Whether you’re planning a camping trip without modern conveniences or making sure your family is secure if there’s an extended interruption in power, having a long-lasting supply of non-perishable food is an essential part of keeping your family ready for any eventuality.

Freeze-dried food is one of the best choices for non-perishable food due to it being shelf-stable;  but many of the old options were lacking in flavor. The best freeze dried food today, though, is bursting with flavor for all tastes.

Coming in both individual food kits ideal for solo needs or small-group camping and in large survival food packages, the best freeze dried food provides needed nutrition and energy while being ready to eat or easy to prepare with a fire or heating element.

The dehydration process preserves the nutrients in the food without compromising flavor or structure. Eating is essential to keeping your energy up in challenging circumstances, and the best freeze dried food will make eating on the go a pleasure rather than another challenge.

The freeze dried food market is growing fast, with many products claiming to deliver the nutrients and taste you want.

That’s why here at Simple Family Preparedness, we’ve put together this list of the best freeze dried food to have in your food storage. Read on to discover the best freeze dried food to keep you and your family fed.

Best Freeze Dried Food FAQ

1. Are the Best Freeze Dried Foods Easy to Prepare?

Most of the items on this list are dehydrated and can be heatedup and rehydrated on a fire or hot pot. The Grizzly Gear Emergency Food Rations bar is ready-to-eat out of the pouch.

2. How Long Do the Best Freeze Dried Foods Last??

It varies per product, but most freeze dried foods will remain stable for between two and twenty-five years. Freeze-dried fruits are on the low end of the scale, while vegetables and sealed proteins last longer.

3. Are the Best Freeze Dried Fruits Suitable for All Diets?

The ten freeze dried food packages on the list are a mix of vegetarian, dairy-free, and gluten-free options, so everyone should find an option. All options are free of seafood and all are free of nuts (except for the Pad Thai).

4. Do the Best Freeze Dried Foods Fulfill All Nutritional Needs?

These food packages are designedwith the intention to serve as compete nutrition, and most are fortified with vitamins and minerals. The freeze-drying process preserves more natural nutrients than standard dehydrating or freezing. Anyone with normal nutritional needs should be able to stay healthy eating them.

5. Where Can I Find the Best Freeze Dried Foods?

The ten freeze dried food options on this list can be found on Amazon or at major survival or outdoor gear stores. You will also find a supply at military supply stores and at major camping gear stores.

How We Reviewed

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The following list of the best freeze driedfoods was reviewed based on the following parameters : value and affordability, taste, nutritional content, variety, suitability for alternative diets, ease of preparation, and shelf-stability.

Overall Price Range

The ten freeze-dried foods on this list come in varying sizes, styles, and packaging. Single-serving pouches ideal for solo travelers can go for as little as $$ for an ample portion, while family-size buckets containing dozens of servings can rise to $$$.

This is like other items in the freeze-dried meal field and more expensive than standard dried food options like trail mix.

What We Reviewed

  • Augason Farms 5-20091 Deluxe Emergency 30-Day Food Supply
  • Mountain House Beef Stroganoff with Noodles
  • MaryJanesFarm Santa Fe Pasta
  • Mountain House Essential Bucket
  • Mountain House Chili Mac with Beef
  • Mountain House Breakfast Skillet
  • Grizzly Gear Emergency Food Rations – 3600 Calorie Bar
  • Mountain House Rice & Chicken
  • Backpacker’s Pantry Pad Thai, Two Serving Pouch
  • Premium Vegetable Soup Mix – Dehydrated

10 Best Freeze Dried Food

Augason Farms 5-20091 Deluxe Emergency 30-Day Food Supply

Augason Farms 5-20091 Deluxe Emergency 30-Day Food Supply (1 Person),...
  • 200 Total Servings and 37, 080 Total Calories
  • 1, 236 Calories per day
  • 24 Pouches and 11 Total Varieties

Features

The ultimate heavy-duty emergency food supply, this twenty-nine pound tub contains enough food packages for thirty days of meals. It comes with eleven meal packs covering breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert.

It offers one to three packages of maple brown sugar oatmeal, strawberry cream of wheat, buttermilk pancake mix, Fettuccine Alfredo, cheesy broccoli rice, creamy chicken flavored rice, Spanish rice, banana chips, creamy potato soup mix, chicken-flavored vegetable soup mix, and Morning Moo’s Low Fat Milk Alternative.

The size of the package makes it better for long-term food planning than backpacking, but individual pouches can serve as meals on the go. The twenty-five year life span is a big positive, and per item it’s one of the best values on the list.

All items are prepared with water and in most cases heat, making it ideal for any situation where you’re lacking electricity.

