This is one of our go-to recipes for backpacking. It is filling and nourishing, and you can go many directions with it by adding different types of seasonings and dried vegetables.

This couscous curry recipe is a modified version of the Beartown Couscous recipe found on page 109 of Lipsmackin’ Backpackin': Lightweight Trail-tested Recipes for Backcountry Trips (Amazon) by Tim and Christine Conners.

Lipsmackin’ Backpackin’ is a great book for ideas and recipes, and I would recommend it, but be warned: while most of the meals are tasty, make sure you test out the recipes before taking them on a long trip – a few dishes could grow old in a hurry.

Couscous Curry backpacking meal

Serves 2 (very large, filling portions)

Preparations at home:

Slice and steam 2 large carrots


  • Cooked carrots
  • 1 bell pepper sliced
  • ½ pound washed and sliced mushrooms
  • ½ pound washed raw spinach.

Pack the following

In one bag:

  • 2 cups whole wheat couscous
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Dehydrated spinach

In a separate bag:

  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup onion flakes
  • All the remaining dehydrated veggies

Additional things to pack:

  • 2 tablespoons oil or butter in a small container
  • 1 pot with a lid for cooking
  • 1 spoon for stirring
  • Serving dishes and utensils
  • Extra Salt

On the trail:

1. A few hours before dinner add water to the veggies bag to start the rehydration process**
2. When you are ready to eat boil the veggies in 2 1/2 cups of water until they are soft.
3. Add the butter or oil, couscous, spices and spinach to the veggies in water. Mix well.
4. Let sit for five minutes or until the couscous is soft. You may need to add extra water.
5. Serve and eat.

** Take special care not to allow the rehydrating food to spill in your pack. Place the rehydrating food in a sealed water bottle or carry it in your hand if necessary. A backpack that smells like food can attract unwanted and dangerous attention from animals.