Whether you’re a long-distance backpacker, thru-hiker, survivalist, or simply want to stock up on your stash of shelf-stable edibles in case of an emergency, adding a selection of freeze-dried meals to your collection of nonperishable foods is never a bad idea. Unlike other shelf-stable foods, freeze dried meals have an outstanding shelf life, can be prepared with the absolute minimum of fuss and, most importantly, seal in all the goodness and nutrients you need maintain a healthy diet when popping down to the grocery store isn’t an option.
We reviewed dozens of freeze dried foods to identify the best of the best. We examined a range of factors, including ingredients, taste, healthiness, convenience, cost, and average customer reviews. All of these top-rated freeze dried foods can be purchased online at Amazon.com.
Having reviewed a large number of freeze dried foods, we chose Augason Farms 30-Day 1-Person Emergency Food Supply as our top pick. This 8.5-gallon, easily transportable, watertight pail is packed with 30 days’ worth of tasty and nutritious breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and desserts with a 25-year shelf life and has been carefully created to cover all the major food groups and provide you with just under 2,000 calories’ worth of nutritious eats per day.
The 5 Top-Rated Freeze Dried Foods
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*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Best Freeze Dried Food Overall: Augason Farms 30-Day 1-Person Emergency Food Supply
Having considered a wide array of options, the freeze dried food that wins our vote as best out there in 2020 is the Augason Farms 30-Day 1-Person Emergency Food Supply.
This 8.5-gallon pail is the ideal choice for buyers who want to stockpile a sizable supply of nutritious, nonperishable foods without the expense and time required to buy each item on their shopping list individually. This supply is incredibly well though out, boasting a full complement of breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and desserts to last for a month and provide 40 grams of protein and 1,854 calories per day.
All of the foods included in the bucket are individually packaged and have a 25-year shelf life, making this a great choice both for those stocking up an emergency supply for their home and also anyone who tends to spent a lot of time on backcountry camping trips when keeping weight to a minimum is of the essence and replenishing supplies en route is not an option.
Some of the meals and snacks you’ll find (and love!) in this pack include mac and cheese, maple brown sugar oatmeal, creamy potato soup, instant potatoes, and cheesy broccoli rice. With each meal, all you have to do is add water to the pouch and wait ten minutes, after which you can do your dining either directly from the bag or pour the steaming contents onto a plate.
Finally, makers Augason Farms also lend a hand with the creation of daily menus courtesy of a very useful 30-day meal planner that lets you take daily inventories of your supply and ensure you are getting a balanced number of calories and food types each day.
Augason Farms 30-Day 1-Person Emergency Food Supply Key Features:
- 30-day supply
- Contains breakfasts, lunches, dinners, desserts, and snacks
- Each meal is individually packaged
- Watertight, airtight, and pest-proof storage pail
- 25-year shelf life
- 12 meal varieties
- Meal planner included
Best Gluten-Free Freeze Dried Food: Nomad Nutrition Irish Shepherd’s Pie
While Nomad Nutrition’s range of freeze-dried meals are geared towards vegans and the gluten intolerant, the Nomad Nutrition Irish Shepherd’s Pie is a delicious, wholesome meal that’s sure to delight the tastebuds of every diner, regardless of dietary restrictions or preferences.
This 790-calorie meal tastes just as good as anything as you’d find in a gourmet pub in downtown Dublin and is also 100% vegan, 100% plant based, gluten free, dairy free, soy free, palm oil free, non-GMO, and contains the ideal ratio of healthy fats, lean protein, and complex carbs.
In terms of convenience, this one’s a bit of a winner, too. To prepare your meal, all you need to do is pour a cup of boiling water in the bag, give it a stir, seal the bag, wait for ten minutes, and then dinner is served!
