A Complete Guide to The Best Vegetarian Backpacking Foods

A Complete Guide to The Best Vegetarian Backpacking Foods

Last Updated on April 28, 2021

Getting enough food to meet your nutritional needs is essential when enjoying outdoor pursuits. Hiking, trekking, and backpacking are all highly demanding activities that need a good energy supply. For this reason, the choice of foods you take with you is important. There is a fantastic choice of packaged foods available for backpackers and here we have reviewed some of the best vegetarian backpacking foods, giving nutritional information for each.

For backpackers who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, there is an excellent range of tasty and nutritious meals available that meet their dietary needs. There are options for snacks, breakfasts, lunches, and dinner. These tasty foods are not only for vegetarians as non-vegetarians will enjoy them just as much. They are also a good choice for people who do not like the idea of eating freeze-dried meats or fish. Each of the vegetarian meals are balanced to give backpackers the nutrition they need to maintain energy levels.

Best Vegetarian Backpacking Breakfasts

1. Mountain Standard Power On Pancakes with Blueberries

  • Calories-490 kcal
  • Fat- 13g
  • Protein-22g
  • Carbohydrates- 75g (19g sugars)

This lightweight backpacking food is vegetarian and is made with free range eggs. It is quick to prepare in either a pan or a griddle as you just need to add water. This breakfast option is ideal for people following a high-protein diet.

2. Backpacker’s Pantry Organic Blueberry Walnut Oats & Quinoa

  • Calories- 360 kcal
  • Fat- 10g
  • Protein- 11g
  • Carbohydrates- 59 g (sugars 14g)

For those who prefer organic backpacking food, this is a hearty and warming breakfast choice. This vegan backpacking food requires only minimal preparation and gives you a quick boost of much-needed morning energy. It has a balanced flavor of grains, fruit, and nuts.

3. Backpacker’s Pantry Red Rocks Scrambler

  • Calories- 80 kcal
  • Fat-2.5g
  • Protein- 4g
  • Carbohydrates- 12g (2g sugars)

Each container has two servings and it consists of hemp seeds, pinto beans, onion, chili, and bell peppers. You just need to add eggs and stir together over heat to create a warming and hearty breakfast.

4. Backpacker’s Pantry Indian Rice Pudding

  • Calories- 390 kcal
  • Fat- 10g
  • Protein- 13g
  • Carbohydrates- 66g (16g sugars)

Each pack of this delicious lightly spiced Indian rice pudding contains enough for two servings. This is an organic backpacking food that is suitable not only as a breakfast but also as a snack or a dessert following dinner. This food is both vegetarian and gluten-free, so it suits most dietary requirements.

5. AlpineAire Foods Strawberry Honey Granola with Milk

  • Calories- 360 kcal
  • Fat- 10g
  • Protein- 13g
  • Carbohydrates-49g (19g sugars)

This is a cooking-free breakfast food that simply needs you to add water. Therefore, it is one of the simplest backpacking foods to prepare. Each pouch has two portions. Customers have said that this breakfast is delicious, satisfying, and it has an interesting texture.

6. Backpacker’s Pantry Granola with Blueberries and Milk

  • Calories- 620 kcal
  • Fat- 31g
  • Protein- 16g
  • Carbohydrates- 73g (34g sugars)

A wholesome granola, this breakfast will set you up for any adventure. This product is designed to give outdoor enthusiasts the energy they need to perform at their best. It only needs a little preparation and contains tasty ingredients, such as coconut, blueberries, almonds, butter, and oats.

7. Nature’s Path Organic Instant Hot Oatmeal Variety Pack

  • Calories- 180m-210 kcal
  • Fat-0-4g
  • Protein-4-6g
  • Carbohydrates- 38-40g (10-18g sugars)

This variety pack contains eight pouches with two of each flavor; apple cinnamon, multigrain raisin, flax plus and maple nut. This product is a good choice if you are going on a longer backpacking trip as you can try different flavors each morning. You can make these low-fat oatmeal dishes by just adding hot water.

