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Backcountry Quesadillas


Luxmore Hut is a pretty familiar place to most South Island trampers. Located just above the tree line with jaw-dropping views over Lake Te Anau and the Murchison Mountains, it’s a metaphorical and literal high point of the Kepler Track.

But what’s less known about it is that when the winter snows arrive, the place transforms into a ski tourers’ haven. Surrounded by countless un-tracked powder slopes and all but deserted, it’s a very different and very special place to spend a few days.

The great thing is, thanks to handy helicopter access, just across the lake you can call in a flight with the same ease as calling a taxi. If only the local pizzeria delivered up there, it’d be heaven on earth. However, with this Quesadilla (pronounced kasa-dia) recipe shared with me by Adrian Nankivell on my last trip in there, you can make the next best thing.

Serves: 4 people
Weight: 1580g
Volume: 1.8l
Calories: 3050
Cost: $27.50
Cooking time: 10 min
Fuel: 80ml white spirit, or 30g camping gas*

*Based on an MSR Whisperlite burning white spirit at sea level.

Special Utensils

  • A flipper and a frying pan big enough to lay out a circle of flat bread.


  • 100ml olive oil
  • 8 round sheets of flatbread
  • 1 tube of tomato paste
  • 250g cheese, grated
  • 2 capsicums, finely diced
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 6 button mushrooms, finely diced
  • 250g Chorizo sausage, finely diced
  • Mixed herbs, salt and pepper


Lightly fry the diced ingredients and set aside. Spread a thin layer of tomato paste on a piece of flatbread and then add a sprinkling of the diced ingredients. Add a layer of grated cheese over the top and top with a second sheet of flatbread. Fry for a couple of minutes till the underside is golden brown then flip and fry till the second side is brown and the cheese is melted. Chop into eighths and serve.

For a decadent alternative, you can substitute chocolate for cheese and fill with dried fruit, nuts etc.

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