Odds are, you probably have some aluminum foil lying around in your cupboard waiting to be used. And guess what? It’s going to be your new favorite secret weapon in the kitchen. Foil pack dinners are great for experimenting with messy sauces you otherwise would totally skip. Cleanup only entails you walking to the trash can to toss away your wrapper, and most of the recipes on the list below will take 30 minutes or less including prep-time. Shall we go on? Let’s.
Cooking in foil is really hard to mess up. Consider your chicken-in-foil a blank canvas even if you’re subpar at both art and cooking. Whether you’re sick of cooking time-intensive weeknight dinners or are wildly unprepared for the dinner party you forgot to plan, your trusty foil can help you can get a creative dish on the table with fewer steps than you can count on one hand. (If you’re concerned with the aluminum adding metals to your food, learn more about that here.)
We like our chicken dinners as juicy as we can get ’em. Cooking this Italian seasoned chicken and potatoes recipe in a little foil will be sure to seal in all the natural juices. The grocery shopping requires nothing fancy: chicken breasts, baby red potatoes, green bell pepper, yellow onion, and carrots. Skip the store-bought seasonings and rely on your spice rack to bring the flavor. If you want your inner Ina Garten to show, get creative with fresh lemon, fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, grated Parmesan cheese, and red pepper flakes.
The right sauce can elevate any meal, and this time it’s pesto. We suggest making a homemade sauce over the store-bought stuff; beyond that, all you’ll need to master this is tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, and basil. This recipe looks so insanely good it deserves to be showcased twice. Make extra for a lunch bag to take to the office.
Tuck into a piece of chicken slathered in a tangy honey and barbecue glaze made of apple cider, paprika, chili powder, barbecue sauce, and honey. This one comes together quickly on the grill (eight minutes to be exact) without getting sticky barbecue sauce everywhere—that all stays in your throwaway foil.
Including prep time, this lemony chicken foil only takes 30 minutes to get dinner on the table. While baking, be careful not to check on your masterpiece too much. If you must, check on the tenderness of the asparagus to test for readiness. Every time you fully open the foil packet, remember that you’re releasing all the steam that’s needed to fully cook the bird.
We see this foil as a healthier version of a traditional chicken Parmesan because it’s all the cheese without any panko breading. That means gluten-free eaters can get in on it too. The recipe cooks up with zucchini, but the blogger also suggests using broccoli, mushrooms, asparagus, or summer squash instead.
Instead of greasing up the skillet, reaching for the foil is an easy way to make fajitas healthier. When it comes time to decide whether or not to top your tortilla with cheese or sour cream, just go with both. If you have the time, we say get as much flavor into your chicken as possible: Let your meat marinate for as long as it can before dinner, though this step is totally optional.
Mexican night can be so much more than tacos, and way lower carb too. We love how inexpensive this chicken-in-foil recipe is: Frozen corn, black beans, taco seasoning, chicken, salsa, pepper jack cheese, and cilantro are all you need in your shopping cart. If cooking on a grill, be sure to flip the packet once halfway through your cook time for an evenly cooked bird.
When it comes to pineapple on pizza, the jury is still out. But even pizza purists can get behind the taste of the fruit grilled with smoky barbecue chicken. In addition to barbecue sauce and pineapples, you’ll be firing up these chicken foils with soy sauce, garlic, red bell peppers, zucchini, and green onion.
This classic French pick doesn’t require much attention in a foil. Pro tip: Don’t skimp out on your ham quality—it makes all the difference. You’ll be piling cooked ham, canola oil, Italian seasoning, dry mustard, and Swiss cheese into one tidy packet.
This chicken and potatoes recipe will make mama proud. Using garlic powder, onion powder,dried oregano, dried basil, and dried dill, you’ll perfectly season your chicken before it’s tucked into foil and thrown on the grill. Mushrooms are always all-stars with starchy potatoes, but if you’ve got finicky eaters on your hands, you can easily swap in veggies like asparagus or broccoli instead.
We like to think of this recipe as a Mediterranean version of chicken cacciatore. This hands-off approach to the popular recipe guarantees an extra juicy flavor, as the chicken marinades while cooking in a sweet red pepper spread with Kalamata and green olives. The artichoke adds a nice, savory flavor with a texture you just can’t beat. If you feel like amping up the dish even more, throw in some feta cheese.
You may not be able to fly to New Orleans for a soul-satisfying dinner, but attempting Creole-style food in your own kitchen doesn’t have to be so intimidating. All you need to get started is a large zucchini, broccoli florets, bell pepper, garlic, and spices for your homemade Cajun seasoning. These chicken packs will definitely add a kick to tomorrow’s lunch.
Teriyaki chicken is a crowd favorite. It’s sweet, it’s savory, and most importantly, this homemade alternative won’t be loaded with insane amounts of sodium. These foils are packed with Asian-glazed chicken, broccoli, bell peppers, pineapple, edamame, and green beans. If you have the extra few minutes, definitely shoot for making the teriyaki from scratch so you know exactly what’s going into your sauce. You might as well toss your Chinese take-out menus for good.