Breakfast Recipe: Cheesy Potatoes

December 14, 2015 – 07:13 pm

Cheesy potatoes, a hearty and large-volume backcountry breakfast recipeOf all the breakfast recipes that I have tried out on my backpacking groups, Cheesy Potatoes is a regular favorite. On the sweet-or-savory scale, it’s decidedly savory, due to a bland potato base that is flavored with cheese, green chilies, and bacon, plus some whole milk for creaminess.

Credit to Amanda for developing this recipe.

Key stats

  • Recommended meal weight: 4.5 oz
  • Calories: 500
  • Calories/ounce: 110

At minimum, this recipe requires five ingredients. Pick either crumbled bacon or bacon-flavored soy bits. The taco seasoning is optional. Butter or olive oil can be added to increase caloric density.Because potatoes require so much water (4 oz water per 1 oz of flakes), this breakfast cooks bigger that its calorie count would suggest. For those with smaller appetites, reducing the potatoes by 0.5 oz is recommended. Alternatively, save some of the potatoes for later in the trip when you have a thinner meal and/or you are hungrier.

To increase the caloric density, substitute olive oil or butter for some of the potatoes or the dried milk. To increase pure calorie count, keep the recipe as-is and simply add some fat.

At-home preparation

A solo hiker can keep all the ingredients in one bag. Note that crumbled bacon and canned green chilies are not shelf-stable, though there are shelf-stable alternatives.

To more easily accommodate dietary restrictions in a group setting, I keep the ingredients more separate:

  • Each group member is given one 2-oz bag of potatoes and one 1.2-oz bag of cheese powder and whole milk. Since they were sent the meal menus before the trip, they have had the opportunity to procure substitutes for the cheese and milk if they are lactose intolerant.
  • The crumbled bacon and green chilies are distributed in the field. Group members who are vegetarian can easily forgo their portion of the bacon.

Cooking instructions

  1. Bring at least 12 oz (350 ml) of water to a boil, or a near boil.
  2. Add half the bag, stir to a uniform consistency, and then add the rest of the bag. Stir.
  3. If my alcohol stove is still burning, I may bring the meal back to a simmer to reduce the wait time before eating, but potatoes need not be simmered for a full cook.
A solo hiker can pack all of the ingredients in one bag. In a group setting,  dietary restrictions and preferences (e.g. lactose intolerance,  vegetarian) can be best accommodated by bagging the ingredients more separate and then distributing them in the field. The watered-down version, which is my preference


Bragg Bragg Nutritional Yeast Seasoning, Premium, 4.5 Ounce
Grocery (Bragg)
  • Provides great-taste and nutrition when added to a wide variety of foods and recipes
  • Makes a healthy delicious seasoning when sprinkled on most foods, especially salads, vegetables, potatoes, rice, pasta and even popcorn
  • Gluten free
  • Salt free
  • Kosher
  • avatar Where could one find egg free breakfast recipes?
    • Allrecipes, the website, frequently includes recipes on their website that are vegan or allergen friendly. Many of these recipes would be conducive to an egg-free diet.

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  5. Breakfast Pancakes recipe