Hobo Packets ~This Week’s Quick and Easy Meal!~


In my quest to give you a quick and easy dinner recipe each week, I am bringing you hobo packets! These are a traditional boy scout meal and with good reason. Kids just love getting to “design” their own dinner and there is very little work for the adults. You know how you often feel you are running a short order kitchen? Having to make four or more different dishes to special orders can be so very frustrating. One doesn’t like onions, the other doesn’t like carrots, yadda yadda yadda. Hobo packets make that easy.
This recipe can also be modified to use chicken or even pork, but ground beef is my personal favorite due to its taste (I’m just so used to hobo packets with ground beef!), its convenience, and its cost. This can even make a great Vegetarian meal simply by omitting meat and adding more veggies!

Frugal and filling!

You’ll need: Potatoes, Carrots, Onion, aluminum foil, and a sauce if you would like to use one. These cook up just fine without any additional sauce but I like to add about two tablespoons of Dale’s Sauce.
Do you all have Dale’s Sauce? It is an Alabama product but I’m not sure how widespread it is.
Another product called “Moore’s Marinade” is just about the same thing.
and ground beef.

Peel and slice onion. Slice potatoes. I don’t peel my potatoes for this but you can if you prefer!

Make your hamburger patties. I made these for my in laws when they were here. We were going to a big music festival that day and I wanted something quick and easy for lunch with very little clean up.

Tear off a large sheet of foil and place your patty in the center.
At this point you can let your kids make their own if you like, now that you’ve already placed the nasty raw meat so they don’t have to touch it!

Put a few onion slices on top and then pull up the sides so it makes a bit of a bowl to hold the rest of our toppings.

Like this. Now top with your potatoes…

And carrots.

If you would like to add sauce, add about two tablespoons now. This will make enough juice to cook just fine without sauce if you want to just leave that out.

Now close that up kind of like a hobo sack!
I always add another sheet and close that up around it too, but you don’t have to.

If I have one that is different or for someone in particular, I like to have fun with it. This bunny rabbit is for my son and it doesn’t have any onions in it. :)

Voila! Hobo packets!
Place these in your oven, right on your rack, and cook at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour, until meat is as done as you like and vegetables are tender.
All of the recipes Mama and I have seen for this say to cook it for twenty to thirty minutes, but we’ve NEVER had ours be done in that amount of time!

I place these in a bowl and just open them up a bit and let folks eat right out of the packet!
You can make these in the morning or even the night before and then just pop them in the oven when you are ready! I have also made them from start to finish the day before and then just put the packets back in the oven to heat up for supper.




Hobo Packets
  • Ground Beef
  • Onion
  • Potatoes
  • Baby Carrots
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Dale's Sauce (optional)
  1. Make patties out of the ground beef. Peel and slice onion. Slice potatoes into chunks. Place each patty in the center of a large sheet of foil. Top with onion, potatoes, and carrots. Add 2 T of sauce, if using. Close packet and seal well. Bake in oven at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour, or until done.
I am so glad I have one of these left in the fridge! I’m popping it in the oven to heat up for myself now!

If you’ve made a Southern Plate recipe and posted about it on your blog, please send me an email to christy@southernplate.com.
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Many great things are coming up and the end of this month is going to hold a few great surprises!















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  1. Teresa says

    Oh lord! I made this originally about 40 yrs ago when I was in the girl scouts. Still make now and my husband loves them…only thing different is..no Dales, but use season salt.

  2. says

    ok I know this was posted forever ago – but I just put these together for dinner tonight. I couldn’t find Dale’s but I picked up a nice steak sauce and used that.

    I had about 3/4 lb of hamburger meat and 2 links of sweet italian sausage that I mixed together (about 1 – 1 1/4 lbs of meat) with a little brown gravy mix all mixed together to make 4 patties. Then I put onion, carrot, red pepper in the packet on top before sauce and closed up the packet. I double wrapped mine too – hopefully no leaks that way. We will have some mashed potatoes on the side (only because I have leftover mashed potatoes to use up). I have 4 packets sitting on a baking sheet in my oven as I type. Can’t wait to try these.

