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Packet Prep Guide

Packet Prep Guide

Here's how to prepare your parchment paper packages for en papillote steaming.

Step One

Choose your packet.

Parchment paper works with all ingredients. Foil is a good substitute, except with acidic foods. The foil can react with acidic ingredients and create off flavors or colors.

Step Two

Aluminum sheets can simply be folded over the ingredients and sealed with a series of narrow folds. Parchment is also easy to use by following simple steps; we found this method creates the tightest seal for parchment packets:

Cut 1 (15- x 24-inch) piece of parchment.

Fold parchment in half crosswise, making a crease down the center.

Draw half of a heart shape on paper. Cut out heart, and open the parchment.

Step Three

Layer ingredients in one half of the sheet, making sure to leave at least a 1-inch border around the edges. Top with the fish or poultry, and drizzle with remaining liquids or sprinkle with grated lemon rind or fresh herbs. Use hardy vegetables like cabbage and carrots as a bed on the bottom; add more tender ingredients like tomatoes to bathe the fish or meat with moisture.

Step Four

Starting at the round portion of the heart, fold paper, tightly sealing edges with narrow folds.

• Twist the tip portion of the heart to seal.

Bake. Carefully place packets onto an ungreased baking sheet, and bake. Do not cut open the packets to check if food is done. In some instances, we call for a standing time of about five minutes before opening the packet to ensure flavors meld while the poultry or fish finishes cooking in the steam without the risk of overcooking.

Step Five

Carefully transfer packets to individual plates, and serve immediately. Diners can slice open parchment packets or carefully unfold the foil ones. Use caution because steam will be released when the packets are opened.

So what is meal prep exactly?

Meal prep is simply preparing your meals ahead of time. Most people pre-assemble their prepped meals in containers so everything is pre-measured and set for each day that they’ve planned for.

You can meal prep for an entire 7-day week, you can meal prep for just a 5-day work week, or you can meal prep for just 2-3 days, whichever works best for you.

Meal prepping for 6 days at a time is a popular way to meal prep.

A lot of people will do meal prep on Sundays for the entire week ahead all the way up to Saturday, then meal prep again on Sunday.

If you do this type of meal prep, you’ll need to keep in mind that some foods only keep well in the fridge for about 3-4 days, so if you’re prepping for longer than 3-4 days at a time, some of those meals may need to be frozen (more on that a bit later in the post).

Recipe Summary

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh lemon peel
  • 32 clams in shell, scrubbed
  • 32 uncooked shrimp, deveined but with shells
  • 32 sea scallops
  • 8 ears corn on the cob, cut into quarters
  • 32 large cherry tomatoes
  • 8 12x12-inch squares aluminum foil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

Preheat an outdoor grill for medium heat, and lightly oil the grate. Mix the butter with lemon peel in a bowl.

Spread out the sheets of foil onto a flat work surface, and place 4 clams, 4 shrimp, 4 scallops, 4 pieces of corn on the cob, and 4 cherry tomatoes in the center of each piece of foil. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of lemon-butter mixture over the seafood and vegetables. Bring two opposite ends of a foil sheet together and fold over several times to seal. Leave room for steam. Fold the remaining ends over several times to seal the packet completely.

Place the foil packets on the preheated grill, cover the grill, and bake until the clams are open and the shrimp are pink and opaque, 15 to 20 minutes (open a packet a little to take a peek).

To serve, place a foil packet on a plate, cut a diagonal X through the foil, and peel back the foil. Garnish each packet with about 1/2 teaspoon of chives.

Quick Fish Foil Packet Dinner Recipes for Easy Weeknight Meals

Salmon and potatoes

Salmon is a fatty fish that contains loads of Omega-3 fatty acids, or the “good” fats.

This recipe doesn’t specify which type of salmon to use, but I really like Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon, also called red salmon, which has a brilliant red-orange color and tastes even better than regular salmon.

Potatoes are often vilified for their carb content, but they are actually really healthy for you and a great source of Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, iron, and potassium. Plus, we need carbs for energy.

Tilapia with pesto veggies

Tilapia gets a bad rap, health wise, but is its bad reputation myth or fact?

According to this article, allegations that tilapia is “as unhealthy as bacon” are completely unfounded, and, though tilapia isn’t an Omega 3 superstar like salmon, it should still be consumed as a healthy lean protein.

Now, on to this dish. Fire up the grill for this simple, flavorful white fish with summer vegetables you can get in the grocery store all year long for a taste of summer any time.

Sweet and spicy sriracha red snapper

Super hot and spicy (but still flavorful) Sriracha Hot Sauce and tart citrus are balanced with sweet honey and orange juice in this tasty dish.

Halibut with coconut creamed kale and quinoa

This fish packet has a healthy take on creamed spinach with coconut creamed kale. Quinoa is super healthy as the only plant based complete protein.

