Backpacking · Prepping · Recipes

Not-So-Basic Pumpkin Spice Rice

Pumpkin spice gets mocked a lot once fall starts showing up, but it has so much to offer. You wouldn’t think of pumpkin spice rice, but you should. It’s savory, with the tart sweetness of the dried fruit, and plenty of chicken for protein. It’s not basic, and it’s very tasty! Gluten-free and dairy-free as a bonus.

While this recipe works perfect for long-term food storage, prepping and having around, it shines for backpacking meals. All 3 methods are listed below for cooking on the trail while backpacking.

Not-So-Basic Pumpkin Spice Rice


2 cups instant rice
¼ cup dried cranberries
2 Tbsp dried apples, chopped up
½ tsp candied ginger, thinly sliced
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp fine sea salt
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
Pinch ground cloves

Also take:

7-ounce pouch chicken
1 Tbsp or 1 packet olive oil


At home pack the rice, cranberries, apples, ginger and spices into a quart freezer bag (for FBC) or in a sandwich bag, seal tightly. Mark “Add 2 cups water”. Tuck in chicken and oil with it.

FBC Method:

Bring 2 cups water a boil, turn off stove, put freezer bag in your cozy. Add in the chicken and oil, then the water, Stir well, seal tightly and let sit for 15 minutes. Stir again and serve. (Make a second “bowl” out of another freezer bag, cuffed down)

Insulated Mug Method:

Add all ingredients into a large insulated mug, add 2 cups boiling water over. Stir well, cover and let sit for 15 minutes. Stir and serve.

One Pot Method:

Brings 2 cups water, oil, and chicken to a boil in a 1.4 liter or bigger pot. Add in rice, stir well, put on lid, turn off stove. In cooler temperatures, or at altitude, insulate the pot in a pot cozy. Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir and serve.

Serves 2.


If you like a saltier rice, leave out the sea salt and add in 2 packets broth concentrate with the water.
Brown rice can be used in the one pot method, simmer on a very low flame for about 5 minutes, then insulate for an additional 10 minutes.