Backpacking Meal: Burrito Bowl Recipe

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15 reviews with an average rating of 3.8 out of 5 stars
Backpacking burrito bowl being wrapped in tortilla

Loaded with flavor, this vegetarian burrito bowl makes a great addition to your trail food line up.

While most burrito bowls use rice as their base, we decided to use quinoa instead. Quinoa has a more well-rounded nutritional profile and can serve as a complete protein. It also has a unique taste and texture that we felt really compliments this meal.

At home, cook the quinoa, tomatoes, peppers and taco seasoning together using vegetable broth. While you could use water instead, we find that the vegetable broth really adds a lot of flavor to the quinoa. Once the quinoa has fluffed up and all the flavors taste right, we start to transfer the mixture over to our dehydrator. We loaded up one dehydrator sheet with rinsed black beans, two and a half sheets with the quinoa mixture, and filled the last half with some fresh cilantro. We let it run overnight at 135°F for about 8-12 hours. In the morning, we packaged it all into a resealable plastic container with a packet of hot sauce.

Backpacking burrito bowl dehydrated ingredients

On the trail, the dehydrated mixture is placed into a pot and covered with water. Once the water starts to boil, it doesn't long at all for the quinoa to rehydrate. For a little extra calorie boost, we like to add in a few tablespoons of olive oil.

This meal can be enjoyed in a bowl or as an actual burrito if you pack along a tortilla. Either way, the hot sauce packet is a must.

Backpacking Burrito Bowl

Yield: 4 servings

Weight: 3.2 oz per serving, not including tortilla, hot sauce or packaging


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro

To be packed separately:

  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 4 large tortillas (optional)
  • 4 hot sauce packets (optional)


At Home

Step 1

Rinse the quinoa under running water for 30 seconds (this will help remove the bitter taste). In a pot, add the vegetable broth, quinoa, fire-roasted tomatoes and their juices, bell pepper, taco seasoning and salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer 20 minutes or until the quinoa is tender.

Step 2

Spread beans, quinoa and cilantro in even layers on your dehydrator trays making the layers as thin as possible. Dehydrate at 135°F for 8-12 hours until completely dry. You can flip the quinoa over at the halfway mark to help it dry faster. Store components together in an airtight container until ready to use.

Backpacking burrito bowl quinoa and tomato simmering in pot

On the Trail

Step 1

Add the quinoa-bean mixture to a pot and add water to just cover (about 6 ounces per serving).

Step 2

Add the oil to the pot, then bring to a simmer. Simmer, stirring often and adding water if the pot is dry, until the quinoa and beans have fully rehydrated. Serve in the pot, or optionally, roll in a tortilla to make burritos.

Backpacking burrito bowl, ready to serve