One Pot Turkey Dinner

This holiday season, whip up this amazingly tasty backcountry 1-pot Turkey Meal. This is a great addition to any weekend camping trip, but especially great for continuing the holiday flavors into your backcountry cooking experience. Learn how to save and dehydrate your left-over turkey and cranberry sauce! Combined your dehydrated left-overs with inexpensive, light weight, and easy ingredients to impress your tent buddy and celebrate what you’re thankful for.

It may look like mush, but it’s delicious mush, that will warm up your stomach and feed your holiday tastebuds. This meal pairs nicely with a hot toddy or hot apple cider! 🙂

*Learn how to easily dehydrated your leftover turkey and cranberry sauce. This is a great way to preserve and store leftovers for long periods of time. Having these ingredients saved and ready to go makes your next camping trip and meal planning easy and stress free! Deliciousness on the go!


Fall / Winter


4 people

Approx. Cost

$ 3 per person

Weight Savings



1 cup instant mashed potatoes
1 cup instant stove top stuffing mix
1 packet of instant dry gravy mix
1/4lb of leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Meat ( Options: 7oz chicken canned/pouched chicken OR 1/2cup dehydrated turkey/chicken)

1 bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup left over cranberry sauce ( or 1/2 cup dried cranberries, or 1/4cup dehydrated cranberry sauce)
3-5 cups cold water


In your one pot, simmer chopped onions and pepper, for about a minute.

Add 1-2 cups of water to your cooked veggies, bring to a boil. Add 1/2 of your instant gravy mix, and stir until all lumps have dissolved.

Add the instant mashed potatoes and instant stove top stuffing mix. Adding water as you go to get the appropriate smooth consistency of your desire.

Add the turkey and cook for another 30seconds to 1 min, until bubbly and pipping hot. Add the rest of your gravy.

Turn off burner, and mix in cranberry sauce/cranberries.

Give your thanks and enjoy your 1-pot thanksgiving meal.

Liz camping and cooking a thanksgiving 1-pot meal in the pacific northwest
cooking it backcountry stove and cold fall camping day in the pacific northwest

Follow the recipe & video above OR experiment with dehydrating your leftovers! Know there are multiple variations and recipes for dehydrated food. Feel free to add comments below if you have questions, run into problems, or want to tell us about your experience.

Making dehydrated food can be fun and a great resource for storing non-perishable already cooked meats, sauces, vegetables, snacks, soups & more. Stay tuned for additional recipes & how-to articles on dehydrating backcountry meals.

Read Why Dehydrate for more information on the process and the benefits of dehydrating, and stay tuned for additional quick and easy dehydrated backcountry tricks & yummy recipes.

Dehydrating leftover Turkey (or canned/pouched chicken)


  • Prep your dehydrator trays with a clean an dry surface/sheet, preferably a mesh sheet.
  • Break up your cooked turkey into bit sized pieces, or drain the canned chicken in a colander and rinse with water.
  • Spread the cooked turkey pieces, or the drained chicken onto the mesh
    sheets. Separating evenly onto the tray and breaking up any large chunks. Place sheet into your dehydrator.
  • Set the timer for 4 hours on a temperature of 135-145 degrees. Check your turkey/chicken and rotate your tray to allow different angles to dry evenly. Let dry for another 4-6 hours or until  pieces are completely dry and hard.

Dehydrating leftover Cranberry Sauce

  • LT berry dehydratingPrep your dehydrator trays with the liquid, non stick drying sheets.
  • Pour the cranberry sauce onto the liquid, non stick drying sheet, with a thick & even coating with a rubber spatula. Leave 1 inch of space from the edges of your sheet so the sauce doesn’t leek off. Try to make the spread as even of a coat as possible, this will help it dry into a “fruit leather”
  • Set the timer for 4 hours on a temperature of 135-145 degrees. (You can definitely use the same dehydrator at the same time as dehydrating your turkey)
  • Check on your sauce and rotate all the trays in a counterclockwise direction while also moving your tray on different level. Let dry for another 4-6 hours or until your sauce starts to separate from the edges and the center is dry to the touch.
  • Your sauce is done when you can easily peel off your non-stick sheet in one piece or when your sauce breaks off into “cranberry sauce chips”. both are completely usable!


  • Let all ingredients completely cool off after dehydrated before putting into containers. Using plastic bags or glass container, place your turkey/chicken pieces in a container, and same with the cranberry sauce roll or “chips”. Write on all the containers what the ingredient is, the portion, and what the food is for. Keep all ingredients together in your pantry until you go on your trip!
  • Example:
    • Cranberry Sauce Chips. Serves 4. For: 1-pot ThnksGiving Meal.
    • Turkey. Serves 4. For 1-pot ThanksGiving Meal/ Pad Thai/ Curry Soup / Burritos



  • Place your dehydrated turkey/chicken into a clean container (Nalgene) or pot. Add enough cold water to barley cover the dried meat.
  • Soak meat in water for at least 15 minutes. Start cooking or prepping your other ingredients if possible, while soaking your proteins. This will allow your meat to re-hydrate while preparing your other ingredients.
  • When your turkey/chicken is soft to the touch it is done rehydrading. Drain out any excess water.


  • It will take some time before cooking your meal to re-hydrate the dehydrated food back to life. You will need: additional containers/Nalgene, time, and patience.
  • In general Dehydrated meats takes longer to rehydrate (soak) due to their tough fibers and dense texture. Dehydrated foods such as fruit, veggies, or leathers / sauces take less time to hydrate.
  • A reminder that the meat is already cooked! You don’t have to boil or simmer on the stove. After re-hydrating the meat  you can simply add it into your recipes. In the case that you forget your lighter for your stove, eating the hydrated meat cold, is completely safe, not preferred, but safe. We would know from experience..

Cranberry Sauce

  • Break your cranberry sauce chips into small bite sized pieces. OR if your dehydrated sauce is in a leather, rip into bite sized pieces.
  • Add in the sauce chips into your hot pot of mashed potatoes/stuffing mixture.
  • Stir the 1-pot meal until your cranberry chips have turned into “sauce”.
  • You might need to add water to this mixture to keep the bottom of the pot from burning or getting too thick.