Coconut Coucous Lentil Stew

It’s the beginning of Fall and the perfect time to go backpacking. This year I had the chance to take a couple backpacking trips and it got me really excited about going into the backcountry again.


First trip was a short fun overnighter with the girls (and the boys) in Mount Pinos. The goal was to keep it local and keep logistics to a minimum (KISS). We made too much food (as usual) with each of us wanting to test out new recipes (check out Sweet Potato and Sausage Savory Pie BombHerby Cheese Crackers, and Eggs in the Backcountry).


The other trip I took was in Mineral King in Sequoia National Park. What an amazing place! This is off the beaten path away from the main area of the park where all the giant trees are. The landscape is a mix of conifer forests that give way to rocky Eastern Sierra vistas and alpine lakes. I highly recommend it.


Wherever it is you are headed, you will need some food. This Coconut Lentil Stew uses typical backpacking ingredients and combines them in a satisfying creamy sauce. Besides being delicious, the coconut brings a fatty component that really hits the spot. Once everything is cooked, the texture is more like a porridge than a soup. I used zucchini because I was on a quick overnighter in cool temperatures. Dehydrated veggies or other sturdy vegetables could easily substitute the zucchini, especially if you expect hot weather. As always, feel free to experiment with the seasoning and spices to create your own comforting meal.




Coconut Lentil Coucous Stew


4 Servings

Prep Time / Cook Time


Activity Guide



  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 bouillon cube
  • 2 ounce dried Coconut Milk Cream Powder
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon yellow curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
  • Salt to taste


  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Spoon
  • Stove with simmer control
  • Medium Pot with Lid


  1. Bring water to a boil and add lentils and zucchini. Lower heat slightly and keep boiling until lentils are tender.
  2. Add all seasonings to pot and season with salt to taste. Note: I usually make the mixture overly seasoned/salty knowing that whole bunch of plain couscous is going to be added to it. All the flavor gets absorbed by the couscous so its difficult to add more flavor after the fact.
  3. Mix well making sure the coconut milk is completely dissolved. The texture should resemble a creamy soup.
  4. Add couscous into mixture, giving it a quick stir so it’s evenly distributed. Turn off heat and cover with a lid for 7-10 minutes. Do not peek!
  5. Serve immediately.

6 thoughts on “Coconut Coucous Lentil Stew

  1. I was really excited about this recipe, which looked both yummy and nutritious (a lot of vegetarian trail recipes seem too light on protein). On the trail, though, we found this came out way too spicy – I measured carefully, so I guess my cayenne was a lot stronger than yours! We enjoy hot and spicy foods, but in this case, the heat overwhelmed the coconut and all the other spices. I’d modify by bringing chili flakes separate from the other spices so that each person can add them to taste. I’d also add more water as the texture was a bit gloppy. I substituted dried ginger (1 tsp) for fresh, but I think that was a mistake – I’d go with fresh next time and make this the 1st or 2nd night of the trip.

    1. Thanks for the detailed feedback! It was indeed a bit thick when I made it, but adding more water or broth will thin it out if you prefer it more soupy. Good suggestion to keep the spicy stuff separate. That way you can add it towards the end and adjust the recipe based on personal taste. I also revised the recipe, as the 1/4 tablespoon, should be teaspoon instead! Keep up the camp cooking!

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