Nomad Nutrition Irish Shepherd’s Pie Key Features:
- 790 calories
- Easy to prepare (just add water)
- 100% vegan and plant based
- Free from gluten, soy, dairy, palm oil
Best Budget Freeze Dried Food: Mountain House Pasta Primavera
The Mountain House Pasta Primavera freeze-dried meal is the ideal comfort food or belly-filler for those nights when yet another plate of canned tuna or boiled rice just won’t cut it.
This meal contains 2.5 one-cup servings and is made with an array of tasty, healthy ingredients, including zucchini, spiral macaroni, cauliflower, broccoli, red and yellow peppers, green beans, and a creamy, parmesan cheese sauce.
Preparation is also a piece of cake. Instead of having to chop all the separate ingredients, boil your water, add the pasta, and then wait for it to cook (all while running the risk of turning the pasta to mush or undercoooking) with this superbly convenient pouch, all you need to do is add boiling water directly to the pouch, give it a stir and then wait ten minutes while the water does the magic. Not only does this save you lots of time on preparation, but also means that there’ll be no dishes to wash after your meal.
Although this meal is not suitable for those with milk, soy, or wheat allergies, for everyone else it’s a winner!
Mountain House Pasta Primavera Key Features:
- 2.5 one-cup servings
- 525 calories
- Ready in ten minutes
- Just add water
- 30-year shelf life
- Ingredients include zucchini, macaroni, cauliflower, broccoli, peppers, green beans, and Parmesan sauce
Best Vegan Freeze Dried Food: Peak Refuel Three Bean Chili Mac
The Peak Refuel Three Bean Chili Mac is a great choice of freeze dried meal for bug out bags, home survival stockpiles, and long-distance hiking supplies alike.
This pouch packs a lot of taste and tummy-filling goodness into very small package. Although weighing a mere 4.8 ounces, it contains two servings, 30 grams of protein per pouch, and a total of 610 calories. It also contains just 2 grams of fat and 59 grams of carbs per serving and uses very high-quality, entirely vegan, non-GMO ingredients that include navy beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, corn, onion, bell pepper, garlic, paprika, and cumin.
For preparation, all you need to do is add boiling water, give the bag a shake, and in just 8 minutes you’ll have an appetizing and nutritious meal that’s ready to eat from the bag.
Peak Refuel Three Bean Chili Mac Key Features:
- 2 servings in pouch
- 30 grams of protein per pouch
- 610 calories (305 per serving)
- Non-GMO ingredients
- Weighs just 4.8 oz.
- Made in the USA
- 5-year shelf life
Best Bulk Freeze Dried Food: Mountain House Expedition Bucket
The Mountain House Expedition Bucket contains a five-day supply of delicious, hearty, just-add-water freeze-dried meals all individually packed in lightweight pouches from which you can eat your meal directly.
What we love most about this bucket is that it takes planning out of the equation and saves you having to shop around in order to find the right balance of foodstuffs for different meals. For breakfasts, there are three pouches of skillet with hash browns, scrambled eggs, pork, peppers and onions, and two pouches of blueberry granola; for lunch there are two filling beef stroganoffs and three spicy chicken fajita bowls; and for dinner, three pouches of chicken fried rice and two pouches of spaghetti with a chunky meat sauce.
All of the above meals, moreover, have a 30-year shelf life, come in a very handy, robust storage bucket, and can be prepared with the utmost of ease in just 5 to ten minutes by simply adding boiling water.
The bottom line? This bucket is the ideal pick for buyers keen to accumulated a tasty, nutritious, and easily storeable stash of freeze dried foods with the minimum of fuss.
Mountain House Expedition Bucket Key Features:
- 30 servings
- 5-day supply
- 30-years shelf life
- Meals include breakfast skilled, granola, chicken fajita bowl, beef stroganoff, chicken fried rice, and spaghetti bolognese
If you’re in search of tasty, nutritious non-perishable meals for your outdoor adventures or emergency survival supply, these top-rated freeze dried foods are a great choice. For more ideas on healthful eating and nutrition, check out our guide How to Start a Keto Diet and review of the Best Multivitamins for Men.