14 foil-pack dinners you need to try

When it comes to dinnertime, the easier the meal the better. Sure, I love a lavish feast just like everyone else, but during the week most people crave fast and easy. Who wants to come home after a long day of work and try to master up something creative in the kitchen? Not me. And probably not you. With foil-pack dinners (your food of choice wrapped in foil and cooked in the oven or on the grill), you get a great meal with very little prep, making weekday dinner a whole lot easier. Here are 10 recipes you need to try now.

Peach Mallows

One of the best things about summer is that peaches are finally in season, especially during July and August. And one of the best things to do with peaches, other than grab one fresh from the barrel and take a big, messy bite, is to throw them on the grill or into the fire. This recipe from Mother Nature Network combines juicy peaches with classic flavors like butter and cinnamon, as well as those fluffy sugar bombs we call marshmallows. Slice your peaches in half, then fill them with butter and marshmallows, and sprinkle cinnamon over the tops. You can also use other toppings for extra flavor, such as raspberries, chocolate chips, or shredded coconut for tropical flair. Wrap them in foil, then throw them on the grill or into the campfire for about five minutes. The result is a sweet, juicy dessert that will have you reaching for a napkin.

Mix-and-match foil packet fish

A lot of people find that cooking fish is an intimidating feat. If that's you, you'll be happy to learn that not only is cooking fish in foil super easy, but it's also a surefire way to achieve a moist, tender, and flaky texture. And this recipe from The Food Network is customizable, so you can use a variety of fish and vegetables with a simple set of seasonings. Start by selecting your fish, which can be salmon (I recommend for beginners), halibut, or shellfish, to name a few. Then pick two vegetables and pair them, like spinach and mushroom, or tomatoes and artichokes. Mound your veggies on the foil, top with a fresh herb of choice, then add your fish. Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil, then cook. When finished, add a topping of your choice. The possibilities are endless with this method!

Lumberjack breakfast

Eggs, sausage, and potatoes are considered breakfast staples, especially when served together. But this protein-packed, super rich, cheesy recipe from Echoes of Laughter makes for a hearty meal any time of day, dinner included. Plus you can sub out sausage for bacon if you're craving pork belly. So start by greasing your foil, then place your meat of choice on top. Then, add frozen hash browns, diced green onions, and chopped bell pepper if you want to bring a fresh, textural element to the dish. Finish with salt and pepper, and the seasoning of your choice, such as Old Bay or Adobo. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes over a fire or on the grill, then top with lots of shredded cheese and a dab of sour cream and salsa.

Pesto caprese chicken

This recipe from Damn Delicious is the perfect way to use up your basil and cook a fast, delicious dinner. Once you've made your pesto (store-bought is fine too), place boneless, skinless chicken onto foil squares. Season with salt and pepper, then top generously with pesto; this will also act as your fat. Top with mozzarella cheese and fresh, sliced tomatoes, then seal and bake for about 25 minutes. Once finished, test the temperature, then open and garnish with fresh basil leaves. Serve with fresh, steamed vegetables, or pasta and marinara.

Philly cheesesteak

An authentic Philly cheesesteak is a beautiful thing to behold, but you don't have to go to Philly to appreciate this meat-cheese-veggies combo served on a soft hoagie. You actually don't have to be anywhere but at home, thanks to this simple Philly cheesesteak recipe from High Heels & Grills. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (or start your campfire or grill), then add your beef, cheese, peppers, and onion all to a piece of foil and wrap it all up tight. Bake for no more than 25 minutes and voila! You have your own homemade creation that will fool your tastebuds into believing you're in Philly. And just because the recipe doesn't call for any bread doesn't mean you can't add your cooked ingredients to a toasted roll once they come out of the oven.

Peach-glazed pork chops

What's better than a juicy pork chop right out of the oven? A juicy pork chop smothered in a peach glaze — oh, and cooked on the grill. Nothing beats the grill when it comes to meat. Check out this must-try pork chop recipe from My Fearless Kitchen. Here's the deal: grill those babies for a couple of minutes to get both sides a little charred before wrapping them up in foil and placing peach preserves on top. Grill the packet for roughly 10-15 minutes until the chops are thoroughly cooked to your liking. Are you drooling yet?

