Our hobo dinner is a perfect summer meal made over the campfire but gets even better as the nights become cooler. Potatoes, onions, carrots, and deliciously seasoned beef come together with a creamy sauce to create a wonderful comfort food dinner.
There is a slight chance that when you cheerily tell your wine-toting dinner guests that you’re making an authentic hobo dinner, they may look for the door. When you usher them into the dining room and tell them to have a seat because the best hobo dinner ever is almost ready, they may panic. Unfortunately for them, they’ve already committed.
The Best Hobo Dinner Foil Packets
Fortunately for you, they’ll love this meal from bite one. Truly delicious and worthy of your fanciest dinner guest. It’s a crowd-pleaser, and trust me when I say your once fearful guests will be asking for thirds.
Looking for more recipes that make ground beef the star of the dinner show? Try my hamburger hash, hamburger potato casserole, hamburger soup, or my super popular hamburger casserole (also my son’s all-time favorite dinner ever!)
Let’s make these! Your friends, family, and especially kids, will love these!!!
What Is Hobo Dinner?
A true meat and potatoes meal, hobo dinner is a mashup of flavorful hamburger patties and veggies nestled in cream of mushroom soup and tucked away into foil packs. Easy to put together, flavors from brown sugar to chili powder explode in every bite.
Often referred to as hobo packets or sausage hobo dinner, this yummy meal gives each person at your table an individual packet filled with meat, vegetables, and love. There are many recipes out there that call for hobo dinner with cabbage, but I prefer to leave it out.
Hobo dinner across the internet comes with a laundry list of variations (including a hobo dinner video), making this recipe not only versatile but fun to play with!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- ground beef
- salt and pepper
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- chili powder
- brown sugar
- russet potatoes
- yellow onion
- condensed cream of mushroom soup- low sodium
- chopped fresh parsley (not shown in photos)
How Do You Cook a Hobo Dinner?
- Hobo Dinner In Oven: My favorite method, and the one I recommend with this recipe. Hobo dinner in the oven is easy! After laying out your foil, vegetables come first. Top with a dollop of butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top the veggie layer with meat and follow it up with soup. Seal your packets and bake!
- Hobo Dinner On The Grill: Ah, grilling season. From traditional hot dogs to the less common grilled pizza, everything tastes wonderful on the grill. Hobo dinner is no exception.
- Start with your beef patty and lay it flat on the foil. Top with veggies. You can choose to use cream soup here as well, but a dash or two of Worcestershire sauce is so good!
- Seal and place on the grill, grilling over medium heat for 25-30 minutes.
- Meat should be cooked thoroughly and vegetables (especially potatoes) should be tender.
- Hobo Dinner Camping: When you think about it, it really makes sense to cook hobo dinner over an open flame. Taking your hobo dinner camping is one of the easiest things you’ll ever do, especially if you have a big family! Putting the meal together is fundamentally the same.
- For camping, start with meat, add the vegetables and top with soup! Again, Worcestershire sauce is a great substitute here.
- Seal it all on up and cook over an open flame for about 30 minutes. Making sure the meat is cooked well takes precedence, so don’t rush it.
- The campfire is a fantastic place to try a chicken hobo dinner recipe…the flavor is amazing! Add campfire potatoes to the list too!
Tips + Tricks
- Meat: The patties for hobo dinner can be made with ground beef or ground turkey. You can use premade patties as well! Cook times will vary, and frozen patties will take a bit longer to cook when cooking from the point of being frozen.
- You can also make your homemade patties in advance, and freeze them to use for future hobo dinners!
- Veggies: The size you cut the veggies is related to the method of cooking, as well as whether or not you are using frozen patties. For example, it’s fine to cut your vegetables larger if your baking in the oven and using frozen patties.
- However, grilling and using a fresh patty will call for smaller, thinner slices of veggies. As your cook times vary, adjust veggies accordingly so they aren’t too hard or too soggy.
- Sauce: We talked briefly about Worcestershire sauce as a swap out for Cream of Mushroom soup…but hobo dinner is downright incredible with prepared barbecue sauce. Substitute it for the soup and you’ve got a whole new flavor combo.
Storing + Freezing + Make Ahead
- How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge? Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- Can you freeze tin foil dinners? Yes, once cooked, this can be frozen for 2-3 months.
