Hamburger Gravy and Mashed Potatoes | Meal in a bag

Making your own MREs and emergency food is a healthy alternative!

This is one recipe I never thought I'd get right! Actually, it's not even a dish I thought I would try and develop into a meals in a bag recipe. But, I asked my Chrisian Prepper Gal Facebook Group what some of their favorite meals were that they would like to see converted to meals in a bag or jar. It was my daughter who offered this suggestion.

My first reaction to her suggestion was, "No way!". I had no idea how I could make the hamburger gravy the right consistency and get the awesome gravy flavor using dehydrated/freeze dried/shelf stable ingredients. So, I brushed it aside and thought I would just accept defeat and forget about trying to develop a recipe for it.

Well, obviously that was not meant to be. I kept thinking about it and over the course of approximately six months researched ways I could make the gravy, to get that "just right" savory flavor. I know how to make the gravy from scratch because I used to make it for our family meals quite often when my kids were growing up. And then, I wasn't sure how the Mountain House freeze dried hamburger meat would work, mostly because of the shape and texture of it. It's shape is not anywhere near being the shape of crumbled hamburger meat. The easy part was the instant mashed potatoes. All I had to do was buy some of those and convert the recipe according to the directions on the box.

My big breakthrough on the gravy part came when my daughter and I were grocery shopping and she said she was looking for gravy to make biscuits and gravy for her husband. I'm like, "there's no way you're going to find canned sausage gravy!". Well, she proved me wrong, for sure! I was dumbfounded! I have rarely ever used a mix or a jar of any kind of gravy because my mom taught me how to make it from scratch. Not only did my daughter buy the canned gravy and canned biscuts and make some biscuits and gravy for her husband, but she shared the delicious treat with me! As I was sitting there eating it, I wondered if they made sausage gravy in a can, could it be possible that they make it in a dry mix? Yes, I've lived under a rock somewhere far away from the land of convenience cooking, lol. Anyway, I aded that particular gravy mix item to my grocery list to look it up the next time I got groceries. And guess what?!? I found some!!

Longer story shortened, that's kind of how I came up with this recipe. I incorporated my make it from scratch skills and knowledge with the new quick mix cooking of today and brought it all together!

I didn't get it right on the first try, but that's okay because I got it "right" enough to taste good while I was perfecting that savory flavor and that just right consistency and texture. Taste testing is definitely the payday for developing a new recipe! I had hamburger gravy and mashed potatoes for 5 glorious days (almost all in a row!). Imagine my disappointment when I felt had the recipe perfected! No more taste testing! Well, at least not until I purchase some more freeze dried hamburger meat so I can make some more bags of it, lol.

Well, here you go...the recipe that has taken me the longest to develop so far. But, well worth the work and the wait. I hope you enjoy this meal as much as I do.

Meal in a bag: Hamburger Gravy and Mashed Potatoes (DOWNLOAD/PRINT RECIPE)

1 Serving (approximately 1-1/2 cups, cooked)


1 Cup instant mashed potatoes

3 TBSP country gravy mix (I used Pioneer Country Gravy


1 TBSP powdered milk – not instant nonfat dry milk (I used

Nido Fortificada, which is a dried whole milk)

1 TBSP Butter powder (I used Augason Farms)

2 tsp beef broth powder (I used Orrington Farms Broth

Base & Seasoning, Beef Flavored)

¼ Cup freeze dried ground beef (I used Mountain House)

1-1/2 Cups boiling water for “cooking”


1. Place all ingredients except ground beef and water in a

zip lock baggie. Do not zip baggie closed; fold it over

and roll it from the bottom up to get out as much air as


2.In a mylar bag or vacuum sealer bag put the freeze dried

ground beef and the zip lock baggie with ingredients

from Step 1 above.

3. Put oxygen absorber into the mylar bag (not needed if

using vacuum sealer bag).

4. Squeeze out as much air as you can, then seal mylar bag

using a household iron, a straight iron (for hair), or an

impulse sealer. Seal vacuum bag using vacuum sealer.


Remove the zip lock baggie (and oxygen absorber if

applicable) and set aside.

Boil the water and pour the boiling water into the mylar or

vacuum sealer bag with the freeze dried ground beef and stir.

Zip or clamp closed and put into a bag cozy or wrap with

towel/shirt (anything to help keep it hot).

Let sit for approximately 10-15 minutes.

Add ingredients from zip lock baggie and stir. Let sit one



Remove zip lock baggie (and oxygen absorber if applicable)

and set aside.

Pour 1-1/2 cups water and freeze dried ground beef into pot.

Bring to a boil.

Remove from heat.

Cover and place in a cozy or wrap a towel/shirt (anything to

help keep it hot). Let sit for approximately 10-15 minutes.

Add ingredients from zip lock baggie and stir. Let sit one



Remove zip lock baggie (and oxygen absorber if applicable)and set aside. Place freeze dried ground beef in a

microwavable bowl and set aside.

Boil 1-1/2 cups of water in microwave.

Add the boiling water to the bowl with freeze dried ground

beef and stir.

Cover bowl and microwave for 1 minute.

Let sit, covered, in microwave for approximately 10-15


Add ingredients from zip lock baggie and stir. Let sit one


Here's the video on how to make this delicious and savory Meal in a bag: Hamburger Gravy and Mashed Potatoes!

I do hope you will give this new recipe a try! And, if you do please leave a comment below and let me know how it turned out and if you liked it. As far as I could find, there aren't any commercially prepared hamburger gravy and mashed potatoes meals available anywhere. If you happen to run across some would you please let me know in the comments below? I'm just curious about it.

Until next time...happy prepping, and God bless!

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