We made this recipe on a weekend backpacking trip, and it was a very welcome and filling meal at the end of a long day of hiking. Making macaroni and cheese and hot dogs in the backcountry took a little extra preparation, but it was definitely worth the effort. The warm and comforting flavors, and the experience of cooking and eating in a beautiful outdoor setting made it all the more enjoyable.
We prepped all the ingredients the day before our trip to make the process at the campsite quicker and easier. We knew we would be tired after a 10-mile mountainous hike and we wouldn’t want to spend much time making the meal. We cooked the noodles at home, and mixed in the Alfredo sauce, cheeses, and milk. Then we stored the mac & cheese in a sealed container in a small cooler to be heated up at the campsite.
We brought our Otzi Spark grill in carbon steel on this trip. Our carbon steel model weighs in at 4 lbs but it disassembles into separate flat pieces, so we divided it between our two packs. That way we only had to carry 2 lbs each. On our hike out we even put one of the pieces in our adventure dog’s pack to help get more of her endless energy out!
For a lighter weight option, we also offer a titanium version of our Spark grill, which weighs in at only 1lb 10oz for the base configuration. The full configuration, which includes a griddle plate and a skewer, weighs in at 2lbs 2oz. But if you opt not to bring the griddle and skewer it reduces the weight to 1lb 10oz. And if you’re backpacking with another person you can divide the pieces between your packs to reduce that weight even further!
Once at the campsite we used foraged sticks and twigs to get our Spark grill started, and from there it was a quick process of grilling the hot dogs and heating up the mac & cheese in our individual backpacking pots. We cut up the hot dogs and mixed them into the cheesy, gooey, mac & cheese and the result was delicious! And just what we needed at the end of a strenuous day of hiking up and over steep slopes.
Gourmet Campground Mac & Cheese and Hot Dogs
A comforting and delicious one-pot recipe!
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
Course: Lunch or Dinner
Grill type: Otzi Spark portable single person grill in carbon steel
Traditional Recipe Ingredients:
1-2 hot dogs (we used Beeler’s Fully Cooked Uncured Wieners)
3/4 cup elbow macaroni
4 oz Alfredo sauce (we used Simple Truth Organic Classic Alfredo Sauce)
1/4 cup shredded Mexican style cheese blend (we used Lucerne Dairy Farms 4-cheese blend)
1/4 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
2 Tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup whole milk (we used Horizon Organic milk)
Vegan Recipe Ingredients:
1-2 vegan hot dogs (we used Lightlife Smart Dogs)
3/4 cup elbow macaroni
4 oz vegan Alfredo sauce (we used Primal Kitchen No Dairy Alfredo Sauce)
1/4 cup vegan shredded Mozzarella cheese (we used Violife Mozzarella shreds)
1/4 cup vegan shredded Cheddar cheese (we used Violife Cheddar shreds)
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
- The day before your trip if you’re backpacking; cook pasta per packaging instructions. Drain and stir in Alfredo sauce, cheeses, and milk. Store in a sealed container in a small cooler or a lunch box with an ice pack.
- If you’re not backpacking, boil water in a pot on heated grill top and then cook pasta per packaging instructions. Drain and stir in Alfredo sauce, cheeses, and milk. Set aside.
- Place hot dogs on heated grill top and cook to desired doneness. Remove from grill.
- If backpacking, place mac & cheese in individual camping pot or pan and place on grill top. If you’re not backpacking, place your mac & cheese pot back on the grill. Cover and cook until cheese is melted, stirring occasionally. We kept our hot dogs warm by covering the pots with our Spark griddle plate and placing the hot dogs on top.
- Once ready, cut up the hot dogs and stir into the mac & cheese. Enjoy!
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