Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
Quick-and-easy trail food doesn’t have to be bland. Mix up some flavor-packed spice blends at home to kick your cooking to a new level of yum, like with this Cincinnati Chili recipe. Then make sure to check out the rest of our Spice is Right recipes.
(premix these at home in a baggie)
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp granulated onion
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- pinches of ground allspice, coriander, and clove
- 4 oz. spaghetti noodles, broken in half (note cooking time)
- 2 oz. chopped steak-style jerky (¼” pieces)
- 1 oz. packet Lipton Cup-A-Soup Tomato
- 13 oz. cooked kidney beans
- 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 sugar packet
- 1 Tbsp cooking oil
- 1 tsp vinegar (any will do, but we like cider or rice)
- salt & pepper
- cayenne (to taste)
On the trail
➞ At least three hours before you’ll prepare the chili, add jerky to a bottle with enough water to cover. Seal and keep in a cool area like your pack or bear can.
➞ Bring large pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to directions; drain and set aside. Add oil and spice mixture to a second pot. Heat over a low flame, stirring continuously until spices are aromatic (less than a minute), then add jerky (include liquid), soup packet, vinegar, sugar, and beans. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until chili is fully heated. Add salt, pepper, cayenne, and additional water to taste. Divide pasta between two bowls. Top with chili and cheese.