    I love knowing I can always find something “different” right here on Cristy’s site using “every day” items.

  3. Laci Lobbs says

    I have made these hobo packets but instead of the hamburger patties I make hamburger balls like meatballs and it is so good I also use garlic powder and dale’s seasoning and it is very good!!!!

  4. Lisa C. says

    I dot the top of my hobo packets with about 1 tablespoon of butter per hobo packet, but don’t use any sauce on them. I also like to mix some french onion or beefy onion soup mix into the hamburger and let it set for about 30 minutes to start rehydrating. Makes for some YUMMY burgers!

  5. Glo says

    These have been a favorite of our family for years and yes I mix up the ingredients for the individual tastes of my kids just like you. I usually use frozen mixed veggies instead of whole carrots though. Either way it is a good filling meal and no dishes to wash.

  6. Linda Watters says

    I made this meal when camping on the grill. We add cabbage to it as well. I place pats of butter over it . I double wrap them in wide heavy duty foil to keep them from leaking and cook them on the grill on high for about an hour. The smell of the cabbage and onions wafting in the air is unbeatable. I also use Italian sausage links for more flavored meat. MMM. Can almost taste it. Come on camping season! LOL! I also cook this in the oven in a black enamel roaster. Works well. One hint when cooking it on the grill. I place the sausage at the bottom of the packet to help it brown.

    Thanks Christy for reminding me of this meal. Yum!


  7. kay says

    I like this idea…wonder if I can use veggies & tilapia fish (since I have a ton in my freezer!).
    Also, I live outside of Washington DC and for YEARS I would bring copious amounts of Dale’s sauce home with me when visiting relatives down South. Then, one day I walked into a local Wal-mart and found it on the shelf! Now, if there’s a Southern food item I’m craving, I always check Wal-mart first (Duke’s Mayo, pimento cheese, etc.). :)

    • says

      If you want to put your patties in the bottom of a slow cooker and your veggies on top, I’d cook on low 7-8 hours or high 3-4. Be sure and add a little sauce, too :) I’m actually experimenting with two different methods of cooking them in a slow cooker today to see which one turns out best !

  8. Lisa P says

    Love Dale’s sauce! I was introduced to it last year by my son-in-law (he’s from AL). He makes the best burgers and steaks with it. I can now find it at Walmart here in MD. Great recipe for family or singles. Will share with my daughter who is now living in AL. I told her how great your site is and to go check it out.

  9. Cecelia Pettit says

    I make these but use a couple spoonfuls of cream of mushroom soup instead of the sauce. Delicious. I’ve also scrambled the ground beef, put all the ingredients in a casserole dish and bake in oven. I call it the Hobo casserole. The family loves it and it’s easy to make.

  10. Trisha says

    Someone may have already posted this (it may have even been me if it has been posted). Smoked sausage is delicious in this! My family has always made Hobo Dinner in a casserole dish. Potatoes and carrots on the bottom, then slices of smoked sausage, then slices of onion. We pour 1 can of cream of mushroom soup and 1 can of cream of celery soup, mixed together and thinned with a little water, over the pan. Cover with foil and bake at 375 for 45 minutes to an hour, until the potatoes and carrots are tender. Delicious!

    I have had this made “Christy Jordan’s way” while camping. It is also delectable!

  11. Yene K says

    Made these tonight, so good and easy! I mixed a couple tbsp ketchup, few drops of liquid smoke, a touch of brown sugar, and some A1 for the sauce. It was great! An easy meal I could put together in a snap after coming home from classes. Thanks Christy!

  12. marcia says

    It’s just me and my husband now so this sounds like an easy fast meal. He get’s home so late and I hate having to clean up so late. gotta watch the tv. lol Thanks for the ideals ladies!

  13. Christina says

    These were wonderful! The hamburger patties had so much flavor! My boyfriend told me I could cook this again! I like how you can prepare these the night before and throw ‘em in the oven when you get home from work! I work 8-5 so having something already prepared is always a plus! Thanks Christy for a wonderful recipe!

