So if you know anything about me, you know that I’m always on the lookout for some awesome tasty recipes for backpacking meals. If you don’t know me, then let me just say this, I have tried a ton of DIY backpacking meals, some of them good some of them not so good.

I’m always reluctant to share the good ones. Not that I’m being selfish it’s because, well frankly, it’s because the good ones are just that. Good. Not great.

If I do run across a great one, then I’m gonna share it with you. Which is why I’m gonna share with you this “holy trinity“ of mother loving goodness. Stand back and get ready to get bitched slapped when you stuff this in your face.

Santa Fe Rice and Beans



3/4 cup of Santa Fe Refried BeansBackpacking Meal Recipe Santa Fe Rice and Beans
1/4 cup of instant rice
1 1/2 teaspoons of taco seasoning mix
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1 oz Fritos
1 1/4 cups of water
1 small packet of hot sauce (optional) (I use a condiment size packet like ketchup comes in)
1 oz cheese (I use nacho dip cups) or you could just cut portions of block Velveeta off


To package for field use I do this: Add the beans, rice, taco seasoning mix, garlic powder, hot sauce packet (entire packet, plastic and all), and red pepper flakes to a zip lock bag. In another bag I add the Fritos and cheese. Put the Frito and cheese bag in the seasoning bag to combine.

Preparation on the trail: In your cooking vessel pour in 1 1/4 cups of water and add all ingredients except for cheese, Fritos, and hot sauce. Bring water to a boil, being careful not to scorch it. I keep this from happening by stirring very often.

Once your mixture begins to boil, take it off the heat a few seconds and the return it back (basically you want to simmer it a bit so that it thickens slightly). When you reach a medium consistency but still a little soupy, add the cheese and hot sauce. Put the lid on it and let stand for 5 or 10 minutes, off the heat source. It should have thickened quiet a bit but still may be a little soupy. Now add your Fritos, give it a stir and prepare for the goodness.

**NOTE: Some people have reported that they can find these beans in their local grocery. I’ve looked everywhere and I have seen nothing. So I buy these on Amazon, linked up above. Yes, it looks a little pricey and you do get quite a few of them. But they are delicious. They taste freshly made. I promise. We love them so much I have them on auto deliver on Amazon to ship every other month. Trust me, when it’s time for the new ones to arrive, we’ve eaten them all.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I do. If you give it a try please let me know how it turns out for you. I also would like to thank Andrew Skurka the mastermind behind this simple but delicious recipe. See the recipe in action here.

Check out my favorite backpacking meal! Santa Fe Cheesy Beans and Rice!Click To Tweet

*This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission.

15 thoughts on “Santa Fe Cheesy Beans and Rice”

  1. I got in touch with the company and asked if the beans were sold in Northern California. Raley’s stores etc, was the reply. Went to my local Raley’s affiliate and lo and behold, there they were. Looking forward to this recipe when we finish the last 20 miles of the JMT in October.

    1. I have not tested that BUT I saw on Facebook someone did and he said it came out perfect. He said it was a little more liquidy than if you would have done it on your camp stove, but that it was delicious. He also did not add the Fritos, so that could have contributed to having more liquid.

      Also, I’ve had reports that some people find the beans at their local Wal-Mart. Alas, I am not that fortunate.

  2. What a great dish and full of awesome flavor! Thanks so much for sharing your awesome recipe with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you have a fantastic weekend and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

  3. This sounds amazing! Thanks so much for linking up at Sunday Fitness & Food 🙂

    1. It’s good anytime too! Sometimes the wife has me make it around the house.

      Thanks for checking it out Helene!

  4. Dang, these look sooo good! I will definitely give these a try for sure! Thanks for the recipe!!!!

    1. Thanks for stopping in Georgia! This not just for the trail either. Sometimes me and the wife eat it just because.

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