Foil packet meals are one of the easiest ways to make dinner over a campfire and have been delighting hungry campers for years. Simply wrap a bunch of delicious ingredients in aluminum foil and toss it over the fire. Everything cooks together, so it’s all ready to eat at the same time. But even great camping traditions like foil packets can use a little updating once in a while. So we made a few adjustments to the method for this salmon veggie meal.
One important thing to think about when making a foil packet meal is whether or not all the ingredients will cook at the same rate. If you try cooking potatoes and fish together, the fish will be overcooked way before the potatoes finish. So you want to pick ingredients will similar cook times. This is why for this recipe we paired salmon with zucchini, tomatoes and onions. The veggies might need a little more time than the salmon (which is why we place them on the bottom) but generally speaking, they all have similar cook times. So when the fish is done, so too will the veggies.
Another adjustment to the traditional foil packet technique is to line the packet with parchment paper. It’s possible for aluminum from the foil to leach into your food, which if ingested at a high enough concentration may present health risks. This is the reason why non-treated aluminum cookware has largely been phased out. But by lining the inside of the foil packet with food-safe parchment paper, you can keep a barrier between your food and the aluminum foil.
As for the fire placement, this recipe is best if the packet is placed over the fire or on top of a bed of coals. We really want to veggies to cook on the bottom, while letting the trapped steam do most of the cooking of the salmon. This way the fish stays nice and moist, while the veggies turn out fully cooked and soft.
So if you’re thinking about making foil packet meals for your next camping trip, give this recipe a try!
Salmon and Veggie Foil Packet Meal
Yield: 2 servings
Cook time: 20 minutes
- 2, 6-ounce salmon fillets
- 1 zucchini
- ¼ red onion
- Handful of cherry tomatoes
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper
Thinly slice the zucchini and red onion. Halve the cherry tomatoes. Mince the garlic.
Lay out the large sheet of heavy-duty foil, then (optionally) lay down a piece of parchment paper. Place half of the zucchini, red onion, tomatoes, garlic, and a pinch of red pepper flakes and salt onto the parchment. Drizzle with ½ tablespoon of the olive oil. Place one of the salmon fillets on the bed of vegetables. Season with half the oregano, salt and pepper, the juice of ½ the lemon and 1 tablespoon of butter. Bring the top and bottom edges of the foil together and crimp, then fold the left and right edges in to create a packet. Repeat with the remaining vegetables and second salmon fillet.
Place the packets on a grill over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, until the salmon has cooked through.
Remove from the heat and carefully open the foil packet. There will be hot steam, so use caution. Serve immediately.