10 Vegetarian Backpacking Meals


When planning a backpacking trip, most vegetarian backpackers worry that maintaining their meat-free diet is impossible. With the right knowledge and proper planning, maintaining a vegetarian diet on the trails should be possible.

If you will be packing your backpack and heading out on an adventure soon, the vegetarian ultralight backpacking recipes in this article should come in handy. Our vegetarian backpacking meals are big on flavor and low on weight. The meals will give you all the energy you need after grabbing your backpacking backpack.

The Best Vegetarian Ultralight Backpacking Recipes

1. 3 Mushroom Risotto

One of the best backpacking foods, featuring super-quick, delicious, and lightweight risotto with cremini, portobello, and porcini mushrooms.

What You Will Need for 1 Serving

  • ½ cup of dehydrated cooked rice
  • ½ cup dried mushrooms (cremini, portobello, and porcini)
  • ¼ vegetable bouillon cube
  • ½ teaspoon of dried parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons of freeze-dried grated parmesan cheese

At Home

Mix the rice, bouillon cube, dried herbs, and mushrooms in a zip-lock bag. Pack the other ingredients separately.

On the Trail

Pour the mushroom risotto mixture into your pot. Add 1 cup of water and then stir well. Allow the mixture to soak for 10 minutes.

Put your pot over medium heat, say, on your backpacking stove, and bring the mixture to boil. Season to taste.

Cook while stirring occasionally, until almost all the liquid gets absorbed.

Remove from the heat and then sprinkle with the parmesan cheese.

2. Apricot Pistachio Salami

This salami is ideal for people who would like to avoid cooking when exploring the backpacking trails.

What You Will Need for 4 Servings

  • 2 cups of dried apricots
  • ½ cup of shelled and unsalted pistachio nuts (chopped)

At Home

Pulse your apricots in the food processor until you get a sticky paste.

Mix in the chopped pistachio nuts.

Place the paste at the center of your sheet of plastic wrap.

Roll up tightly to form a salami.

Refrigerate for approximately one to two hours or until it becomes firm.

Slice the salami – divide it into equal portions before packing.

On the Trail

If you intend to eat apricot pistachio salami on the trail, you won’t need to buy a backpacking stove or invest in backpacking cookware. Once you follow the steps outlined above, you should be able to eat the salami without any further preparations on the trail.

3. Baked Apples with Vanilla Sauce

One of the best vegetarian ultralight backpacking recipes for a camping dessert – the dessert is healthy and easy to prepare.

What You Will Need for 1 Serving

  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 fresh apple
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ghee
  • 1 teaspoon of Dr. Oetker instant vanilla sauce mix
  • 1 teaspoon of full cream milk powder

At Home

Mix cinnamon and sugar in your small zip-lock bag.

Combine the powdered milk and vanilla sauce mix in a separate zip-lock bag.

Pack the other ingredients separately.

On the Trail

Using your knife, cut your apples across in half.

Using parchment paper, line the pan.

Place your Apple halves on your pan and then sprinkle your cinnamon and sugar mixture.

To the middle of every apple, put a teaspoon of butter.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes in your Outback Oven.

Add five tablespoons of cold water to the vanilla sauce mixture and be sure to stir it well.

Top the apples with your vanilla sauce.

4. Cappuccino Oatmeal

Featuring easy-to-follow instructions and minimal ingredients, this one of the few vegetarian backpacking meals that will add minimal weight to your new backpack.

What You Will Need for 1 Serving

  • 1/3 cup of quick-cooking oats
  • 1/8 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon of instant cappuccino mix
  • 2 tablespoons of full cream milk powder

At Home

Mix all the above ingredients in your medium-sized zip-lock freezer bag.

On the Trail

Simply bring ½ cup of water to boil.

Into the zip-lock bag that has your cappuccino oatmeal mixture, pour the hot water carefully.

After stirring well, close the zip-lock bag and then allow the bag to sit in a warm place for approximately 60 seconds.

5. Bulgur Pilaf


You will require just 20 minutes to prepare this meal. This fact, combined with its lightweight (163 grams) makes the meal ideal for anyone who enjoys the solitude offered by backpacking every once in a while.

What You Will Need for 1 Serving

  • ½ cup of quick-cooking bulgur
  • 2 tablespoons of sun-dried tomatoes (diced)
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1 small shallot
  • 1 tablespoon of ghee
  • ½ tablespoon of sweet paprika powder
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cumin
  • A small pinch of chili powder
  • pepper and salt (to taste)

At Home

Mix the bulgur, cumin, paprika, and chili powder in the zip-lock bag.

Pack all the other ingredients separately.

On the Trail

In a pot, melt the ghee. Next, add some chopped onions and cook until they become soft.

Stir in the bulgur-spice mixture, sun-dried tomatoes, and tomato paste. Cook together for approximately 60 to 120 seconds to release their aroma.

Add 1 cup of water and bring the mixture to boil. Next, season to taste.

Simmer for approximately 6 to 7 minutes, while stirring occasionally. Wait until the bulgur gets cooked through and all the liquid gets absorbed.

6. Chanterelle and Lentil Soup

This gluten-free and lightweight soup should make you look forward to your meals when you are out backpacking.

