Backcountry Chili

Recipe score:

Who doesn’t love chili? Or is it chilli? Who knows… Either way, there’s something extra satisfying and comforting about scarfing down a warm bowl of chili at camp. As a bonus, it can be so versatile. This recipe can be made with any meat that you prefer; it can even be made vegan or vegetarian. 

Prep Time: 15 mins

Cooking Method: Dehydrating

Cooking Time: < 17 hours

Yield: 1


  • 3/4 cup dehydrated red kidney beans and/or black beans
  • 1/3 cup dehydrated lean ground turkey, beef or meat of choice (approx 1/2 cup raw) OR
  • 1/3 cup dehydrated black beans, chickpeas or bean of choice (approx 1/2 cup canned/cooked)
  • 1-2 heaping tbsp dehydrated tomatoes (2 medium tomatoes raw)
  • 2 tbsps dehydrated white onion (approx 1/4 med raw)
  • 1 heaping tbsp dehydrated mushrooms (approx 3 raw)
  • 2 tbsp dehydrated bell pepper (any colour; approx 1/4 pepper raw)
  • 1 heaping tsp dehydrated jalapeños (optional; approx 1/2 pepper raw)
  • 2 tbsps dehydrated cheese (optional; approx 2 tbsp raw)
  • 1/2 tsp chicken, beef or vegetable bouillon powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (or 1 clove, crushed and dehydrated)
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • Few pinches cayenne


  1. Cook meat until golden brown (avoid cooking with oil – use water as needed instead – see reasoning in step 2).
  2. Once cooked, drain oil and, if needed, use a paper towel to pat and absorb excess fats (excess oil increases drying time and decreases shelf life)
  3. Dehydrate meat at 160° for approx. 7 hours
  4. Dice vegetables into 1/4″ thick pieces & shred cheese
  5. Dehydrate vegetables, beans and cheese at 135° for approx 6-10 hours 
  6. Combine all dehydrated ingredients in a sealed container or bag. Add the bouillon and spices. Mix/shake well. 
Voilà! Your chili is ready to go! (see how to rehydrate below)


  • You can use canned beans or prepared beans (dried and cooked)
  • Feel free to swap out vegetables or add more that you like. Just keep in mind that more ingredients will require more water then rehydrating it before you eat 
  • Learn more about dehydrating from our Dehydrating 101 post.
  • Check out our post Where to Buy Dehydrated and Freeze-dried Ingredients.

*Nutrition information is estimated using an online nutrition calculator. Actual nutrition facts may vary.

Per Serving: (using ground turkey)

Calories: 320 kcal  Protein: 35g  Carbs: 19g  Fat: 7g Fibre: 11g

 Sugar: 6g  Sodium: 498mg  Saturated Fat: 3.6g  Cholesterol: 52mg 

How to "rehydrate" before consuming:

  1. Add 1 & 1/2 cups boiling water
  2. Stir
  3. Let sit for approx. 17 mins
  4. Stir & enjoy

Rehydrating Tips:

  • Use a container with a lid to contain as much heat as possible… Have a packable insulated container? Even better. 
  • After soak time is finished, add more hot water if you find the meal dry or crunchy. 
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