Mountain House Beef Stroganoff with Noodles
Features

Mountain House Beef Stroganoff with Noodles 6-Pack
  • Enjoy 6 pouches of your favorite entree in one easy to store bulk case
  • Quick prep! Just add water to the pouch and you're good to go in less than 10 minutes, with no cleanup!
  • Two and a Half 1-cup servings per pouch

Features

A classic option from one of the most popular brands for freeze-dried food, this hearty beef stroganoff comes with a good portion of meat in a savory sauce flavored with sour cream and mushrooms over wheat noodles.

At 650 calories a pouch and holding two and a half servings, it delivers hearty meals on the go and can be split up according to differing appetites.

The sodium content is higher than many items on the list, but it delivers the filling, warming meal you want after a long day of camping.

It comes in a compact pouch that easily fits in a backpack, and the thirty-year shelf life makes it ideal for frequent campers. It only takes ten minutes to prepare like all Mountain House products and is prepared in water on a hot plate or over a fire.

The thick cream sauce can be watered down to taste and gets high marks for richness and providing meat, dairy, and starch in one package.

MaryJanesFarm Santa Fe Pasta

MaryJanesFarm Santa Fe Pasta, 4.1 Ounce Bag
  • 4.1 ounce bag
  • Instant to cook
  • Purely vegetarian

Features

One of the newer names in the freeze-dried food market, this organic brand from Idaho native MaryJane Butters is quickly getting a name for its healthy options.

This vegetarian alternative to the traditional Chili Mac has just under three hundred calories a serving and one and a half-servings per pouch, and its top ingredients are pasta, cheddar cheese, and a vegetable blend including sweet corn, onions, tomatoes, and bell peppers.

It gets high marks for its intense flavor profile without being overly spicy, and the convenient pouch is easy to open for preparing on the go.

It loses points for the small portion size and the high price point per meal. This is a boutique brand and is better for campers who only need a little food to get through a night in the wild.

Mountain House Essential Bucket

Mountain House Essential Bucket
  • Quick prep! Just add water to the pouch and you're good to go in less than 10 minutes, with no cleanup!.
  • 32 Servings.
  • Allergens: Soy, Milk, Wheat.

Features

Mountain House is one of the best-known names in freeze-dried foods, but most of their meal options are geared towards short-term camping trips.

For those who go camping frequently or want a large supply of high-quality freeze-dried meals for prepping, this thirty-two-serving bucket is a cost-effective choice.

It contains four packets each of three of Mountain House’s most popular meals – Chili Mac & Beef, Rice and Chicken, and Spaghetti with Meat Sauce.

Each meal comes with between 230 and 270 calories a serving, and two of the three are suitable for people with dairy allergies.

The thirty-year shelf life of all Mountain House products makes this a perfect choice if you intend to take yearly camping trips, as the per-pouch price is much cheaper than any other option.

Like all Mountain House products, they only take ten minutes to prepare in hot water.

Mountain House Chili Mac with Beef

Mountain House Chili Mac with Beef
  • Quick prep! Just add water to the pouch and you're good to go in less than 10 minutes, with no cleanup!
  • Two and a Half 1-Cup Servings
  • Allergens: Wheat, Soy

Features

The most popular brand from Mountain House, this classic campfire chili has cooked beef as its first ingredient and combines it with macaroni pasta, tomato paste, and kidney beans for a wholesome and filling meal.

With 230 calories a serving and two and a half servings per pouch, it’s free of common allergens (except gluten) and comes in a variety of convenient sizes.

Like all Mountain House products, it has a thirty-year shelf life and takes only ten minutes to prepare when combined in the pouch with boiling water.

High in carbohydrates, protein, and nutrients, it’s an ideal all-purpose meal that will satisfy most campers and fulfill all your nutritional needs

Mountain House Breakfast Skillet

Mountain House Breakfast Skillet 6-Pack
  • Enjoy 6 pouches of your favorite breakfast in one easy to store bulk case
  • Quick prep! Just add water to the pouch and you're good to go in less than 10 minutes, with no cleanup
  • Two 1-cup servings per pouch

Features

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and that goes double when you’re on the trail and need an extra boost of energy to start your day.

This hearty all-in-one breakfast is a combination of hash browns, scrambled eggs, peppers, onions, cheese, and pork sausage crumbles. Similar to a breakfast skillet you’d get at a diner, it contains 350 calories a serving and has two servings to a pouch.

Higher in fat and sodium than other options on the list, it is guaranteed to fill you up and keep you running during a long day of hiking.

