Red Beans and Rice Foil Packets

red beans and rice foil packet ready to eat

In the 19th century, Monday was the day to do laundry. Because it was an all-day affair an easy meal that didn’t require a lot of attention was required. Enter a bean dish that can cook all day and then be served over rice. I first enjoyed red beans and rice on my many vacations to New Orleans and enjoyed making it at home, usually with a side order of cornbread. Did you know that Louis Armstrong’s favorite food was red beans and rice? He would sign his letters “Red Beans and Ricely Yours, Louis Armstrong.” As it turns out our child loves sausage and beans, so he likes to pick out the meat and beans and eat them. Then we have to encourage him to eat the rice and veggies. But at least he enjoys these red beans and rice foil packets while we are camping.

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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 Red Beans and Rice in a Foil Packet:

  • We prep them ahead of time
  • They can be cooked over wood, charcoal, or gas
  • They don’t require lots of fancy ingredients
  • You are eating a one dish meal

The Ingredients:

  • Fire roasted diced tomatoes (non-traditional but we need the liquid)
  • Chicken broth (more liquid for the rice)
  • Kosher salt (to taste)
  • Cajun seasoning (yum!)
  • Instant rice (because regular won’t cook in time)
  • Red kidney beans (need beans for red beans and rice)
  • Green bell pepper (part of the trinity)
  • Onion (part of the trinity)
  • Celery (part of the trinity)
  • Andouille sausage (the perfect sausage for this dish)
  • Scallions (optional but delightful)

The Process Part One:

tomatoes and seasonings in a bowl
instant rice soaking in tomatoes and spices
instant rice ready to soak
instant rice after ten minutes of soaking
  1. In a medium bowl stir together tomatoes, broth, salt, and the Cajun seasoning.
  2. Stir in rice and let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes or until the majority of the liquid is absorbed.
  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.
trinity and beans added to rice mixture
sausage added to top of rice mixture
rice mixture placed on foil packets
Foil Packets wrapped ready to use
  1. Stir in the beans and trinity (bell pepper, onion, 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:

charcoal in chimney in firepit with grate
foil packets on the grill being cooked
red beans and rice foil packet
  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, rotating 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 for added deliciousness.

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: Red Beans and Rice

one of Louis Armstrong's favorite dishes, made easy for the campsite
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Cajun
Keyword: foil packets, freezer friendly, rice, sausage, trinity
Servings: 4 foil packets

Ingredients

  • 14.5 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes undrained
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp cajun seasoning
  • 1 cup instant rice uncooked
  • 16 oz canned red beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 large green bell pepper seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion diced
  • 2 ribs celery diced
  • 1 lb andouille sausage 1/2 inch slices
  • 1/4 cup scallions diced (optional)

Instructions

At Home

  • In a medium bowl stir together tomatoes, broth, salt, and the Cajun seasoning.
  • Stir in rice and 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 beans and trinity (bell pepper, onion, 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, rotating 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 for added deliciousness.

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