Our Favorite Meals that Use Aluminum Foil – Because You Deserve to Work Smarter, Not Harder, in the Kitchen

Sheet Pan Nachos with Chorizo and Refried Beans
Photo: Photo: Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Torie Cox

There are a million and one ways that cooking has upgraded overtime. One invention that we're especially grateful for: aluminum foil. We can't think of a greater convenience than the easy clean up, cover up, and storing opportunities that aluminum foil offers us in the kitchen. Plus, there are so many other ways to use aluminum foil outside of cooking. We rounded up our favorite recipes that use aluminum foil for those nights where dinner needs to be an all-inclusive, fast affair – both the cooking and clean up. There are tasty sheet pan dinners and appetizers and several foil packet suppers for those especially busy nights. Some of the foil packet dinners can even be made in advance, so if you're heading out for an evening hike and need a portable trail dinner, then those are the meals for you. After you've enjoyed your tasty meal, clean-up is easier than ever, plus if there are any leftovers, you can use – you guessed it – aluminum foil to store them in the fridge.

01 of 20

Mini Meatloaves with Potatoes, Leeks, and Brussels Sprouts

Mini Meatloaves with Potatoes, Leeks, and Brussels Sprouts
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Recipe: Mini Meatloaves with Potatoes, Leeks, and Brussels Sprouts

By the time you've helped the kids finish their homework, this filling and healthy sheet pan meal will be out of the oven in just an hour. Mini meatloaves are paired with crispy Brussels sprouts and potatoes for a meal that everyone will love.

02 of 20

Roasted Pork Chops with Beets and Kale

Roasted Pork Chops with Beets and Kale
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Recipe: Roasted Pork Chops with Beets and Kale

The beets roast with the pork chops for a delicious winter salad on a bed of kale garnished with a drizzle of tangy thyme-honey mustard dressing.

03 of 20

Greek Pork Chops with Squash and Potatoes

Greek Pork Chops with Squash and Potatoes
Hector Sanchez Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham

Recipe: Greek Pork Chops with Squash and Potatoes

We love to switch up the expected palate of a recipe, so it should be no surprise that this Greek Pork Chops recipe is a winner any night in our book.

04 of 20

Sheet Pan Nachos

Sheet Pan Nachos
Photographer Iain Bagwell; Food Stylist Kelly Kellie; Prop Stylist: Audrey Davis

Recipe: Sheet Pan Nachos

Fresh radish slices contrast with tender avocado cubes and seasoned ground beef for an easy and fun weeknight meal.

05 of 20

Sheet Pan Flank Steak, Greens, and Yukon Gold Fries

Sheet Pan Flank Steak, Greens, and Yukon Gold Fries
Greg DuPree

Recipe: Sheet Pan Flank Steak, Greens, and Yukon Gold Fries

Before you head to work in the morning, prepare the marinade and coat the steak so you'll have a fast and easy dinner on the table within an hour of getting home in the evening.

06 of 20

Sweet-and-Spicy Sheet Pan Chicken with Cauliflower and Carrots

Sweet-and-Spicy Sheet Pan Chicken with Cauliflower and Carrots
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Sweet-and-Spicy Sheet Pan Chicken with Cauliflower and Carrots

We're all about a meal that's high in flavor and low on clean up. Caramelized grapes mellow out the paprika in the seasoning on this sheet pan chicken recipe.

07 of 20

Simple Whole Roasted Chicken with Broccoli-Mushroom Rice

Simple Whole Chicken with Roasted Broccoli-Mushroom Rice
Alison Miksch

Recipe: Simple Whole Roasted Chicken with Broccoli-Mushroom Rice

You'll no longer be intimidated by cooking a whole chicken, if you use this method. Plus, everyone will be able to choose the meat that they like best. That's what we call a win-win.

08 of 20

Lemon-Basil Chicken Breast Foil Packets

Lemon-Basil Chicken Breast Foil Packets
Johnny Autry; Prop and Food Styling: Charlotte L. Autry

Recipe: Lemon-Basil Chicken Breast Foil Packets

Chicken can dry out so quickly, but with a foil packet meal all the juices are locked in making for a flavorful and easy dinner.

