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Posted on Thu, Jun 27, 2013 : 5:15 p.m.

Foil packet grilled potatoes - a quick, easy and flavorful summer side

By Jessica Webster


These potatoes can be cooked on the grill over direct heat. They're a quick and flavorful summer side.

Jessica Webster |

A friend recently opined that everyone is a cook in the summer. With the ease of grill cooking and the availability of delicious fresh produce, even those among us with the least amount of interest in culinary adventures are busy throwing together home cooked dinners this time of year.

The other side of that, of course, is that summer is also when we all turn into outdoor adventurers. Winter couch potatoes suddenly find themselves out on the river in kayaks or blazing through the bike trails in the summer.

We've all got the desire and resources to cook amazing summer dinners. But who has the time?

I love that I can throw a burger or a piece of chicken on the grill with just some salt and pepper or a quick marinade and have some delicious food without much thought — and without heating up my kitchen. But what do I serve with it when I am in a hurry? When I’ve planned it all out in advance, when I’ve got the time, when I’m not running from swim practice to summer camps to a social obligation, I’ll work out a chilled vegetable soup or a healthy quinoa and herb salad.

But what about those nights when we’re trying to grab a quick meal at home in between things? Burgers and some grilled asparagus and … ?

I put the question to friends and followers on social media and got some excellent suggestions: Jalapeno coleslaw with blue cheese, tzatziki, confetti salad. All delicious; all requiring more advance preparation than I was looking for. I wanted something I could throw together while my meat and veggies were grilling.

When I finally got the suggestion that fit the bill, I was almost embarrassed at the simplicity of the recipe. Potatoes wrapped in foil and tossed on the grill. That’s about as basic as it gets, right?

Sometimes basic is perfect. I scrubbed a couple of baking potatoes, sliced them — skin on — into 1/2 - inch rounds, and tossed them into a bowl with some salt, pepper, skin-on garlic cloves, rosemary from my garden, and olive oil. I then wrapped them all up in aluminum foil and set them on direct heat on my gas grill. Twenty minutes later, I had potatoes so creamy and delicious that even my 11-year-old was asking for more.

And now I want to hear from you. What is your favorite easy summer side?

Foil Pouch Grilled Potatoes With Garlic and Rosemary - adapted from a recipe by Martha Stewart

2 baking potatoes with skin on, scrubbed clean
4 garlic cloves, skin on
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper
4 whole sprigs fresh rosemary, plus 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
Lemon wedges, for serving

Slice potatoes into 1/2 -inch discs. Toss the potatoes, rosemary and garlic in a bowl with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Divide potatoes, rosemary and garlic between two large double layers of foil; fold foil around potatoes and crimp edges to form packets. Grill directly over heat source, flipping packet every 5 minutes or so, until potatoes are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Transfer potatoes to a serving bowl. Carefully slip the roasted garlic cloves out the skins and chop. Return the chopped garlic to the bowl and toss with the potatoes. Season to taste with more salt and pepper if necessary, and serve with lemon wedges.

Serves 2-4 as a side.

Jessica Webster leads the Food & Grocery section for, a part of the MLive Media Group. Reach her at You also can follow her on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.


Jeff Renner

Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 3:57 a.m.

This looks like a great time and trouble saver for one of my favorite ways to cook potatoes, which I do in a skillet. And rosemary is what makes them special. But I don't think it's rosemary in the photo, is it? Looks a whole lot like chives!

Jessica Webster

Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 8:03 p.m.

@Jeff - the rosemary isn't visible in this photo, but it's in there. I topped this batch of potatoes with chives, which makes them even tastier. You could experiment with any number of fresh herbs. Sage could be wonderful.


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 3:01 a.m.

been doing this for years, even as a kid growing up.


Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 12:12 a.m.

Why do you leave the garlic skins on? I LOVE garlic and I've never heard of that, so I'm curious!

Jake C

Fri, Jun 28, 2013 : 12:56 p.m.

Roasting whole garlic cloves with the skin on results in a different flavor and texture -- it keeps more moisture in, vs. getting "crisper" when it's chopped up before being cooked. If you love garlic, you could always try this quick recipe -- take a whole head of garlic, and slice the top off (usually the opposite side of where you normally cut a garlic clove), wrap it in some tin foil, and bake in an oven (or on a grill) at 400 F for 30-40 minutes. Let it cool for 15 minutes, then you can basically squeeze the bulb and a roasted garlic paste will come out, or you can use a fork to pop out and and eat a whole garlic clove. Mix with sour cream and fresh herbs, or just spread it straight on crackers, toast or bagel. Great for keeping away vampires, and assaulting dentists if you eat right before an appointment.

Bill Wilson

Thu, Jun 27, 2013 : 10:27 p.m.

Oh, forgot: Here's where I'm getting my chunks from these days. Even using a gas grill, you can soak the smaller chunks for a few hours, wrap them in foil, and place them near the bottom of the gas grill, to add a bit of smoke now and then.

Bill Wilson

Thu, Jun 27, 2013 : 10:24 p.m.

Looks great Jess. Don't know if you have the equipment... or if you're allowed to do this where you live, but you can ramp up that taste by cooking your creation on a charcoal grill with a small amount of smoke: apple or grape wood is GREAT with potatoes. AND... it'll still flavor the food through the foil.