Van Life Cooking

As a follow up to the Minivan Kitchen post from a while ago, this one is about what we actually manage to make in this little kitchen. Obviously there are some limitations when it comes to cooking in the van, like there is not a whole lot of working space, we do not have a fridge and only got one small pan and two small pots. With some creativity and thought process, I think we were able to make some simple and decent meals 🙂

Meal Prep

Simplicity is the key. Every time we go buy groceries and think about what to make, there are a few general guidelines that we stick with to make cooking successful and delicious in the van.

  1. Minimal Dishes – Dish-washing is my least favorite part of van cooking, so One-Pot-Meal is the best way to go, sometime we would just eat out of the pot. At most, I think we only use the pan to stir fry and the pot to make rice.
  2. One Meal Portion – Since we do not have a fridge, we do not like to have any leftover food or ingredients. We know the two of us eat about one cup of rice and one pound of meat each meal, so we buy and cook that much. Vegetable, on the other hand, can be kept longer without refrigeration.
  3. Stay Healthy – Yes, we try to stay healthy. Whenever possible, we would visit the grocery store for fresh meat and veggies every day. If not, we do have instant ramen noodles and canned meat as backup.
  4. Spice Packets – They are the game changer for us! I had never discovered so much ready-to-go spice and sauce packet until living in the van. All you need to do is add your ingredients, stir, cook, and you have a delicious meal. McCormick, Lee-Kum-Kee, Curry Paste… you only need to look and try.


Chicken & Veggies


Chicken Curry & Rice

Beef Noodle Soup

Pork Chop & Veggies

Chili with rice

Pasta with meat & veggies

Ma Po Tofu


Hummus & Stuff


Tuna salad



PB & J

Hard Boiled Eggs



last but not least, coffee & tea

2 Comments Add yours

  1. sondrakt says:

    I like the simplicity of your dinner ideas and I hadn’t thought about seasoning and sauce packets since I’ve cooked from scratch at home for a long time. I’ll start shopping that section and stock up. Thanks for sharing.


    1. kellieandmin says:

      😀 especially when you don’t know what to make, they give you so many ideas!


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