Foil Packet Sweet Potato Tacos

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).

Foil Packet Sweet Potato Tacos

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.

Foil Packet Sweet Potato Tacos

One Year Ago: Skillet Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta with Broccoli
Two Years Ago: Layered Mexican Cornbread Salad
Three Years Ago: Classic Snickerdoodles

Foil Packet Sweet Potato Tacos

Yield: Makes 6-8 foil packets

Foil Packet Sweet Potato Tacos


  • 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


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Lightly grease the center of 6-8 foil pieces, each about 12-inches long.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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)

59 Responses to Foil Packet Sweet Potato Tacos

  1. Rosebriars says:

    One of my family’s favorite dinners growing up was tin foil dinners – potatoes, carrots, and hamburgers cooked in the oven in tin foil packets. The hamburgers went in raw. I saw these today and am super excited to try them, but I think I’ll go the lazy route and just throw it all in the packet and bake. I suspect there is no need to do the extra work/dishes. If I do it I’ll report back!

  2. Ann Sawyer says:

    Can I use parchment paper instead for these dishes?

  3. Angela says:

    Made these for dinner tonight. I was going for healthy and didn’t expect them to be quite so yummy!

  4. Kim says:

    These are delicious! The leftovers were just as tasty.

  5. Paris Tews says:

    Just made this tonight and it was delicious! Thank you for making me feel like a way better housewife than I would otherwise! 😉 I love that it was healthy and quick too!

  6. Allie says:

    Made these tonight and they were amazing! Right up my alley ☺ I used black beans but I’m sure the other kinds would be good, too. Added cheddar cheese, plain Greek yogurt, avocado and a little salsa on top (would have added black olives but didn’t have any)…perfect and delicious!

  7. Hi Mel!

    I’m a writer with Prevention and am working on a roundup of healthy foil packet meals. I absolutely love this idea for sweet potato tacos. Would it be ok for us to include your recipe in our roundup? If so, we’d post a photo and a link back to the full recipe on your blog.

    Kasandra Brabaw
    Editorial Aide, Prevention

  8. Diane says:

    Made these last night for the fam. I’ve never been able to get my husband to eat sweet potatoes. He said, “carrots? hmmm.” and gobbled them right down. He was almost finished when I let him in on the fact that they were sweet potatoes. My kids ate it too. Success! Thank you!

  9. Jami says:

    Made these tonight and they are genius! I’m in charge of girls camp and planning to have these the first night! Thank you for another amazing recipe! I used okinawan/Asian sweet potatoes and they were divine.

  10. Alexa says:

    Hi Mel, we just made these and they were delicious! Thanks for posting. Quick question, do you think these would freeze well? Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      I haven’t frozen them myself, Alexa, but I think they stand good chance of freezing quite well.

    • Emily says:

      I’ve frozen the Perry’s Plate version of these tacos many times and they work great! I maybe have to add a little cooking time, especially since I like my sweet potatoes to get carmelized when I do it.

  11. Nicole says:

    ok, so thinking about sending these with my little campers – dad and 2 girls for this Friday. Should i go for it or just send hotdogs? What would the directions be to cook over a fire? Let it go to coals and then cook the same amount of time as in the oven? 20-25 minutes until potatoes are tender? Any other favorite camping meals? (thinking maybe the greek chicken kebabs sometime) Thanks!!!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Nicole – this sounds like a great option if you think your family will eat them. I’ve never cooked them over a campfire but if it were me, I’d do it similar to a tin foil dinner (cooking it on the hot coals). We usually keep it pretty simple with camping meals – a lot similar to this (tin foil dinners are the best – even with varying ingredients) and you can’t beat a good dutch-oven meal!

  12. tammy says:

    These were great! My kids ate them up. Thx!

  13. Jenn says:

    I made these taco foil packets for supper and my family loved them. We had them in soft and hard taco shells with all the suggested fillings. I added the jalepeno pepper to the adults packets just before they went in the oven. My 8 year old son doesn’t like sweet potatoes so I told him they were carrots and he ate 5! My 5 year old ate what was left of hers right out of the packet once she finished the one in her wrap. This will be a regular rotation for us! Thanks again for another delicious meal.

  14. Amy C. says:

    I made this for my family tonight and it was delicious. It was also fun to prepare and eat! Thanks for another winner, Mel!

