Cheesy Ranch Potatoes Foil Packets

We love all sorts of potato recipes, cheese and ranch seasoning make these tasty!

red potatoes cooked in foil packet with cheese and ranch dressing mix

Mashed, fried, roasted, boiled…baked, scalloped, steamed, broiled… I don’t think we have found a way we don’t like potatoes. Red, yellow, purple, white…Fingerling, Russet, Yukon, Petite…I don’t think we have found any variety of potato we don’t like. If you need a new side dish to serve camping, this one is worthy of being included in your menu.

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Who doesn’t love food cooked over a campfire? Actually, we know a lot of people who don’t and we just have to feel sorry for them. Because we love to cook over a campfire, especially in foil packets. These are easy to use, easy to customize, and easy to cleanup. Since there are hundreds of recipes out there for things to cook inside a foil pack, you are sure to find something that will be extremely delicious when cooked over the campfire.

What we love about Cheesy Ranch Potatoes Foil Packets:

  • They are easy to make and adapt to picky eaters.
  • You can season it with any blend.
  • They can be cooked over wood, charcoal, or gas.

The Ingredients for Cheesy Ranch Potatoes Foil Packets:

  • Red Skin Potatoes (any baby potato works well)
  • Olive Oil (the basis of so many tasty meals)
  • Ranch Seasoning Mix (or any other seasoning blend you prefer)
  • Salt & Pepper (as you wish)
  • Shredded Cheese (we use a blend of cheeses for ours)
red potatoes washed and on a cutting board
potatoes cut and seasoned in a glass bowl
cut and seasoned potatoes on parchment paper

The Process Part One:

  1. Cut potatoes into bite sized pieces and place in a large bowl.
  2. Drizzle on EVOO. Sprinkle on ranch seasoning mix, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat the potatoes.
  3. Cut four large pieces of foil (about 18 inches) and four slightly smaller pieces of parchment paper (about 16 inches). Place one piece of parchment paper on top of each piece of foil.
  4. Place potatoes in the center of the packets, dividing evenly.
  5. Fold the long sides together and form a seam. Then roll the short sides up to form additional seams.

Note: We recommend making these shortly before your trip or on the trip itself. We do not suggest refrigeration or freezing unless you are experienced with freezing uncooked potatoes.

potato packets on fire with brats
cooked potatoes with cheese
red potatoes cooked in foil packet with cheese and ranch dressing mix

The Process Part Two:

  1. Start your campfire or heat up your grill so that your heat source is ready. If using wood or charcoal, let the flames die out prior to cooking your food.
  2. Place your foil packets over heat for 30 minutes, seam side down, then flip and cook 30 minutes more.
  3. Carefully pull the packets off and open them. Check to see if your potatoes are cooked. If so, sprinkle cheese on top of potatoes and close the packets again. If not, cook longer until potatoes are cooked, then add your cheese.
  4. Place packets back on the heat and heat for 3-5 more minutes until cheese is melted.
  5. Pull packets off and let them cool for a minute or two.
  6. Then, either open up the seams and crush the foil into a bowl shape or empty the food into another bowl or plate for eating.

FAQ and How to Customize:

Q: What can we add to our cheesy ranch potato packets?

A. Anything you want! The possibilities are only limited by your imagination and your taste buds. We have found that we prefer to keep ours simple, but you can certainly add meats such as chopped bacon or ham, fresh herbs like chives or parsley, veggies such as steamed broccoli, or toppings such sour cream, salsa, or even ketchup!

Q: What if my kid/hubby/friend doesn’t like ranch seasoning?

A. Have each family member make their own packet using a seasoning they do like, or just salt and pepper if they prefer.

Q: Can I cook these cheesy ranch potatoes in the oven at home?

A. That is not a problem. We recommend baking them at 400 degrees F. for roughly 1 hour, flipping halfway through. Remove packets from the oven, add your cheese, then return to the oven for 3-5 minutes more. The grill is also always an option for cooking a foil packet.

Suggested Main Dish:

We love to serve this with any simple protein such as hot dogs, brats, or burgers which allows the seasoned potatoes to shine. It also works well with our Pie Iron Simple Steak recipe!

Suggested Dessert(s):

If you have never tried grilled fruit, we want to change your world. Sometimes we keep this as simple as cutting grilling some berries in our grill basket and topping store-bought angel food cake. Other times we get fancier with cutting peaches in half and grilling them cut side down on our grill basket, then topping them with goat cheese and honey. Other stone fruits such as plums and nectarines can be grilled as well. And if goat cheese and honey don’t appeal to you, try some vanilla ice cream or whipped cream!

General Tips for Foil Packets:

  • Use heavy-duty foil for best results as it doesn’t easily rip or tear.
  • Fully seal your foil packets, leaving room for steam to circulate.
  • Either use a layer of parchment paper inside the foil, or generously spray your foil, to keep everything from sticking.
  • Have extra seasoning available for after the cooking; some packets will want some more salt and pepper to make the flavors come to life.

Equipment Needed:

  • Aluminum Foil: We use heavy duty aluminum foil for all of our foil packet recipes. It only takes one time for your foil to fall apart during the process of cooking to realize the importance of quality foil.
  • Parchment Paper: Some people don’t like to cook over high heat with aluminum. Parchment paper is the way to go here. Line the inside of the foil with the paper and everything cooks the same, just without touching the foil. Bonus-the foil stays clean and can be recycled.      
  • Heat resistant gloves: If you are going to be working around a fire, at some point you will probably get burned. These gloves can help prevent that.

More Recipes to Enjoy:

Cooking potatoes in foil over the campfire is an easy side dish on any camping trip!

If you make these cheesy ranch potatoes, share with us how you like them and any modifications you might have made. We are always interested in trying new variations on a recipe. Just tag us on Instagram @campinganswer and share your thoughts.

Cheesy Ranch Potatoes Foil Packets

Seasoned potatoes cooked in a foil packet to serve alongside hamburgers, hot dogs, and brats
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: camping, foil packets, potatoes
Servings: 6 packets

Equipment

  • heavy-duty aluminum foil
  • parchment paper
  • Cutting board and knife
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Heat Resistant Gloves

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs red skin potatoes
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp ranch seasoning mix
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 cups shredded cheese

Instructions

At Home

  • Cut potatoes into bite sized pieces and place in a large bowl.
  • Drizzle on EVOO. Sprinkle on ranch seasoning mix, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat the potatoes.
  • Cut four large pieces of foil (about 18 inches) and four slightly smaller pieces of parchment paper (about 16 inches). Place one piece of parchment paper on top of each piece of foil.
  • Place potatoes in the center of the packets, dividing evenly.
  • Fold the long sides together and form a seam. Then roll the short sides up to form additional seams.

At the Campsite

  • Start your campfire or heat up your grill so that your heat source is ready. If using wood or charcoal, let the flames die out prior to cooking your food.
  • Place your foil packets over heat for 30 minutes, seam side down, then flip and cook 30 minutes more.
  • Carefully pull the packets off and open them. Check to see if your potatoes are cooked. If so, sprinkle cheese on top of potatoes and close the packets again. If not,cook longer until potatoes are cooked, then add your cheese.
  • Place packets back on the heat and heat for 3-5 more minutes until cheese is melted.
  • Pull packets off and let them cool for a minute or two.
  • Then,either open up the seams and crush the foil into a bowl shape or empty the food into another bowl or plate for eating.

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