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Mac & Cheese: Backpacking Options

Aaron Zagrodnick

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Aaron Zagrodnick

A staple for many off the trail, mac & cheese at first seems so simple but can come with a few challenges when adapting this dish for backpacking. Since it’s relatively easy to get at the store and packs well, I’ve always held off on the pre-made, just add hot water commercial backpacking options that are out there. But in reality, this usually means that the mac & cheese is just left off my backcountry meal menu entirely. And for several reasons – cooking traditional mac & cheese in the pot means pasta water to drain or drink and makes for a significant mess to clean up after the meal. As a result, and between leave no trace, efforts to keep a clean camp, and along with the fact that drinking pasta water is pretty low on my list of things I look forward to the most while backpacking, I usually avoid this technique entirely. Making the meal in a freezer bag can work – but it can be difficult to cook the noodles, and you’re often left with noodles that you’re trying to convince yourself are al dente, but might be closer to “mostly uncooked”...

Our Issue 51 installment of backcountry cuisine looks at mac & cheese options for the trail, from commercial backpacking meals to more DIY options. In this article we include reviews of the Three Cheese Mac & Cheese from Backpacker's Pantry, their Hatch Green Chile version, and Mountain House Mac & Cheese. Take a look at the links below:

Backcountry Mac & Cheese

Backpacking Mac & Cheese Solutions

Issue 51 Page 1

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  • 4 weeks later...
Michael aka Mac

They sell now 3 minute pasta and they also sell now pasta ready to eat in a bag. Just bring one of those liquid cheese pouches or dry mix  and you are good to go.  I have got it nailed to the point i add the exact amount of water needed to instant pasta so no draining and only 3 -5 mins of cook time (once  it begins to boil) depending on your fuel/stove/altitude .

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