Italian-Style Hobo Bundles

Italian-Style Hobo BundlesRecipe

Photo: Thomas J. Story

The classic meal in a foil pouch gets a serious upgrade in this fresh version. For a head start, make the meatballs at home (see below). You'll need heavy-duty foil, long tongs, grilling gloves, and a firepit with a cooking grate. Watch us make this recipe: (For more uses for the pickled Calabrian chiles, see Note, below.)

Serves 6


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About 5 tbsp. olive oil, divided
1/3 cup dried Italian-style bread crumbs
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus shredded parmesan for serving
3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus whole leaves for serving
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, plus whole leaves for serving
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 teaspoon pepper, divided
1 tablespoon chopped Calabrian chiles or 1/4 tsp. cayenne, plus more chiles for serving
1 pound ground turkey (preferably thigh meat)
1 pound ground Italian sausage (chicken or turkey, preferably bulk)
2 pounds small red potatoes, cut into 1- to 1 1/2-in. chunks or halves
1 large onion, cut into slim wedges
4 medium carrots, sliced diagonally
4 teaspoons cornstarch


Total: 1 Hour, 30 Minutes

1. In a firepit, build a wood fire about as wide as the cooking grate. Let it burn to low flames and embers (1 to 1 1/2 hours; or use charcoal*); fire is ready when you can hold your hand 5 in. above grate only 5 to 7 seconds. (Watch us build a fire: Cut 6 sheets of heavy-duty foil into 18-in. squares. Brush or rub center of each with a little oil; set on work surface.

2. In a large bowl, combine bread crumbs, milk, grated parmesan, chopped parsley and basil, 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper, and the chopped Calabrian chile. Add ground turkey and sausage (squeeze it from casings if it's in links). Stir until well blended, then shape into 18 balls, setting on parchment paper or plates.

3. Put 3 meatballs in the center of each foil sheet, then divide potatoes, onion, and carrots among sheets. In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup oil, 1/3 cup water, the cornstarch, and remaining 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper; spoon over ingredients on foil, stirring sauce as you go.

4. On each bundle, bring 2 opposite sides of foil together across the middle and fold to make a seam 1 in. wide. Fold seam on itself again, then fold it flat on packet. Fold ends on themselves about 1 in., then repeat to seal securely.

5. Set bundles on grill and cook, turning over with tongs every 10 minutes, until vegetables are tender and meatballs are cooked through, about 30 minutes (to check, open with a knife).

6. Protecting hands with grilling gloves, open packets (or snip off ends of foil with scissors) and scoop food onto plates. Snip whole parsley and basil leaves on top and serve with more chiles and shredded parmesan.

*For a charcoal fire, ignite a full chimney of briquets once you've made the meatballs, and let burn until covered with ash. Spread beneath cooking grate, then ignite a second chimney to add during cooking if needed to maintain a medium fire (see step 1); cooking may take up to 1 hour.

Make ahead: Freeze meatballs (step 2) on baking sheets lined with parchment paper until solid, then transfer to resealable plastic bags, double-lined with parchment. Pack frozen in your cooler and thaw before cooking (takes 1 to 2 days). You can also chill packets (through step 4) in cooler up to 6 hours.

Created date

April 2015

Nutritional Information

Calories 530
Caloriesfromfat 45 %
Protein 35 g
Fat 27 g
Satfat 6.2 g
Carbohydrate 38 g
Fiber 4.6 g
Sodium 1079 mg
Cholesterol 124 mg