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Dehydrated Food


Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
I have been making up some packs of dehydrated food to carry with us for the nights on the Baztan and Primitivo routes where nothing will be available. Of course we could buy tins of fish or jars of spaghetti sauce, but they are heavy, so I have opted for premade dehydrated meals that weigh very little. Plus, I'm getting to use produce I've grown myself!

Here are the recipes I've used in case anyone would like to do the same (they were internet-searched some time ago and I failed to keep the sources, sorry. Plus I've adapted them to our own tastes!)

Spaghetti Sauce with noodles
  • 2 lbs. lean ground beef
  • 3-4 medium white/red/yellow onions
  • Several celery stalks, chopped
  • 4 capsicum
  • Garlic (a whole head), minced
  • 3 carrots (grated, plus chopped greens)
  • 4 400ml cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 200ml can tomato paste
  • 3 tbsp oregano
  • 2 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp sage
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • Chillies, chopped
  • 3 tsp dextrose
  • dash cinnamon
At Home: Brown mince and drain fat. Combine following ingredients into a large pot: mince, cans of diced tomatoes, can tomato paste (rinse tomato paste can out with water and add that). Put the pot on medium heat. Add veges and reduce the heat to a simmer. Add your spices: a goodly amount of oregano, some rosemary, pepper, sage, thyme, chillies, and dextrose. For variety, try a dash of cinnamon. Stir all ingredients and allow to simmer for several hours, stirring occasionally. When done, remove from the heat and allow to cool. Transfer food onto the dehydrator trays (we use 1-Quart containers to measure - one level quart = two servings). Depending on how liquid your sauce is, you may need 3 solid plastic fruit leather trays per quart. If not, you might fit one quart onto two dehydrator trays. Dehydrate until dry and crumbly (usually 24-hours or so). Throw in a handful of dehydrated peas when bagging up.

Chilli Con Carne with rice

Lean minced beef to quantity of choice
Onions, garlic and fresh chillies
Cooked kidney beans
Cumin, paprika, oregano, chilli powder and black pepper
Tinned tomatoes
Tomato Puree
Small bottle of beer

Add a small amount of olive oil to a frying pan and at a medium temperature fry off the minced beef in smallish quantities. Tip off any fat that is released — you want as little fat in your finished, dried, food.
Add the onions, chilli and garlic. Just cover with water, bring to a boil and then simmer until cooked.
Add tomatoes to the onion mix. Add your meat. Add spices and herbs to taste. If using whole cumin, warm in a pan without oil until the spices give off their oil. Grind in spice mill or pestle and mortar. Add beer. Add tomato paste to give it a little extra richness. Add beans.
Bring to a boil and then simmer until the sauce is thick and rich.
Dehydrate and add dehydrated pea/corn/carrot mix when bagging.

Beef Stew on potato
(Makes 3 quarts = 6 servings)

2 lbs stewing beef
1/2 cup flour
2 tspns salt
1/2 tspn pepper
3 tblspns shortening
6 carrots

1 cup celery
2 large onions
1 clove minced garlic
(1) 28oz can diced tomatoes
3 bay leaves
1/3 cup water

At Home: Cube the stewing beef no larger than 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch. Mix the flour, salt & pepper together in a bowl and dredge beef cubes in this mixture, coating them. Heat the shortening in a skillet and brown the beef. Cut celery into 1/2 inch pieces, cut carrots into 1/4 inch thick 'rounds' and then combine all ingredients into a stewing pot or crock pot. Add water to the skillet, scraping the brown bits from the bottom into the mixture. Add this browning to the stew. Simmer for several hours. Cool. Dehydrate (1/2 quart of stew, or one serving, per dehydration fruit leather tray (about 24 hours on "high"). Add dehydrated peas when bagging.

Coconut Curry Soup – with rice noodles Yield 1 serving

  • 2 tbsp milk powder
  • 2tbsp coconut cream powder
  • 1-2 cubes vegetable bouillon
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
    1 tbsp. coriander
    1 tbsp. garam masala
    ½ tsp. ground gingerpinch of cayenne
  • a handful of rice noodles
  • a handful of dehydrated veggies
  • dehydrated shredded chicken
  • Handful of cashews
  • 2 cups water
  1. At home, combine coconut cream powder, bouillon, curry powder and cayenne in a small zip top bag. Cashews in another. In a third bag, portion out your noodles and dehydrated veggies.
  2. At camp, boil the noodles and dehydrated veggies and chicken in the water. Once the veggies are re-hydrated and the noodles are tender, stir in the coconut cream mixture. Top with cashews.
Chicken Curry Porridge with rice This makes four portions. You can easily make more as you will have paste left over and it stores for ages in the fridge. Simple adjust other ingredients sensibly.

