Prepper Food Review: Mountain House Pasta Primavera

This is one of those 1-2 servings, just add hot water, backpacker pouch meals.  They’re available at about $7 a pouch. 

Net wt as packaged is 4.8 oz. Makes 1-2 servings.

Ease of use

I like these pouches for ‘go-bag’ foods, as they’re light and pack pretty small but offer real food that’s hot; which I consider a big comfort issue.  It’s about 15 min total prep time once the water is boiled.  Add 2 cups boiling water to pouch, stir and seal, 4 min later stir and seal again, done 9 min after that.  Makes a good mate to a Kelly Kettle (reviewed here). 


Nice sauce, creamy without being super-heavy and flavorful (probably because they use real sweet cream as the biggest part of the sauce).  Pasta is spirals, and perfectly pasta-like.  I wish they used whole wheat for more substance and nutrition, but I always wish that and most companies don’t.  There was a real presence of vegetables, headed by zuccini, cauliflower, and broccoli.  I wanted more of that too, but again, I pretty much always do, and this dish had a respectable amount.  Overall a win; I’d’ve been satisfied with this dish from a restaurant.

It’s also a substantial enough pile of food to make you feel like you’re actually getting a meal, which is not true for all emergency foods.

Here’s what I’m calling one serving, which is half of the pouch, prepared.


First of all, shame on you Mountain House, for pretending a backpacker’s pouch has 2.5 servings.  Nobody’s going to eat it that way, so it makes the label misleading.  For this review, I’ve done the math and will call half of the contents of the pouch 1 serving.

330 calories per serving; not enough to call this a real meal but I’ve seen sillier ‘servings’ in emergency foods. 

75 cal from fat; that’s actually a good thing in an emergency food as it keeps you feeling full better.  Kind of high in saturated fat but for a cream-based sauce, not bad (24% RDA). No trans fats, which is a good sign.

Too much sodium: 37% of the suggested daily max for about 1/6 of the daily calories. 

12 g protein, decent (about 25% of my small-woman daily requirement).

Pretty good on the vitamin/mineral front; by RDA 22% Vit A and C and calcium; 2% iron.

Some fiber but kind of light; 12% RDA.

Pro Tip:  Folks, this pouch Begs to have a can of tuna added.  It’s a very tasty combo (I tried it right after the straight-from-the-pouch taste test) as well as pumping up the nutrition and not changing the ease of use significantly.


We asked 3BY spokesmodel Alanna to give the Pasta Primavera at try, and here’s her take on it with a photo of servings for her and her mother.

Her thoughts? “I don’t know whether to give it a thumbs up or an ehhh. At first it was kind of ehh, but when we added some salt it was actually pretty good. Definitely isn’t something I’d mind eating while backpacking or camping long as I had my salt packet.”

 SO… there ya have it.


We at Beans, Bullets, Bandages, and You have no sponsors; in fact we’ve got zero financial interest in any products we review.  We buy the stuff just as most people do.

Search for ‘Beans and Review’ to find more food reviews on this site.  Every time I test one to see what we should stock up on, I’m doing a review of it to post.




  1. Not one of my favorites but it’s good. I always put a little less water into them because for some reason when I go by the directions, it turns into a soup like mess. Friend and I are trying out other meals that are lower sodium, even have someone I know who just bought a home freeze drier and experimenting with home cooked items that are healthier. He’s hoping by utilizing mylar bags, O2 absorbers and a desiccant he can get at least 10 years out of homemade FD meals for 1/2 the cost of store bought. One thing we did as a group before our breakup was make up psudo-FD meals using the Korr rice & noodle packets, Mountain House FD hamburger, beef and chicken chunks, mylar bags and O2 absorbers. They’ve held together now for about 2 years of the half dozen I have remaining…still very high in sodium content. We saw a post on ar15dotcom and had to try it. My favorite has been the chicken chunks with the cheddar broccoli rice.

    • I’ve been tempted to get a freeze drier, but it’s such a chunk of change; thanks for the review. I don’t need more than a few years from this kind of meal, as I rotate through them and don’t intend to eat off of them for years straight. Did you try drying anything that had much sauce to start with?

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