Easy to Prepare Ultralight Buffalo Pasta Salad Recipe

Easy to Prepare Ultralight Buffalo Pasta Salad Recipe

This ultralight buffalo pasta salad was one of the easiest backpacking recipes to prepare for my my thru hike of the Oregon Coast Trail. The recipe can be prepared in minutes at home and is just as easy to prepare while in the backcountry. Add ingredients to a baggie or container to be used in the backcountry and add cold water on trail. It’s truly that easy!

The recipe will also remain shelf stable for many months without the need for vacuum sealing. It’s a great option for thru hikers or those of us that like to prepare meals in the off season so that we can spend our time outside during the summer. Hope you enjoy the recipe as much as we do!

Ultralight Buffalo Pasta Salad




6 oz dry weight (including sauce packets)


3 oz (1 cup) macaroni noodles, pre-cooked and dehydrated (if cold soaking)*

1 Tbsp freeze-dried green bell peppers

1 Tbsp freeze-dried red bell peppers

1 tsp freeze-dried red onion

1 Tbsp dry buffalo wing sauce mix*

1/8 tsp black pepper

dash salt

1 (1.5 oz) packet blue cheese dressing

3 (0.4 oz) packets mayonnaise

  1. Put noodles and vegetables in a bag with spices in a separate bag to be stored inside the noodle bag.
  2. Pair with 1 (1.5 oz) packet blue cheese dressing and 3 (0.4 oz) packets of mayonnaise.


  1. Remove spice packet.
  2. Add enough cold water to cover noodles.
  3. Allow to cold soak until fully rehydrated. This will take approximately two hours. Hot water may be used to speed up the rehydration process.
  4. Consume or properly discard water after meal is rehydrated.
  5. Add spice packet and salad dressing packets.
  6. Stir well and enjoy!

Macaroni noodles: The noodles can be cooked while in the backcountry without pre-cooking and dehydrating at home. Allow for additional cooking time and adequate fuel to do so.

Buffalo Wing Sauce: Dry sauce mix can oftentimes be found in the dry sauce packets aisle in grocery stores. A variety of brands are also available via Amazon.com such as Buffalo Wing Wings, Lowry’s or Bexten’s Best brands.


Calories: 750 kcal

Calories per ounce: 125 kcal/oz

Protein: 12 grams

Carbohydrates: 68 grams

Fiber: 3 grams

Total Sugars: 5 grams

Fat: 47 grams

Quick and easy ultralight buffalo pasta salad recipe for your next backpacking adventure. This cold soak vegetarian backpacking recipe will satisfy your hunger after a long day in the backcountry. #backcountryfoodie #backpackingmeals
Backcountry Foodie Ultralight Recipes for Outdoor Explorers Digital Cookbook

For more recipes like this one, check out our Ultralight Recipes for Outdoor Explorers Cookbook in digital format. The paperback copy can be purchased via Amazon Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and Barnes & Noble.

We also recommend checking out one of our favorite backpacking ultralight dessert recipes.

Chocolate Cake Batter Hummus.

This one is AMAZING! We guarantee you’ll want to eat the entire batch BEFORE dehydrating!


Aaron Owens Mayhew, MS, RDN, LD is the founder of Ultralight Meal Planning for Outdoor Explorers and owner of Backcountry Foodie™. Aaron is a registered dietitian and ultralight long-distance backpacker with a passion for food. She spends much of her time experimenting with new ultralight recipes in her kitchen and later trail tests them to ensure that they meet backcountry adventurers’ needs. Aaron also offers a nutrition consulting service where she helps outdoor adventurers meal plan for their next big trip. She counts calories so you don’t have to! You can follow Aaron’s adventures in the kitchen and in the backcountry via Instagram and Facebook.