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Cranberry Chicken With Stuffing

Simple Lightweight Trail Recipe

I wanted to share a variation of one of my favorite, easy-to-make trail meals – Cranberry Chicken Rice.  I discovered the Cranberry Chicken Rice recipe through Sarah Kirkconnell’s superb trail cooking website ( and her Freezer Bag Cooking book, which if you don’t own you should definitely consider getting. My variation uses a small amount of stuffing mix instead of rice to create a real taste of Thanksgiving at any time of the year!

Cranberry Chicken

This is a delicious and incredibly easy meal to make on the trail and the preparation before hand is just as simple.  To make this meal you will need some Kraft Stove Top stuffing mix (I like the whole wheat variety with lower sodium), some dried cranberries or Craisins, and some pre-cooked chicken breast (canned or those pouch packets are really good).

If you are using canned chicken breast as I did here, make sure that you drain off as much of the water as possible and even try to squeeze it out – that’s where most of the weight is.

Cranberry Chicken

To make a single serving I use the following amounts of ingredients:

  • 1 cup Kraft Stove Top stuffing mix (dry) – 1.75oz
  • Quarter cup dried Craisins – 0.75oz
  • Half cup of chicken breast – 1.75oz
  • A pinch of salt and pepper


Combine the dry stuffing mix and the cranberries/Craisins in a small ziplock bag. In a separate small ziplock bag place the squeezed chicken breast and a pinch of salt and pepper. Note: you can dehydrate the chicken breast to save some additional weight, but my experience doing so has not been very successful.

On The Trail

To make the meal on the trail you will need to boil up some water. This recipe requires a very small amount of water, just a quarter cup, but I tend to boil up two cups of water so that I can have a hot drink with my meal.

Open the ziplock bag containing the stuffing mix and cranberries and place that into your cup/bowl.  One the water has come to a rolling boil, pour a small amount onto the stuffing and cranberry mix just enough to moisten it. Str the mix up to make the stuffing absorb the water and let stand for 5 mins.

Use your spork or spoon to fluff up the hot stuffing mix after 5 mins and add the chicken breast to the ingredients and stir in.  Wait 1-2 minutes for the chicken to warm up then enjoy!  This recipe usually yields about 2 cups of food when re-hydrated and fluffed up. I’ve always found it to be plenty.

If you use very strong/thick quality ziplock bags you can actually re-hydrate the stuffing inside of the ziplock bag by pouring your hot water directly into it.  This is a great way to cook and combined with a freezer back cozie will keep your food warmer for longer.

This simple but delicious meal never fails to satisfy my cravings while on the trail and several of my hiking buddies have added this handy recipe to their repertoire after tasting it.

What’s your favorite home-made trail recipe and what have you done to tweak it?

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  • Looks and sounds Great. I have been wanting to branch out and get away from dehydrated boil-in-a-bag meals. I am going to have to start experimenting with some recipes soon.

  • Definitely give this one a try. It sounds really basic with just the three ingredients, but it taste fantastic!

    A lot of the freeze bag “ready” meals have a LOT of sodium in them and are actually two portions and not one, so the sodium level is doubled if you eat the whole bag, which I have been guilt of in the past.

    If you do try this one, let me know what you think!

  • How long will the chicken keep once it is opened and drained? You could also consider the chicken in a pouch if going for an extended period.

  • The boys in my Scout Troop love this meal. If we can find the pouches of chicken on sale we will use them. The also like putting a pouch of instant gravy in a ziplock and rehydrating it on the trail. Everyone can share and pour alittle over the top. They call it “Thanksgiving in a bag”

  • Bufford1234

    I had the same basic recipe on my PCT section hike last month. The only thing different was I added 1/2 package of chicken gravy mix to the water before adding the stuffing and I used the Stove Top Cranberry Stuffing Mix.

    • Oh you kicked it up a notch! Love this, thanks for sharing. I’ll be copying this :)