Easy DIY Foil Packet Salmon Dinners are infinitely customizable and a delicious way to get the whole family involved with dinner. Pile in everyone’s favorite veggies and top with a salmon fillet and a fresh compound butter and you’ve got a great dinner for the whole family.
This would even be a great recipe for the#KidsMakeDinner Challenge!
Every year we vacation at the lake with my in-laws and every year, as we are making out the grocery list, my mother-in-law deems that we should just make “something simple” for dinner every night. It’s become a mantra as my husband and I make the 6-hour drive with a car full of kids and blankets and suitcases. We pass the time driving across Arkansas’s pot-hole riddled roads coming up with our plan for the “simple” dinners that we hope everyone will eat. My husband and I do most of the cooking (because we enjoy it) and I do my best to work within the confines of every one’s tastes. Depending upon who is making an appearance at the annual family vacation (sometimes as many as 8 people), the range of what will NOT be eaten can vary wildly. Nothing too crazy can be cooked (tacos are out) and the Spartan kitchen limits us from using more than one pot and one skillet at a time. I may be the pickiest since I have a strong desire to not have hamburgers and hot dogs every single night. This year we got the whole family in on the act of making an easy dinner when we put together this “simple” DIY Foil Packet dinner and simply solved the problem of picky eaters.
The beauty of the foil packet is two-fold. You basically set out a protein or two and an assortment of veggies, salt and pepper, and a little compound butter (that’s a fancy way of saying flavored butter) and you let everyone put what they want in their packet. This way no one is picking around mushrooms or pitching every sliver of onion to the side of their plate. And cleanup is oh-so-easy! You don’t even have to dirty a plate, just eat dinner straight out of the foil packet! The only way you could mess this up is if you don’t use heavy duty aluminum foil, so don’t cut corners there.
So, here’s the even cooler thing about this build-your-own dinner. You don’t have to do fish. This could be chicken, shrimp or even sausage. You could simply drizzle a little olive oil and dried herbs into your packets, or whip up a different compound butter! The possibilities are endless!
- 1 stick butter softened
- ¼ cup chopped fresh dill
- 1 clove garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper plus more for seasoning
- 1 lemon zested and sliced
- 4 salmon fillets
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 cup fresh green beans trimmed
- 1 pound new red potatoes sliced ¼-inch thick
- 2 medium zucchini sliced
- 1 cup sugar snap peas
- Heavy-duty aluminum foil
- Preheat your grill for indirect cooking.
- In a small bowl, mix together the butter, dill, garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Place a sheet of plastic wrap about 1 foot long on a work surface and then transfer the butter mixture to the middle of the plastic wrap. Fold the wrap over the butter and shape into a log about 1-inch thick. Roll the log up in the remaining plastic wrap, twist the ends like a taffy roll, and store in the freezer while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Once, you grill is ready and you have all the veggies cleaned and chopped, you can begin assembling your foil packet. Each person should start with the veggies first, piling their choice of veggies in the center of a 2-foot long piece of foil. Season the veggies with salt and pepper, then place a salmon fillet on top of the veggies. Lightly season with more salt and pepper. Remove the butter roll from the freezer and top each salmon patty with a thick slice of the flavored butter (about 2 tablespoons). Bring the two short sides of the foil up like a tent and then roll down to make a center seam. Then crimp up each side seam to completely close the packet. Use a pen to gently write the diner’s name on the outside of the packet.
- Place your packets on the grill away from the heat and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes and the fish are cooked through. Make sure to rotate the packets around the grill every 5-7 minutes to ensure even cooking.
- Remove from the grill and serve! Careful: Steam is hot!