August 07, 2019 at 05:02AM by CWC
Even as someone who doesn’t spend a wealth of time in the kitchen, I can see how cooking can be therapeutic. Meditatively chopping veggies, breathing in the aroma of spices as the food sizzles, and of course savoring each bite once the meal is on the table. But unless your a full-on Monica from Friends, there’s nothing therapeutic about tackling a sink full of dishes. In fact, it’s stressful, if anything. And that goes double if you’re having a barbecue; scrubbing the grill after a fun cookout is a major buzzkill.This is exactly why I’m a big fan of foil packet recipes.
This method of cooking is exactly what it sounds like—you throw everything you’re working with into a foil packet, sparing a pan from getting covered in hard-to-clean cooking juices. Pop it in the oven, and a Netflix episode later, dinner is done. The cooking method works for fish, meat, veggies—anything really.
For a more sustainable twist on foil packet recipes, use parchment paper, which does the same job, but can be recycled right along in your paper trash. (All the recipes below can be adapted to use it.) Keep reading to see a roundup of dinner recipes, all of which utilize the foil packet cooking method. Then, daydream about how you’re going to spend that dishes-free 30 minutes of your night you just got back.
7 easy foil packet recipes that don’t make a mess
1. Easy baked Italian chicken and veggie foil packets
Foil-baked chicken-and-veggies is the quintessential lazy girl healthy dinner. It allows you to use anything in your crisper that’s on the verge of ending up on the compost bin and spruces them up with a few key spices—plus olive oil for healthy fats. Add some chicken in there for protein and you’ll have a complete meal totally done in about 20 minutes.
2. Parchment paper baked salmon with asparagus lemon and dill
The benefits of cooking salmon in parchment paper are that it doesn’t stick and it stays super moist. Instead of cooking a side of asparagus on the stove, adding them to the paper pocket allows them to soak up the flavor of the herbs.
3. Vegetable medley foil packets
Guess what: you don’t even need to have fresh vegetables in the fridge to make a satisfying veggie dish—frozen ones cook just fine in foil packets. Throw your bundle on the grill or in the oven. Either way, you’ll end up with a fiber-rich plate full that will leave you reaching for seconds.
4. Greek fish foil packets
If you lean toward a Mediterranean diet way of eating, this recipe is about to become a beloved go-to. Topping your fish with diced pepper, tomato, and olives in the foil gives it the perfect balance of healthy fats and fiber. Once it’s out, just add feta cheese and basil. The end result is a taste of Greece, even if you’re actually in Des Moines.
5. Chicken breasts in parchment paper
Just like with fish, cooking chicken in parchment paper or foil ensures all the moisture stays locked in. (The steam that basically gives you facial when you open the packets is proof.) Round it out with a simple salad or side of your favorite veggies for a complete meal. Or, work this cooking method into your meal prep and use the chicken as your protein for the week.
6. Chicken fajitas foil packets
Craving some Mexican? This is the one for you, my friend. Cook your chicken, rice, and peppers together in a foil packet for a tortilla-ready meal. Top it off with guac, salsa, or sour cream for the perfect finishing touch.
7. Cajun shrimp boil foil packets
A traditional Southern boil is quite the spread. Even if you use foil packets, it can still look just as impressive when plated—you just get to cheat the process a bit. If you’re making this dish on the grill, be sure to flip over to the other side after ten minutes to ensure everything is cooked evenly. Once everything is cooked, flavor with lime juice and dig in!
For more easy dinner recipes, check out these 15-minute meals. And for more healthy cooking inspo, join Well+Good’s Cook With Us Facebook group.
Author Emily Laurence | Well and Good
Selected by CWC
One thought on “7 easy foil packet recipes that spare you a sink full of dishes”
These always remind me of camping when I was a kid!