasons:  lack of time or skills, want something that’s quick/easy to prepare and even clean-up especially if schedules are busy due to work and sports activities.
  • This is where you can introduce foil packet cooking. Hold up some aluminum foil, some frozen veggies, a package of ground beef, some grains, cheese and seasonings and ask students what they can make. Or ask them if they’ve ever been camping and used foil to prepare a meal. In either situation, all of the ingredients can be used to make a healthy, well balanced and hearty foil packet dinner and this leads to the next lab!

Teacher Prep for Day 1

  • Cook ground beef, ground chicken or ground turkey and onions in a crock pot so it’s ready for the prep day of the lab.
  • Make sure the frozen vegetables (corn and peas & carrots) are thawed for the prep day and the spinach is washed.

Prep Day

  • Each lab group will be assigned to prepare one of the grains below according to package directions.
    • Orzo, Rice, Hash Browns, and/or Quinoa
  • After grains are prepared set them up as a buffet along with the cooked meat, thawed vegetables and fresh spinach.
  • Also include one or more pre-grated cheeses to the buffet such as Colby Jack, Mozzarella, Parmesan, etc.
  • Add the follow seasonings to the buffet as well: mesquite, pepper, basil, garlic, Italian seasoning, oregano, bacon bits, and all spice

Student Procedures

  • Once the starches/grains are cooked, ready to go, students will receive a piece of foil.
  • Students will spray their foil with non-stick cooking spray and then proceed through the line.
  • Students can take the following amounts to place on their prepared foil and keep track of the ingredients they select:
    • Ground Meat: 2-3 tbsp.
    • Grains/Starches: 2 tbsp. (Choose one)
    • Veggies: 2 tbsp. per vegetable (must select minimum of one)
    • Cheese: 1 tbsp. or less
    • Seasoning: Add desired seasonings by sprinkling over the ingredients
  • Once their food selections are made, they will wrap their foil like a Hershey’s Kiss and write their name on the outside of the packet with a Sharpie.
  • All foil packet will be stored in the refrigerator overnight on baking sheets.

Day 2:

*Note: Teacher will bake the packets so they are ready for class.  Place foil packets on a baking pan and bake for 30 minutes in a 400 degree oven.

  • When the foil packets are done baking, students will remove them from the oven and vent away from them when opening the foil.
  • After students have eaten their Campfire Stew, they are to complete some follow-up questions.
  • Additionally, students will create a nutrition label for their version of campfire stew using recipe nutrition analyzer on the Very Well Fit website, and add it to their document, before turning in for a grade.



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