Trail Cooking

The History Of The Trash-erole Recipes

Far, far too long ago, in the heyday of creating backcountry recipes, while backpacking 2 to 4 times a month, I had a feature on the blog called “Tater Tuesday” where I plunked down a new recipe most weeks that featured…potatoes. The trashiest of the carbs of course. (Now then, the old blog doesn’t exist anymore sadly, when our site was hacked in 2018 I had to rebuild the entire website.)

I developed a number of recipes with “Trash-erole” in the name. A few are on the website, the others were in Freezer Bag Cooking: Adventure Ready Recipes.

So what is a “Trash-erole”? I grew up in a poor family, and we lived on casseroles. There is something to be said about casseroles though. They might be trashy, not the healthiest choice, but ya know what? They taste good, they are comfort food. When you are tired, and you sit down, it is easy to eat. A few bites in you feel better. You have a little more energy.

Are they missing vegetables? Well, yes. You don’t have to eat on point 24/7. Are they mostly beige? Yes, again…you can eat the rainbow the rest of the time. And..not everyone wants/likes vegetables (though I love them, I know not all of you do!)

Try to not overthink. Just enjoy the moment.

One of the most viewed of the recipes is the Chicken Ranch Tater Trash-erole. It’s high in potassium for those hot summer trips. It is without shame that it is trash food. You can eat your Thai inspired chickpeas and flaming hot peppers another night, ok?

And if you need more inspiration:

Chicken Ranch Tater Trash-erole


At home pack the dry ingredients in a quart freezer or sandwich bag. Put the chicken and cheese with the bag.

FBC method:

Dice the cheese. Add 1½ cups near boiling water, the can of chicken with broth and 3/4 of the cheese to the bag. Stir well, seal tightly, pushing out the air and put in a cozy for 10 minutes. Stir again and top with the remaining cheese.

Mug method:

Dice the cheese. Add 1½ cups boiling water, the chicken with broth, 3/4 of the cheese and the dry ingredients to a large insulated mug. Stir well, cover tightly and let sit for 10 minutes. Stir again and top with the remaining cheese.

One pot method:

Dice the cheese. Bring 1½ cups water and the chicken with broth to a boil in your pot. Take off the heat, add in the dry ingredients and 3/4 of the cheese, stirring well. Let sit for 10 minutes tightly covered (in cooler temperatures use a pot cozy), then stir again and top with the remaining cheese.

Serves 1.
Instant dried hash browns can be found in many grocery stores, often near the instant mashed potatoes or you can dehydrate bags of frozen hash browns (look for ones with no oil added).
If you like more chicken use a 5-ounce can or 7-ounce pouch if desired. Look for cans with pop tops.
The cheese sticks can be found in most grocery stores and you can swap out flavors, look for pepper jack for more spice. They are next to the mozzarella cheese sticks.

One thought on “The History Of The Trash-erole Recipes

  1. My favorite Tuesday Tater recipe you posted on the website years ago was Nacho Taters. I still make them occasionally, even at home.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.