  15. Kristen R says:

    My husband loves tacos and I get bored eating tacos as much as he wants. I made him his normal tacos and I made these for myself. It was so good. I told my husband I wanted tacos again a few days later and he was shocked because normally I like variety in my meals. It was so good, and it reheated well the next day too.

  16. Shelby says:

    Um I’m eating leftovers of this for lunch as I type….AMAZING!! Seriously this recipe is the best. The spinach is totally a hidden ingredient!!!

  17. Cindy says:

    I love the Sweet Potato Tacos recipe. I would eat it everyday if I could. Thank you for sharing. I found your blog when I did a Google search for Marge Standish’s recipe for Texas Sheet cake. Marge Standish was from Maine and I grew up with her cookbooks. For some reason I thought you owned a café in Portland Maine! Thank you for sharing your favorites as well. I finally tried Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap because it was on your list. I love it and will give it as a small gift when I need one. Keep up your good work.

  18. Kylene R. says:

    I made these for dinner last night using 1 pound of beef and 3 cans beans. Everyone loved it. SO GOOD!! Thanks for another great recipe.

  19. Jen says:

    This was outstanding! One of the best things I have had in a long time. Comes together quickly and easily, and cleans up in a snap. The toppings take it to another level – I stuck with Mel’s suggestions mostly, but subbed Greek yogurt for sour cream, and used hot sauce on the adult servings instead of including the jalapeño in consideration of my toddler (who loved this as well).

  20. Adrienne says:

    Made these tonight for a family supper celebrating my Mom’s 60th birthday! It was the perfect thing because everyone could jazz them up however they wanted…. Salad-style, taco-style, Nacho-style… Delish! (And I prepped everything ahead of time so I wasn’t running around in the kitchen the whole night. Even better!) Even foiled up some of the extra sweet potatoes for the 2 babies so they wouldn’t be left out of the foil fun. This followed by the key lime cheesecake and buttermilk cupcakes for dessert. Pretty sure I won daughter of the year tonight! Ha! Thanks so much for so much yummy inspiration!

  21. Michelle says:

    So yummy! Totally worth the chopping of sweet potatoes, which I loathe. I put ours on the bottom rack to bake and the sweet potatoes got carmelized next to the foil — heaven! 🙂

    • Sheree L says:

      I’m with Michelle – loathe chopping sweet potatoes, but… Made these tonight and my hubby said it’s one of the best things he’s eaten in awhile. So, I guess I’ll have to get used to chopping sweet potatoes! BTW, I grilled these on a baking sheet. Living in the AZ desert, I love that I don’t have to heat up my house.:) Thanks, Mel!

  22. Rachael says:

    Oh man! Wish I’d had this recipe a week ago–we just got back from a five-night camping trip with our kids. (And I’m laughing about your initial comment about daily showers in the woods–the national park where we were camping had zero showers and I was so desperate for one that I totally used the freezing-cold solar shower at midnight way out in the woods so that nobody would see me! I like camping, but showers are kind of a must for me!)

    Can’t wait to try this–I’m sure it will be as amazing as all your other recipes!

  23. Nita says:

    I made this yesterday for dinner and it was a hit! My kids and husband loved it. My oldest son doesn’t like sweet potatoes or beans and he still liked it! He ate his in a warm tortilla wrap with salsa while the rest of us enjoyed it on a plate with toppings.

  24. Shawn Anderson says:

    This looks amazing…and a friend made it, loved it and I can’t wait to make it. It seems really healthy!! Do you happen to have the nutritional info on this recipe?

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Mel says:

      I don’t provide that info, but there are a lot of online calculators that can do that for you. Sorry I am not more help!

  25. Christine says:

    I made this for dinner last night and it was a hit….so good! I think this would be a perfect meal for busy sports nights. The packets could be assembled earlier in the day and popped in the oven when we got home from practice or games and I am too tired to just be starting a meal and the kids are too hungry to wait. Thanks for a great recipe!

  26. Mollie says:

    Made this tonight, and I was also worried about my kids sticking their noses up at the sweet potatoes. But, in my amazement, they gobbled it up! We served it with tortillas, because my kids love soft tacos. It makes a lot, which is a good thing, because all 6 of us enjoyed it, and now we’ve got some amazing leftovers for lunches as well! I used only 1 1/2 pounds of ground turkey, and only 2 large sweet potatoes, and it filled 8 packets up pretty full. YUM!

