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Lightweight Spinach Pasta Recipe

When unprotected foods are exposed to extreme desert heats, the quality and safety of many fresh ingredients quickly becomes compromised.  Foods left in warm areas are more susceptible to food borne illnesses, as many bacterias live an thrive when heated between 41°F and 140°F.  To combat these concerns we threw a few staple backcountry ingredients together and created a meal that not only tastes great, but can withstand the intense temperatures found in desert environments.  Read more on our desert inspired Lightweight Spinach Pasta Recipe.

Traveling in the desert

Jerky Spinach Pasta is an easy to make one pot backcountry meal featuring healthy ingredients and bold flavors.  This hearty dinner doesn’t require a lot of water, just enough to boil the noodles which makes Jerky Spinach Pasta a great food for the desert’s arid environment.  This is a delicious lightweight meal that takes only a few minutes to prep and only a few minutes to cook.  For a vegetarian version, use vegan protein or skip the meat and add your favorite dehydrated vegetables.

The number one concern with spending time in the desert is to stay hydrated!  Pack ample amounts of water and bring snacks that are filled with hydrating ingredients, such as our Hydrating Asian Spring Rolls.

Cooking pasta in the desert

Best pasta for backpacking in the desert

Food longevity is very important in the desert.  The heat and dry air will cause foods to dry out or spoil quickly.  By cooking with dehydrated ingredients such as jerky, sun dried tomatoes and pasta, you are using foods that will last a long time unrefrigerated in the desert.  And, this recipe uses minimal water, just enough to boil the water.

How to make desert pasta

Bring the water to a boil in a one pot stove, such as a Jetboil, add the spinach pasta and turn the temperature down to low to try and conserve fuel.  Once the pasta is cooked, empty out the water into a cup.  The starch from the pasta adds a thickness to the water.  Sprinkle some powdered chai latte or hot chocolate in with the starchy water for a hot backcountry beverage to accompany your pasta dinner.  Follow the recipe below to make desert inspired Jerky Spinach Pasta.

Jerky Spinach Pasta
Prep Time
4 mins
Cook Time
4 mins
Total Time
8 mins
For this recipe I used a JetBoil flash boil system.
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: One Pot
Servings: 2 People
  • 2 cups Spinach Pasta
  • 1/2 cup Sun Dried Tomatoes chopped
  • 1 Beef Stick (Epic Bars are great)
  • 1 tsp Dried Garlic Flakes
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 1 pinch Pepper
  • 1 cup Water
  1. Bring 1 cup water to a boil
  2. Add pasta and cook 2-3 minutes on high (cook time depends on thickness of pasta)
  3. Strain and re-use or discard water in Leave No Trace manner
  4. Add salt and pepper
  5. Turn stove on low, add oil, garlic, sun dried tomato, and beef stick. Cook 30 seconds or until all ingredients are warm. If you're conserving fuel, skip the final 30 second heat.
  6. Grab your fork and dig in. To minimize clean-up, eat right out of the pot.

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