8. McCann’s Instant Irish Oatmeal, Apple, and Cinnamon

  • Calories- 130 kcal
  • Fat- 1.5g
  • Protein-3g
  • Carbohydrates- 27g (12g sugars)

This vegetarian and kosher certified oatmeal has a tasty fruity flavor that is enhanced by the light spice of the cinnamon. This easy to make while camping by just adding with milk or water to create the consistency of your choice.

9. Quaker Organic Instant Oatmeal Variety Pack

  • Calories- 150 kcal
  • Fat- 2g
  • Protein- 4g
  • Carbohydrates- 32g (11g sugars)

This pack of 32 pouches includes three different flavors; harvest apple and cinnamon, maple and brown sugar, and original flavor. This is one of the best options for organic backpacking food and it is made from 100% whole grain Quaker Oats. They are low in both fat and sodium, and they are a good source of dietary fiber.

10. AlpineAire Berry Blast Smoothie

  • Calories- 220 kcal
  • Fat- 3g
  • Protein-8g
  • Carbohydrates- 35g (17g sugars)

This is very much a grab-and-go option as it is quick to make, and you can drink it on the move. This is ideal if you do not want to waste time preparing and eating foods and prefer to make progress on your hike. This is also an ultralight backpacking food, so it works well for people who are keeping their backpack weight to a minimum.

Best Vegetarian Backpacking Lunch and Dinner

1. Good To Go Herbed Mushroom Risotto

  • Calories- 410 kcal
  • Fat- 10g
  • Protein- 13g
  • Carbohydrates-54g (3g sugars)

One of the best vegan backpacking foods, this delicious risotto is full of flavor from the basil pesto and sautéed mushrooms. It comes in a dehydrated package and you simply need to add hot water and stir. This is gluten-free and low in sodium, so it is a healthy meal that provides the nutrients you need.

2. Backpacker’s Pantry Three Sisters Stew

  • Calories- 410 kcal
  • Fat- 9g
  • Protein-14g
  • Carbohydrates- 69g (4g sugars)

This hearty stew is a lightweight option to take camping, backpacking or hiking. The main ingredients are corn beans and squash. To prepare, simply remove the oxygen absorber, add the olive oil sachet and hot water, then cover and leave the food to absorb the liquid for 15 minutes. This meal is both vegan and gluten-free, so it will suit most dietary requirements.

3. Backpacker’s Pantry Chana Masala

  • Calories- 430 kcal
  • Fat- 7g
  • Protein- 14g
  • Carbohydrates-77g (4g sugars)

Spice lovers will enjoy this delicious Indian dish from the Punjab region. It combines chickpeas, curry, and rice, so it gives flavor as well as nutrition. It is vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO. Each sachet contains two servings, so it is a good choice for two people backpacking together.

4. Good To Go Smoked Three Bean Chili

  • Calories- 340 kcal
  • Fat- 5g
  • Protein- 15g
  • Carbohydrates-63g (13g sugars)

This is another great choice for vegetarians who enjoy spicy foods as this three bean chili is full of flavor. It is vegan, gluten-free, low in sodium, and contains no preservatives. Each sachet of this vegetarian chili has enough for two servings. This takes just minutes to make and only needs you to add hot water.

5. Backpacker’s Pantry Pad Thai

  • Calories- 460 kcal
  • Fat- 17g
  • Protein- 20g
  • Carbohydrates- 65g (14g sugars)

A vegan and gluten-free option, this Pad Thai combines noodles, vegetables, peanuts, and lime juice. It also contains soy proteins for extra texture. There are separate sachets for the lime, peanut pieces, and Sriracha so you can season your Pad Thai to taste. You only need boiling water to prepare this meal.

6. Vegan Burger

  • Calories- 11 kcal
  • Fat- 1g
  • Protein- 5g
  • Carbohydrates- 20g (2g sugars)

This pack has burger mixes for four different flavor burgers; spicy Mexican burger, black bean and olive burger, six vegetable burger, and Italian seasoned burger. Each pack creates 2-3 burger patties when mixed with hot water, shaped and fried. The variety of burgers means you have plenty of meal options in one lightweight package.