- Make-Ahead Tips: Hobo dinner is super simple to make ahead, especially if you are using frozen patties. Chop your veggies early in the day, or even a day or two in advance! When you’re ready to rock, your hobo ingredients are ready to roll.
- If using fresh patties, put your foil packets together early in the day or the night before, and pop them in the oven or on the grill when it’s time to start dinner.
- Raw frozen patties can be kept in the freezer for 3-4 months.
How to Make Hobo Dinner
1. Mix together the beef patty ingredients.
2. Prepare and cut into cubes: potatoes, carrots, onions.
3. Form beef mixture into 4 patties. Set aside.
4. Spread the vegetables in the center of each sheet of foil. Season with salt and pepper. Top with a tablespoon of cubed butter.
5. Top the vegetable layer with a beef patty.
6. Place 1-2 tablespoons of cream of mushroom soup.
7. Seal foil packets and place on rimmed baking sheet.
More Easy Ground Beef Recipes
- Taco Meat Recipe
- Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs
- Cowboy Stew
- Brown Sugar Meatloaf
- Hamburger Potato Casserole
- Shipwreck Stew
- 1 pound ground beef 80/20
- salt divided
- black pepper divided
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar packed
- 4 tablespoons butter cut into cubes
- 3 medium Russet potatoes peeled and diced
- 1 medium yellow onion cut into cubes
- 2 large carrots peeled and diced
- 1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup low sodium
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F.
- In a bowl, mix together the beef (1 pound), 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, garlic powder (1/2 teaspoon), onion powder (1/2 teaspoon), chili powder (1/2 teaspoon), and brown sugar (1/2 teaspoon) until the spices are evenly incorporated.
- Form beef mixture into 4 equal-sized patties. Set aside.
- Spread out 4- 12-inch sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil.
- Stack a 1/4 of each vegetable in a layer in the center of each sheet of foil. Sprinkle the vegetables generously with salt and pepper and dot the top with 1 tablespoon of cubed butter.
- Top the vegetable layer with a beef patty then top with 2 tablespoons cream of mushroom soup.
- Seal foil packets well and place them on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven until the beef patty reaches an internal temperature of 160 °F, and the vegetables are tender about 30-40 minutes.
- Bake in preheated oven until the beef patty reaches an internal temperature of 160 °F, and the vegetables are tender for about 30-40 minutes.
Elizabeth Mulgrew says
My veggies weren’t done even at 40 minutes. The recipes says to “cube” them so I guess I cut them too large. I would say “diced” would maybe give a better idea of size, which is what I will do next time. Otherwise, this is an excellent recipe for home, picnic or camping, and the burger was seasoned well.
Hi Elizabeth! Thats a great suggestion. I’ll update the recipe! <3
I’ve never made a hobo dinner before and it sounds quite appetizing but I do have perhaps a weird question when baking that Patty on top of the vegetables doesn’t the blood from the meat drip into the vegetables?
Hi Ollie. I’ve never thought of it that way. Yes the juices and fat do drip down on the veggies and flavor them marvelously.
William D johnson says
Where do the potatoes go
Hi William. In step 5 with the other vegetables. Enjoy!!!
Just prepped this and cooking it over a campfire tomorrow night. So excited! Thanks for the easy to follow, clear instructions ?
Thank you, Lindsey! Enjoy camping! 🙂
Tom McCort says
About 65 years ago we made foil packet meals using a very similar recipe during our Boy Scout troop camp outs. After assembling and sealing the packets, we’d insert them into the hot ashes of our campfire for about 30 minutes. The result was absolutely delicious.
Hi Tom. I did the same thing with the Girl Scouts. I love making this for dinner because it brings back such happy memories! 🙂
Kathy Holmes says
This is a wonderful recipe! I actually used chicken cut into chunks and dipped those in the spices before assembling. (I accidentally forgot the brown sugar, but it was still great.) I also used Cream of Chicken Soup because we prefer it. My family LOVED this flavorful meal! I will definitely make it again and will use it with beef patties as well. Thank you!
Hey Kathy! I LOVE that idea and am putting on my dinner plans for this week. Thanks so much for sharing <3
OMG, what a fun dinner idea, I LOVE this!!