This hearty and tasty meal disappears quickly at camp. The spices are flavorful, but not hot, so it is pleasing to many palates.


16 oz. box elbow macaroni
2 pounds 93% lean turkey or lean hamburger
1 large onion
1 large red bell pepper
2 15 oz. cans of diced tomatoes
2 15 oz. cans of tomato sauce
2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon Montreal Chicken Seasoning or 2 teaspoons Seasoned Salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 or more tablespoons paprika
1 cup or more water

Also pack two ounces of cheddar cheese for each serving on your trip. It will last two or three days on the trail without refrigeration.

Instructions at Home:

  1. Small dice the pepper and onion. Mince or finely dice the garlic.
  2. In a Dutch oven or large saucepan, cook ground meat over medium heat until no longer pink. Turkey may need a small amount of olive oil to fry. Make sure to break the meat down into the smallest pieces possible. Drain grease thoroughly.
  3. Add onion, pepper, and garlic and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until soft and fragrant.
  4. Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, seasonings and elbow macaroni to the pan. Mix well and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce to medium-low heat, cover pan and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until pasta is cooked through and liquids are absorbed.
  6. Taste for seasoning and add more as desired.
  7. Remove from heat.
  8. Spread 1 ½ cup servings onto dehydrator sheets and dehydrate for 12 hours at 145 degrees
  9. Put into individual baggies for solo hiking or into a gallon size bag for group meal (mark # of servings on larger bag).
  10. Store in freezer until your trip and for up to six months.

Instruction at camp:

  1. Put dehydrated meal into pot and cover until it is about even with the mixture. Let sit for a few minutes to soften the food.
  2. Heat on medium-low heat until all ingredients are rehydrated. Stir frequently and add water as needed for desired consistency.  Be careful not to allow to burn on bottom.  Adjust heat as needed.
  3. When meal is completely rehydrated, put into serving dishes. Add cheese and allow to melt before eating (if you can wait).

Serves 6-8

Put plastic bag with your other recycle materials to rinse out at home and take to recycle facility.

Also try:


Backcountry Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Brunswick Stew for the Trail

Campsite Chicken Pot Pie

Denver Hiker’s Hashbrown Scramble

Shepherd’s Pie for the Trail

Trail-Worthy Curried Chicken with Mango and Cashews