Fifty Best Backpacking Recipes

Here are fifty of the best backpacking recipes shared by experienced backpackers and camping chefs. These trail meals come from vegans, vegetarians, and omnivors. Take a look at their top-picks.

Best Backpacking Recipes: Mushroom Stroganoff

Mushroom Stroganoff, shared by Robin RD, London, Ontario


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Best Backpacking Recipes for Dinner

Backpacking Recipe: Chicken & Caramalized Onions and Tomatoes over Rice.

New Recipe: Chicken with Caramelized Onions & Tomatoes over Rice

Stephanie shares her technique for caramelizing and dehydrating onions, plus a unique way of cooking and dehydrating chicken.

Yellow Mung Dal

Barbara Bell shares several ways to serve it up on the trail. This fast-cooking legume is high in fiber and loaded with protein.

Barbeque Chicken Stew

Chicken dried in barbeque sauce with grated potatoes, corn, and butter beans. Shared by Bill D.

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Chicken, Rice, & Beans with Jamaican Jerk Seasoning & Coconut Milk. My hubby's favorite backpacking meal! Shared by Squidbilly's Wife.

Chicken Cacciatore

Classic Italian Chicken Cacciatore over noodles. Shared by Chris Tarricone.

Penang Chicken

Chicken in a Penang tomato sauce served with rice. Shared by Tassie.

Backpacking Recipe: Chicken Carbonara

Chicken Carbonara

Chicken Carbonara is an Italian cream sauce based dish which includes pasta, pancetta (bacon), a creamy Alfredo sauce and chicken. Shared by RollingStone.

Chicken and Dumplings Recipe

Uses the "squeeze bag" method to mix and pour the dumpling mix into the boiling water. Easy prep at home and on the trail. Shared by Scottpash.

Chicken & Cheese Couscous

Chicken, mushrooms, veggies, melted cheese with couscous. Shared by Tom.

Couscous with TVP & Tomato

A vegetarian option instead of using ground beef or turkey. Shared by Calla's Dad.

Backpacking Recipe: Thai Curry with Rice Noodles

Thai Backpacking Recipes:

Thai Curry with Rice Noodles. Spicy and easy to make. Enjoy hot or cold. Shared by Cheryl.

Thai Spicy Peanut Noodles with Chicken. Shared by Moof.

Tom Ka Gai Rice & Chicken. A spicy Thai meal based on Tom Ka Gai soup with coconut ginger rice. Shared by RollingStone.

Backpacking Recipe: Green Lentil Chili

Chef Glenn's Green Lentil Chili

This vegetarian chili backpacking recipe was featured in Chef Glenn's free monthly newsletter. Subscribe to Trail Bytes.

Lentil Surprise Stew

No meat lentil stew. Can be cooked on the stove, but it’s faster in an Instapot pressure cooker. Shared by Eric Payne.


Books to Help You Dehydrate Better Backpacking Meals


Best Backpacking Recipes with Rice:

Southwest Beef & Rice. Uses an easy to dehydrate package of frozen Southwest vegetables. Shared by Moof.

Rice & Sausage Dinner. Summer sausage, a Knorr Rice Side, mushrooms and green onions go into this easy backpacking rice recipe. Shared by GreyWolf.

Pineapple-Ginger Rice. Easy rice recipe makes a tasty side or add ham to make a meal. Shared by Margo D.

Cajun Red Beans & Rice. Dehydrated red beans, ham and rice with Cajun seasoning. Shared by Poet.

Indian Dal Recipe

A hearty Red Lentil Indian flavored meal. Zondra dries her Indian Dal into bark and serves it with vegetables and rice. Shared by Zondra Skertich.

Italian-style Pasta Sauce Recipes:

Pasta with Red Sauce & Meat. Made with tomato powder and spices. Shared by Moof.

Cheesy Vegetarian Spaghetti Sauce. A dehydrated vegetarian spaghetti sauce made with lots of cheese, meat substitutes, and spices. Shared by Lance "CreakyKnees" Delo.

Two-Mile High Bolognese

Beef & Italian sausage in an Italian-style Bolognese sauce served over Penne pasta. Shared by Katherine Phillips.

Backpacking Recipe: Meaty No-Beans Chili

Joe's Extra-Meaty Chili

This chili recipe was featured in Chef Glenn's free monthly newsletter with tips on dehydrating stew meat. Subscribe to Trail Bytes. (And get a free 50-page ebook, "Home & Trail: An Introduction to Drying Food.")

More Chili Backpacking Recipes

SierraJud's White Bean Chili, Mr. Dog's Chili Corn, Tucson Damselfly's Gluten Free Chili with Quinoa, Cram's 4-Way Chili.

