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.

6 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.

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