Looking for a hearty and lightweight hiking meal? Look no further than this delightful and filling dehydrated Tex-Mex rice. Vegetarian and vegan friendly, this Tex-Mex rice will fill up your tummy without filling too much of your pack!

Enter the realm of homemade dehydrated meals. This is one of my go-to recipes, that’s great for those new to dehydrating. If I’m honest, I reckon it tastes even better on the trail than at home, but that could come down to the hunger of a big day on the trail.

Read more: How to Dehydrate Food for Hiking and Camping

Developed from the ‘Oh She Glows’ Tex-Mex Casserole recipe, this dish is a warm and hearty rice dish with a bucket load of flavour. It’s a recipe that caters for a lot of different dietary requirements adaptable to be gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan or vegetarian.



Serves: 6

Time: 40 minutes prep time / 12 hours dehydrating


To dehydrate:

  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked sweet paprika
  •  ½ tsp ground coriander seeds
  • 1 ½ tsp salt 

**If too busy to make homemade spice mix, or don’t have these ^ spices on hand, emit the above ingredients and use 2 tablespoons of store-bought Mexican spice mix.



  • 1 red onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 yellow capsicum
  • 1 red capsicum
  • 1 can corn (juices drained)
  • 1 can black beans (juices drained)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (with juice)
  • 1 cup passatta tomato puree
  • 3 cups white rice (pre-cooked; if feeling lazy, you can use the sachets of pre-cooked rice from the supermarket)



To pack for hiking:

  • Lime 
  • Parmesan cheese (vegan or dairy)
  • Corn chips (even better if they get crushed in your backpack)
  • Avocado (don’t worry if it gets squashed in your bag – we call that trail guacamole)
  • Chorizo (omit if vegan/vegetarian)

*Parmesan and chorizo (not from the fridge section) store well at room temperature on the trail, just be sure to keep them in a cool/dark area in your pack on hot summer days.



  1. Create your spice mix (if using) by combining chilli, cumin, sweet paprika, coriander seeds, and salt
  2. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees, line a casserole dish and dehydrator trays with baking paper
  3. In a large non-stick frypan or wok, add onion, garlic, and capsicum. Add a little oil if needed, but avoid using too much as this’ll hinder the dehydration process later. Sauté for 7 to 8 minutes until softened
  4. Stir in your spice mix (home-made or store-bought), corn, diced tomatoes and juices, passata, beans, and rice. Sauté for a few minutes until warmed through. Season with salt and pepper to taste
  5. Pour mixture into a prepared casserole dish, smoothing out the top. Cover with a lid or foil and bake for 15 minutes, uncover the casserole dish and cook for another 10 minutes, or until bubbly and slightly golden around the edges
  6. Spread evenly across dehydrating racks, no thicker than 1cm
  7. Dehydrate at 70 degrees for roughly 12 hours, stirring and rotating the trays roughly halfway. The Mexican rice should be completely dried and cooled before packing, resembling pre-cooked rice/crumbly mix. Dehydrate for longer if necessary
  8. Store in an airtight container, ziplock bags or vacuum-sealed bags. Don’t forget to label with the recipe name and number of portions, as most dehydrated meals look the same


Chef’s Hint: To work out serving sizes, it helps to measure out how much you’d eat before dehydrating, and put one serving size on each rack. That way, when you’re storing it for later use, and the meal’s dehydrated to half its size, you don’t over cater for the trail. This recipe roughly makes 6 serves.

To rehydrate:

  1. Add 250ml of cold water to one serve in a cooking pot as soon as you get to camp. This can be done in a Nalgene bottle or bowl, if you want to use your camp cooker for other cooking in the meantime
  2. When it comes time to eat, bring the soaked rehydrated meal to a boil, making sure to continuously stir
  3. Lower the heat down to a simmer, add parmesan cheese and sliced chorizo (if using), and pop the lid on until your dinner resembles the pre-dehydrated version (roughly 5-10 minutes depending on your camp stove). Make sure to continuously check on the dinner and stir to ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom
  4. Top with avocado, crushed up tortilla chips, and squeeze of lime