Trek Southwest - Hiking and Camping the Desert Southwest

Spicy Salsa Potatoes – Foil Packet Cooking

in Foil Packet Recipes

My whole family is crazy about potatoes. They’re simple to prepare, inexpensive, and most importantly delicious. And you can prepare them any number of ways (trust me – I know because I have!) Plus they’re a great camping food. So when you combine foil packet cooking with potatoes – you get instant awesome.

Salsa Potatoes

If you’re looking for something quick and really easy to jazz up your potatoes – this is the recipe for you. In fact, I feel almost silly calling this a recipe because there are only 2 ingredients. But that’s really all you need to make some amazing potatoes. And camp cooking is all about simplicity. You can dress these up in the end with some toppings, but that’s totally up to you. They’re delicious without anything extra.


(4-5 servings)

  • 3-5 medium potatoes (Yukon golds are the best but any potato works just fine)
  • Jar of salsa

Raw Potatoes


Suggested Toppings:

  • Grated cheese (sharp cheddar is best)
  • Sour cream
  • Sliced jalapeños (jarred worked fine, but you could also slice them yourself)
  • Salt and/or pepper

What Else You’ll Need

  • Heavy Duty Foil (do NOT try this with regular foil – it’ll rip!)
  • Tongs (to remove the packets from the cooking site)
  • Hot pads (for handling the hot packets)
  • Knife and Cutting Board
  • Zip-top plastic bags

Before You Leave Home

Wash potatoes thoroughly. If you hate potato skins – you can peel them, but if you like ’em – leave those skins on. Cut into small (approximately 1 inch wide) cubes. Place them into a zip-top storage bag.  The potatoes might brown in the bag, but they will still be fine to use. If you can’t handle brown potatoes – skip this step and do the cutting at the campsite.

Diced Potatoes

At the Campsite

Step 1

Get a fire going with wood or charcoal briquets. If you use wood – you want lovely red coals for this recipe. If you use charcoal – you want your briquets to be completely white before you place your foil packets on them. Foil packet cooking works the very best with a mature fire (i.e. don’t start a fire and then those these packets on – you’ll get partially raw, partially burnt potatoes).

Step 2

Prepare your foil packets. This is just as easy as ripping off foil pieces that are approximately 12 inches wide. You’ll want to be a little generous with the foil because you’re going to fold the foil around your potatoes to create a leak-proof cooking pouch. Set these aside for just a minute.

Step 3

If you didn’t prep your potatoes at home – do that now. I recommend skins on, but if you don’t like skins – peel them. Then slice them into about 1 inch wide cubes.

Place about a 3/4 cup of potatoes chunks in the middle of your foil piece (I just grab a medium sized handful.)

Salsa Potatoes

Then liberally cover it with salsa.


Now take two of the sides of your foil packet and bring them together – and then keeping them together – roll them down towards the potatoes.

Foil Pack Potatoes


Next you grab the other two sides and bring them together and roll towards the center of the packet. In the end – you should have a tight little foil packet with your potatoes and salsa tucked into the middle of it.


Step 4

Cook those potatoes! Now that you’ve got all your little foil packets ready for the fire – carefully place them seam side up on top of the coals. Let them cook for about 5 minutes and then flip them over using your tongs. If you prepared your packets well, you shouldn’t have any leakage. And even if you do see a little leakage – they should still be fine. Let them cook for about another 5 minutes.

Cooking Foil Pack Potatoes

At this point – pull one packet off and unroll the foil and check for doneness. The potatoes should be soft all the way through. If the one you’re checking isn’t quite ready – simply re-roll the foil (carefully because it’ll be hot!) and place it back on the coals for another few minutes.

Once the potatoes are cooked through – simply unroll or use a knife to slice the packets open. The potatoes will be steamy and soft and the salsa adds just the right kick of flavor. Add your favorite toppings if you wish or just eat them as is! I really enjoy adding shredded cheese and sour cream and my hubby likes to add jalapeños.

These potatoes cook very quickly since you dice the potatoes up nice and small. It’s a great choice for camping because those hot coals won’t stay hot forever! Plus, at the end of a long day of hiking – dinners that cook quickly are always welcome.

Cooked Foil Pack Potatoes

I hope you enjoy these potatoes as much as we do!

RobinGuest Post by Robin Laulainen. Robin writes about camping and other outdoorsy stuff at Trek Southwest, pets every dog she meets, and drinks more coffee than she should. She blogs about her other passion - creating - at Make It Yourself Girl.


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