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Backpacking Foods- Making Your Own Dehydrated Meals- Single Pot Meal Recipes


Page 1: Commercial Meals and Making Your Own
Page 2: Resources
Page 3: Recipes- Breakfast, Side Dishes
Page 4: Recipes- Dinners and Main Dishes
Page 5: Recipes- Single Pot Meals

Single Pot Meal Recipes

Chili Mac

An infamous backpacking meal, this recipe will fill a one liter pot and two backpackers (use a bigger pot if you can, it makes mixing the ingredients easier). See below for instructions on making it a single meal. You will need to dehydrate the tomato sauce yourself. The other ingredients can be found commercially.

I package the macaroni in one bag, and the rest of the ingredients together in another bag. You can package the beans separately and add hot or even cold water to them in advance to give them more time to rehydrate. Package a separate bag with grated cheese if you like.

To cook: boil 3 cups water and add macaroni. Cook for 5 minutes, lower heat to simmer, then add the rest of the ingredients. Cook for another 8 minutes or so, stirring constantly to avoid burning. After a few minutes you will need to add another 1/2 cup of water. Be sure to watch the dish while it is cooking; you may need to add more water if it becomes too dry. As with all dehydrated meals, adding enough water is very important. Remove from heat and let stand another 5 minutes or more, stirring once or twice. This meal can easily be made larger by adding an entire can of dehydrated beans, and another 1/4 cup of macaroni. The pot will need to be larger, and more water used during cooking. Top with cheese if you brought it along.

  • 1 to 1 1/4 cups macaroni
  • 1- 8 ounce can of tomato sauce leather (dehydrated as you would fruit leather)
  • 1/2 can dried pinto beans- pintos taste best in this recipe, but black beans seem to hold together better
  • 3 tablespoons chopped, dried tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons dries red and/or green peppers
  • 1 tablespoon dried celery
  • 1 tablespoon dried onion
  • 1 tablespoon dried milk powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

For a single meal, use the same amounts as in the recipe above exept for the following:

  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup macaroni
  • 1/2 sheet tomato sauce leather
  • 1/3 cup dried pinto beans
  • 1 tablespoon each tomatoes and green and red peppers
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder


Pasta Bolognese

This recipe is very similar in cooking time and precedure to Chili Mac. Start with 2 cups water instead of three. The following recipe makes one serving. Include a snack size Ziplock bag with 1/2 cup macaroni or other pasta for each meal. Package a separate bag with grated cheese if you like.

  • 1/3 cup TVP granules (they look like ground beef when cooked)
  • 1/2 sheet of an 8 ounce can of tomato sauce leather
  • 1/4 cup dried mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon milk powder
  • 1 tablespoon each- dried onion flakes, celery, green pepper, red pepper, carrots, sundried tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated onion
  • 1 tablespoon dry cream of mushroom soup mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon each- oregano, basil, paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried lemon rind
  • pinch of black pepper
  • pinch of garlic powder
  • salt to taste


Pho- Vietnamese Noodles Soup

I have placed this recipe on the Single Pot Meals page as I have yet to try just adding water to the bag of ingredients. I will give that option a try soon. It should work just fine as all of the ingredients rehydrate quite well in other recipes.

The following makes one big main dish, or a side for two people. Regarding the rice noodles, the amount used depends on the brand and type of noodles. Some are thick, some are very thin, some are rolled into balls, some are long, slender threads. As a reference, I use enough noodles to make about 1 ½ cups once cooked. You may want to experiment with the noodles, try different brands, and make sure that they do not fall apart if boiled for a few minutes and left to sit with the rest of the dehydrated ingredients. I put a packet of soy sauce from takeout food in the Ziplock bag to be added after meal has finished rehydrating.

Place following ingredients in quart Ziplock:

  • Rice noodles- about 1 ½ cups cooked (see note above)
  • ¼ cup chunk TVP (see note about TVP on main recipes page)
  • 1 tablespoon dried carrot
  • 1 tablespoon dried red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried green pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried celery
  • 2 dried Shitake mushrooms, broken into 4 or 5 pieces each
  • 1 teaspoon mixture of dried basil, cilantro, and mint
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or chicken broth powder (1 bouillon cube)
  • 1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon dried garlic granules
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • dash ground cloves
  • ½ piece of dried anise
  • dash of crushed red pepper

Boil 2 ½ to 3 cups water (625-750 ml.), then add all ingredients- use more water if you like more broth. Boil for 2 or 3 minutes, remove from heat, cover and let stand for about 5 minutes.



Back to Top
Page 1: Commercial Meals and Making Your Own
Page 2: Resources
Page 3: Recipes- Breakfast, Side Dishes
Page 4: Recipes- Dinners and Main Dishes
Page 5: Recipes- Single Pot Meals




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