The Ultimate Vanlife Kitchen Packing List
Updated: Feb 18, 2021
I love lists. When we were building out our van I used to scour Pinterest for packing lists, so I could get ideas and inspiration. Now we've lived in our van for 18 months I thought I'd create my own to help others who are excited for their own adventures.
I've put together a list of every item we have on our van for use in the kitchen or for cooking (campfires count!) I've even included a food list, so you can see what we can fit in our Sprinter! We have a Dometic CRX110 fridge with freezer compartment, two food cupboards, under bed storage and some boxes in the boot for extra tinned or dried foods.
We love to cook, so we have an awful lot of ingredients on board!
All links are Amazon affiliate, which means we earn a small commission if you buy from one of these links – at no extra expense to you. It's one of the small income streams we have keeping us in lentils and cat treats!
This is the first in a series of packing lists, we plan to do them for clothes, entertainment, pets and more.
Omnia Stovetop Oven - bake and roast without a fitted oven! We have used ours to make roast potatoes, pizza, potato wedges, croissants, cinnamon rolls, cake, nut loaf and more.
Silicone mold for Omnia oven - reduces cleanup, good for cakes, bread etc
Toaster rack for Omnia oven - for toasting rolls, making jacket spuds or steaming foods
Ridgemonkey XL with utensils and case - for cheese toasties and other frying or baking
Knife set - ours are iridescent!
Silicone soup ladle - may sound like a frivolous use of space, but we eat a lot of soup. Have you tried serving soup with a normal sized spoon?!
Low wattage food processor - useful for making hummus or other dips, falafels, chopping veg or grinding up nuts. This one is 400W, so we can use it with our 500W inverter!
Stacking measuring cups - if you do a lot of baking or cooking from recipes, these are very useful.
Avocado slicer - another one that may seem unnecessary, but I eat a lot of avocado and it saves me from hand injuries!
Digital scales with bowl - we use the detachable bowl for salads and mixing, the scales for baking.
Flat grater - takes up hardly any space, it lies flat in our cutlery/utensils drawer
Peeler/grater set - I'd buy this if I didn't already have 2 of them on board!
Foldable BBQ/firepit - this has legs so the ground doesn't get scorched, folds flat for storage and can be used to barbecue on the grill or just as a campfire that leaves no trace.
Large - for one pot dishes like chilli, paella, stir fry etc. Our go-to pan.
Saucepan with steamer - medium, for pasta/potatoes/vegetables etc. We had this set in our house, so to save space we got rid of one steamer tier and took the other on the van with the pan and lid. We use the steamer inset to drain pasta and boiled veg etc.
Small saucepan for gravy, hot chocolate and mulled wine warming!
Frying pan - for when the large pan is just too big. Ideal for pancakes and frying butter beans for a snack (Rosie's favourite)
Cereal bowls - ours are bamboo square colourful ones.
Enamel soup bowls - less breakable than ceramic and lighter too
Cutlery - knives, forks, spoons, teaspoons. They will go wandering, or you might have a dinner guest, so we have a spare set of everything.
Colourful enamel mugs - they don't break if you drop them!
Keepcup (Missy's giant coffee cup)
Teaball - for herbal tea
Wine goblets - stainless steel so no broken glass if you have a whoopsie...
Cafetiere - makes coffee, keeps it hot, stainless steel so fairly unbreakable!
Blender bottle - for smoothies, dips, sauces
Small dustpan and brush - no plastic, designed to use on countertops, very small
Microfiber cloths - for cleaning and using as teatowels. They dry super fast which is so useful
Spray bottle - for cleaning with vinegar/water solution
Unpaper towels - Reusable cloths to reduce your paper waste
Seed sprouter - grow fresh crunchy sprouts in just 3 days. Perfect for the end of the week when your fresh veggies are all gone.
Spice jars - ideal for filling with all the interesting spices you find at markets!
Metal skewers - for bbq's
Ice packs - we have a few in our freezer, useful for injuries or when going out for the day with a picnic.
Reusable ice cubes - we have had these for 3 years. If I were buying now, I'd choose these non plastic whiskey stones. They're better than ice cubes because they don't dilute your drink and they take up less space in your freezer (because you can refreeze them after each drink)
Wax food wraps - replacing cling film, these soy wax wraps can wrap up sandwiches or cover a bowl of leftovers
Silicone food bags - another replacement for plastic disposables. These are airtight, leakproof, freezable and perfect for storing leftovers or packing a picnic.
Don't forget tinfoil
Of course this will be different for everyone, but here's what we have in the van pretty much all of the time:
Tins and jars - tomatoes, beans, vegetables, olives
Oil - olive for general cooking, toasted sesame for stirfries, sunflower for baking, coconut
Vinegar - apple cider with the mother, balsamic, sherry, rice
Vegan worcester sauce, f*sh sauce
Small white wine cartons
Miso soup sachets
Seeds - sesame, pumpkin, sunflower, ground flax, chia
Dried fruit - dates, apricots, raisins (great in tagines)
Seaweed - nori sheets, ground nori sprinkle, dried dulse and wakame
Nuts - cashews, walnuts, pecans, cooked chestnuts
Dried lentils - brown and red split
Rice - brown, paella, precooked pouches
Wholewheat pasta - spaghetti, ditalini, macaroni, penne
Rice noodles and ramen packets
Peanut butter, marmite, cashew butter, jam
Plain flour, corn flour
Bicarb of Soda
Icing sugar, caster sugar
Blackstrap molasses, golden syrup
Dijon mustard, wholegrain mustard
Peppers, lettuce, spinach, celery, cucumber, mushrooms
Vegetable basket under bed
Courgettes, sweet potatoes, garlic, carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, apples, kiwis, avocados
Herbs and Spices
Dried bay leaves, basil, black pepper, celery seeds, chillli flakes, ground coriander, ground cumin, curry powder, garam masala, dill, fennel seeds, ground ginger, oregano, mustard powder, paella spice mix, turmeric, sweet paprika, smoked paprika, parsley, poppy seed, sage, saffron, tarragon, thyme, cinnamon sticks and ground, juniper berries, ground nigella seeds, harissa, ras el hanout, herbs du provence, himalayan salt, onion powder, garlic granules