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))!

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… 

2014-03-16 17.55.07

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!

2014-03-16 17.40.46

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. 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.

2014-03-16 17.43.30

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!

2014-03-16 18.27.58

**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.
Write a review
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
Food for a Year:




  1. Connie Barnes says:

    I make these dur­ing har­vest — we are wheat farm­ers! After tak­ing them out if the oven, I put in a cool­er and they are still HOT when I get to the field! I’ve always put the meat on the bot­tom and then the veg­gies but will try the pota­toes on the bot­tom next time.

  2. Pingback: Round-Up of our Go-To Weeknight Dinners!

  3. Cassandra says:

    This brings back mem­o­ries as I grew up with hobo din­ners also. My mom would put cab­bage leaves on the bot­tom of hers and sliced onions on top of the ham­burg­er pat­ty. I will have to try the bacon. Thanks.

  4. Pingback: Hobo Dinner –®

In true show & tell form: "I am open for questions & comments"

%d bloggers like this: