Reader Recipes: Easy Pasta & Rice Camp Meals

10 reinventions of trailworn dinner recipes. Plus some easy breakfast and dessert options.

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 Every camp chef must master cooking with rice or pasta–the backpacker staples are satisfying, easy to cook, and refill the tank with carbs. So it comes as no surprise that we received a wealth of recipes that had some variation on the starch theme–but with some surprising twists. Here are the 10 most delectable reader submissions:

Pasta plus

>> Shelf-stable bacon, powdered eggs, powdered milk, powdered cheese, white sauce or gravy mix, and chopped sun-dried tomatoes–just add boiling water to rehydrate, then salmon. By Teresa Dicentra Black, Seattle, WA (

>> To Barilla three-cheese tortellini, add Bertolli pasta sauce, and three pouches of different seafood (smoked oysters, mussels, shrimp, or salmon). By Kenneth Steve, Kingsville, MD

>> One pound of browned beef with one diced onion and one garlic clove–frozen pretrip, then cooked in camp with black beans and tossed with cooked pasta, salt, mozzarella, Parmesan, and sun-dried tomato. By David Williams, San Antonio, TX

Rice plus…

>> Unsweetened lemonade powder mix, tuna, dried peas, and spices (oregano, basil, a chicken bouillon cube), and dried peas. By Jeff Dillavou, Northglenn, CO

>> Prepackaged chili, prepared Bisquick dumplings, and Parmesan cheese. By Richard Ruch, Lafayette, NY

>> Pine nuts, black beans, cherry tomatoes, olive oil, and spices (chicken or vegetable bouillon cube, garlic, pepper, salt). By Liz Williams, Foresthill, CA

>> Beef jerky, Parmesan cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, canned peas, salt, and pepper. By John Bekisz, Stewart Manor, NY

>> Salsa packets, dehydrated veggies (carrot, green chilies, peppers, mushrooms), cheese, and a chicken bouillon cube. By Linda Kenyon, Olympia, WA

>> To preseasoned taco rice, add mesquite smoked tuna steaks, Stove Top stuffing. By Steven Giles, Savannah, GA

>> Paella–chicken, ham, garbanzo beans, dried veggies (tomato, onion, bell pepper), and spices (garlic, salt, pepper, onion powder, saffron, chicken bouillon cube, bay leaf). By Vince Draa, Libertyville, IL

BONUS: Easy Meals/Snacks

Oatmeal cookie in a bowl

Add chocolate peanut butter to your instant multigrain oatmeal for a no-bake cookie breakfast. -Randy Burghart, Oklahoma City, OK

Easy cheesy pizza

Place the following atop English muffins: Laughing Cow Mozzarella-Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil, foil-pouch chicken, Parmesan, and crushed red pepper. Heat on a pot lid or skillet. -Bryan Grubaugh, Knoxville, TN

Orange Cinna Rolls

Hollow out a large navel orange by cutting a half-dollar-size hole on the top. Fill it with biscuit dough, cinnamon, and brown sugar; wrap with foil, set in the fire’s coals, and let bake 15 to 20 minutes. -Byron Giddens, Sylacauga, AL

Shrink me!

For mini packets of nearly any type of food, drink, or condiment (and free shipping for $20-plus orders), go to My favorites: olive oil, Justin’s Nut Butter, Parmesan, croutons, Nutella, cream cheese, salad dressing, and hummus. –Sarah Kirkconnell (, Maple Valley, WA

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