Trail Cooking

Backpacking Recipe: Peas & Pesto Pasta

Backpacking is for me when I can eat carbs, and just simply enjoy them. Pasta dishes to me are comfort food, for dinner after a long hot (or cold) day of hiking. This one pot recipe is quick to make and fills the belly up. The peas add in a punch of protein and fiber. It’s also nut free, for those who cannot enjoy them, using hemp seeds for the buttery/crunchy texture that nuts would bring.

Peas & Pesto Pasta

Pack in a snack bag:

Pack in a sandwich bag:

  • 8 ounces farfalle (bowtie) pasta, preferably mini sized (look for shortest cooking time)

Also take:

  • 1 pouch pesto mix
  • 4 packets oil (¼ cup)
  • 1/3 cup shelf-stable parmesan cheese (green can), in a snack bag
  • ¼ cup hemp seeds, can combine with the cheese above
  • 1 new gallon zip top freezer bag


In a 2 Liter pot, add in 6 cups water, and the peas. Bring to a boil, add in the pasta, stir well. Cook for time as indicated on pasta package, lowering the flame as needed to avoid boiling over. Carefully take off your stove, and drain off water (it’s easiest if your pot has a lid with drain holes in it).

Stash the pasta and peas in a clean bag (a gallon freezer bag works well, then use it later as a garbage bag).

Add ½ cup water to the pot, the pesto mix and the oil. Bring to a simmer over a medium flame, stirring often. It only takes a minute.

Take off the stove, add in the pasta, and mix well. Add in the cheese and hemp seeds, stir well.

Serves 2 hungry appetites.


Dried peas take a lot longer to rehydrate, so we added them to the water in the pot, by the time the water boils and the pasta is cooked, they will be ready to eat. Should you have freeze-dried peas, add to the pot with the pasta, they only take a few minutes to rehydrate.

A wide/shallow 2 Liter pot works best. For easy cleanup, as soon as you are done eating, wipe it out with paper towels.

One of our go-to sources for dried vegetables is:


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