This Hobo Dinner just may change your life!

This Hobo Dinner just may change your life!

 The first time I had a Hobo Dinner was when I was 12. Mom, Dad, Mike & I were camping in the summer in CO. Once the tent was sent up, the campfire wood was gathered and the campfire was built, mom and I started the meal prep. I remember washing my hands with water from our jug, making sure not to waste it! If something dropped on the ground, I would do a quick rinse and try to make sure it became part of my brother’s meal ((hahaha))!

Making it your own!

Each person’s uncooked meal was placed on a foil square and folded up–like a hobo’s sack and placed on the fire. Dad and Mike managed it from there. My favorite part of the meal was when I opened up my very own pouch after a long, hard day of “roughing it” breathing  in that home-cooked aroma.

Just for a minute, as I opened my pouch and peered in, hit with the aroma of a Sunday dinner at home, I could trick myself into thinking a date with a rock pillow was not in my future — when in fact it was… 

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Mom had a way of bringing home to where ever we were. I loved that meal then and still do. What is funny about this meal, is the very reason it became a traditional campsite meal makes it equally perfect for a busy week night in the suburbs. Very little prep, very little mess, very simple clean-up and VERY tasty!

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I most recently brought this meal to NM. Skiing, hiking, exploring were all part of the week – but I also had a 9 year-old turning into a 10 year-old and I wanted him to have a “special” birthday meal. Like a light bulb turning on in my brain – Hobo Dinners immediately came to mind! Home cooking at it’s simplest AND best.

Hobo Dinner Tips:

To make it a bit more special, I added a nice thick slice of bacon to the bottom of each pouch. He loved it!! Brod larped it up and clapped with joy – he felt special and I didn’t feel overwhelmed trying to create a special meal in a cabin in the woods.

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I thought everyone knew why Hobo dinners were called Hobo dinners, but after talking with Laura – I realized that isn’t the case.  She thought we were having hobos over for dinner.

Once, she realized that wasn’t the case, she wondered if it was a costume dinner, last if we were eating out of cans that had been heated over an open fire…I had a good laugh imaging the pictures flooding her mind when I told her our menu that night.

I hope your family enjoys these tasty packets as much as we do…whether roughing in the woods or rushed in the suburbs, this meal is sure to bring a smile to your family’s face!

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**UPDATE** Check out this NEW Cheesy Chicken Pizza Hobo Dinner version by clicking HERE 

Hobo Dinners
Serves 6
Simple and satisfying, a full meal stuffed into individual foil pouches.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
570 calories
39 g
126 g
27 g
41 g
10 g
402 g
409 g
5 g
2 g
14 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 570
Calories from Fat 246
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 27g
Saturated Fat 10g
Trans Fat 2g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 12g
Cholesterol 126mg
Sodium 409mg
Total Carbohydrates 39g
Dietary Fiber 5g
Sugars 5g
Protein 41g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 2.5 lbs uncooked lean ground beef
  2. 2 T dry ranch seasoning mix
  3. seasoned salt
  4. fresh ground pepper
  5. 4 medium carrots, cut into sticks (approx. 6 sticks per pouch)
  6. 1/2 medium onion, sliced (6 slices)
  7. 6 red medium potatoes, sliced
  8. 6 slices of thick center cut bacon, cut in half
  1. Heat grill or oven to 375°. Layout 6 heavy duty foil squares & place 2 halves of bacon in the center of each square.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine meat and seasonings. Divide meat into 6 equal portions, form patties and set aside.
  3. Arrange potatoes atop bacon ((don't stack the raw potatoes or they won't cook through)). Next, arrange carrot sticks around the bacon. Place the meat patty on the potatoes and top with the onion slice and a dash of seasoned salt and freshly ground pepper.
  4. Seal the pouches and place on a cookie sheet in the oven or directly on the grill. Cook approximately 30 minutes.
  5. Serve pouches while still sealed. Half of the fun is each diner opening their very own pouch!
Adapted from Susan Cathey
Adapted from Susan Cathey
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