With delivery apps making ordering a healthy meal easier than ever, it's easy to give in to the no-cooking temptation. After all, what's one more sushi order or Sakara Life meal? Who's to judge if we decide to eat a Sweetgreen salad every night for a week? This all sounds well and good, except for one small detail: If our livers don't suffer the consequences of takeout, our wallets do. But really, cooking for. one is so much easier than we might initially anticipate. With a few simple tips and go-to recipes, you'll be on your way to eating well and feeling good. We promise it'll be better than frozen pizza.
Cooking for One Tips
- Don't over shop. Before heading to the store, make a list of staples for the pantry like canned beans, pasta, and grains. Then, stock up the fridge with items like cheese, eggs, and seasonal vegetables. Look at your schedule. If you're going to be out two nights during the week, don't buy too many dinner ingredients.
- Cook your favorites. Indulge yourself by making the dishes you love. Take advantage of being alone, and enjoy all the mushrooms, anchovies, or blue cheese that you never used to eat because your ex hated them.
- Embrace being healthy. We typically tend to eat what is on hand, so fill your fridge and pantry with healthy foods and ingredients. Make hearty salads, roast vegetables, and be sure to add a handful of greens to everything you make.
- Love your freezer. Buy and cook in bulk and freeze the rest to enjoy later. The key to this technique is to not forget about the dishes or ingredients that are in your freezer.
- Read the recipe. Check the serving size if you're using a recipe. Some recipes feed eight to 10 people, while others feed just four. If you want to make a dish that serves eight to 10, cut it in half. You'll still have leftovers, but not a huge amount.
- Stop feeling sorry. You're eating alone now, but you won't always be, so cut yourself some slack. If you can't bear another bowl of pasta in front of the television by yourself, treat yourself to a meal out. Go to a restaurant that has a bustling bar, and grab a seat.
Now it's time to get cooking. Keep scrolling for easy recipes you can make for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert.
Latte Overnight Oats With Greek Yogurt
For a boost of caffeine and protein in the morning, this recipe for latte overnight oats from Food Faith Fitness is the perfect way to start your day. It requires just a few simple ingredients like rolled old fashioned oats, coffee, and non-fat vanilla yogurt. Whip together everything in a single bowl before bed and let the mixture sit in the fridge overnight. You'll wake up to a delicious single serving of breakfast.
Avocado Toast With Tomato and Hard Boiled Egg
Homemade avocado toast makes for an easy, affordable, and tasty breakfast for one. This recipe from Foodie Crush calls for toasted whole wheat bread topped with a bit of butter, a sliced avocado, tomato, and shaved hard-boiled eggs. Sprinkle on some salt and pepper and dig in.
Brown Rice Breakfast Bowl With Eggs and Spinach
For a healthy and satisfying breakfast that you can make for yourself on the weekends or even before work, try your hand at this recipe for a brown rice breakfast bowl with eggs and spinach from The Butter Half. With a little help from microwaveable brown rice or quinoa, this savory bowl will be ready to eat in 10 minutes flat.
Chicken Caesar Salad
A chicken caesar salad is a classic lunch recipe, and it's one that you can easily make from scratch for one. This recipe comes from Foodie Crush and calls for shredded chicken breast, coddled eggs, anchovy fillets, lemon, lettuce, cucumber, croutons, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, olive oil, and parmesan cheese. The homemade dressing is really what sets this salad apart from the rest.
You can roast a chicken on your own or simply find some cooked chicken at the market.
Creamy Moroccan Tomato Soup
You can't go wrong with a batch of tomato soup for lunch. If you're up for ditching the can and tackling a homemade creation, look no further than this recipe for Moroccan tomato soup from Half Baked Harvest. It's cozy, healthy, vegan, and comes together in less than an hour. Think roasted tomatoes, harissa sauce, coconut milk, yellow onion, cumin, and crispy chickpeas for serving. Make it on Sunday night and serve yourself a portion for lunch throughout the week.
Chipotle Lime Shrimp Bowls
Any recipe for a bowl of sorts makes for quick and easy singles fare. This recipe for a chipotle lime shrimp bowl is from Foodie Crush, and it's bursting with bright colors and flavors. Easily toss together brown rice, black beans, tomatoes, avocado, lime, and shrimp for a simple dinner that you can enjoy throughout the week. You can also substitute in any number of ingredients that you see fit or happen to have on hand, like corn, bell peppers, lettuce, and cilantro.
Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
If you're cooking for one, prepare to stock up on sweet potatoes. They're a cheap staple that's full of nutrients and can serve as the base of a quick weeknight dinner. Take, for instance, this recipe for stuffed sweet potatoes from Hello Glow. It's a healthy spin on a classic loaded baked potato only instead of cheese and butter; you'll stuff baked sweet potatoes with quinoa, avocado, kalamata olives, red onion, feta cheese, and a bit of olive oil.
Sheet Pan Blackened Salmon Bowl
An entire dinner that comes together on one sheet pan in the oven, this recipe for blackened salmon bowls with potatoes and avocado goddess sauce from Half Baked Harvest is easy and delicious. Roast up some baby potatoes and salmon fillets seasoned with honey, paprika, garlic, and cumin in the oven while brown rice cooks on the stove. The recipe also calls for a homemade avocado goddess sauce that you can make in any blender.
Chicken Reuben Sheet Pan Nachos
When you need a bit of comfort food, try your hand at these chicken Reuben sheet pan nachos from Melanie Makes. It calls for tasty ingredients like tortilla chips, cooked chicken, sauerkraut, corned beef, red onion, cherry tomatoes, Swiss cheese, and a homemade thousand island dressing. The beauty of these nachos is that you can make as big or small of a batch as you want. Plus, since you're just cooking for yourself, you can add or admit any ingredients to suit your tastebuds.
Dark Chocolate Truffles
When it comes to making dessert for yourself, there's no reason you can't make a batch of sweets to slowly enjoy by yourself or save a few and gift the rest. If you're looking for a tasty indulgence that's easy to make, these 2-ingredient dark chocolate truffles from Minimalist Baker are for you. Just melt a bit of dark chocolate to mix with warm coconut milk. Set this in the refrigerator for a few hours and scoop out round balls to be topped with cocoa powder or left as is. Pro tip: the truffles will stay fresh in the freezer for up to a month.
Molten Chocolate Lava Cake
A true dessert for one, you can make this single-serving molten lava cake from Half Baked Harvest whenever your sweet tooth is craving something rich. You'll need butter, dark chocolate, an egg, vanilla, coconut sugar, salt, and peanut butter—mostly ingredients you likely already have on hand. Bake the mixed ingredients in the oven for about 10 minutes in a ramekin for a perfecting portioned cake.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
It doesn't get more classic than chocolate chip cookies, and just because you're cooking for one doesn't mean you can't whip up a batch every now and then. This recipe comes from Spoon Fork Bacon and requires simple baking ingredients like flour, baking soda, butter, brown sugar, eggs, and chocolate chips. Keep a few for yourself and share the rest with friends or coworkers.
One Bowl Chocolate Fudge Brownies
This genius recipe for chocolate fudge brownies from Melanie Makes requires just one bowl and calls for only 10 ingredients. It's easy to bake and clean up, making it ideal for when you're craving homemade dessert but don't want too much of a hassle when cooking for one. First, you'll make a fudge mixture on the stove with butter, cocoa, coffee, sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, baking powder, and salt. Then, you'll pour the batter into a baking pan, top with chocolate chips, and pop it in the oven. Freeze part of the batch to enjoy slowly or share them with friends after you'd had your fill.