7. Backpacker’s Pantry Katmandu Curry

  • Calories- 330 kcal
  • Fat- 2.5g
  • Protein- 16g
  • Carbohydrates- 63g (2g sugars)

It isn’t necessary for backpackers to eat only boring and bland food as this Katmandu curry from Backpacker’s Pantry proves. It combines curry seasoning with lentils, potatoes, peas, carrots, and brown rice. It takes just over ten minutes to prepare this tasty dish by pouring over hot water and leaving to stand. Each pouch serves two people.

8. AlpineAire Santa Fe Black Beans and Rice

  • Calories- 320 kcal
  • Fat- 1.5g
  • Protein- 10g
  • Carbohydrates- 68g (8g sugars)

This is one of the best vegetarian backpacking foods for fans of rice dishes and it has a zesty Southwestern flavor. This is an easy to prepare meal that just needs hot water. It is gluten-free and contains no unnatural colors, flavors, additives, or preservatives. It has a shelf-life of over five years.

9. Backpacker’s Pantry Charros Beans and Rice

  • Calories- 400 kcal
  • Fat- 6g
  • Protein-16g
  • Carbohydrates-82g (8g sugars)

Another great option for fans of rice dishes, each pouch contains two servings. This vegan option combines brown rice, beans, quinoa, and Mexican cowboy seasoning to create a satisfying and flavorsome dish. It takes just minutes to prepare and gives you the energy you need for vigorous activities.

10. Good To Go Bibimbap

  • Calories- 370 kcal
  • Fat- 8g
  • Protein- 9g
  • Carbohydrates- 66g (11g sugars)

A spicy Korean dish, this meal consists of mixed rice, carrots, spinach, and sesame for a delicious vegan meal. To prepare this dish, you simply remove the oxygen absorber, add boiling water, stir and reseal the bag. After leaving to stand for 20 minutes, stir the dish again and serve. Each pouch contains two servings.

Best Vegetarian Backpacking Snacks

1. Redd Gluten-Free Plant-Based Superfood Energy Bar Variety Pack

  • Calories- 240 kcal
  • Fat- 9g
  • Protein- 10g
  • Carbohydrates- 35g (11g sugars)

This variety pack contains eight bars in five flavors; chocolate, peanut butter, mint chocolate, oatmeal, and salted caramel. The manufacturers describe this product as three-in-one as it is a protein bar that gives an energy shot and contains multi-vitamins. These organic, gluten-free, vegan snacks contain 11 superfoods and 23 vitamins and minerals.

2. Granola Bakery Paleo Granola Shots

  • Calories- 180 kcal
  • Fat- 15g
  • Protein-5g
  • Carbohydrates- 7g (2g sugars)

These grain and gluten-free bars are packed with nuts, including cashews, macadamia nuts, and brazil nuts. The sweetness comes from a touch of maple syrup and these bars contain no processed or filler ingredients. They are also dairy and soy free.

3. Thunderbird Paleo and Vegan Real Food Energy Bars Sampler Pack

  • Calories- 170 kcal
  • Fat- 7g
  • Protein- 4g
  • Carbohydrates-26g (18g sugars)

Thunderbird bars perfectly balance taste and health. Suitable for vegans and those on a paleo diet, this variety pack has 32 bars in an assortment of flavors. These include hazelnut coffee maca, cashew fig carrot, pecans goji & pistachios, hemp sunflower pumpkin seed, cherry walnut cinnamon, cacao hemp walnut, almond apricot vanilla, pineapple mango papaya, Texas maple pecan, and peach pecan vanilla.

4. CLIF BAR Peanut Butter Banana Dark Chocolate Bars

  • Calories- 260 kcal
  • Fat- 7g
  • Protein- 10g
  • Carbohydrates-41g (21g sugars)

For those with a sweet tooth, this cereal bar is a real treat. It is made from a combination of wholesome ingredients that are balanced to provide the protein, fiber, and carbs that active people need to sustain energy levels. It is ideal for snacking on at any time of the day.

