Meatloaf Foil Packets

"I was tasked with making foil packet meals for a camping trip with friends. I decided to try it with meatloaf, because I could make it in advance and keep it in plastic baggies in the cooler until I was ready to make the packets at the campsite. You could also throw these packets on the grill! See the important tips below before you shop."
photo by Faux Chef Lael photo by Faux Chef Lael
photo by Faux Chef Lael
Ready In:
1hr 30mins


  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef (4% fat or less will be best)
  • 1 lb ground pork (or bulk pork sausage)
  • 1 lb ground veal
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 12 cup milk (or buttermilk)
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs (more as needed)
  • 12 cup ketchup (I prefer spicy jalapeno ketchup)
  • 3 (2 ounce) packets lipton onion and mushroom soup mix (each box contains two 2-oz packets)
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Kitchen Bouquet (Browning and Seasoning Sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper


  • Tip 1: Meatloaf is dry and crumbly if you don't have enough of the right kind of fat in it, and by itself, beef doesn't have the right kind of fat. That's the reason why beef, pork AND veal are used. Each of these meats have properties which will help with the flavor and texture of the meatloaf. You can buy the meats separately, but many stores carry "meatloaf mix" which combines all three meats for your convenience.
  • Tip 2: Because you'll be cooking the meat and veggies in one packet, it's important to buy beef with the lowest fat possible, since you'll get plenty of fat from the pork. I use 4% fat, and I wouldn't recommend anything over 7%. After it cooks, you'll be left with a thin, flavorful gravy in the bottom of the packet that will not taste too greasy.
  • Tip 3: Some stores do not carry Lipton Onion and Mushroom soup mix, so if you can only find Onion soup mix, that will be fine, but you'll need to add about a cup of finely chopped mushrooms to your meatloaf mix. Even if you don't like mushrooms, they are necessary to hold in moisture and flavor. You won't taste them in the soup mix or finely chopped.
  • Tip 4: It's very important not to overmix your meatloaf, as it can become tough. It's best to combine all the ingredients (except the meat and breadcrumbs) in a bowl first, then add the meat and squish it all together until you have a very wet mix, then add as much breadcrumbs as needed to create a sticky loaf that will keep it's shape.
  • Tip 5: I actually use throw-away pie tins covered in heavy duty foil for when we go camping, because I like the stability of the pie tin. But if you're using only foil, be sure to use two layers of heavy duty foil.
  • Let's get started! In your largest mixing bowl combine all the wet ingredients including eggs, stir thoroughly.
  • Add to the mixture, all the remaining ingredients except the meats and the breadcrumbs. Stir thoroughly.
  • Add all the meats and using your hands (I wear plastic gloves) mash all the ingredients together, making sure to incorporate all the meats together and spices throughout the mixture. At this point it should be very wet.
  • Finally, add the breadcrumbs to stiffen the mixture. Start with one cup of breadcrumbs and add more as needed to create a sticky loaf that will hold its shape. DO NOT OVERMIX or it will become tough.
  • At this point, you can cook the meatloaf in a pan as you would any typical meatloaf recipe. If making foil packets, you have two options; either make them ahead for later, or make them now to go straight on the fire. If making ahead, you should separate out the portion size you prefer (I made big, hearty 1/2 lb portions). Place the portions in separate plastic baggies until ready to use. It's important NOT to include your side veggies in the baggie. When you're ready to cook them, shape the portions into mini-meatloaves and place them on top of your choice of veggies and herbs (I like baby red potatoes, onions and carrots with olive oil, seasoning salt, pepper and fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme or sage.) Then wrap it all up in heavy duty foil and cook it on the campfire for 45-60 minutes, depending on portion size. When the veggies are done, the meat will be done, so check the carrots and potatoes for doneness. When it's done, you can add shredded cheese on the top and close the packet for a few minutes to let it melt. We also like ketchup drizzled on the top.

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I'm an artist and I work from home, so I love to have the smell of something delicious cooking in the background while I'm working. Cooking is the way that I show love to my family and friends -- I get that from my Southern grandma, who always made amazing meals for our large extended family. Since I learned to cook from her, I always end up making meals that could feed a small army. Down home, old fashioned, comfort foods that make lots of leftovers are my specialty. I love to eat any kind of ethnic food but I'm just learning to cook from different cultures. My favorite place in the world is New Orleans, so I love to make Cajun and Creole food. I call myself the Faux Chef because I don't have the talent to be a chef but I try really hard. My problem is, I never measure anything (thanks, Grandma!) which makes me TERRIBLE at baking.
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