6 Instant Meals for Backpacking: Just Add Boiling Water


If you are very busy at work and your job requires you to stay in the office until the evening, you probably don’t have a lot of time to cook yourself a hot meal. Here is the best remedy for this situation as you can prepare some instant foods in time and just add boiling water whenever you wish for a hot meal. The important step to keep in mind is to add only dry ingredients to these instant meals, as this way you can store them for longer and consume them whenever you crave a soup or noodles. These instant meals are great to take at work and eat them at lunch or to pack when you go camping and want to taste some homemade flavors. Just heat some water and pour it over the dry mixture to prepare a tasty and instant meal. You can make several packages with your favorite ingredients, but make sure to check out the link below for some tasty ideas.


Recipe links. Here are links to each of the 6 complete printable recipes. Each is explained in more detail further down in this post.

More ideas:


  • Retha Handa on said:

    Where can I reasonably purchase the freeze-dried items? I looked on Amazon, but the container of chicken supplies fourteen 3/4 cup servings. The cost was over $40! The. Recipes look delicious.

    • I get mine here. I purchase as a Consultant to get the 10% discount, free and half off products. LMK any questions. There are also package deals.

    • Just do a google search, for things like freeze dried food, dried foods, etc.. There are many options and many sizes. Some companies only do the #10 cans which are usually the $30-$40 but others have smaller amounts, however keep in mind freeze dried food last a long time. You may not use it all in one season but if sealed and kept properly it will stil be good for next season.

    • Marie on said:

      Check out health food store sometimes you can find freeze dried food in bulk so it is cheaper. another alternative might be to use flavored TVP.

    • Bruce Leadbetter on said:

      Retha – Amazon is your best bet for freeze dried options; there are quite a few producers including Honeyville Farms.

      HOWEVER – I prefer to dehydrate my own chicken; you must use canned chicken because “fresh” dehydrated takes WAY too long to re-hydrate in a backpacking situation.

      I also prefer to dehydrate my own vegetables; they have a better consistency than FD options. Based on what I know, though, FD vegetables aren’t any more or less nutritional.

      I’m thru-hiking the Arizona Trail this fall so I’m a dehydrating fool right now.

  • Sheryl on said:

    Am I missing something? Where do we get freeze dried chicken and such? Do they have these in Winco’s bulk bins?

    • Sheryl on said:

      I found my own answer by doing what I should have done in the first place – click the link to your blog. Thanks for the photos of packaging. Very helpful

    • yes you can get some of these in the bulk foods, if they don’t have it there they sometimes have large #10 cans of freeze dried foods, meats, vegies, fruit, egg, and meat substitute for vegan.

  • Anything using the freeze dried chicken could easily be swapped to either TVP or freeze dried beef or pork. The recipeS are a jumping off point.

  • Captain Obvious on said:

    Try the internet for freeze dried ingredients. Google “freeze dried chicken bulk” for example or just use dehydrated ingredients. There are A LOT of online retailers who sell freeze dried or dehydrated ingredients including the big boys like Amazon. Just use basic internet search skills.

  • Derek Read on said:

    For people worried about freeze dried chicken (some mention cost, availability, but perhaps also vegetarians) I would suggest substituting dried tofu, peanuts or other nuts, or just leave it out and eat your protein at a different meal. If you use nuts but prefer them not to be soggy and soft simply add them after everything has finished cooking.

  • Are these packed with a lot of sodium as do most prepackaged meals? I’d like to know because I’m not supposed to have a lot of salt in my diet. Thank you.

  • I LOVE Thrive Life foods. They pick all of their fruits and veggies at peak ripeness so it’s all delicious. You can get it here gardencandy.thrivelife.com

  • Jess on said:

    Hello, for those of you still looking to purchase freeze dried foods, I can help! You can visit my website jessicacole.thrivelife.com we have a great variety of delicious freeze dried foods. Also, ask me about my unadvertised specials! They will save a bunch on the meats/veggies/fruits!

  • Ireli on said:

    Jessica, I get my ingredients from thrivelife.com as a consultant I get a 10% discount on the listed price. All the ingredients are just the item you are wanting freeze dried, no salt, no gmos, lots gluten free available. It makes packing these sort of meals easy for me to tailor with foods and favors I want.

  • Danielle on said:

    I tried these for a camping trip with my kids, but I dehydrated all the food myself. If you do this it is WAY cheaper, but will require about 5 min. of boiling instead of just adding boiling water. They were wonderfully tasty, kids loved them, and very easy ‘one pot dinners’ on a hectic road trip!

    • Annette on said:

      Actually, if you put these in one of those seal a meal things, you could put the pouch in the water and cook it in the bag.

  • Annette on said:

    Great article. Hard to read though, the text is too small, and packed too tightly together. Black text would be better as well. These old eyes can’t see this too well.

  • Anonymous on said:

    Food 4 Patriots. Militarily grade food and other supplies. Shelf life of 25 years and some of the better tasting and priced. Iā€™m stocking up.

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