Red Beans and Rice

Every year, for their vacation, my parents go on a backpacking trip to the Golden Trout Wilderness in the Sierra to do volunteer trail work. It’s become my job to feed them for this annual trip, and last summer, I came up with this Red Beans and Rice recipe.

I’ve been using dehydrated bean flakes for a long time, but I only recently discovered whole dehydrated beans. I had ordered a sampler pack of dehydrated veggies to stock my backpacking pantry, and these dehydrated whole red beans were in the pack. I didn’t have high hopes for them, thinking they’d take forever to rehydrate, but they work so well! I love them because they have more texture than the bean flakes, something I’m always looking for in my backpacking meals.

This is a one pot meal, and it’s got lots of protein and fiber, both of which can be difficult to come by in the backcountry. Definitely bring a little bit of vinegary hot sauce (like Crystal or Tabasco) or even better, some pickled peppers (such as pepperoncinis) along with you.

Specialty Ingredient Sourcing:
Dehydrated whole red beans
Dehydrated bell peppers
Tomato powder

Red Beans and Rice


2 servings

Prep Time / Cook Time


Activity Guide

Backpacking, Bike Touring


  • 1 cup instant rice
  • 1 cup dehydrated red beans
  • 1 tablespoon dehydrated bell pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons tomato powder
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 shallot
  • 3 cups water


  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Medium pot
  • Mixing spoon
  • Stove with simmer control


At Home:

  1. Combine rice, red beans, bell pepper, cayenne, salt, cumin, and tomato powder in a zip top bag.
  2. Package olive oil in a leakproof container. Leave the shallot whole and unpeeled.

At Camp:

  1. Peel and chop the shallot.
  2. Heat the oil in a pot and saute the shallot until softened and lightly browned.
  3. Add the water and bring to a boil.
  4. Stir in the bean and rice mixture. Cover and remove from heat.
  5. Let stand for about 5 minutes or until water is absorbed and beans and rice are softened.
  6. Serve with hot sauce and/or pickled peppers.

7 thoughts on “Red Beans and Rice

  1. I made this on a recent trip and it was fantastic! Thank you for such great recipes that help with creativity and great taste even on the remote back country.

  2. Yes wow, really well done. I took this out this last weekend without testing at home and it’s really good. I upped the recipe for 3 servings and it was just the right amount for 3 hikers. I also substituted tomato paste for the powder and used 1 cup of red beans with a 1/2 cup of black beans. This recipe is simple to do and easy to make in the field. Adding it to the regular rotation, thank you!

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