Hearty, satisfying, easy but most of all delicious backcountry jambalaya you can enjoy while on the trail!

Backcountry jambalaya is my attempt to stay on schedule with my once a month backpacking meal series.  I think I’m doing great so far…two straight months in a row.  Yay me!  I only made this declaration of a once a month meal series about, oh, 10 months ago, so… Yeah.

But I’m here for month two and I’m telling you, I’ve outdone myself.  Seriously.  Jambalaya doesn’t seem like something one would have while out on the trail, I know, but once I got this recipe right, I feel bad for myself that I’ve not made this sooner. 

The wife and I have been working this through in different variations for a long time. Probably a year. It all started when she told me that when she was a kid, there at the grocery store checkout near the candy bars, there was dried shrimp and sometimes she would get that and how great it was. 

Then we just thought, that could make a great jambalaya for the trail.  It spiraled from there, like how to we get the rice good and not mushy, will it be too salty from the shrimp, how packable is this gonna be, is everyone able to access dried shrimp?  

In the end, we left out the shrimp because I love my fellow trail people.  I don’t want to have people out buying dried Taiwan shrimp because they can’t find Louisiana wild.  I just can’t do that to you guys.  That would be sad.

So after testing this like, 5011 times, I settled on chicken, beautiful spices, a spicy tangy sausage and dried veggies.  I’m not kidding when I tell you, this jambalaya is actually better than 90% of the jambalayas I’ve had in real life.  Yes, even in the swamps of Louisiana.  This jambalaya is so satisfying on the trail and way easy to pack.  

Let’s do this!

Backcountry Jambalaya

Hearty, satisfying jambalaya on the trail.


  • 1.5 ounces fuel
  • 3/4 cup instant rice
  • 1 tablespoon dried tomato flakes
  • 2 teaspoons dried bell pepper
  • 1 teapsoon dried onion flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon freeze dried garlic or garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cajun seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon tomato bouillon
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 3-4 ounces packed chicken, Sweet Sue makes a great one
  • dried/cured/pickled sausage, sliced Smokey Valley summer sausage is great in this
  • 1 cube beef bouillon cube, powder, or paste will work
  • water, just to cover all ingredients


  1. To pack this up:  In a zippie bag, place the rice and all the dry ingredients together.  In the same bag, toss in the container of chicken and the sausage.  Done.

  2. On to the cook. Light your fuel and toss in your sliced sausage of choice in the pot and brown it up. This browning is for flavor enhancement but totally optional.  If you’re hangry, just skip this step.

  3. Once browned to your liking, add in all other ingredients. Add enough water just to cover the concoction. Give it a stir. Add more water if needed.  

  4. Put the lid on the pot and bring to a boil.  Cook until you run out of fuel, which is right on time for me, or just check it and see what it looks like.  The rice should be plump and the liquid should be pretty much gone.

    Give a good stir and eat up!

Recipe Notes

  • I’ve tried a few different sausages.  I like the one from Smoky Valley.  It’s spicy and very slightly vinegary.  But all the ones I’ve tried were good.  You could use a dried salami, chorizo, even Spam.  
  • If you want to use the Keith Titanium Ti6300, scroll to 5:57 time frame.
Hearty, satisfying, easy but most of all delicious backcountry jambalaya you can enjoy while on the trail!

This post partied at: Weekend Potluck

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8 thoughts on “Backcountry Jambalaya – Trail Food”

  1. Wow, Jaxx, this is like having gourmet food while on the trail! The flavours all sound great, and your Jambalaya is nutritious too. Thank you for sharing, and for being a part of the Hearth and Soul Link Party. Hope you are having a good week!

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