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Backpacker Magazine – Online Exclusive

Recipe: American Chop Suey

Make a double batch of this at home. Have it for dinner with your family then dehydrate half for your next few backpacking trips.

by: The Backpacker Editors


1 tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 6 ounce can tomato paste
1 chopped onion
1 chopped bell pepper (any color)
2 tbsp. dried oregano
2 tbsp. dried basil
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
¾ pound elbow noodles
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: cubed cheese, any kind

At Home: Heat oil and gently sauté the onion and pepper until the onion is translucent. Add the meat and brown thoroughly, breaking it up as you go with a wooden spoon. Drain off any accumulated fat. Add the spices, then tomatoes, and simmer for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the pasta till al dente and drain. Let the sauce cool, then spread it on the dehydrator trays. (If you don’t have tray liners, cut wax paper to fit the shape of your trays.) Spread the cooled macaroni on separate trays, making sure it doesn’t stick together (rinsing with cool water first helps). Dehydrate both components until they’re brittle (about 6 hours or overnight). When done, combine about 1 cup macaroni and 1 cup sauce in a 1-quart zip-top bag.

In Camp: Add about 2 cups boiling water to the bag, squish it around and let it rest in a cozy for about 10 minutes, or until everything is tender



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