Butter garlic herb salmon

Rich, fatty (remember, it’s good fat!) salmon is delicious with grassfed butter (another healthy fat!), herbs, garlic, and fresh vegetables.

Seasonal asparagus, yellow squash, and zucchini soak up the flavorful juices of the fish, butter, and flavorings. Red peppers add a mild sweetness to make this a super healthy and tasty dish.

Baked fish, spinach, and tomatoes

This recipe is simple and fresh. I love fresh thyme and red onion, two ingredients I think are underutilized by most home cooks.

Spinach is a nice choice because it will wilt and soak up all the flavorful juices. I also like the suggestion to substitute or add bok choy, which is one of my favorite vegetables.

Grilled coconut lime whitefish

The coconut-lime pairing in this dish will take you to warm locales any time of year. Light coconut milk is a unique ingredient in American cuisine, but pairs really well with a mild white fish.

The recipe calls for grilling this foil packet, but, of course, you can bake this dish in the oven and use different vegetables in the off season.

Tilapia and peaches

Marinate tilapia in sweet peaches mixed with garlic, olive oil, fresh parsley, and red onion for this simple, sweet and savory dish.

Lemon garlic butter whitefish

White fish is baked en papillote with fresh vegetables, garlic, lemon, and red pepper flakes for a little heat. Yum!

Parmesan garlic herb salmon

This simple, flavorful salmon recipe features a tasty Parmesan Garlic Herb Marinade that infuses the salmon with the amazing, pungent flavors of garlic, herbs, and parmesan cheese.

Only 15 minutes in the foil packet cooks the salmon to tender and flaky perfection!


Barramundi is just starting to gain popularity in the U.S. Most farmed fish has a poor reputation as being unhealthy, but, in the U.S., Barramundi is sustainably and healthfully farmed by Massachusetts-based company Australis Aquaculture.

Barrimundi, also called Asian sea bass, giant perch, bekti, and, cockup, is a sweet, buttery fish that is heartier and meatier than most white fish, so it fills you up without weighing you down.

High in Omega 3’s, it’s lower in fat than Salmon, which is great for people watching their fat intake.

This fresh and healthy recipe is a great way to try Barramundi. Seasoned with Meyer lemons, ginger, and jalapeño, the mild buttery taste of this fish shines through.

Halibut and veggies

The mild tastes of Halibut and veggies are lightly complemented with delicate herbs like dill, tarragon, basil, and parsley and the fresh, tart, traditional taste of lemon for a clean, light flavor.

Easy 20-minute oven baked trout

Rainbow trout is one of the healthiest fish you can eat. My grandfather used to fish for trout and gave some to us from time to time.

If you or someone you know can supply you with fresh trout, this is the perfect quick and easy recipe to enjoy this mild, tasty freshwater fish.

Snapper puttanesca

If you have never tried capers, I recommend the vinegary buds, which can be found near the pickles in the grocery store.

This dish is a wonderful vehicle for capers, with fresh tomatoes, Kalamata olives, garlic, fresh thyme, and olive oil, which all go really well with mild red snapper.

Salmon and asparagus

I love making a meal out of salmon with asparagus. Both ingredients are hearty and filling but low enough in calories that they promote weight loss and maintenance, in addition to being heart healthy.

Baking salmon and asparagus together in a foil packet is even better, since any seasonings you add will infuse throughout the dish.

This easy meal is lightly seasoned with garlic, olive oil, and fresh dill to complement fresh salmon and asparagus flavors.

Southwestern tilapia

Homemade creole seasoning gives a unique and welcome flavor change to the traditional southwestern ingredients in the black bean and corn salsa that tops fresh, mild tilapia.

A little fresh cheese sprinkled on top gives this recipe some creamy decadence without adding too many calories to this already lean dish.

Chilean sea bass with vegetables

Chilean sea bass is cooked with shiitake mushrooms, broccolini, onions, and white wine in this super healthy dish.

If you’ve never had broccolini, I recommend it. It’s a hybrid of broccoli and broccoli rabe and is more delicate and tender than broccoli. I just love it!

Lemon garlic butter salmon with pineapple

Fresh, hearty salmon is infused with the flavors of sweet honey and pineapple and tasty lemon, garlic, and butter to make a delicious and lightly tropical fish dish.

Tilapia in foil [4 ways]

In this post, you’re bound to found a dish you’ll love!

This recipe includes suggestions to help you personalize your Tilapia dish in various ways, including instructions to season with basil pesto, sun-dried tomato pesto, or lemon pepper and a detailed recipe for Garlic Lemon Butter Tilapia with fresh asparagus and tomatoes.

