Make Ahead Foil Packet Dinners for the Oven with Chicken Sausage & Veggies
Meal Prep Tin Foil Dinners
How can you make one pan meals and sheet pan dinners even MORE convenient? Give these make ahead foil packet dinners a try! Pretty much, they’re like meal prep sheet pan dinners that you can take straight out of the fridge and toss on a pan to cook—without even opening up the package.
Foil packet dinners have been
popular camping meal ideas for a while now, but you can take advantage of their
convenience right at home, too! Just
toss your ingredients and seasonings together, wrap them up in foil, and pop
your foil dinners in the oven to roast when you’re ready to cook. Seriously—it’s
There are all sorts of foil dinner recipes that you can try, but I wanted to keep things super simple for my budget meal prep dinners this week. Instead of using a raw meat as my protein, I opted to make my foil packet dinners with Italian chicken sausage that’s already cooked!
I just chop my sausage and toss
it together with my Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, and seasonings. Then, I portion that out into individual
foil packet dinners and wrap those up to store in the fridge for up to 4-5
days. When I’m ready to cook throughout the week, my prepped foil dinners can
go right onto a sheet pan to roast!
Make Ahead Foil Packet Dinners vs. Sheet Pan Meals
With sheet pan dinners, you prep and store your meal components separately, then add them to a pan with your seasonings to roast at the time of cooking. But, you can toss together ALL of your ingredients and seasonings for these foil packet dinners on prep day. Then, when you’re ready to cook, your foil dinners go straight onto a pan to roast as-is!
Now, I know that foil packet cooking is a controversial topic for some. So, if you’re not a fan of tin foil dinners or don’t like to use foil, you don’t have to! Prep these sausage and vegetable foil packets like you would for sheet pan dinners instead. Store your components in meal prep containers, then dump them onto a parchment-lined pan when you’re ready to cook.
One of the best things about
foil packet dinners is that you get ALL of the prep work done at once, so you
don’t have to do anything at the time of cooking! (Except for preheat the oven,
To start, I prep the sausage for my foil dinners just by
chopping it up into pieces and adding it to a bowl. You can also make foil packet dinners with raw chicken
that’s been chopped, but I went with an Italian chicken sausage that’s already
cooked to keep things simple.
For the veggies, I chose two of my favorites: Brussels
sprouts and butternut squash! Brussels
sprouts are super simple to prep—I just cut them in half, or quarters if
they’re larger. And, I personally almost always
opt for pre-cut butternut squash to make life easier. You can totally cut
down on cost by buying the squash whole and cutting it yourself, if you prefer!
Then, I added a TON of smashed
garlic cloves to these foil packet dinners because they are soooo tasty after
roasting. And I can never have enough garlic in my life! Rather than mincing them up, I simply smashed my cloves with a knife so
they’ll release their flavor while cooking.
Finally, I drizzle everything with a bit of oil and
season to taste with salt and pepper. I
don’t need a ton of fancy seasonings, just enough to make the natural flavors
in this meal shine!
Then, after tossing everything
together with my hands, I’m ready to split up my foil packet dinners into four
portions. Of course, you can adapt this recipe to make more or fewer portions
How to Fold & Seal Foil Packet Dinners for Best Results
When I made these foil dinners,
I laid out four sheets of foil that were fairly even in size on my countertop. (I’d
estimate each sheet was around 18-24 inches long.) Then, I scooped some of my
sausage and vegetable mixture onto each sheet and did my best to keep the
portion sizes even.
Once portioned, I added a sprig of time to each of my
foil packet dinners and that’s it—they’re ready to wrap!
Honestly, I just wrapped my foil
packet dinners in the way that felt most natural to me. There’s no magic in my
method! But, I do have some pictures to share for anyone who wants an idea of
how I went about it.
First, I arranged my sausage and
vegetable mixture in a thick stripe running lengthwise with my foil. I folded the foil lengthwise and pinched it
in the middle, while I folded both ends of the foil inward to make a pouch.
Then, I just pressed those ends together and closed it up to form a pocket.
Now, however you choose to fold
your foil packet dinners is fine, but I DO recommend that you follow this step
at the end:double fold the top to seal in the heat so it can’t escape in the
oven, but still leave some air inside the
foil packets so the heat has room to circulate!
How to Cook Foil Packets in the Oven or Store for Meal
Once they’re all wrapped up, your foil packet dinners can go right into the fridge until you need them! You can store them for up to 4-5 days, so they’re great for weekly meal prep purposes.
Then, whenever you’re ready for a freshly-cooked dinner, place
your desired foil packets onto a sheet pan to roast! No extra prep work needed—I’d just double check to make
sure the seal at the top is still pressed together tightly.
I roasted these sausage and vegetable foil packet dinners at 425°F (220°C) for 25-30 minutes and they turned out deliciously tender. Of course, you can adjust the cook time and temperature as you see fit! The great thing about using that pre-cooked sausage is you don’t have to worry about it turning out undercooked inside your foil packets.
Open up your foil packet dinners
to reveal a delicious healthy meal that couldn’t have been easier! Remove that
sprig of time, pour everything onto a plate or in a bowl, and dinner is SERVED.
It’s a light and satisfying
dinner all on its own, with loads of nutritious veggies and almost 20g of
protein per meal. But, feel free to serve
it with your favorite grain or other side dishes to make this meal your own!
Make Ahead Foil Packet Dinners with Italian Chicken Sausage, Brussels Sprouts, and Butternut Squash
Prep Time:15 minutes
Cook Time:30 minutes
Total Time:45 minutes
4 sweet Italian chicken sausage links, cut into rounds (or sausage of choice)
1 lb brussels sprouts, halved (~5 cups)
1 lb butternut squash, cubed (~3 cups)
1 head of garlic, peeled into cloves, smashed
1-2 Tbsp avocado oil
½ tsp salt
pinch of black pepper
4 sprigs fresh thyme (1 per foil packet)
Preheat oven to 425°F (210°C).
To a large mixing bowl, add all ingredients (besides thyme sprigs) and toss to combine. Divide mixture into 4 portions and set aside.
To make foil packets, tear off 4 long pieces of foil. Add a portion of sausage and veggie mixture to each sheet of foil, along with a sprig of fresh thyme.
Fold edges of foil over the food, double folding the ends so the steam can’t escape, but leaving some room inside of each packet for the heat to circulate.
Roast 25-30 minutes, until veggies are tender.
Serve topped with sliced avocado, a fried egg, or however you like!
Store uncooked foil packets in the fridge for up to 5 days.