I teased you with this amazing foil packet dinner last week on Instagram and after the onslaught of requests to post! now!, I realized if it were me, I’d be kind of irked if I had to wait more than an hour for the recipe (clearly patience is not my strong suit). So, because I love you and you and you and you, I pushed back several other must-have recipes to give you this winner (which pains me on some level because I am dying to share a new bread recipe with you that’s going to change your life – good thing we have the rest of forever together to swap recipes).
Making dinner in a foil packet is just fun, don’t you think? And kind of rustic. And the perfect solution if you dream of being an outdoorsy sort of person who enjoys going without daily showers and knows how to hang your food in a tree to avoid bears but in actuality, you’d never make it all night in a tent and would probably starve if dinner had to be between you and a real, live campfire. If that’s you (no shame, no shame at all), pay attention. These foil packets will make you feel like you achieved all your one-with-nature dreams without even stepping foot outside your front door (although if you eat them on your front porch, it might kind of sort of not really feel like you are roughing it, especially if you use one of those foldable forks).
Thanks to the tightly crimped foil package, the delicious sweet potatoes and flavorful taco filling bake in total harmony since the little envelope captures all the steam and creates the perfect atmosphere for the flavors to blend and cook together. It really is a magical thing. Plus, if you unwrap carefully and keep the tasty ingredients right there on the foil while digging in, washing up plates is a breeze (not that I’d ever do this, of course, but you might even get away with just sticking the plates back in the cupboard).
Amazing without any additional toppings, I could not be stopped and threw on sour cream, diced avocados, sharp cheddar, olives, a drizzle of salsa, crushed blue corn tortilla chips…and seriously, the absolute texture and flavor explosion was ridiculous (in a good way).
These really are a must-make and in my humble opinion, I think they’d score big points for a most excellent take-in meal for a friend or neighbor or whoever might need a little dinner pick me up. Nutritious and filling and crazy delicious, we loved them so much, I’ve already made them twice and spent at least seven consecutive nights going to sleep dreaming of what other foil packet variations could be and should be explored. All that sleep research has led me to believe the options are endless.
- 2 pounds ground turkey or beef
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 16 ounces tomato sauce
- 1 jalapeño, seeded, membranes removed and finely chopped (keep seeds for more heat, if desired)
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 cups chopped fresh spinach
- 2 cans (15-ounces each) beans (black, pinto, white), rinsed and drained
- 4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped small (1/2-inch pieces)
- Garnishes: shredded cheese, sour cream, avocados or guacamole, salsa, olives, cilantro
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- In a large 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat, add the ground meat, salt, pepper, and onion. Cook, breaking the meat into small pieces, until the meat is cooked through. Drain any excess grease.
- Add the chili powder, cumin, coriander, tomato sauce and jalapeño (if using). Cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the water, spinach and beans and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Lightly grease the center of 6-8 foil pieces, each about 12-inches long.
- Place about 1 cup of sweet potato chunks in the center of each piece of foil arranging them into somewhat of a single layer; sprinkle with salt and pepper (don't skip this step!). Add a heaping 1/2 cup or so of the meat mixture on top. Bring the long sides of foil together over the filling and fold tightly down. Fold and crimp each edge until tightly sealed and a little packet is formed. Repeat with all the pieces of foil and ingredients.
- Place the foil packets in a single layer on a large, rimmed baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
- Carefully open the foil packets and serve with taco toppings and garnishes of your choice.
Recipe Source: adapted from this recipe at Perry’s Plate (used my own ground meat mixture from my favorite tacos recipe and adapted many of the other amounts/ingredients)