Basil pesto, sun-dried tomato pesto, and lemon pepper:

Garlic Lemon Butter Tilapia with fresh asparagus and tomatoes:

With these Easy Fish Foil Packet Recipes, you can eat great, lose weight, and not have to spend all your time in the kitchen prepping meals and cleaning up the kitchen.

These meals are super healthy and sure to please any night of the week, but especially those busy weeknights after work!

What you think of these Healthy Fish Foil Packet Recipes? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!


This is a perfect foil packet dinners recipe to share with friends and family at the next get together! You can make these nachos for a simple appetizer or a full-fledged dinner. You can prepare the foil pack ahead of time and place it on the grill whenever you’re ready to cook. Easy meal prep made even easier!

Surf + Turf Foil Packet Dinner

Have you seen the lists of anticipated food trends in 2019? I always like pouring over them in January and was surprised to see “foil dinners” on so many different lists. When I think of foil dinners I think of camping, but it seems like the sheet pan dinner of 2018 might be replaced by the foil packet dinner of 2019!

Foil packets can be prepared so many different ways – baked, roasted, grilled, or tossed over an open campfire. They’re a simple approach to cooking that works all year long in basically any circumstance. Simply pull together your favorite flavor/ingredient combinations, make sure the packs are entirely sealed, cook, and enjoy!

I’ve found that when cooking your foil packets, it’s a good idea to use a heavy duty aluminum foil. This makes them more substantial and will prevent tearing and will trap all of those flavorful juices from oozing out. If you don’t have heavy duty aluminum foil on hand, just double up two pieces.

I’m thinking that my kids might get a kick out of this cooking method as well. Opening the foil packet after it’s come off the grill might be a fun (and surprising) way to enjoy dinner!

This Surf and Turf version with steak, shrimp, and veggies is a beauty to look at and was so simple to prepare. This is absolutely something you could meal prep and have waiting in the refrigerator for when you get home from work. It’s literally a fix it and forget it kind of meal!

Bonus No-Bake Dessert Recipe

Want a yummy dessert to pair with these delicious one pan meals? This Chocolate Peanut Butter Nice Cream requires zero cook time and is totally guilt-free.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Nice Cream


  • 2 frozen bananas, cut into chunks
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • Splash of dairy-free milk of choice
  • For topping: granola, raw cacao nibs, extra drizzle of peanut butter

Step #1: Add all ingredients to a food processor or high-speed blender and blend until it turns into soft-serve “ice cream”.

Step #2: Serve in bowl and top with desired toppings.

Step #3: Enjoy!

Hobo Dinner Foil Packets are so simple to make and everyone raves about them! Comforting veggies including potatoes, carrots and onions are topped with a seasoned hamburger patty and grilled or baked to tender perfection.

Here’s what your meals will look like when you’re done:

Each day you’ll follow this simple schedule of drinks, meals, and snacks:

8–10 oz. filtered water with lemon

Breakfast (within 1 hour of waking up):
Shakeology smoothie blended with 1¼ cups water, 1 cup ice, ⅔ cup frozen cherries (or blueberries or blackberries), ½ tsp. pure almond (or vanilla) extract, and a dash of nutmeg (optional free)

Optional Morning Tea (at least 1 hour after breakfast):
1 cup unsweetened herbal or green tea

Fiber Sweep (at least 1 hour after morning tea):
Lemon Drop (1 packet Fiber Sweep blended with 1 cup iced water, lemon juice to taste, and a dash of cinnamon)

Lunch (at least 1 hour after Fiber Sweep):
Cauliflower Rice Tabbouleh and a Mojito (1 packet Vanilla Fresh blended with 1 cup water, 2 Tbsp. lime juice, and 3–4 mint leaves)

Afternoon Snack (at least 1 hour after lunch):
½ red bell pepper and 1 stalk celery (or other options from the vegetables list) with 2 Tbsp. hummus

Optional Afternoon Tea (at least 1 hour after snack):
1 cup unsweetened, caffeine-free herbal tea (stevia sweetener is allowed)

Dinner (at least 1 hour after tea):
Moroccan Carrot Salad, 1 cup vegetable broth with parsley or cilantro (optional), and 1 packet Vanilla Fresh blended with 1¼ cups filtered water

Evening Tea (at least 1 hour after dinner):
1 cup unsweetened, caffeine-free herbal tea (stevia sweetener is allowed)

This is what one day of 3-Day Refresh drinks and meals will look like from morning to night:


1. Each day, you’ll make your Shakeology, Vanilla Fresh, Fiber Sweep, and optional teas just before drinking.

2. Prepare your snacks. Slice 1½ red bell peppers and 3 stalks celery into sticks for dipping. Divide evenly between three food storage containers. Top each with 2 Tbsp. hummus. Seal lids and place in refrigerator.

