The inspiration credit for this recipe goes to my husband. Our recipe is derived from a childhood favorite of his; we added a few changes to get everyone involved in making this family meal. Hobo dinners our way start with a selection of lots of veggies, meat, and seasonings, with each member of the family able to customize their own meal. The Hobo Dinner is both a family activity and a meal, which makes it a great choice for families with little ones.
Campfire Hobo Dinners
A Hobo Dinner can be made in a cast iron skillet, a foil pan, or our choice, individual foil packets. You can vary the ingredients based on what you have on hand and the contents on your fridge and freezer. We uses potatoes, carrots, corn, green beans, and zucchini. Some other ingredient ideas might be mushrooms, butternut squash, peas, asparagus, broccoli, or turnips.
Special bonus for mom – this recipe creates very few dirty dishes and takes little time to prepare.
Get Everyone Involved!
My son loves to cook with me. Since the preparation of this recipe involves no heat, he can jump on a chair and help make his own Hobo Dinner. This is also a clever way to get your kids excited about eating their veggies! When kids assist in the kitchen, and they are proud of their creation, they are much more likely to try new foods.
Roman is three and typically eats a diet that consists mostly of fruit and bread. Meals like Hobo Dinners encourage him to try new veggies and seasonings, because he is adding them himself.
Hobo dinners are fun for everyone and they are also delicious. I love cooking over an open fire; everything just tastes better. And you can’t beat making dinner together as a family!
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Hobo Campfire Dinner
Hobo Dinners are a easy and inexpensive meal that are great for both camping and fun nights at home. Feel free to customize this recipe for your family.
Get a good fire started! Once the fire is burned down to mostly hot coals, position a cooking grate over the fire.
Chop the potatoes, peppers, onions, and zucchini into 1 inch pieces. Set aside in separate bowls.
Cut the head of cabbage into 8 wedges. Cut out the core and separate the leaves. Set aside.
Form your ground beef into 1/3 to 1/2 lb patties.
Start everyone out with a large piece of foil (about a foot long), shiny side down. Spray with cooking spray or drizzle with olive oil. Add a double layer of cabbage leaves to the foil (This will help protect the rest of the food from burning.
Layer your Hobo Dinner with your favorite fixings! My preferred order to help everything cook evenly is as follows:
potatoes and carrots, frozen veggies, zucchini, 2 tbsp cold butter, 2 meat patties, seasoning, and finally, cheese.
Top with another layer of cabbage leaves, and another layer of foil, this time shiny side up. Bring up the edges of your bottom foil and fold both pieces of foil together. We shaped each foil packet differently, for added fun and to tell which packet belonged to which person.
Place your foil packets on the grate and cook for 20-30 minutes. Watch them carefully!
Peel the packets open and check potatoes and carrots are fork tender. If they are, everything else is likely also cooked through. Enjoy your Hobo Dinner with the condiments of your choice. We love mayonnaise, mustard, and Louisiana hot sauce!
A few possible variations:
Cooking method - This dish could be prepared on a foil-covered sheet pan or cast iron skillet in a hot oven, or in foil packets on the grill!
Ingredients - Get creative! Add things like mushrooms, sauerkraut, sausage, tomatoes, or even your favorite sauce!
Prep - As if I needed a reason to love this recipe more! All the ingredients can be prepped and stored in the fridge for up to two days ahead of time. You can even prepare your foil packets up to 24 hours a head of time, which could be especially helpful if you are traveling to tailgate or camping trip.