Trail Food: Pesto Ramen

Ramen. The thought of it usually invokes scenes of college dorm rooms and MSG-laden salt packets. But ramen noodles are more versatile than they seem – once you ditch the flavor packet and add some quality ingredients they can become the base for many a trail recipe. Think of them as instant pasta and add your own flavorings.

This recipe involves just a few ingredients that you can mostly find at your local grocery store. I weigh my ingredients on a digital scale when making meals, but you’ll notice for some items I ditched the metric system and went with tablespoons and teaspoons. Unless you have a super accurate scale it’s very hard to accurately weigh smaller quantities of ingredients.




  • ramen noodles, crushed


  • dried tomatoes


  • parmesan cheese


  • walnuts


  • freeze-dried-basil

    1 Tablespoon

  • freeze-dried-garlic

    1 teaspoon

  • kosher salt

    1/2 teaspoon

  • dried roasted red peppers (optional)


Most of the ingredients are pretty standard and can be found in any grocery store. The freeze dried basil and garlic is sold by Litehouse and I was able to find it locally – click here for their product finder. The roasted red bell peppers (optional but highly recommended) you can either make yourself or purchase from Spices, Inc (they also have some other dried vegetables that are great for backpacking meals).




Mix all the ingredients together in a ziplock bag at home. At camp you can rehydrate in a freezer bag w/cozy, your cooking pot, or re-use a freeze-dried meal foil packet. Just add 12 oz boiling water, stir, and let stand for 5 minutes. Don’t forget to add a healthy dose of olive oil, and enjoy!

Notes: The recipe is designed to absorb all of the water added – if you prefer soupy ramen just add a bit more. If rehydrating in a freezer bag or foil packet, carefully place it under your jacket (but above your base layer) in colder weather. It will rehydrate faster and keep you warm at the same time!

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