All the flavors of a shrimp boil, but done in a much simpler way! These foil packets can be prepped ahead of time and served as a quick weeknight meal or grilled at the campground!Jump to Recipe
When I say "shrimp boil," do you have any clue what I'm talking about? If you're like me, when you first heard this term, you were probably thinking about people down south enjoying some Cajun food around a big 'ol pot of water.
Shrimp Boil in the Midwest
On Zach and I's second date, we made a trip up to Rochester, Minnesota for the afternoon. It was the best day - we grabbed lunch, played some miniature golf in Dick's Sporting Goods and went to a movie. We decided on the movie Don Jon - it looked like a sweet romantic comedy....perfect for a 2nd date, right? Wrong. Let's just say that after about 2 minutes, it was pretty clear why it was Rated R! Ha!
Ok, so the flick wasn't ideal, but lunch. Lunch was deeeeelish! Some of Zach's family friends opened a restaurant in Rochester called Fat Willy's, a bar and grill with a garage theme, so that's where we decided to go. We caught up on life, had the best burgers and chatted with the owner, Bill.
I remember Bill telling us about this shrimp boil he often makes when catering. I was intrigued. He explained it as a combination of shrimp, sausage, corn, potatoes, garlic and lots of herbs and spices. He boils the mixture and then dumps it into a "trough" made with PVC pipe and a table cover and is eaten family style. Ok, I realize it sounds a little redneck. Don't let that deter you.
Finally getting a chance to try it!
I was bound and determined to give this stuff a go. So, when Zach's dad turned 55 a few weeks later, we decided to have Bill do a shrimp boil for us. Oh myyyy goodness, you guys! It was some of the best food I've eaten and I remember leaving thinking "gosh I hope I get some of this again soon!"
Fast forward to planning our wedding in 2015. You know how it goes... Thursday you get your nails done, Friday you have the rehearsal dinner and Saturday is the big day. We had a location picked out for our rehearsal dinner, but couldn't decide on a caterer, until *lightbulb* SHRIMP BOIL! So yes, this pig farmer's daughter had seafood (and pork sausage! ;)) for the rehearsal dinner. #NoRegrets #DadLovedIt
So long story short, I was really REALLY excited to make my own version of this shrimp boil. I wasn't sure how well it would work without the "boil" method, but you'd never know a difference! As you can see in the photo below, even the little munchkin couldn't keep her fingers out of the foil packet goodness 🙂 These turned out so good that even though I have about 4 other recipes photographed and scheduled to be posted, I just couldn't wait for this one!! 🙂 I hope you love it as much as we do!!!
What is a foil packet?
Using a "foil packet" to cook is essentially enclosing food in aluminum foil and cooking it in the oven or on the grill.
Can you make foil packets ahead of time?
Yes!!! This is one of the things I love most about foil packets. You can make them hours (or even days!) ahead of time, put them in an airtight container and refrigerate until you're ready to cook. This makes foil packet cooking great for tailgating and camping especially!
How do you cook food in foil packets?
Once your ingredients are prepared, you will fill the foil packets (I recommend heavy duty foil, but regular works too) and seal by rolling up the edge. (This video does a great job of explaining how to make a foil packet.) When the foil packets are ready, you can either grill them or bake them in the oven.
What should I serve with foil packets?
To be completely honest, I don't think you need to serve them with much! These packets have protein (sausage & shrimp), vegetables (corn & peppers) and carbs (potatoes). If anything, I'd serve them with a simple green salad and a quick and easy dessert such as Chocolate Cobbler or Oh Henry Bars!
Shrimp Boil Foil Packets
- 1 lb red potatoes
- 2 cobs sweet corn
- 14 oz fully cooked Polish Kielbasa I like to use Johnsonville's rope sausage
- 1 lb shrimp peeled and deveined
- ⅓ c diced red pepper
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
- fresh parsley, for garnish optional
- Wash the red potatoes and cut into ½ inch cubes, shuck the sweet corn and cut into 1 inch coins, and cut the sausage into ½ inch slices.
- In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, corn, sausage, shrimp and diced red pepper. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, melt the butter. Add the oil, garlic and all seasonings. Stir until combined.
- Pour the butter/oil/seasoning mixture over the vegetable/shrimp/sausage mixture. Use your hands to mix so everything is evenly distributed.
- Grab 6 pieces of aluminum foil, about 20 inches long each.* (I recommend using heavy duty aluminum foil if you have it! If not, regular works fine too!)
- Divide the mixture between the bags and seal the bag by folding the open end.
- Hold the foil packets in the refrigerator until ready to cook. (Use within 2 days)
How to Grill the Foil Packets
- Cook the packets on the grill preheated medium-high heat. Grill for 8-10 minutes on one side and 5 on the other, or until the shrimp is fully cooked.
How to Bake the Foil Packets
- Bake the packets in a 400°F oven for 15-20 minutes or until the shrimp is fully cooked.
- Open the packets (being very careful - they're HOT!), sprinkle with parsley and enjoy!!