By Christie Vanover | Published August 17, 2021 | Last Updated July 11, 2022
Disclosure: This recipe was sponsored by Reynolds Wrap®. All opinions are my own.
I love to push the envelope and try new things on the grill just to see if they’ll work. Today, I experimented with foil packets to see if I could cook pasta in a foil packet. My mind was blown when it actually worked.
One of my favorite pasta dishes is shrimp scampi. It’s a rather simple dish with a luscious lemony garlic butter sauce served over noodles.
Made the traditional way, you end up with at least two pots and pans – one for boiling the noodles and one for cooking the shrimp and sauce. My foil packet method, on the other hand, leaves you with no dishes and easy cleanup thanks to Reynolds Wrap® Non-Stick Foil. Win!
How to cook noodles with foil
When I go camping, I love cooking dishes that people wouldn’t normally expect like seafood paella foil packets, where the rice cooks right inside the foil.
I figured, if it works for rice, maybe it will work for pasta.
In the past, I used to boil my pasta at home and bring it to the campsite. While that works okay, the pasta tends to stick to itself, so it’s not as great as when it’s freshly cooked.
In order to cook noodles in a foil packet, I recommend using thin noodles. Either thin spaghetti or angel hair pasta, because both cook faster. Using Reynolds Wrap® Non-Stick Foil prevents the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the packet.
The cooking liquid is going to be a combo of white wine, chicken broth and butter. (If you don’t do wine, just replace it with more broth).
How to fold a foil packet
With some recipes, you can get by fine using one layer of foil, but I recommend using two sheets for this grilled shrimp scampi recipe.
Here’s why. When you fold the foil over the pasta and liquid, you’re going to create steam, which will escape and drip out. If you add another sheet of foil over the original packet, you’ll collect the steam in that layer, making cleanup a breeze.
This recipe is for four foil packets, so start by tearing off eight 16-inch sheets of Reynolds Wrap® Non-Stick Foil. I’m using their Non-Stick Foil to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom. They also just released new foil boxes with a tab that makes it easier to open and close the box. The new boxes are color coded by foil type, look for the yellow color for non-stick foil.
Stack two sheets on top of each other with the dull side facing up. The dull side is the non-stick side. You should have four stacks.
Because we’re working with liquid, lay the sheets on a rimmed sheet pan. This will create a slight concave, keeping the liquid from spilling out.
Layer the pasta and liquid onto the center of the foil sheets along with the butter, garlic, pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
Working with just the top sheet, bring the long sides of the foil up to the center. Join them so they’re even and touching. Fold the foil over about 1/2-inch a couple of times.
Then, fold the short ends in about 1/-2 inch toward the center a couple of times.
Now, working with the bottom layer, fold the long edges over the packet and fold up the short edges.
How to grill shrimp scampi
Once your pasta foil packets are prepped, you can place them on the grill. I recommend cooking them over medium-high heat. If you’re using a gas or charcoal grill, aim for a temperature between 375-400F degrees. For pellet grills, set the temp to 400F degrees.
If you’re cooking on a grate over a campfire, the grill is ready when you can hold your hand a few inches over the grate for 3 seconds before having to pull it away.
You can also prepare this in a 400F degree oven.
The grilled shrimp scampi cooks in two stages. First, cook the pasta in the foil packets.
After 20 minutes on the grill, carefully open one pouch to check the noodles. They should be tender with a little chew. If they’re too tough, cook them a few more minutes.
Once the noodles are tender, add the shrimp, and more butter and lemon juice. Carefully, close the packets back up and return them to the grill. This step should only take 10 minutes.
Then, the grilled shrimp scampi will be ready to serve. Be careful when you open them, because steam will escape. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and enjoy.
Which shrimp is best for shrimp scampi
The shrimp section at the grocery can be a little intimidating. First, you’ll find cooked shrimp and raw shrimp. You definitely want raw shrimp for this dish.
Then, there is peeled, deveined, unpeeled, tail-on. So many choices. You can’t go wrong with any of those. It all comes down to how much work you want to do and how much money you want to spend.
No matter what, I always buy deveined shrimp, because deveining it myself is so time consuming.
Once you find deveined shrimp, you can choose between peeled or unpeeled. The unpeeled shrimp are usually less expensive, because it requires less work on the production side. I often buy unpeeled shrimp because I like the flavor the peels add to dishes, but they do require you to peel them as you eat them.
For grilled shrimp scampi, I like using peeled, tail-on shrimp. The tails still provide added flavor to the broth and are a lot easier to remove as you eat.
Does shrimp size matter?
Now that you’ve picked your deveined, peeled, tail-on shrimp, it’s time to choose the size. This is really a matter of preference and again, cost. The larger the shrimp, the higher the price.
The bags will be marked by shrimp count per pound. Small shrimp generally yield 51-60 shrimp per pound. If you choose that size, use about 14 shrimp per foil packet.
If you go with the medium (41-50 shrimp per pound), use about 10 shrimp per foil packet.
Large yield 31-35 per pound, which is about 8 succulent shrimp per foil packet.
The jumbo shrimp yield 16-20 per pound.
One other tip. Shrimp is naturally high in sodium, so if you’re watching your sodium intake, use unsalted butter and low-sodium chicken broth in this recipe. You’ll reduce the sodium by about 500 grams per serving.
Other foil packet recipes
- Grilled Walking Taco Foil Packets
- Easy Citrus Herb Foil Grilled Salmon
- Chorizo Seafood Paella Packets
- Grilled Lemon Garlic Shrimp and Asparagus
Grilled Shrimp Scampi Foil Packets
- 1 box of Reynolds Wrap® Non-Stick Foil
- 1/2 lb thin spaghetti noodles uncooked
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- red pepper flakes
- kosher salt
- black pepper
- 1 lb large shrimp peeled, deveined
- 1 lemon quartered
- fresh parsley
- Heat the grill to medium-high heat (375-400F) degrees.
- Tear off eight 16-inch sheets of Reynolds Wrap® Non-Stick Foil. Stack two on top of each other with the dull side facing up, creating four stacks. Lay two sheets on a small rimmed sheet pan to keep the liquid from spilling out.
- Break the noodles into thirds and divide evenly among the foil.
- Add 1 tablespoon butter and 1 clove garlic onto each pile of pasta.
- Add 1/4 cup wine and 1/2 cup broth to each packet. Season with pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
- Bring the long edges together over the pasta. Fold over 1/2-inch a couple of times. Fold the short edges in a couple times, as well. Using the bottom layer of foil, fold each long edge in and then fold in the short edges. (This will help keep the liquid from dripping out)
- Place the packets on the grill. Cook for 20 minutes, rotating once.
- Carefully open each packet. Add one quarter of the shrimp, one tablespoon butter and the juice from one lemon wedge.
- Reseal the foil packet and return to the grill for 10 more minutes.
- Carefully open the packet. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve.
This estimate was created using an online nutrition calculator
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