Camp Cook: How to make orzo pasta with chilli pesto and tuna

orzo pesto pasta

The best wild camping recipes have similar properties. Firstly, they don’t need much in the way of gas or water, since both have to be carried in and water in particular weighs a lot. You can filter water of course, but if you are camping on a summit, it’s not necessarily a given that there will be any. Recipes also need to be delicious, have few ingredients and be simple to make. Finally, they contain ingredients that do not need to be refrigerated. For me, this recipe ticks all the boxes. Orzo is a small pasta that cooks quickly, typically around 5 minutes, so doesn’t need much gas to cook and it produces a good filling meal perfect for keeping you warm on a chilly bivi.


  1. Orzo pasta – typically around 60 grams per person.
  2. Tuna. You can buy tinned but it’s quite heavy. I prefer the ‘no drain’ tuna that comes in plastic pots, just be sure to recycle the pot when you get home. I tub per person.
  3. Chilli pesto. Transfer this from it’s glass jar to a plastic screw-top container to save weight. Half a jar per person.
  4. Black olives.
  5. Sun dried tomatoes.


  1. First, start the water boiling, then add your Orzo. Cook according to the directions, typically it takes around 5 minutes. Then drain. There are several camping pots that include a strainer in the lid. Pick one that has relatively small holes as Orzo isn’t that big when cooked. If your pan is not non-stick, make sure the water is boiling before you put the pasta in, otherwise some of it will stick to the bottom.

2. Add the chilli pesto, tuna, black olives and sun dried tomotoes to the cooked pasta (off the heat) and stir until well mixed.

3. Add back to the heat, and keep stirring for around 2 more minutes until all ingredients are warmed through.

4. Remove from the heat and eat direct from the pan, or transfer to a bowl if you prefer. And that’s it! It’s a delicious, filling meal at the end of a days hiking and anyone can make it.

You can vary this recipe, by adding other vegetables such as peppers, onions or garlic. If you do add onions, you will need to sweat them down first. You can also finish this off with some grated parmesan. If you’re at a campsite just take parmesan and a grater, but if you are wild camping grate it before you go and sprinkle it on.

I’d love to hear from you if you’ve made this recipe. Feel free to leave a comment!

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