These beginner-friendly and easy chicken foil packets with vegetables recipe can be made using parchment paper, and it’s the perfect meal-prep-friendly dish for lazy days!
What is Foil Packet Baking?
Foil packet baking, also known as en papillote, is a cooking technique that involves sealing food in a packet made of aluminum foil (or in this case, parchment paper) before baking it in the oven. Similar to the no-marinade evening-steamed chicken recipe, the packet serves as a mini steam chamber, locking in moisture and flavours while the food cooks.
To prepare a foil packet, you place the ingredients (such as vegetables, fish, chicken, or herbs) on a sheet of foil, season them, and then fold and seal the edges to create a tightly enclosed packet.
What are the benefits of Foil Packet Baking?
- It helps to retain the natural flavours, colours, and nutrients of the food.
- It’s a healthier cooking method as it requires little to no added fats or oils.
- The sealed packet allows the food to cook in its own juices, enhancing its taste and tenderness.
- It’s a convenient and easy way to cook individual portions or meals, requiring minimal cleanup.
- The method can be used for a wide variety of ingredients, allowing for endless flavour combinations.
Both oven steaming and foil packet baking are versatile methods that result in delicious and healthy dishes. They are particularly suitable for those looking to cook with less added fat while preserving the natural flavours and nutrients of the ingredients.
Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a home cook, these techniques offer an excellent way to elevate your meals and experiment with new culinary creations.
Why make this chicken foil packets recipe?
- Super easy to make, requires little energy
- you can serve it individually
- No need to wash dishes
- healthy, low fat, but the texture is still moist and amazing
- meal prep friendly
- Great for low-carb, high protein and high-fiber dishes
- Easily customizable, great for when you have leftover veggies
Ingredients and Substitutions
Chicken breast: My to-go source of meat protein. Of course, you can substitute it with fish fillets like salmon, but the cooking time may vary. Cooking chicken on parchment paper or foil packets is a great way to keep the moisture and texture so that it won’t be chewy. Poultry lower in fats work best for this recipe. However, If you want to know how to remove fat from ground meats, here’s an easy way to do it.
Vegetables: I recommend using vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, squash, zucchini, etc. Leafy greens will not work as well in this recipe because of the cooking time.
Seasonings: Great news! This dish will still be as delicious without salt. I used pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and Italian seasoning. Feel free to use whatever spices or seasonings you think suits this dish. As I said, it’s easily customizable.
Tips to make the best chicken foil packets
- You can use both parchment paper and foil. If you’re using parchment paper, make sure your heart is big enough for the filling
- rotate the pan halfway through baking to ensure the heat is distributed evenly
- be very careful when opening the packets – it’s hot!
- also a disclaimer – the portions I made in the video were just for 2 people, however, the written recipe is meant for 4. The instructions are the same though!
How to store chicken foil packets
Storing chicken foil packets is essential to maintain their freshness and prevent foodborne illnesses. Here’s how to store chicken foil packets properly:
- Allow the Packets to Cool: After cooking the chicken foil packets, let them cool to room temperature before storing them. This helps avoid condensation inside the packets, which can lead to sogginess or spoilage.
- Use Airtight Containers: Choose a clean, airtight container that is appropriate for the portion size of the chicken foil packets. A plastic or glass container with a secure lid works well for this purpose.
- Label and Date: It’s a good practice to label the container with the contents and the date of preparation. This way, you can easily identify the food and keep track of its freshness.
- Refrigerate Promptly: Place the airtight container in the refrigerator as soon as possible after cooking. Ideally, refrigerate the chicken foil packets within two hours of cooking to prevent bacterial growth.
- Consume Within Safe Timeframe: For best quality and safety, consume the stored chicken foil packets within 3-4 days of refrigeration. If you don’t plan to eat them within this timeframe, consider freezing them instead.
- Freezing (Optional): If you want to store the chicken foil packets for an extended period, you can freeze them. Wrap the individual packets tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place them in a freezer-safe container. Frozen chicken foil packets can typically be stored for 2-3 months.
- Thawing Frozen Packets: When you’re ready to eat the frozen packets, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight before reheating. Avoid thawing at room temperature to prevent bacterial growth.
- Reheat Properly: To reheat the chicken foil packets, you can use an oven, toaster oven, or microwave. Make sure the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F (74°C) to ensure it’s safe to eat.
By following these storage guidelines, you can enjoy your delicious chicken foil packets safely and conveniently, whether you plan to eat them right away or save them for later.
Easy Chicken Foil Packets with Vegetables Recipe
Easy Chicken Foil Packets with Vegetables Recipe
- 2 chicken breasts (medium-large, boneless, skinless)
- 1 zucchini , large (chopped)
- 3 cups broccoli (roughly chopped)
- 1 cup mushrooms (roughly sliced)
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper (optional)
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning (or dried herbs, optional)
- Preheat the oven to 210c / 410F. Prepare two baking pans, Roughly chop the vegetables
- Prepare the chicken breast. Using a paper towel, soak up the liquid on the chicken breast. Slice the chicken horizontally into 2-3 pieces.
- Cut out 4 large pieces of parchment paper or foil. If you’re using foil, skip to the next step. Fold each piece of parchment in half and cut out a wide half-heart shape. When you open it, you should have a wide heart. Repeat with the other pieces of parchment
- Lay one of your foil/ parchment on the pan. Arrange the veggies on one-half of the foil/parchment, and sprinkle some seasoning. Then place the chicken breast on top of the veggies. Sprinkle with more seasoning. Repeat with the other 3 pieces of foil/parchment
- Fold the side of the foil/parchment that doesn’t have veggies and chicken over. Close the ends. To do that on parchment paper, start with the top of the now-half-heart shape paper, and twist the ends all way down to the tip/end of the heart. Twist to secure. Watch the video for an easier understanding
- Repeat with the rest, making sure the packets are fully closed, and spread the 4 packets spaciously across the pan. I used two baking pans. Cook in the oven for about 30 minutes, switching and rotating the pan halfway through, until the chicken is fully cooked
- Be careful when you open the packets – it’s hot. Enjoy!