3. Next, make the Cauliflower Rice Tabbouleh. Finely chop (or pulse in a food processor) 1 cup cauliflower florets, until they resemble couscous. Place cauliflower in a large bowl and add ½ chopped tomato, ½ cup chopped cucumber, ¼ cup chopped onion, ½–¾ cup chopped parsley, 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, 3 tsp. olive oil, Himalayan salt to taste, and chili flakes to taste (optional). Stir to combine. Divide evenly between three food storage containers and place in refrigerator.

(This recipe can also be made with cooked cauliflower rice if preferred. Cook finely chopped cauliflower in a nonstick pan over medium heat 5 minutes. Allow to cool before mixing with other ingredients.)

4. Now make the Moroccan Carrot Salad. Grate 6 carrots over a large bowl. Add 1½ tsp. olive oil, 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, 6 Tbsp. chopped parsley (or cilantro), 1½ cloves finely chopped garlic, ¼ tsp. cumin, ¼ tsp. paprika, ¼ tsp. cinnamon, ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper (optional), and ¼ tsp. Himalayan salt. Stir to combine.

Taste the salad to see if it needs more herbs or spices. These are free ingredients, so you can add as much as you like. Divide salad between three food storage containers and place in refrigerator.

5. If you want to prep your optional dinner soups ahead of time, set out three small food storage containers. Pour 1 cup vegetable broth into each. Add chopped fresh parsley or cilantro to taste cover and place in refrigerator.

6. That’s it — you’re done!

4 lemons
2 cups frozen cherries (or blueberries or blackberries)
3 limes
1 bunch fresh mint
2 small red bell peppers
3 medium stalks celery
1 cup cauliflower florets
1 small tomato (or ½ medium)
1 Persian cucumber or small cucumber
1 small onion
1 bunch parsley
1 bunch cilantro (optional)
6 medium carrots (or 1 bag shredded carrots)
2 cloves garlic

3-Day Refresh
3 cups organic vegetable broth
herbal tea (optional)
green tea (optional)

pure almond or vanilla extract (optional)
extra-virgin olive oil
Himalayan salt
chili flakes (optional)
stevia (optional)
cayenne pepper

For an extra dose of veggies and protein in my smoothie, I add frozen spinach and yogurt cubes that have been made ahead. This step can be completed anytime and is so simple and totally worth the few minutes it takes to prepare! Whenever I have extra spinach or kale that is about to go bad or needs to be used, I blend it up with water in the Vitamix to make frozen veggie cubes. Like so many, I struggle to get enough vegetables in my daily diet, but adding 1-2 of these spinach cubes to your smoothie is a super easy way to get in a healthy dose of undetectable veggies! Check out these silicone ice cube trays I use to make the spinach and yogurt cubes.

Customize your packets according to your favorite fruit combinations, and adding and adding any of the following for a powerful boost of Omega Threes, healthy fats, and electrolytes.

Add 1-2 spinach and yogurt cubes (for Whole30/Paleo leave out the yogurt)

Throw in some avocado for a good dose of healthy fats, which is great for assisting in vitamin absorption and increasing satiety.

Coconut water is my favorite for blending the smoothies – it is full of natural electrolytes and contains more potassium that a banana!

For some extra Omega Threes (most of us don’t get enough of these!), try adding a tablespoon of ground flax to your smoothie.

Three Easy Foil Packet Meals

I love everything about quick, delicious and easy to make when it comes to preparing and eating food. One thing that I may like more than anything else is little to no clean up, and that’s exactly what these Three Easy Foil Packet Meals do.

Everything is baked in aluminum foil so there is no mess afterwards. I’ve been cooking in foil packets for as long as I can remember. We used to do side dishes on the grill, like roasted potatoes or vegetables in a packet and then we would serve it up with whatever we were eating. Cooking in foil packets are literally fool proof and if you’ve never done it before then these 3 recipes should be a great start for you.

If you enjoy casseroles then foil packets are pretty similar, minus the liquid and clean-up of course. I took 3 of my favorite meals and simply cooked them in one of these packets, that’s it. I’m a huge fan of shrimp boils so I put everything I love about it, except for the shrimp, and baked it up to perfection. I even used old bay seasoning to stick with the classic nature of the recipe.

The second dish I made was a simple salmon with spiralized squash. I used a spiralizer to make zucchini and yellow squash noodles and then I tossed in some tomatoes and topped it off with fresh salmon. I drizzled on a bit of olive oil and lemon juice and rolled it up tight in a foil packet.

Last but not least I made steak fajitas. Talk about simple! I seriously just sliced up everything that goes into a fajita, placed it on some foil, seasoned it up and baked it. It could not be any easier than this, seriously. The best part about all of this is that I threw away the foil once we all got finished eating… BEAUTIFUL!!

Foil packets are so great because they are so easy to use, and if you’ve got picky eaters it will allow you to personalize your food without all of the extra dishes!