Like all Mountain House products, it is guaranteed for thirty years and takes only ten minutes to prepare when combined with boiling water. While it contains several major allergens, it’s easy to prepare and provides a hearty meal in the morning.

Grizzly Gear Emergency Food Rations – 3600 Calorie Bar

Emergency Food Rations - 3600 Calorie Bar - 3 Day Supply - Less Sugar...
  • Contains 9 pre-measured 400 calorie rations, to last one person up to three days
  • USCG approved for 5 year shelf life within its durable, air sealed Mylar packaging to ensure preservation under all...
  • Non-thirst provoking, with a pleasant Lemon flavor. Kosher and it meets the dictates for Halal

Features

If you’re in a situation where you won’t have any time to cook, emergency rations that can be eaten right out of the package are a convenient substitute.

A wheat-based snack bar enriched with thirteen vitamins and minerals, it is made of nine individual squares that can be taken out of the pouch before resealing it. Each bar is a 400-calorie meal replacement.

This bar has a five-year shelf life when sealed and is certified Kosher and vegetarian. It contains less sugar than most meal replacement bars and isn’t dry, meaning you won’t have to stop to drink often.

Health-conscious campers may not like the partially hydrogenated oil content.

Mountain House Rice & Chicken

Mountain House Rice & Chicken 6-Pack
  • Enjoy 6 pouches of your favorite entree in one easy to store bulk case
  • Quick prep! just add water to the pouch and you're good to go in less than 10 minutes, with no cleanup
  • Three 1-cup servings per pouch

Features

Mountain House is synonymous with quality in the freeze-dried food market, and this lighter option is no exception. A simple but filling meal of chicken-flavored rice with bits of chicken,

it’s mildly spiced and has 270 calories per serving and three servings to a package. Lower on fat than other options and free of dairy, it’s a good choice to satisfy a family of campers.

Like all Mountain House products, it has a thirty-year shelf life and is prepared in the pouch with boiling water in only ten minutes. This is also a meal that can be dressed up with the addition of dehydrated vegetables like peas or carrots for a more complete dinner

Backpacker’s Pantry Pad Thai, Two Serving Pouch

Backpacker's Pantry Pad Thai, 2 Servings Per Pouch, Freeze Dried Food,...
  • Contains 1 - 2-serving pouch (Packaging May Vary)
  • High in protein
  • Non GMO, Vegetarian, Vegan & Gluten Free

Features

A hearty and flavorful vegetarian meal, this reasonably priced stir-fry duplicates the flavors of the popular Thai dish. Gluten and dairy-free, it is made from rice noodles, vegetables, and a mildly spicy tomato-based sauce.

It can be enhanced with the included roasted peanuts, but they’re in a separate package along with the peanut sauce for allergy safety.

Two servings per portion and 460 calories a serving make this one of the richer meals on the list, and each portion prepares a thirteen-ounce meal. It has a seven-year shelf life and takes between fifteen and twenty minutes to prepare with boiling water in the pouch.

Premium Vegetable Soup Mix – Dehydrated

Premium Vegetable Soup Mix - Dehydrated (12 oz. Quart Size Jar) by...
  • FARM SOURCED: All of our carefully selected vegetables are gently air dried; No additives or preservatives; Non-GMO,...
  • NUTRIENT RICH: Dehydrated at the peak of their nutrient value, you get more of the nutrition your body needs
  • SAVE TIME, SAVE MONEY: 12-ounces of dried vegetable soup mix yields 208 ounces of delicious soup; no prep time of...

Features

If you’re looking for a wholesome meal with zero artificial ingredients, Harmony House has you covered with this dehydrated vegetable soup mix.

Made entirely from a wide range of dried vegetables including carrots, onions, tomatoes, peas, green beans, and parsley, you add boiling water and let it turn into soup. With sixteen servings a container, it’s one of the best values on the list.

The drawbacks are the lack of protein and the need for spices to make it flavorful. It also lacks instructions on how to rehydrate, but an experienced camper should find it natural. This soup may go well as a nutritious appetizer to one of the other meals on the list.

The Verdict

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We were impressed with all ten items on the list and found they lived up to their billing as the best freeze dried food on the market. However, one brand kept on impressing us with its value, taste, ease of preparation, and nutritional content.

Mountain House consistently delivered quality, and we found few faults in any of our offerings.

While we were most impressed with the Chili Mac and Beef of the meals reviewed, the overall value of the package leads us to pick the Mountain House Essential Bucket, with its packages of Chili Mack, Chicken and Rice, and Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, as the best freeze-dried food on the market today.

You’ll get a full supply of their best options at a fraction of the price..

Featured Image via commons.wikimedia.org