Mom Goes Camping

Dehydrator Cauliflower-Walnut Taco “Meat” Backpacking Recipe

cauliflower taco meat dehydrator backpacking recipe

Tortillas are one of my absolute favorite backpacking foods. They are calorie-dense, have a long shelf life, and are cheap.  But the problem is this: What do you put on your backpacking tortillas?

If you are looking for something more exciting and nutritious than the standard tortilla ideas, this dehydrator recipe is for you.  It’s incredibly easy to make, really tasty, and can also be used in many other ways. Cauliflower also works surprisingly well when dehydrated.  It gets this great meaty texture.  You can even snack on dehydrated cauliflower while hiking.  I talk more about dehydrating your own backpacking food in the linked post.  You can also find more exciting tortilla recipe ideas for backpacking here.



backpacking dehydrator recipe cauliflower walnut taco meat

Servings: Makes about 800 calories total, or about enough for 8 tortillas.


  • 1 large head of cauliflower (about 1lb), cut into florets
  • 1 cup of walnuts, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • 1 large tomato, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into pieces about 1 inch long and ½ inch wide
  • ½ hot pepper (optional)
  • Spice mix
    • Juice from 1 lemon
    • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
    • 1 tsp. ground cumin
    • 1 tsp. coriander
    • 1 tsp. smoked paprika (sweet paprika is also fine)
    • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
    • 1 tsp. oregano
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • Pinch of cinnamon
    • Pinch of black pepper
    • Optional: pinch of hot pepper flakes


  1. Mix the spice mix ingredients in a large bowl
  2. Toss in all the other ingredients. Make sure they get coated with the spices.
  3. Let the mixture marinate for about 15 minutes.
  4. Spread the mixture on a lined dehydrator tray.* Make sure the mixture is evenly distributed.
  5. Set the dehydrator to 130F/50C for 10-14 hours. The veggies should be chewy but not wet. If any water comes out when you squeeze them, then dehydrator for longer.
  6. Store in the refrigerator until it’s time for your trip.
  7. On the trail, just put some of the mixture into a tortilla and roll it up to eat. You can also add cheese, guacamole (from powder) or other things to make it even more gourmet.

*I use parchment paper to line my dehydrator trays.  For best results, use small pieces of parchment paper instead of one big piece cut to fit the tray.  This way the parchment paper won’t block air flow.



Tortillas usually have about 100 calories each.  If you use 1/8 of the dehydrated taco “meat” per tortilla, that gives you total of 200 calories.  I usually eat two of these for a lunch of 400 calories.


Other Ways to Eat

While I like this best as a filling for tortillas, here are some other ways to use the recipe:

  • Boil for a few minutes to soften and then add mashed potato flakes or couscous.
  • After dehydrating, use a food processor to puree the mixture into a spread. It can then be eaten on bagels or crackers.
  • Eat by itself as a savory trail mix.


Like this recipe and want more? Check out my eBook. There are oven 50 gourmet backpacking recipes you can make with a dehydrator.  Get it here.  I’ll even give you 50% off!backpacking dehydrator recipes ebook

Get my eBook here for 50% off


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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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