  27. Christie says:

    This was AMAZING. I love sweet potatoes and this was a favorite meal with them.

  28. Kris says:

    I made this recipe for dinner last night. First, I must admit, I was skeptical that my boys would like the sweet potatoes so made a mix of half white and sweet. They loved it! Next time I am leaving out the white potatoes and jumping onto the sweet potato band wagon full force. Thanks for another healthy delicious recipe. *By the way, I used ground turkey.

  29. zella says:

    I just got called to be the cook for girls camp and these taco packets look like a great idea! Any other suggestions? Especially things that are “Mel” style- healthy, homemade…especially delicious:) I’m quite nervous about it for some reason and want to make things teenage girls and leaders will eat in the outdoors. I have been making food from your blog for years-2008 to be exact and you’ve been a yummy and generous resource. I thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!

  30. Jennifer says:

    I’d be interested in pressure cooker meals. Also, how would you recommend bringing this to friends in need? Already cooked or ready to cook?

    • Mel says:

      I’d probably bring it over all wrapped up in the foil packets and give them instructions for the baking time and temp.

  31. Nicole H says:

    I’m a newly converted sweet potato eater and now I can’t get enough of them. I’m not a fan of eating them sweetened or candied, so this looks amazing! I would have never thought of eating them this way! Yum!

  32. Sheila says:

    We are campers. We just came back from a camping trip and have another one planned in July with extended family. So we love foil packets. This foil packet is power packed with nutrition so I’ll throw it on the grill soon. Because your recipe postings are so versatile, it is exciting to eagerly check your posts to see where you are leading us — casual, company worthy, vacation/camping ideas, 30 minute, the more complicated meant to impress and stress your skill level, etc. You are the best!

  33. Jamie H. says:

    Yummy, Mel! I can’t wait to try these! Thank you!

  34. Kim in MD says:

    I’m so glad I’m finally able to leave a comment- this morning your site wasn’t allowing me to! This looks delicious, Mel? I love anything in an individual package!

  35. Becky says:

    I can’t wait to try these! I’ll probably do regular potatoes for my pickies 🙂 Do you think I should grill them for the same amount of time as baking?

  36. Kelsey says:

    Wow these look great! I will definitely have to try these this summer!

  37. Maureen says:


    These look great! Any chance you’ll ever experiment with a pressure cooker for meals? I was just given one a short time ago, but without a Mel recipe I’m at a bit of a loss for what to do with it — I know there are recipes galore on the internet, but a recipe is only a sure thing for my guys when it comes from you. 🙂

    • Mel says:

      Ah, that’s a good question, Maureen. I would love to make and post more pressure cooker meals but I haven’t been able to tell how many people would be interested. Maybe I can start giving pressure cooker variations (if I’ve made it in the pressure cooker).

      P.S. I’ve had good luck with recipes from here:

      • Nicole H says:

        I’m seconding Maureen’s request 🙂 I would LOVE it if you added pressure cooker variations, if it’s not too much trouble! I use mine for making beans and that’s about it, so far, but I know it can be used for making a lot more things.

      • AmyL says:

        I also just received a pressure cooker and would love some recipes or variations. I’m with Nicole in that I’ve only ventured as far as beans with mine but would love some Mel recipes!!!

      • Thanks so much Mel! Looks like a delicious meal.

      • Rebecca says:

        Thanks for the link. I will check it out, but I’m with some of these other posters; I would love, love, love to see you post some pressure cooker recipes. I bought a nice one, because I remember my grandma using hers when I was a kid, but now that I have it I am kind of intimidated by it. And I trust everything you post, because I have seriously never tried a recipe from here that I didn’t like.

        • Liz says:

          I would also love some pressure cooker recipes! Cooking these sweet potato tacos right now! Can’t wait to try them! thanks for all the great recipes!

      • HappyKidsLunch says:

        I would also LOVE to see a Pressure Cooker post! I got an Instant Pot for Christmas and don’t even know where to begin. I’d love to learn about some of your pressure cooker favorites! 🙂

    • Amanda says:

      I love your website and reference it constantly. Ditto on the pressure cooker love! 🙂

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