Do you need a versatile side dish for camping that can be served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner? One that has ingredients you will likely already have in your cooler?

Sounds too good to be true, right? This is my go-to staple dish for every camping trip. Just a sack of potatoes, butter, onion, salt and pepper, and a few other ingredients to change up the recipe to suit the meal…and you’re good to go. I’ve served the potatoes in foil as a side to eggs and bacon, served with canned corn (and I’m not a fan of canned corn but it is tasty served this way) with lunch or dinner, or even as a main breakfast dish by adding scrambled eggs to the foil packet.

Potatoes in Foil Packets

Serves 4


4 medium or 2 extra-large potatoes

1 medium onion, chopped

1—2 garlic cloves, chopped


3—4 tablespoons butter (or more, to taste)


1 can whole kernel corn, drained

Salt and pepper

Thinly slice potatoes (you can peel the skin or wash it clean and leave it on, either way) and nestle in squares of heavy duty aluminum foil, dab with butter, add chopped onion, chopped garlic, several spoonsful of canned corn, and salt and pepper to taste. Close aluminum foil tightly by folding edges over and pinching shut, creating more of a flat packet than a round one, one potato per foil packet. Cook on grill or over fire for approximately 20 minutes (campfires have inconsistent heat so check the packets, when they are soft and sizzling, they’re done. Don’t poke with a fork, because this will release the butter. Just squeeze between your thumb and fingers protected in an oven mitt). You can serve individually out of the foil packets, or scrap the potatoes into a bowl for serving family style. Some of the potatoes may have blackened and stuck to the foil, but scrap them onto your plates – I like them that way. If you want to make these potatoes as a side for breakfast, substitute bacon, fried and crumbled, for the corn. You could also add scrambled eggs, green pepper, chopped tomatoes, and other ingredients of your choice for a skillet type breakfast.

Photo of campsite

Enhance the experience of camping in a beauty spot with good, hearty food

This recipe is featured in my book, No Grater Evil, about the gourmet dinner club’s camping trip in the Rocky Mountains. Nothing puts out the flames as fast as finding a dead body at the campfire.

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