Dehydrated Homemade Backcountry Chili



After playing in the mountains all day, nothings says comfort quite like a warm bowl of stick-to-your-ribs chili! Using the dehydrating method, you can transform large portions of chili into light weight batches so you can enjoy the backcountry coupled with the comforts of your favorite homemade chili recipe. We’ve made a 29 pound pot of chili, dehydrated it down to 7pounds and fed 22 people in the backcountry!


Fall / Winter


4-6 people

Approx. Cost

$3 per serving

Weight Savings

29lb < 7lb


1 cup diced onion

1-2 garlic cloves finely chopped

1TB olive oil

1TB chili powder

1TB cumin powder

3 cups cooked chicken, cooked ground turkey, cooked ground beef, or cooked ground meat.

2 (14.5oz) cans ready-cut diced tomatoes, undrained

2 (15oz) cans of black beans, undrained

1 (15oz) kindey beans, rinsed & drained

1 (15oz) can whole kernel corn, rinsed & drained

1 (4oz) can diced green chilies, rinsed & drained

1-2 cups water


Chop the onion and dice the garlic.

Saute onions and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat in a large sized soup pot, cook until tender and the onions are translucent.

Add the spices, chili powder, cumin, and chilies, stir over heat.

Stir in cooked chicken, tomatoes, beans, corn and liquid.

Bring all ingredients to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 min, occasionally stirring.

Serve immediately with your favorite garnish…OR dehydrate and save this meal for an adventurers outing in the near future!

LT chili_ingrediants_


LT chili_dehyratingFollow the directions for dehydrating soup/chili in your dehydrating manual.

Use dehydrator trays with a nonstick Paraflexx Sheets for Excalibur dehydrator, parchment paper, or fruit leather inserts.

Use a measuring cup, transfer about 2-3 cups of cooked chili onto each tray.

Try to evenly distribute chili on the dehydrator trays, breaking up any meat chunks with your fingers.

Leave about 1-2 inch of space from the edge of lip to prevent soup from slipping off trays. (trust me this is a messy one!)

Dehydrate at 125 degrees for 6-8 hours. Check soup at 6 hours to see state of drying. You can check the beans and meat – if they are tender or wet looking they are not fully dried. All liquid will be dried, and the bean and meat will be completely solid!

***Tip*** Using chicken will reduce your chances of chili spoiling. Beef, turkey, and ground meats tend to have more fat in them, which can cause rancidity when left in warm temperatures for a long period of time.

Once chili is completely dry, take trays out of the dehydrator and allow chili to cool completely!

Scoop all chili into large ziplock bags or glass storage containers. Keeps in dry cool place until your next trip.

***Tip****Always label your dehydrated food bags or containers with the recipe name, date made, and serving size! This will help you distinguish food items and meals when packing for your next adventure. Make sure to update your serving size if you remove portions from your overall supply. See example below.


Chicken Chili. 7/4/2015. 5 serving.

Chicken Chili 7/4/2015. 1 serving.


backcountry chili

Place desired serving of dried chili into a large backcountry pot or heat safe bowl.

Pour cold filtered water over chili until covered with an extra 1 inch of water over the top.

Let chili soak for at least 1 hour. You will have to add more water depending on serving size! It will absorb a ton of liquid!

**Tip***Best if you can soak in water overnight. If that’s not possible,  start soaking 1-2 hours before dinner time, while you set up camp, start a fire, or even in a Nalgene while your still hiking, your dinner will be rehydrated in time for supper

Feel the beans after 1 hour, if they are tender chili is ready to heat. If not continue soaking until soft.

Simply heat up chili to a boil and it’s ready to eat. Serve over rice, quinoa, millet, or pasta!

Some of our favorite garnishes: Fresh Shredded carrots, Crackers/bread crumbs, Bacon Bits, Cheese, Hot sauce