Mexican Beef & Rice

This backpacking recipe spices up your evening meal with a cheddar cheese sauce and taco seasoning. The sign might say Mount Rogers, but you’ll be thinking Margaritaville when you lift the lid on Señor Glenn’s Mexican Beef & Rice. Extremadamente delicioso!

This backpacking recipe includes rice, ground beef, and bell peppers with a taco-cheese sauce.

Serves: 1


  • ½ cup instant or dried rice
  • ¼ cup ground beef, dried
  • ¼ cup combined bell peppers (assorted colors), onions, and tomatoes, dried
  • ¼ cup black beans, dried
  • 1 tsp. taco seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp cheese mix
  • 1 Tbsp. instant dry milk
  • 2 - 3 Slices dried jalapeños (optional)
  • 1¼ cups water to rehydrate

Cheese Mix: The cheese mix for this backpacking recipe can be borrowed from a six ounce box of Back to Nature brand Spirals & White Cheddar Dinner or Annie’s Homegrown brand Bunny Pasta & Cheese. Look in the health foods section of your grocery store. These brands have no artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors. The cheese mix packet inside the box can be divided into three servings approximately 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp each. Use one third of the packet for this recipe and save the rest for other recipes. The macaroni can be saved for other meals as well. You could settle for the Kraft brand if you don’t mind a little artificial coloring.

Instant Dry Milk: I use Nestle Nido brand instant whole dry milk instead of the easier to find instant low fat milk varieties. The extra calories from the higher fat content in whole milk provide more energy for my long distance backpacking trips and I like the taste.

Taco Seasoning: Use store-bought packets of taco seasoning or make your own by combining 1 Tbsp Chili Powder, 1½ tsp Ground Cumin, ¼ Garlic Powder, ¼ tsp Crushed Red Pepper, ¼ tsp Dried Oregano, ¼ tsp Salt. Makes 5½ teaspoons. You only need a teaspoon for this recipe, but you can add more if you like it extra spicy.

Taco Mac: If you want to make another tasty backpacking meal with taco seasoning, try Taco Mac & Cheese.

At Home:

For information about dehydrating ground beef and vegetables for this recipe, review the dehydrating meat or dehydrating vegetables pages.

Combine and pack cheese, milk, and taco powders in small plastic bags. Enclose with other ingredients in a larger plastic bag.

On the Trail:

Combine all ingredients except cheese, milk, and taco powders with water in pot and soak five minutes. Light stove, bring to boil, and cook for one more minute. Remove from stove, stir in cheese, milk, and taco powders. Insulate pot and wait ten minutes.

Serving Suggestions:

Mexican Beef & Rice can be spooned onto a tortilla and rolled up like a burrito. Add some slices of cheese if you carry it. This recipe will easily fill two burritos. Messy but tasty!

If you have some tortilla chips handy, scoop your meal out of the pot with chips or crumble chips over your Mexican Beef & Rice.

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Recipes for Adventure: Healthy, Hearty & Homemade Backpacking Recipes. The Ultimate Guide to Dehydrating Food for the Trail.
Recipes for Adventure II: The Best of Trail Bytes. Adventures in Dehydrating Backpacking Food.
Action Guide: Dehydrating 31 Meals. Step-by-step instructions.
Backpacking Chef Menu Planning & Food Drying Workbook.
1001 Miles on the Appalachian Trail.

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