Curry Paste
4 lemongrass stalks
6 medium heat green chillies, seeded and crushed
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
5 cm piece of galangal or ginger
2 shallots peeled and finely chopped
4 tablespoons chopped, fresh, coriander
a teaspoon of ground cumin
a teaspoon of ground coriander
a teaspoon of chopped lime zest
a tablespoon of ground black peppercorns

other ingredientsChicken breasts or thighs (enough for four)
200 grams of mushrooms, thinly sliced
400 mil tin of coconut milk
400 ml of chicken stock
8 lime leaves
t tablespoon of Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
1 tablespoon of bottled green peppercorns, drained (optional)
a large bunch of fresh basil leaves
a bunch of fresh coriander leaves

First make the paste. Chop up the lemon grass into small pieces. Add to a food processor with the rest of the ingredients and then blitz. Alternatively place in small bowl or water jug and attack with a hand blitzer. If you have neither machines then get a good knife (or cleaver) and chop until very fine.
Put paste in a container of jam jar for keeping in the fridge. having the paste in the fridge is great as you have now done most of the hard work.

Cook the chicken. Simply add a little groundnut or sunflower oil to a wok or good pan and fry on both side until the pieces have taken on some colour. Cook in batches rather than over-fill the pan — the chicken will boil rather than fry. If you are making this well in advance you may simply want to simmer the pieces in boiling water until clearly cooked — this uses no oil and is now quite a common method of cooking for health conscious chinese cooks. Whichever methods you use, drain chicken on kitchen paper.
Heat a tiny amount of oil in the pan and throw in the mushrooms if being used. Add the coconut milk and the stock. Then throw in the lime leaves. Add four tablespoons of your green curry paste, the fish sauce, peppercorns and half of the fresh basil and coriander. Bring to boil, turn down the heat and simmer for ten minutes giving everything a good stir from time to time.
Then return the chicken to the pan and add another tablespoon of green paste. Simmer for a further five minutes or so. Stir in the rest of the green herbs.

To dehydrate do the following:
Drain off the liquid in a colander into a pan (we need the liquid). Take the cooked chicken and mush and blitz it in a food processor or hand blitzer. You should end up with paste. Gradually stir the reserved liquid back into the blitzed chicken until you have a reasonably consistent sauce. Sometimes this can be problematical. If it gets lumpy, break up the lumps ( a hand blitzer is good).
I would then add my cooked rice to the sauce. What you now have is something that looks very much like porridge (but tastes great). Spread on one or more trays and then dehydrate until dry.

Lamb Provencal with potato
Prepare as for lamb curry below but with just onions and garlic. Add cooked mince. Add tomatoes and some thyme or oregano and bay if you have it. Top up with chicken stock. Add some pitted olives and a little balsamic vinegar if you like. Cook for an hour and a half. Dehydrate. This may look simple but so long as it is cooked for a while it is delicious.
Add a handful or two of dehydrated pea/corn/carrot mix when bagging.

Lamb and Spinach Curry with potato

Lamb steaks (lean), minced
Tin of tomatoes
fresh chillies
garlic (heaps)
1 tsp of ground cumin
1 tsp of ground coriander
3 to 4 inch cinnamon stick
1 tsp of chilli powder or a sprinkle of dried chilli flakes.
1 packet of ready washed spinach

Fry spices for 30 seconds or so in a little olive oil. Add chopped onions, garlic and fresh chopped chilli (to taste) and gently fry.
Add minced lamb (cheffy types will have already browned this off in a separate pan).
Add tomatoes. Add water to cover. You may add some potato here, but keep the pieces relatively small.
Bring to boil and then gently simmer until the meat is tender and the sauce nice and thick.
Add all of the spinach. Cover and cook for a while longer until the spinach has wilted into the sauce and has given it a creamy texture. Remove cinnamon stick. Cool and dehydrate.
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Anything containing the word 'curry', and I'm sold! Great idea Rachael! Not just for the camino but for camping trips too :)


Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2014)
Wonderful, thank you! Might have to try some of these the next time I'm on the Overland.

C3 to Camino

Year of past OR future Camino
(Sept 2018 planned)
Does anyone know if dehydrated food are airline approved for carry-on bags? I have some dietary restrictions, including gluten-free and allergy to pork. Having spent a month in Galicia last summer, I know both are popular except along the seaboard. I was thinking of bringing dehydrated food to carry me over when I can't eat what is offered...
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