Hobo Packets

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Hobo packets are such a quick, easy, and filling dinner option. In a foil parcel, we add tender ground beef, veggies, and a delicious marinade and simply bake it in the oven.

hobo packets

In my quest to give you a quick and easy dinner recipe each week, today I am bringing you hobo dinner foil packets. The name is weird, but the meal is anything but! These are traditional boy scout or camping meals and with good reason. Kids just love getting to “design” their own dinner and there is very little work for the adults. Do you know how you often feel you are running a short-order kitchen? Having to make four or more different dishes for 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.

These hobo dinners in the oven can also be easily customized to suit you and your family. Today in our hobo packets, I’ve got ground beef patties, potatoes, carrots, and onion in a delicious marinade. All you have to do is wrap all of it in a foil parcel, bake it in the oven, and dinner is served.

But you can also use ground chicken, ground turkey, or ground pork. Alternatively, use whichever veggies you like or make this into a great vegetarian meal simply by omitting meat and adding more veggies!

These hobo dinner packets tick all the boxes. They’re cheap, quick, easy, healthy, and filling. There’s truly not much else you could want in a main meal. So let’s get assembling our hobo packets, shall we? While we are on the topic of easy meals check out some of these recipes like Easy Skillet Chili BakeEasy Irish Boiled Dinner, Easy Baked Ziti, and Easy Southern Salmon Patties.

hobo packets ingredients

Hobo Packets Recipe Ingredients

  • Potatoes
  • Baby carrots
  • Yellow onion
  • Ground beef
  • Marinade/sauce (I am using Dale’s Marinade and Sauce).

Helpful Kitchen Tools

How to Make Hobo Packets

prep ingredients for hobo packets

Peel and slice onion and slice potatoes.

I don’t peel my potatoes for this but you can if you prefer!

prep patties for hobo packets

Make your hamburger patties by shaping the ground beef into a patty shape.

assembling hobo packets

Tear off a large sheet of aluminum foil and place your beef 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!

add onions to hobo packets

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.

add potatoes to hobo packets

Like this.

Now top with your potatoes…

add carrots to hobo packets

And carrots.

add sauce to hobo packets

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.

make parcel from tin foil

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.

completed hobo packet parcels

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.

Hobo packets ready for the oven.

Voila! Hobo packets!

Now, when it comes time to cook the hobo dinners in the oven, all you’re going to do is place these in your oven, right on your rack, and cook at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour, until the meat is as done as you like and vegetables are tender.

completed hobo packets

All of the recipes Mama and I have seen for hobo packets say to cook them for 20 to 30 minutes. But we’ve NEVER had ours be done in that amount of time!


I place the hobo dinner in a bowl and just open the packet up a bit and let folks eat right out of the packet!

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!

Hobo Packets Storage

You can store cooked or uncooked hobo foil packets in the fridge for up to 4 days. Then bake as instructed or reheat in the oven or air fryer.

Recipe Notes

  • If you don’t have baby carrots, just peel and slice regular carrots.
  • Other great veggies to use include sweet potato, red bell pepper, sliced mushrooms, parsnips, and Brussels sprouts.
  • I recommend using a good baking potato, like Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes. Alternatively, use baby potatoes.
  • Instead of ground beef, you can use other ground meat as mentioned, or smoked sausage, steak, sausage cut into patties, or chicken breast.
  • Remember you can use any marinade or sauce you like, including homemade bbq sauce, ketchup, or this all-purpose marinade. The choice is yours! You can also leave it out or use cream of mushroom soup instead.
  • For extra flavor, add up to 2 teaspoons of your favorite dried herbs: Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and/or dried thyme are all great options. I recommend adding this to the ground beef with salt and pepper, mixing it with your hands, and then shaping it into patties.
  • Add a cheese slice to the top of your hamburger patty when you place it in the foil packet if you like.

Recipe FAQs

Can I make hobo packets ahead of time?

Absolutely! 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

Hobo packets are such a quick, easy, and filling dinner option. In a foil parcel, we add tender ground beef, veggies, and a delicious marinade and simply bake it in the oven.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: groundbeef, vegetables
Servings: 4
Calories: 439kcal


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 large Russet potatoes
  • baby carrots
  • 8 tbsp Dale's Sauce, optional


  • Make patties out of ground beef.
    1 lb ground beef
  • Peel and slice the onion. Slice potatoes into chunks.
    1 large onion, 4 large Russet potatoes
  • Place each patty in the center of a large sheet of foil. Top with onion, potatoes, and carrots. Add sauce, if using.
    1 large onion, baby carrots, 8 tbsp Dale's Sauce, optional, 4 large Russet potatoes
  • Close the packet and seal it well. Bake it in the oven at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour until done.


Calories: 439kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!

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  1. Hi there.:) I used to make this for the grill but I never put hamburger in it. I will have to try that.:) By the way I made your Pizza rolls and they were a big hit. I made them on Sunday. I only had a little bit left.:) Thanks bunches for all your hard work.:)

  2. Thank you for that information! I’m sure readers will find it very interesting, especially when they have time to view leading opinions on both sides of the issue. In the interest of fairness, here is an excerpt from an article in The Washington Post:

    The suspicion of a relationship between aluminum and (take your choice) Alzheimer’s, Lou Gehrig’s or Parkinson’s disease has been floating around for about 20 years. The brains of some Alzheimer’s patients have been found to contain abnormally high concentrations of aluminum, but nobody knows whether that is a cause of the disease or a result of it.

    Because Alzheimer’s is a chronic disease that develops over a long period of time, the long-term ingestion of aluminum in drinking water, which is relatively easy to monitor, should be a logical way to search for a correlation. And yet, epidemiological attempts to link aluminum in drinking water with Alzheimer’s disease have been either inconclusive or contradictory.

    There is little doubt that whatever aluminum leaks into our foods from cookware is a small fraction of the aluminum we ingest through normal eating, drinking and breathing on our aluminum- pervaded planet.

    The full article can be found here:http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/23/AR2006052300366.html

    Have a great day!

  3. I used to make these all the time in Boy Scouts, they were called silver turtles. But as of late, we now know that cooking with aluminum foil causes severe long-term mental defects, namely alzheimers, just bear that in mind while you still can…

  4. I knew about the campfire thing (SCAdian days) but the newspaper – I’ve never heard that before and ITS BRILLIANT!!!
    You have just forever changed my campfire cooking! Thank you so much!!!

  5. Yummy yummy. I remember these from Girl Guides.

    FYI, these can be made on a campfire too, with some modifications. Lay out one sheet of tin foil, lay a piece of wet newspaper on that, and then put down another layer of foil. Put everything in as usual, and place it in the fire. The newspaper acts as an insulator, so everything cooks but doesn’t get all burnt. Just thought you’d want to know, in case you’re headed to the woods!

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