Mom Goes Camping

Backpacking Recipe: Dehydrated White Bean and Spinach Spread (Vegan, GF)

dehydrated bean spread for backpacking lunch

Need a really quick backpacking lunch?  This spread is calorie-dense, takes less than two minutes to make on the trail, and can be made with the cold-soak method (no stove needed!).  I usually put it on tortillas but it would also be great on bagels or other calorie-dense breads.  It could also work as a sauce for pasta.

Here’s the recipe and instructions.

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Serving Size and Calories:

This recipe comes out to 520 calories.  The dry weight was just under 3oz (85g).   That comes out to 173 calories per ounce (6 calories per gram)!

There is enough spread to go on 12 medium (40g) tortillas.  My tortillas are 140 calories each.  On the trail, I ate 3 tortillas with ¼ of the spread.  That gave me a lunch of 550 calories (read: How much food to bring backpacking).



  • 1 cup (170g) of cooked white beans (240 calories)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil (240 calories)
  • Juice from 1 ½ lemons (roughly 15 calories)
  • Handful of spinach or kale (40g; roughly 25 calories)



  • Using a food processor or bottleneck blender, mix all the ingredients together.
  • Cut up pieces of parchment paper.
  • Put the spread on the parchment paper. Then put these on your dehydrator trays.  Make sure there is a bit of space between the papers for air flow.
  • Dehydrate until the spread is completely dry and crumbly. It took me about 7 hours at 32F.
  • Transfer the dry spread into a baggie/baggies.
  • Smash up the dry spread a bit to remove any clumps. This will make it easier to rehydrate on the trail.

This is what the spread looked like once it was completely dry

The dry spread, packed in a baggie


On the Trail:

  • Put the dry spread into a bowl or cup.
  • Slowly add a bit of water. Add less than you think you need (you can always add more water but you can’t take it away!)
  • Stir and wait a minute or two.
  • If necessary, add a bit more water and wait another minute or two. Repeat until you get the right consistency.
  • Spread on tortillas, bagels or your favorite calorie-dense carbs. This spread would also work well as a sauce for pasta!

This is 1/2 of the spread (for two people, spread onto 6 tortillas)


This is what it looks like immediately after adding water. It’s still a bit clumpy.


And here’s what it looks like 3 minutes later, once the spread has had time to absorb the water.


Delicious on tortillas!


Guess what? I wrote a book.  It’s got over 50 healthy backpacking recipes plus ton of info on how to plan backpacking meals.  Learn more here

backpacking dehydrator recipes ebook


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About the author /

Diane Vukovic grew up camping and backpacking in upstate New York. Now, she takes her own daughters on wilderness adventures so they can connect with nature and learn resiliency. With dozens of trips under her belt, Diane is an expert in minimalist camping, going lightweight, planning, and keeping her kids entertained without screens.

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