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Cooler Meat Sauce

For chili, spaghetti, sloppy joes, basically EVERYTHING!

Serves 4-5


  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 green pepper, chopped,
  • 1 red pepper, chopped,
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large can of tomato sauce
  • 1 large can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil (or 3 tbl of dried)
  • 1 bunch of cilantro (or 3 tbl of dried)
  • 3 tbls of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Salt, pepper, and tabasco to taste


In a large frying pan, brown the beef, 1/2 the onion, and garlic. Drain and set aside. In a separate soup pot, add all other ingredients except the fresh basil and cilantro. Cook on medium heat for 15 minutes. Add beef mixture, fresh basil and cilantro. Cook for another 10 to 15 minutes. Keep tasting throughout to make sure the flavor is to your liking (adding more balsamic or tabasco if you choose). Turn off burner and let cool (1 hour). Once it’s cooled, take large zip-lock freezer-bags and, using a cup, pour 3 cups into each bag until pot is cleaned. Make sure they are zipped up tight! Lay the freezer-bags flat in the freezer. When you’re ready to go camping use the freezer-bag meat sauce as ice-packs for your cooler (they’ll last for 2-3 hours). When ready to heat up, just pour meat sauce in a pot over the campfire. Dish over your favorite cooked noodles or add a can of beans to make chili. DELICIOUS and easy meal!