50+ Best Backpacking Recipes

Here are 50+ 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.

50+ Best Backpacking Recipes Shared by Readers of BackpackingChef.

Share your best backpacking recipe, click here.


Best Backpacking Recipes for Dinner

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

Photo above: Granuaile's Chicken with Caramelized Onions & Tomatoes over Rice.

Recently Shared Recipes

Backpacking Recipe: Yellow Mung Dal.

Yellow Mung Dal

Barbara shares several ways to serve it Yellow Mung Dal (shown above) on the trail. Mung beans are fast-cooking, high in fiber, and loaded with protein.

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.

Meat & Potatoes Backpacking Recipes

Tanya's Upside Down Shepherd's Pie (shown above), Brittany's Beef & Potatoes, Brittany's Trail Turkey Dinner, and Bill's Barbeque Chicken Stew.

Chicken & Rice Backpacking Recipe: Jamaican Jerk Chicken.

Chicken & Rice Recipes

Jamaican Jerk Chicken (shown above) shared by Squidbilly's wife, Granuaile's Chicken with Caramelized Onions & Tomatoes, Tanya's Curry Chicken & Rice, and Tassie's Penang Chicken.

More Best Backpacking Recipes with Rice:

Southwest Beef & Rice, Rice & Sausage Dinner, Pineapple-Ginger Rice, and Cajun Red Beans & Rice.

Backpacking Recipe: Chicken Carbonara

Chicken & Pasta Recipes

RollingStone's Chicken Carbonara (shown above), Sprinkle's Chicken Piccata with capers and lemon-butter sauce and Chris' Chicken Cacciatore over noodles.

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, Thai Spicy Peanut Noodles with Chicken, Tom Ka Gai Rice & Chicken.

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


Italian-style Pasta Sauce Recipes:

Pasta with Red Sauce & Meat, Cheesy Vegetarian Spaghetti Sauce.

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 e-book, 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.

Best Backpacking Recipes: Mushroom Stroganoff

Mushroom Stroganoff (shown above)

A hearty vegetarian version of beef stroganoff. Shared by Robin.Shared by Robin RD, London, Ontario

More Beef Stroganoff Recipes:

Brittany's Family Favorite Beef Stroganoff, Moof's Beef Stroganoff, Lucky's Beef Stroganoff, Easy Beef Stroganoff.

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

Salmon Cakes, Spicy Salmon & Noodles, Smoked Salmon Chowder.

Recipes with Clams:

Shelley's Clam Chowder and 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

Instant Black Bean Soup, Stuffed Pepper Soup, Quick Backpack Chili, Thai Pumpkin Carrot Soup, Chicken Soup and more.

Campfire Recipes

Foil Wrapped Veggie Dinner, 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

Curried Salmon Salad Sandwich, Turkey BBQ Sandwich, Beef & Bean Burritos, Sloppy Joes.

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.

Hash Browns, Salmon Scramble, Breakfast Burritos, Flat Bread, Applesauce Oatmeal Pancakes, Cinnamon Breakfast Bannock, Chocolate Chip Plopcake, Apple Crumble and 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!


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


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