09 of 20

Honey-Soy-Glazed Salmon with Veggies and Oranges

Honey-Soy-Glazed Salmon with Veggies and Oranges
Alison Miksch

Recipe: Honey-Soy-Glazed Salmon with Veggies and Oranges

It's like your favorite takeout meal, but healthier and oh-so simple to make. Be sure the salmon filets are all roughly the same size so they cook evenly.

10 of 20

Sheet Pan Shrimp Boil

sheet pan shrimp boil
Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Christine Keely

Recipe: Sheet Pan Shrimp Boil

Whenever the craving for a shrimp boil hits you in the middle of the winter, turn to this sheet pan recipe for a taste of summer with easy clean up.

11 of 20

Sheet Pan Nachos with Chorizo and Refried Beans

Sheet Pan Nachos with Chorizo and Refried Beans
Photo: Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Sheet Pan Nachos with Chorizo and Refried Beans

If you can't make it to your local Mexican restaurant tonight, put this supper together in just 30 minutes. You can customize this dinner to be as spicy or mild as you like.

12 of 20

Grilled Clambake Foil Packets with Herb Butter

Grilled Clambake Foil Packets with Herb Butter
Linda Pugliese; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Anna Hampton

Recipe: Grilled Clambake Foil Packets with Herb Butter

Who doesn't love a good clambake? The seasoning in these foil packets seep into every bit of the meal making it even better than a traditional bake.

13 of 20

Bacon-Wrapped Potatoes with Queso Blanco Dip

Bacon-Wrapped Potatoes with Queso Blanco Dip
Photo: Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Bacon-Wrapped Potatoes with Queso Blanco Dip

Whether you eat these potatoes on their own as a savory dinner, or serve them as a delicious game day appetizer, their cheesy, herby flavor is sure to be a hit with any crowd.

14 of 20

Ancho Chile Flank Steak and Sweet Potato Tacos

Ancho-Chile Flank Steak and Sweet Potato Tacos
Alison Miksch

Recipe: Ancho Chile Flank Steak and Sweet Potato Tacos

This is not your typical flank steak dinner. A little southwest flair gives this taco dinner a major upgrade with the help of lime and ancho chile seasoning.

15 of 20

Cheesy Green Chile Pork Chop Foil Packets

Cheesy Green Chile Pork Chop Foil Packets
Johnny Autry; Prop and Food Styling: Charlotte L. Autry

Recipe: Cheesy Green Chile Pork Chop Foil Packets

Spicy pork chops? That's a twist that we didn't see coming.

16 of 20

Sweet-and-Spicy Chicken Drumsticks with Squash

Sweet-and-Spicy Chicken Drumsticks with Squash
Alison Miksch; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Sweet-and-Spicy Chicken Drumsticks with Squash

Pepper jelly and hot sauce make for a unique flavor combination on these crispy drumsticks that are ready in just one hour.

17 of 20

Foil Packet Red Beans and Rice

Foil Packet Red Beans and Rice
Johnny Autry; Prop and Food Styling: Charlotte L. Autry

Recipe: Foil Packet Red Beans and Rice

This classic Southern recipe just got a major convenience upgrade. It's comfort in every bite.

18 of 20

Bacon Bites

Bacon Bites
Oxmoor House

Recipe: Bacon Bites

Snack time counts as a meal too, right? These Bacon Bites are irresistibly crispy and savory. They're sure to satisfy any mid-day craving that overcomes you.

19 of 20

Cajun Shrimp Foil Packets with Red Potatoes and Zucchini

Cajun Shrimp and Sausage Foil Packets
The Recipe Critic

Recipe: Cajun Shrimp Foil Packets with Red Potatoes and Zucchini

We're always looking for a low-mess way to satisfy our shrimp boil cravings and this recipe is the answer we were hoping for.

20 of 20

Foil-Pack Clams with White Wine and Herbs

Foil-Pack Clams with White Wine and Herbs
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Foil-Pack Clams with White Wine and Herbs

During the heat of summer, these flavorful foil-pack clams are ideal for an outdoor dinner party.

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