5. Trail Truffles

  • Calories- 150 kcal
  • Fat- 10g
  • Protein- 3g
  • Carbohydrates- 21g (14g sugars)

Something a little different from the usual cereal and energy bars, these truffles are a delicious, sweet treat. The nutritional information is for a serving of three truffles and each pack contains four servings. These vegan truffles have a crisp outer shell with a soft nut-butter filling.

6. ELAN Nut Based Granola Cereal Paleo Mix

  • Calories- 180 kcal
  • Fat-15g
  • Protein- 5g
  • Carbohydrates-7g (2g sugars)

Made from quality ingredients, this granola is loaded with macadamia nuts, brazil nuts, and cashews. It has a great crunchy texture with extra sweetness from the addition of maple syrup. Not only does this give you a boost of energy, it also aids smoother digestion.

7. GoMacro Macro bar

  • Calories- 290 kcal
  • Fat- 11g
  • Protein- 11g
  • Carbohydrates- 37g (14g sugars)

This is one of the best organic backpacker foods that is also vegan, gluten-free, kosher, soy-free, and non-GMO. It contains mot additives or preservatives, so it is a completely natural choice. The essential nutrients in this bar will also give your immune system a boost along with an energy kick.

8. Go Raw Organic Superfood Sweet Spirulina Sprouted Bar

  • Calories-70 kcal
  • Fat-4g
  • Protein- 1g
  • Carbohydrates-7g (4g sugars)

The Go Raw Organic bars are a good option for those with nut allergies as they are free from nuts. They are also non-GMO, vegan, and gluten-free. This is a good snack to choose for those who want to include only natural ingredients in their diet but do not want to compromise on taste.

9. Raw Rev Organic Superfood Bar Chocolate Coconut Bliss

  • Calories- 260 kcal
  • Fat- 16g
  • Protein- 6g
  • Carbohydrates-20g (10g sugars)

A plant-based protein bar, this contains a range of superfoods, including fruits, nuts, and seeds. It is moist and chewy with a texture like a macaroon. Despite its similarities to this sweet treat, this is a completely healthy snack. It is gluten-free, suitable for vegans, and kosher.

10. Larabar Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Gluten-Free Bar

  • Calories- 220 kcal
  • Fat- 11g
  • Protein- 6g
  • Carbohydrates-26g (19g sugars)

For those who want a sweet-flavored energy boost while out backpacking, these are an excellent choice. These bars have the classic flavor combination of chocolate and peanut butter but are a wholesome dairy-free snack. They are perfect as a breakfast bar, a snack, or as a dessert whilst out and about.

Top 5 Vegetarian Backpacking Food by Calories

  1. Backpacker’s Pantry Granola with Blueberries and Milk - 620 Kcal
  2. Backpacker’s Pantry Pad Thai - 460 Kcal
  3. Backpacker’s Pantry Chana Masala - 430 Kcal
  4. Good To Go Herbed Mushroom Risotto - 410 Kcal
  5. Backpacker’s Pantry Three Sisters Stew - 410 Kcal

Top 5 Vegetarian Backpacking Food by Protein

  1. Mountain Standard Power On Pancakes with Blueberries - 22g
  2. Backpacker’s Pantry Pad Thai - 20g
  3. Backpacker’s Pantry Granola with Blueberries and Milk - 16g
  4. Backpacker’s Pantry Katmandu Curry - 16g
  5. Backpacker’s Pantry Charros Beans and Rice - 16g

Final Verdict

There is a fantastic choice of vegetarian backpacking foods available to suit all dietary needs.

Probably the best vegetarian backpacking food for breakfast is the Mountain Standard High Protein Pancakes with Blueberries. Not only does it give a good boost of energy, it is easy to prepare and high in protein.

For lunch or dinner, one of the best vegetarian backpacking foods is the Good To Go Herbed Mushroom Risotto. This is a well-balanced and tasty meal.

Finally, the best option for snacks is the Redd Superfood Energy Bar. The great variety of flavors mean you have several options, each of which is highly nutritious and suitable for most dietary needs.


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