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5 Lightweight Backpacking Dinner Recipes

in Community/Food by
Photo by Matt Matches
Photo by Matt Matches

Want to eat like a gourmet on the trail and not carry pounds of food on top of all of the equipment that you will need to stay comfortable ? Here are 5 lightweight backpacking dinner recipes that can help you to create lightweight, simple and delicious meals on your next backpacking trip. Almost all recipes can be made with one pot only, and the ingredient’s weight doesn’t exceed 4.5 ounces.



You will need:5 Lightweight Backpacking Dinner

1 tbsp pine nuts, toasted


1/2 cup pasta orzo

1 tbsp pesto sauce

1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

At home:

Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat.

Add pine nuts and cook 3 minutes or until golden, stirring frequently.

Remove from heat and leave to cool.

Pack all the ingredients separately.

On trail:

Bring 2 cups water to a boil; add a pinch of salt.

Pour pasta into boiling water and cook, stirring occasionally, for 7–9 minutes.

Remove from heat and drain well. Blend in pesto sauce and nuts; sprinkle with Parmesan.

* Serves 1 * Easy * 15 min * Pot * 119g (4.20oz) * 446kcal * Vegetarian *

You will need:5 Lightweight Backpacking Dinner

2 tbsp full cream milk powder

1/2 tsp chicken bouillon powder

2 tbsp instant polenta

1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

1 tbsp ghee

1 small shallot, diced

3 slices smoked bacon or pancetta, diced

On trail:

Pour milk and bouilion powders into a pot. Add 1 cup water.

Place pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Stream in the polenta, whisking continuously. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan.

Melt the ghee in a frying pan; add onions and bacon. Cook together until onions are soft.

To serve, toss onions with bacon over polenta.

* Serves 1 * Easy * 20 min * Pot+Pan * 125g (4.41oz) * 521kcal *



You will need:5 Lightweight Backpacking Dinner

50g/1.8oz basmati rice

1 tsp yellow curry paste

1 cup frozen vegetable mix

2 tbsp coconut milk powder

 At home:

Cook the rice according to package instructions.

Drain and cool slightly.

Spread rice, vegetables and curry paste on separate dehydrator trays, covered with non-stick sheets or parchment paper.

Dry at 135F/57C  for 4-8 hours.

Put the dried meal into a zip-lock bag. Add coconut milk powder and seal.

On trail:

Pour vegetable curry mixture into the pot; add 1 cup water.

Place pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat, cover and let stand another 5-10 minutes to rehydrate meal completely.

* Serves 1 *  85g/30z *400kCal * Vegan*


You will need:5 Lightweight Backpacking Dinner

1 tbsp dehydrated red peppers

1 tbsp dehydrated mushrooms

1 tbsp dehydrated pak choi leaves (chinese cabbage)

1 bunch (about 60gr) soba noodles

1 tsp chili sauce

1 tsp light soya sauce

1 tsp fish sauce

At home:

Combine dehydrated vegetables and mushrooms in a zip-lock bag.

Mix all sauces in a leak-proof container.

Pack soba noodles separately.

On trail:

Fold dried vegetable and mushroom mixture into the pot; add 1 cup water.

Place pan over medium heat, and bring to a boil.

Cook about 5 minutes, stirring.

Add soba noodles and cook together for another 5 minutes until ready.

Remove from heat; drain off the excess water.

Pour sauce into the pot, give a good stir and serve.

* Serves 1 * Easy * 15min * Pot * 104g (3.67oz) * 288kcal *

You will need:5 Lightweight Backpacking Dinner

1/3 cup dehydrated basmati rice

2 tbsp dehydrated shrimp

2 tbsp dehydrated canned pineapples

1 tbsp dehydrated yellow curry paste

2 tbsp coconut milk powder

At home:

Mix  all the ingredients in a zip-lock bag.

On trail:

Pour dry honolulu curry mixture into the pot;  add 1 cup water and stir well.

Place pot over medium heat and bring to a boil.

Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.

Remove from heat, cover, and let stand another 5 minutes to rehydrate meal completely.

* Serves 1 * Easy * 15min * Pot * 100g (3.53oz) * 607kcal *

Passionate in two things, namely hiking and cooking, owner and founder of , Tanya Krezevska created the website to share with the world, easy steps she has uncovered to cook simple but still tasty recipes in her own adventures on different trails. Tanya earned her cook certification from professional school and has a diploma in culinary arts.

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