Tuna & White Bean Casserole

I adapted this recipe from something Melissa Clark posted at the New York Times and it resulted in a superb new trail dish. You can add hard cheese and crumble potato chips in the backcountry. Maybe even wild herbs if you can forage any. The rest dehydrates very well. Just go easy on the olive oil!


  • 2 leeks, chopped
  • Pinch of red-pepper flakes
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Lots of black pepper
  • 6 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 2 anchovy fillets (rinse the oil or use anchovy paste instead)
  • 2 15-oz. cans white beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup white wine
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons powdered milk
  • 2 5-oz. cans of tuna (in water, not oil!)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, basil, tarragon, chives or a combination
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons grated cheese (Gruyère, Cheddar, Parmesan or Jarlsberg)
  • ½ cup Pringles potato chips, crushed


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. In an ovenproof skillet, sauté leeks in a splash of olive oil over medium-high heat until soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add red-pepper flakes, salt and garlic cloves. Throw in the rosemary sprig. Add anchovy fillets. Cook for another 2 minutes, until the garlic is slightly golden and very fragrant.
  3. Add the white beans and the wine. Let it simmer until the liquid evaporates and the beans are soft, about 5 minutes, then mash the beans with a potato masher or a fork. Make them as smooth or lumpy as you like. You just want to release some of their starch. Turn off the heat.
  4. Now, add the vegetable broth, powdered milk, and tuna (including the water).
  5. Mash the tuna into the beans, leaving it a little chunky. Mix in the herbs, lemon zest, lemon juice, and add lots of black pepper.
  6. Put the skillet in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
  7. Once the skillet is cool, spread the mix onto dehydrator trays and dehydrate at a setting appropriate for fish and meat (160 F).
  8. Divide and package your mix. This recipe makes about four-five meals. The potato chips should be packaged separately.

In the Backcountry

  • Rehydrate the mix.
  • Add 2 to 4 tablespoons of grated cheese.
  • Optional: If available, I like to add wild chives.
  • Add Pringles.
  • Enjoy!

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