Hunter's Stir Fry

A wild game or lean beef stir fry meal cooked and dehydrated at home with quick prep on trail. Shared by Mephitus.

Vegetable Beef Stew

Dehydrated shredded beef and vegetables with rice noodles. Prepared on the trail in a cook-in bag. Shared by Tuscon Damselfly.

Beef Stroganoff Recipes:

Moof's Beef Stroganoff. Home crafted sauce mix with just the right amount of spices. Scaled up for big appetites. Shared by Moof.

Lucky's Beef Stroganoff. A quick and delicious stroganoff meal with rice instead of noodles. Shared by Lucky.

Mushroom Stroganoff

A hearty vegetarian version of beef stroganoff. Shared by Robin.

Trail Tacos

Beefy trail tacos with salsa and cheese. Shared by Tracy Stewart.

Meatloaf & Rice

Make a meatloaf bark with rice. Shared by Chris Tarricone.

Knock 'n Kraut

A hearty trail meal of Knockwurst sausage and cabbage. Shared by Chef Russ.

Salmon Recipes

Shelly's Salmon Cakes, Paul's Spicy Salmon & Noodles, Heather's Smoked Salmon Chowder.

Recipes with Clams:

Clam Chowder. Shared by Shelley Lauzon.

Fettuccine Alfredo with Clams. Shared by Mephistus.

Not So Suffering Succotash

A classic succotash recipe with a little extra heat. Shared by Michael Pinkerton.

Spam Chimichangas

Spam, salsa, onions, cheddar cheese in tortillas wrapped in foil. Shared by Shelley Lauzon.

Dry Soup Mix Recipes

Skip's Instant Black Bean Soup, Justin's Stuffed Pepper Soup, Paul's Quick Backpack Chili, Leslie's Thai Pumpkin Carrot Soup, Chris' Chicken Soup and more.

Campfire Recipes

Dawat's Foil Wrapped Veggie Dinner, Scott's Stick Bread. There's a form on this page to share campfire recipes and tips.


Backpacking Food Ideas for Lunch

Backpacking Lunch Recipe: Couscous Salad with Cucumber Salsa Dressing

You don't always need to pull out the pot and stove for a trail lunch, especially on shorter trips where perishable foods like tortillas and cheese will keep for a few days and overall backpacking food weight is not as big of a consideration.

Another backpacking meal strategy for lunches is to prepare the meals in the morning in a thermos food jar. Just add hot or cold water depending on the recipe. At lunchtime, just open and eat - very convenient!

Backpacking lunch ideas from Chef Glenn's newsletter:

Gazpacho - a zesty tomato soup served hot or cold

Couscous Salad with Cucumber Salsa Dressing

Dried Thermos Lunch Recipes for trail or work

And the link below will take you to more backpacking lunch ideas shared by BackpackingChef readers:

More Backpacking Food Ideas for Lunch

Erika's Curried Salmon Salad Sandwich, Longskirt's Turkey BBQ Sandwich, PasnThru's Beef & Bean Burritos, and Sloppy Joes by Chef Russ

P.S. These recipes are great for dinner, too!


Best Backpacking Recipes for Breakfast

Hudson Bay Bread

4-Ounce breakfast bars with 400 calories. One batch makes 30 servings. Shared by PasnThru.

Breakfast Camping Recipes

A great collection of recipes that use fresh (heavy) ingredients and/or require a frying pan: John's Canadian Hash Browns, Heather's Salmon Scramble, Jim's Breakfast Burritos, Shelley's Flat Bread, Shelley's Applesauce Oatmeal Pancakes, Tony's Cinnamon Breakfast Bannock, Tory's Chocolate Chip Plopcake, Brian's Apple Crumble and Megan's Banana Crunch Breakfast.


Best Backpacking Recipes for Dessert

Backpacking Snack: Al's Apple Jerky

Apple Jerky

A tasty and nutritious trail snack with vitamins and fiber. Shared by Al Rutherford.

Apricot Raisin Cobbler

Easy to heat up, one-pot dessert with Graham crackers and brown sugar. Shared by Front Row.

Dehydrated Banana-Granola Trail Cookies

Simple combination of ground up granola and blended banana, with a little cinnamon. Shared by Bill D.

Fruit Leather Recipes

Lots of fruity concoctions shared by readers. Turn fruit leather into fruit pudding with hot or cold water or eat it as a snack while hiking.


More Backpacking Meals from Chef Glenn

Using a food dehydrator, you can make light-weight, delicious meals like Chili, Root Bark Stew, Ratatouille, Mexican Beef & Rice, Unstuffed Peppers and dozens more!


Use the form below to share your best backpacking recipe. The form will expand to accommodate your instructions.

Share Your Best Backpacking Recipe

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Thanks again to everyone who has shared their best backpacking recipes.


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