Jambalaya Foil Packets

jambalaya foil packets ready to eat

When I was younger, I would head off to New Orleans for vacation on a regular basis. I loved the energy, atmosphere, and especially the really good food I would get there. There was a little hole in the wall restaurant walking distance from my hotel that served the best jambalaya I have ever eaten. While this version can in no way compete with the real stuff, jambalaya foil packets are quick and easy and perfect for throwing on the campfire for a tasty dinner after a hard day’s hike.

What exactly is jambalaya? It is a tasty mixture of cultures and cuisines with influences of West Africa, France, Spain, Germany, and Native Americans. It includes rice, protein, vegetables, and spices. And that makes it sound boring. But it isn’t. The best history I have found for this very delicious recipe actually comes from the McCormick’s website under their section on Zatarain’s products. If you have never enjoyed this tasty dish, I really hope you give it a try.

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The key to a great foil packet meal is to choose ingredients that all take about the same time to cook. An easy way to make that happen is to cut up ingredients that take longer into smaller pieces. And, if they are in bite sized pieces, they are that much easier to eat sitting around a campfire without needing a knife. In fact, if you open your packet carefully enough, you won’t need to dirty any dishes at all. Just a fork or a spoon which sure makes cleanup a lot faster.

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 Jambalaya Foil Packets:

  • We prep them ahead of time
  • They use standard ingredients
  • They can be cooked over wood, charcoal, or gas
  • You are eating a one dish meal

The Ingredients:

  • Instant rice (because regular won’t cook in time)
  • Chicken broth (liquid to cook the rice)
  • Cajun seasoning (flavoring)
  • Onion (part of the trinity)
  • Red and green bell peppers (part of the trinity)
  • Celery (part of the trinity)
  • Andouille sausage (our favorite sausage for this dish)
  • Green onions (optional and delicious)
  • Hot sauce (if you want some extra spice)

The Process Part One:

instant rice in broth
cajun seasoning added to rice in bowl
parchment paper on foil
instant rice has been soaked
  1. In a medium bowl stir together rice, broth, and the Cajun seasoning. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes or until the majority of the liquid is absorbed.
  2. 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.
ingredients diced and chopped
peppers, onions, and celery stirred in
rice mixture divided on packet
sausage placed on top of rice mixture
  1. Stir in the onions, bell pepper, and celery.
  2. Divide the rice mixture evenly among your packets.
  3. Top evenly with sausage.
  4. Fold the long sides together and form a seam. Then roll the short sides up to form additional seams.
  5. Refrigerate up to three days or freeze until time to go camping.

The Process Part Two:

Foil Packets wrapped ready to use
charcoal in chimney in firepit with grate
foil packets on the grill being cooked
jambalaya foil packets ready to eat
  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 25 minutes, turning over at least once, or until the rice is ready.
  3. Carefully pull the packets off and let them cool for a minute or two.
  4. Either open up the seams and crush the foil into a bowl shape or empty the food into another bowl or plate for eating.
  5. If you brought them, sprinkle chopped scallions over your cooked dish. We also like to add some hot sauce to ours. This is really tasty served with hot French bread and a fresh green salad if you are early on in your camping trip.

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:

Foil Packet Food: Jambalaya

a quick and easy version of the classic jambalaya made for the camping trip
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Cajun
Keyword: foil packets, freezer friendly, rice, sausage, trinity
Servings: 4 foil packets

Ingredients

  • 1 cup instant rice
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 medium onion diced
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 2 ribs celery stalks diced
  • 1/4 cup scallions chopped (optional)
  • hot sauce optional

Instructions

At Home

  • In a medium bowl stir together rice, broth, and the Cajun seasoning. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes or until the majority of the liquid is absorbed.
  • 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.
  • Stir in the onions, bell pepper, and celery,
  • Divide the rice mixture evenly among your packets.
  • Top evenly with sausage.
  • Fold the long sides together and form a seam. Then roll the short sides up to form additional seams.
  • Refrigerate up to three days or freeze until time to go camping.

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 25 minutes, turning over at least once, or until the rice is ready.
  • Carefully pull the packets off and let them cool for a minute or two.
  • Either open up the seams and crush the foil into a bowl shape or empty the food into another bowl or plate for eating.
  • If you brought them, sprinkle chopped scallions over your cooked dish. We also like to add some hot sauce to ours. This is really tasty served with hot French bread and a fresh green salad if you are early on in your camping trip.

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