Backpacking Recipe: Chicken Piccata

Chicken Piccata is one of my favorite Italian meals that I make at home. I adapted the recipe using dehydrated ingredients and used homemade chicken meatballs instead of using freeze-dried chicken.

backpacking recipe: chicken piccata


Makes 1 serving

See “Sourcing Ingredients” below for info on where to purchase the butter powder, chicken stock powder, and crystallized lemon powder.

  • 2 ounces pasta, dehydrated
  • 1/4 cup chicken meatballs, dehydrated (see separate recipe)
  • 2 teaspoons capers, dehydrated
  • 1/4 cup dehydrated mushroom pieces (break slices into small pieces)
  • 1 tablespoon green onion, dehydrated
  • 1 tablespoon butter powder
  • 1 tablespoon chicken stock powder (see substitution below)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 packet crystallized lemon powder
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Chicken stock powder substitution

Most chicken bouillon products are full of additives and preservatives, with very little actual chicken. If you can’t find a good source for chicken stock powder, we’ve been using this recipe with nutritional yeast and herbs as a substitute. It has a surprisingly savory flavor that works well as a replacement for chicken stock.

Ingredients – 1 serving

  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon parsley
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon oregano


  • Mix all ingredients together and process to a fine powder in a blender or food processor.
  • Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator or freezer.
  • Use 1 tablespoon with one cup (8 ounces) of water.

backpacking recipe - chicken piccata

At Home

Combine all ingredients into a sealed plastic bag or vacuum seal for longer term storage. Keep the lemon in its separate packet until ready to use. Package olive oil separately. I like to use small Nalgene drop-dispenser bottles for taking liquids on trips.

backpacking recipe - chicken piccata

Sourcing the ingredients

  • capers: I buy these at Trader Joe’s and dehydrate them at home. They rehydrate extremely well.
  • green onions & mushrooms: I get these at any grocery store and dehydrate them at home
  • pasta: for better rehydrating, use a pasta that cooks in 5 minutes or less. I used pasta that needed a longer cooking time, so I cooked it and dehydrated it for use in this recipe. This way, it will fully rehydrate better and not need to be cooked separately from the other ingredients in this recipe.
  • butter powder: from Amazon
  • powdered chicken stock: from Packit Gourmet
  • crystallized lemon: from Packit Gourmet (or you can use a small packet of lemon juice)

Packit Gourmet is a small family-run business in Austin that sells dehydrated, freeze-dried and ready-made meals for backpackers. They don’t use additives or preservatives in their dried ingredients, which is much preferred over products typically found in grocery stores.

backpacking recipe - chicken piccata

At Camp

  • Add a cup of water to your backpacking stove and bring it to full boil. You may need to add more water, but it’s better to start with less rather than too much.
  • Add all of the ingredients (including the lemon) and stir well.
  • Turn down the heat and simmer for a couple of minutes.
  • Cover with the stove lid and let sit for 10 minutes.
  • I often turn the stove back on to cook down remaining liquid, being careful to not burn the meal. The cornstarch will thicken the liquid and coat all of the ingredients.

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