Hot, spicy and thoroughly filling this one-pot backpacking jambalaya is a great way to warm up at the end of a day.
Combining orzo pasta, dehydrated veggies, summer sausage, rich tomato powder, and spicy cajun seasoning, this jambalaya is ready to eat in minutes but tastes like it has been simmering on the stovetop all day.
The one-pot nature of the recipe means it’s easy to cook and easy to clean, while its nonperishable ingredients mean you’ll be able to enjoy this on day 1 or day 7 of your trip.
- The level of spice in Cajun seasoning can vary greatly from brand to brand. Before taking this meal out on the trail, test the heat level of your seasoning, and dial it in. There’s nothing worse than being starving and looking at a bowl of food that is too spicy to eat. We used McCormick’s in this recipe.
- We found tomato powder on nuts.com
- Olive oil can be packed in small resealable containers, or you can find individual packets online.
- As with many backpacking meals cooked in a lightweight pot, scorching is something to be aware of. Once the ingredients have been added to the water, keep it moving around with a spoon to prevent the food from burning to the bottom. We like this MSR ceramic coated pot–it seems to prevent food from sticking better than titanium pots.
- See our full post about backpacking stoves, and our backpacking checklist for the rest of our cooking gear!
More backpacking recipes
- Backpacking Fried Rice
- Backpacker’s Thanksgiving Feast
- Thai Red Curry Rice with Peanut Coconut Sauce
- Backpacker’s Moroccan Chicken Couscous
- Backpacker’s Chicken Marbella
- Revamped Backpacking Ramen
Spicy One Pot Jambalaya with Orzo
- 1 cup orzo pasta
- ½ cup freeze dried or dehydrated vegetables
- 2 tablespoons tomato powder
- 1 tablespoon Creole spice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 oz summer sausage or jerky, optional - omit to make this meal veg friendly
- 2 ½ cups water
- Pre-Trip: Place the pasta, freeze dried vegetables, tomato powder, Creole spice, and salt in a resealable bag. Pack along the olive oil and summer sausage.
- At Camp: Empty the contents of the bag into your cook pot. Add the water and olive oil and bring to a low boil. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the pasta is tender, making sure to stir fairly often (especially towards the end) to prevent the food from scorching and sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- In the meantime, cut up the sausage or jerky and add to the pot as the rest of the meal is cooking to heat through.
- Remove from the heat and enjoy!