  14. Kelly says

    This is a great camping treat but I can’t stress enough how careful you must be to keep the meat from going “bad”. We have eaten these while camping and did not have a bad experience but we did buy some ground beef once and didn’t use it until we got home the next day. Made burgers. I was fine but my poor husband thought he was at death’s door for the next six days. All told he missed six days of work and had to pay over $200 in medical expenses. He said that was the worse he has ever felt!!!

  15. Janean McCawley says

    I made these as a camper at church camp and still enjoy them. In the summer I put them in my electric skillet so I won’t heat up the kitchen using the oven. I usually add butter but the next time I make them, I’ll try the Dales. My grandson likes this as well because I give him more carrots, his favorite!

  16. Laura L says

    We make these often, my kids just love them. Sometimes we add a slice or two of American cheese to the packet after they’re cooked, which melts over everything & makes it taste so good. A handful of frozen broccoli or cauliflower is a good addition to the packet, too. And best part is that there is very little to clean up after a home cooked meal! Yay! Oh, Mrs. Dash & garlic salt are also good seasonings.

  17. Regina F. says

    I love looking for new recipes and trying them out. These look really good. Two years ago I came up with veggie packs and put them on the grill. So this is similar I just need to add the hamburger. I may do ground chicken or turkey. I use those Reynold’s Aluminum Foil Squares, they are ready to use. I never heard of Dale’s Sauce. What is it?

    In my house it is all about healthy. I have to watch for MSG due to migraines. I have gastroparesis and a host of other health problems so I need to be wary with what I eat. My husband has diabetes. What I cook has to follow with our dietary needs.

  18. Mandy Weller says

    What on earth would our hobo packets, meatloaf.brisket,steaks,
    Burgers, and all other gravies, etc etc. Be without
    Dales Sauce??? I’m all the way up wonder here in
    West Virginia and Dales sauce is boss! Ok…..
    for dipping steak some would say a dash of A1 is boss too…
    but No Matter what u gotta have Dales Sauce somewhere
    on the meat!!!! Love ya Christy & all your yummy
    dishes. :)

  19. Sherri Flippo says

    Christy: I am from Sand Mountain, Alabama and grew up eating these hobo packets. Thanks for the reminder, I had forgotten about them. Now I live in Chattanooga, TN and look forward to fix them for my Tennessee husband!

    Thanks again for your great stories (I can relate) :-)

  20. Dawn Keenan says

    Love hobo packets.
    We do have Dales sauce in South Carolina and it’s awesome! Great of steak or chicken. Will try on ground beef and in packets now. Thanks for the ideas.

  21. Brenda Caldwell says

    These are delicious! I make mine the same way you do…And the great part is the fact that you can make each one to the person’s taste. We can be like McDonalds and ‘have it YOUR way!’ :)

  22. Charlotte Miller says

    We love these when we go camping… Only I use mushroom soup for my sauce and slap a nice thick slice of american cheese on top of the burger and then my veggies…. Now I am hungry for one..☺

  23. Carolyn Brown says

    back in the day we had something like this, only it was called coffee can suppers. They use to make coffee in 1 pound cans (metal with lids) Mom would put hamburger or sausage in bottomm then grated potatoes, then grated onions, then grated carrots. On top she would put cabbage chopped. Salt and Pepper, 2 sliced of butter and Tablespoon water. Put lid on and cook for an hour. It was great. I make it now but have to use the foil instead of the cans. And the smell in the house was mouth watering.

  24. Betty Washburn says

    This is a great recipe. I have been making them for years with chicken, pork chops and even a good piece of white fish or Ham. You can also put cabbage, smoked sausage, onions and carrots for one really scrumptious meal. I always add a pat of butter and a little salt and pepper to mine and sometimes just a splash of Worcestershire Sauce.

  25. Sam says

    I have seen “Hobo Packets” with different kinds of meat. What I am wondering is how there isn’t a huge pool of grease in these pouches using ground beef (especially if using 73/27 as pictured).

  26. Big Bad John says

    Outstanding! I made this several times this week with ground beef and chicken thighs. I alternated Worcestershire sauce and Maggi Seasoning. I’m also going to try prepping them in advance as you suggested. Thank you for this insanely delicious, time-saving recipe.


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