Backpacking Breakfast: Apple Quinoa Porridge Recipe

Upgrade your standard bowl of oats for this delicious apple quinoa on your next backpacking trip.

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Backpacking apple quinoa porridge in a reusable stasher bag

Sometimes it’s nice to switch things up. Instant oatmeal has been a staple of ours on so many trips that it’s now the de-facto breakfast. What are we going to eat this morning? The same thing we eat every morning: instant oatmeal. This approach might be fine for the occasional short trip, but for longer trips or multiple short trips, it can lead to burnout. That’s we wanted to explore an alternative and started making this dehydrated quinoa porridge. It’s quick, easy, delicious—and most importantly, not oatmeal.

What we love about this recipe (and every other dehydrator recipe, too) is that you can really dial in the flavor in the kitchen at home. For this quinoa porridge, you can get the apple to quinoa ratio just the way you like it, or dial in the sweetness just so. Taste-testing at home ensures you get exactly the flavor you’re expecting out on the trail.

We used the solid dehydrator sheets and spread this recipe out over four trays. We set the dehydrator to 135°F and let run overnight (12 hours). In the morning, we broke up the flakes and portioned into reusable containers. To give the meal an extra caloric boost, we added 2 tablespoons of coconut milk powder to each serving.

Ingredients for backpacking apple quinoa porridge in dehydrator

At camp, simply add water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes or until water is fully absorbed and porridge is the proper consistency.

It might take a little more prep time than buying instant oatmeal for the store, but it has some time going for it that oatmeal never will: not being oatmeal!



Apple Quinoa Porridge

Apple quinoa porridge ready to eat while backpacking


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 apples chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk powder
  • 1/2 cup pecans chopped


Preparation at home 

Step 1

Rinse quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve under running water until the water runs clear. Then add to a pot along with the apples, water, cinnamon and salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook 15-20 minutes, until the quinoa is tender. Remove from the heat and stir in the maple syrup and vanilla extract.

Step 2

Spread the quinoa onto dehydrator trays in a thin, even layer. Dehydrate at 135°F for 8-12 hours, or until the quinoa and apples are completely dried.

Step 3

To pack the meal for backpacking, divide the dehydrated quinoa, coconut milk powder and chopped pecans between two resealable bags.

Directions at camp

Step 1

To cook in camp, add the quinoa to your cookpot along with 8oz water per serving. Bring to a simmer and cook until the quinoa is tender, adding more water as needed.