Saturday, July 30, 2005

Recipe for Completely Foolproof 100% Delicious Gourmet Tin Foil Dinners

I live in Utah, where it's practically written into the state constitution that you must go camping at least a few times each year. Of course, the Utah scenery is so beautiful that you want to get out there and see it. Elaborate, creative cooking is fun at home, but when you're camping, most people just want something that's easy to make and tastes good.

Here's a recipe that's great for the South Beach Diet, ultra easy, and delicious when cooked in the outdoors over a fire, or on one of those handy little raised charcoal grills that lots of campsites have. If you have non dieters in the family (or picky children who won't eat red peppers, zucchini, or onions) you could make two separate bags of the mixture and put some potatoes and carrots in one batch for the kids.

I recommend cutting up the chicken and vegetables at home, putting them in a zip-loc bag, and taking them in your cooler. Mix the marinade ingredients at home too, and put in the cooler. Then the day you are going to cook this, just pour the marinade over in the morning and let it marinate in the cooler all day.

If you like to cook the ultra easy way even when you're not camping, you could cook this in the oven in a roasting pan and it would be delicious that way too. This recipe is a variation of Completely Foolproof 100% Delicious Grilled Chicken, so if you like this, try that recipe when you're looking for something to grill at home.

Foolproof and Delicious Gourmet Tin Foil Dinners
(This makes enough for 8 generous dinners)

8-10 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

4 red or green bell peppers (or use a mixture of red and green)
4 red onions or sweet white onions
4 medium zucchini
1-2 pounds medium white mushrooms (or portabella mushrooms cut in pieces)
(You can vary the veggie amounts to your own taste)

1 small bottle Newman's Own Olive Oil and Vinegar Dressing
(or use your favorite no-sugar Italian dressing)
1 packet (dry mix) Zesty Italian Dressing Mix
2 T Spike seasoning (optional but highly recommended)
Salt and pepper to taste

Trim all visible fat and tendons from chicken breasts and cut into pieces 1 1/2 inches square. Wash peppers and zucchini, peel onions, and cut into pieces the same size as the chicken. Wash mushrooms, dry with paper towel, and cut in half if large. Put all ingredients into zip-loc bag. (You will need two large bags if you make the whole batch of this. For camping, I would cut up the chicken and veggies at home and put in a ziploc bag in the cooler, then marinate the day you want to cook.)

Mix marinade ingredients and pour over veggie/chicken mixture. Marinate in cooler 4 hours or longer.

To cook, burn a campfire until you have some good glowing coals and the flames have died down (or you can use charcoal if you have one of those great outdoor portable grills). Tear 16 pieces of heavy duty tin foil into pieces about 15" long. Put a mixture of chicken and veggies on a piece of foil, fold foil over and roll up ends, then turn the packet over and wrap again in a second piece of foil. (You can also make larger packets with more than one serving in each, but they cook a little faster in individual serving size packets.) Cook over coals or charcoal 20-30 minutes, turning every 3-5 minutes or so to prevent burning.

I wish I knew a good way to tell when these are done without unwrapping one, but I haven't mastered that yet. The amount of time will depend on how hot your coals are, so start checking after about 15 minutes by gently unwrapping one packet (using tongs so you don't burn your fingers).

Serve this with "camping salad": Place cut up cucumbers, black olives and cherry tomatoes in a zip-loc bag. Pour your favorite salad dressing over (ranch or blue cheese is good). Serve right out of the bag for no clean up.
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  1. THANK YOU so much for posting this! We are camping this weekend, and I am on Phase 1- and was totally worried about what to cook for everyone (we are going w/a few families)! This looks yummy!

  2. Looks like a great recipe. Not planning to go camping anytime soon, but I think this would work great on the grill.

  3. Yes, this could definitely be cooked on top of a grill.


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