Barbecue apple crisp

Wow, do I like some apple crisp when the temperatures start to go down and the smell of fall hits the air. And why wouldn't I? With its crispy crumble on top, rich apples, and a dollop (or three) of whipped cream to seal the deal, this dessert is utter perfection. But it can be even better when you try this barbecue apple crisp recipe from Cooking with Jax. Kick off this sweet treat by mixing oats, nutmeg, cinnamon, sugar, and chunks of butter to create that powdery texture. Set it aside and then get to work on the apples, slicing them and combining with lemon juice. Put them on a sheet of foil and place the oats mixture on top, then seal the foil and drop it on the grill for about 20 minutes. The finished product? You may never go back to your old way of making this dessert again.

Meatloaf

Meatloaf is the all-American favorite for the whole family. It's a staple in the household for being hearty and easy to make, with a no-fail result that the young and old can appreciate. And while your average meatloaf is simple enough to create, why not make it even easier? With Be Prepared's meatloaf recipe, you can master your homemade comfort food even faster. Separate your ground beef (or turkey) into four servings and place on a buttered foil, dabbing some ketchup on the edges. Place the veggies of your choice on top — bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, whatever — and top it off with a touch of butter and salt and pepper before wrapping up and tossing in the 400-degree oven or on the grill if you prefer. Meatloaf on the grill? Who would have thought?

Whole wheat pasta with goat cheese and tomatoes

Everybody loves a helping of good ol' fashioned pasta. And if you're like me, you're always looking for new ways to revamp your traditional noodle plate. Well, carb-a-holics, it's time to rejoice because there's a new recipe to try. Follow Cookin Canuck's lead with a stand-out pasta dish. Cook your pasta in advance so it's all set and ready to go on the grill. Then put the cooked pasta on a foil sheet and mix with tomatoes, garlic, basil, and goat cheese. Seal your package and place over the grill for 12 minutes or so, then open. You'll be in for a tasty pasta dish with a grilled flavor you won't believe.

Green chili cheddar burger

There's nothing like a burger on the grill. It's tender, juicy, and cooked to perfection. But let's amp up the classic with a spicy kick — and the convenience of foil packaging — like in this green chili cheddar burger recipe from Betty Crocker. Start by mixing the beef with chili powder, cumin, cheese, and green chilies before making them into patties. Later, combine the rest of the chilies and cumin with corn and place atop the burgers. Wrap each one up and place on the grill for about 15-30 minutes, rotating in between. Once cooked, sprinkle a little cilantro and a squirt of lime, and you're ready for one zesty patty.

Campfire chicken stew

Chicken stew is one substantial beast when it comes to a family meal. It tastes incredible, it's usually pretty good for you, and it fills you up. But instead of slaving away over the hot stove, why not try crafting your hearty creation in foil? Taste of Home does it right in this delicious and quick campfire chicken stew recipe. Start off by grilling your chicken pieces on both sides for a few minutes before placing them in a foil packet. Then add peppers, potatoes, and carrots, along with condensed cream of mushroom soup and a little water. Wrap the foil up and place over the grill for about 25 minutes until chicken is fully cooked.

Chicken and broccoli

It's easy to become obsessed with chicken and broccoli, especially when it comes from a solid Chinese restaurant. But that's not to say you should shy away from trying your own. With BigOven's yummy chicken and broccoli recipe, it's a no-brainer to toss the takeout menu for the night. Spray your foil sheets with oil or butter, then prepare some easy stovetop stuffing before transferring the mixture to the foil and piling the chicken breast, broccoli, cheese, and creamy ranch dressing on top. Seal your packets and place them in the oven to cook. Pull them out in 25-30 minutes, and you have a meal that will totally blow you away.

Shrimp and couscous salad with mango salsa

So you're thinking about cooking something tonight, but what? You're in the mood for something on the healthier side, but your regular baked salmon or green salad just won't do. Instead, kick up dinner a notch with this shrimp recipe from SheKnows. Place some fresh kale on a sheet of foil, followed by couscous and some water. Next comes the shrimp, seasoned with salt and pepper. Fold the foil around the food and grill for 10 minutes while whipping up a mango salsa made of cilantro, red pepper, and jalapeno for a slight kick. Serve your salsa alongside the shrimp, and you'll have a flavorful meal that is light and filling.

Spicy olives

How many times do you wish you had a bowl of those fancy mixed olives from that restaurant down the street while you're at home, sipping a glass of red? With Food Network's quick and easy spicy olives recipe, you can have them. The best part is, they're super simple to make. Take your olives and toss them with red pepper flakes and garlic. After, place your salty mixture inside a foil packet and grill. Rotate every so often to ensure the entire mixture gets warmed, and take away after roughly 15 minutes or so. Top off your wine glass and start devouring.