What You Will Need for 1 Serving

  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • ¼ vegetable bouillon cube
  • 1 small shallot
  • 1 tablespoon of ghee
  • ½ tablespoon of dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon of instant mashed potatoes (for the gluten-free version, omit this or replace it with homemade dehydrated potato bark)
  • 2 tablespoons of quick-cooking red lentils
  • 1 handful of dried chanterelle mushrooms

At Home

Grab a medium-sized zip-lock bag and put your dried mushrooms in it.

In a small zip-lock bag, mix the thyme, mashed potatoes, and lentils.

Pack all the other ingredients separately.

On the Trail

To the bag with your mushrooms, and a cup of water, close, and allow it to soak for five minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the ghee in your pot, add some chopped onions, and cook until they become soft.

Pour the soaked mushrooms into the pot together with the water.

After bringing to a boil, add the lentil-potato and the bouillon cube mixture.

Using pepper and salt, season to taste.

While stirring occasionally, simmer until the lentils become tender.

7. Chickpea and Spinach Curry

Packed full of flavor and important nutrients such as Vitamin A and C, Manganese, iron, and calcium, this is one of the healthiest vegetarian backpacking meals you can eat.

What You Will Need for 1 Serving

  • Salt (to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon of mild curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon of spinach powder (alternatively, use a handful of dehydrated spinach)
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut milk powder
  • ¼ cup of dehydrated canned chickpeas
  • ¼ cup of dehydrated cooked basmati rice

At Home

Combine all the ingredients in a single zip-lock bag.

On the Trail

After setting up your backpacking or camping tent, put your spinach curry and chickpea mixture in a pot and add a cup of water.

Using your fire starter, start a fire and bring the mixture to a boil. Cook while stirring occasionally for about ten minutes or until dehydrated.

8. Chocolate Almond Tsampa Energy Balls

If you are a chocolate lover, this is one of the simplest vegetarian ultralight backpacking recipes you can use to create snacks rich in both energy and taste.

What You Will Need for 10 Servings

  • 2 tablespoons of melted virgin coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup of chocolate almond Tsampa cereal
  • 1 cup of pitted Medjool dates

At Home

In a food processor, pulse your dates until they turn into a sticky paste.

Add the melted coconut oil and chocolate almond Tsampa cereal. Stir well.

Using your tablespoon, scoop the obtained mixture and shape ten balls approximately an inch in diameter.

Store in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 7 days.

On the Trail

These energy balls will not require any further preparation on the trail. When using the trekking poles becomes too exhausting, all you will have to do is reach out to your snack pocket and grab a ball.

9. Curried Ramen Bowl

This meal is ideal just before you lay down your backpacking sleeping bag for the night. It is the ultimate feel-good dinner for backpackers.

What You Will Need for 1 Serving

  • 1 block of ramen noodles (approximately 60 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon of yellow curry paste
  • 4 tablespoons of coconut milk powder.

At Home

You will need to prepare this dinner once you set up your backpacking tents. At home, no preparation is needed.

On the Trails

Into a pot, pour the coconut milk powder. Next, add a cup of water and be sure to stir the mixture well.

Place your pot over medium heat and then bring to boil.

Stir in the ramen noodles and curry paste.

Cook for approximately 3 minutes or until the noodles get cooked through.

10. Roasted Ratatouille

If you do love French stew, then, you are in for a treat. Generally made using aromatic herbs and a mix of vegetables, you can serve this stew as a whole vegetarian meal or complement it with fish or meat.

What You Will Need for 3 Servings

  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • 1 tablespoon of Herbes de Provence
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 finely chopped red onion
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 diced yellow bell pepper
  • 2 diced small zucchini
  • 1 roughly chopped medium eggplant

At Home

Heat your oven to about 400F (200C). Line the rimmed baking sheet with some parchment paper.

Place the peppers, zucchini, and eggplant on the baking sheet. Roast for half an hour or until tender.

In your saucepan, heat the oil. Gently fry the garlic and onion for about 3 minutes. Stir regularly.

Transfer your roasted vegetables to your saucepan. Stir in the Herbes de Provence and diced tomatoes. Season to taste.

Reduce the heat and then put a lid on the saucepan. Allow the stew to simmer for about ten minutes.

Remove from the heat and allow the stew to cool.

Spread your roasted ratatouille mixture on your dehydrator trays using parchment paper or non-stick sheets.

Dehydrate at 63 degrees centigrade for approximately 10 to 12 hours, until completely brittle and dry.

Divide the roasted ratatouille mixture into three equal parts and pack in separate zip lock bags.

On the Trail

To rehydrate one portion, pour your roasted ratatouille mixture into your pot and add a single cup of water.

Bring to boil and cook while stirring occasionally, for approximately ten minutes, until rehydrated.

Globo Surf Overview

If you are planning to go backpacking, the vegetarian ultralight backpacking recipes in this article should help you eat healthily. On top of being tasty, the meals outlined in this guide feature enough energy to keep you strong on the trails.

As you have probably noticed, most of the vegetarian backpacking meals outlined above do require water to cook. If carrying pure water is impossible, always use backpacking water filters before cooking with the water you find in the wilderness.

More Backpacking/Hiking Reviews:


  1. Vegetarian Meals – cookieandkate.com
Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!