Skip to main content Skip to main content

Jerky Spaghetti Recipe

This Jerky Spaghetti Recipe is the perfect meal for your next backpacking adventure

Jerky Spaghetti Recipe
Make this recipe your own by adding your favorite Italian spices. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo)
Print Recipe

I suggest simmering the sauce for about an hour over low heat to help soften the jerky for better texture. But if you’re really hungry, thirty minutes will suffice. Use a thinner pasta, such as angel hair, for faster cooking, but I prefer regular spaghetti pasta for a more substantial texture. Beef jerky is the easiest option, but if you’re into making homemade jerky, deer, goose, elk, duck would work just as well.

Also, add as much jerky as you like to your sauce. I was conservative, since jerky is already high in sodium and I wanted to avoid over concentrating the pasta sauce with salt. If you can find/make low sodium jerky, that’s better yet.

Serves: 4
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes to 1 hour

Ingredients:


  • 1 jar pasta sauce
  • 1 package (3 ounces) of original or pepper flavored beef jerky
  • 8 ounces uncooked pasta noodles
  • Optional: grated parmesan cheese, freshly chopped or dried parsley

Directions:


  1. Cut beef jerky into bite size pieces. Set aside.

  2. jerky spagphetti recipe beef pieces
    Simmering jerky in a pasta sauce helps to soften the bite-sized pieces. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo)

  3. Add pasta sauce to a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add jerky pieces to the sauce. Cover and simmer on low for 30 minutes to 1 hour to soften up the jerky, stirring occasionally to prevent the bottom from scorching. If sauce gets too thick, add a splash of water when necessary.

  4. Ten minutes before sauce is ready, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions for al dente. (I undercooked the pasta by a couple minutes to prevent it from getting too mushy later.)

  5. jerky spaghetti recipe pasta
    Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo)

  6. Remove sauce off heat and mix in drained cooked pasta. Add pasta water if sauce needs thinning out.

  7. Serve Jerky Spaghetti with grated parmesan cheese and parsley if available.

  8. jerky spagphetti recipe bowl
    If the pasta sauce is too thick, add a splash of water to thin it out. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo)

About This Jerky Spaghetti Recipe

This jerky spaghetti recipe came from a backpacking trip in the Sequoia National Forest, which culminated in a hike up Mount Whitney. My group and I packed everything in, including 10 days’ worth of food, and this meal was one thing we ate.

To cut down on weight, spaghetti sauce was repackaged in vacuum sealed bags. Dried pasta required no special storage and was a great source of carbohydrates. And always a trail favorite, jerky was a convenient source of protein, and the saltiness helped replenished the electrolytes we lost through sweating. It was also useful to add to our meals when fresh meat wasn’t available.

Looking back, storing the pasta sauce in vacuum sealed bags probably wasn’t the best idea. Vacuum sealed bags do not provide a completely bacteria-free space, not like keeping the sauce in their original sealed jars would have. I never got sick eating these meals – albeit we ate these meals early on in the trip – but I’m also not suggesting that you try this yourself.




jerky spagphetti recipe pot
This recipe requires no refrigerated foods, making it a delicious option when backpacking. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo)

These days, there are safer alternatives for storing spaghetti sauce. Some backpackers dehydrate the sauce into leather, then add water later and reheat. An easier option is to use dried tomato powder – just add different amounts of water for soup or sauce. Or if you’re really watching your pack weight and space, tomato paste can work in a pinch: add water to thin out, then add your favorite Italian spices, such as garlic powder, onion powder, dried basil, parsley, thyme, oregano, etc.

However, if weight isn’t an issue, don’t bother. Keep pasta sauce in their original jars, drive them into camp and call it good.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Popular Videos

Umarex The Modern Air Rifle: Air Archery with the Umarex AirJavelin

Umarex The Modern Air Rifle: Air Archery with the Umarex AirJavelin

The AirJavelin takes airpower into a whole new direction, with no strings attached. Powered by CO2, it launches a 170-grain arrow at 300 fps. With a full-length Picatinny rail on top and a short section below the barrel, it can be accessorized to the hilt. So, if you're interested in launching dozens of arrows downrange without ever pulling a bowstring, consider the Umarex AirJavelin.

Beyond the Bait: How to Effectively Fight Scrappy Smallmouth

Beyond the Bait: How to Effectively Fight Scrappy Smallmouth

The smallmouth's strength, speed and legendary ability to throw hooks tests anglers' skill and tackle. Once a fish is hooked, how do you keep it hooked? We'll discuss some key points to keep in mind while bringing a smallmouth to the boat in this episode of Beyond the Bait.

Beyond the Bait: How to Find Smallmouth - Reading the Water

Beyond the Bait: How to Find Smallmouth - Reading the Water

In order to catch smallmouths, you must first find smallmouths. That often comes down to knowing what type of water the fish prefer depending on the season, as well as understanding how they relate to structure. In this episode of Beyond the Bait, we'll cover these topics in order to help you locate more fish.

See All Videos

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Game & Fish App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Game & Fish stories delivered right to your inbox every week.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now