Delish Recipes for Cooking for One (2024)

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Making healthy meals for one isn’t always easy. Sure, there’s always takeout, but it’s not the best option — for your wallet or your health. Cooking for one can be a bit of a challenge.

That’s why we’ve pulled together a list of the best easy meals for one, broken down by meal time. This means you could have cinnamon roll Greek yogurt pancakes for breakfast, a Mediterranean grilled cheese for lunch, and a vegetarian burrito bowl for dinner.

And dessert? Like we’d forget about that. There’s a 1-minute coffee cake that’s yours for the taking. (Looking for a slew of sweets for one? We’ve got more mug recipes here.)

Tie on your apron, baby, because these healthy recipes are going to make cooking for one easy as pie.

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1. Mac and cheese in a mug

You’ll never eye the blue box again. This creamy mac and cheese gets made entirely in the microwave for those nights when you need comfort food, stat.

If you have macaroni, shredded cheese, and milk at home, you’re ready to make this. Whole-wheat pasta and the addition of frozen broccoli or a side salad gives it a healthier twist. Opt for vegan cheese if you have lactose intolerance or prefer to skip the dairy.

Get cooking with the recipe here.

2. Vegetarian burrito bowl

If eating at Chipotle is burning a hole in your wallet, it’s time to try your hand at making burrito bowls at home.

By combining brown rice, black beans, salsa, cheese, and diced avocado, you can make a healthy, delicious Mexican-inspired meal in just 5 minutes — and for a whole lot less money than eating out.

Add leftover tofu or chicken for extra protein and a dollop of Greek yogurt in place of sour cream. Enjoy over shredded greens for more fiber and other health benefits.

DIY your own burrito bowl with the recipe.

3. Egg fried rice

We’ve heard of many mug meals, but fried rice is a new one. Save yourself the Chinese food delivery fee and try this healthier homemade version. It can be ready in less than 10 minutes (if you’ve got some cooked rice on hand) and eggs are an EGG-cellent complete protein source.

Get cracking on the recipe.

4. Pasta for one

Let’s admit it: There’s nothing quite as comforting as eating pasta. You can whip up this simple pasta dish in just 10 minutes. Parmesan melds with some pasta cooking water to create a creamy sauce. A generous grind of black pepper is the final touch.

Adding some fresh spinach or swapping in bean-based pasta will up the nutrient content too.

Here’s how to make it.

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5. Blueberry paleo protein waffle

Skip the frozen waffles and whip up these protein-packed waffles instead. Vanilla protein powder and substitutes such as coconut flour in place of wheat flour make these a sweet and filling a.m. meal that packs a nutritional punch.

If you want to skip the syrup, a drizzle of honey and lemon will brighten it up.

Start your morning right with the recipe.

6. Mushroom and herb omelet

Who says omelets need to be complicated? This fancy-looking recipe calls for only eggs, mushrooms, sour cream, and some of your favorite herbs. Fresh herbs make all the difference in taste. Plus, mushrooms and eggs are among the few food sources of vitamin D.

Whisk up this tasty breakfast here.

7. Sweet potato bacon kale hash

This restaurant-quality breakfast is packed with hearty (and nutrient-packed) ingredients: bacon, sweet potatoes, a runny fried egg, and crispy kale. Best of all, everything cooks in one pan, meaning minimal cleanup after you devour it.

Hash things out with the recipe.

8. Peach crisp smoothie

Peaches are an underrated fruit when it comes to smoothies — berries seem to get all the love. But that’s about to change with this recipe.

A frozen peach (or use fresh if you’ve got it!) gets blended with heart-healthy walnuts, oats, and banana for a frozen breakfast with plenty of staying power.

Here’s the recipe to blend up breakfast in a flash.

9. Banana-oat baked French toast

This is a solo breakfast that defies categorization. Not quite French toast and not quite oatmeal, this dessert-like breakfast will have more fiber if you use whole-grain bread. Top with a spoonful of almond butter for a sweet and nutty boost, plus a dose of heart-healthy fat to keep you satisfied.

Check out the recipe.

10. No-bake vanilla breakfast cookies

Some days you wake up and your sweet tooth immediately kicks in. These breakfast cookies are the perfect solution, especially since they can be either eaten right away or placed in the freezer or fridge for 30 minutes while you finish getting ready.

Grab ’em on the way out the door and enjoy a sprinkle-filled morning. Your 10-year-old self would be so jealous (and your adult self will appreciate that the balance of fiber, protein and healthy-fat keeps you energized all morning!)

Get a sweet start to the day with the recipe.

11. Cinnamon roll Greek yogurt pancakes

Pancakes might seem like a cooking-for-the-masses breakfast, but with the right proportions, they can easily become a solo meal.

This sweet cinnamon stack looks decadent but is hiding healthier ingredients: Plain Greek yogurt, protein powder, egg whites, and rolled oats pack in protein to power through your day. Who needs a boxed mix?

Start here for solo pancake-making.

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12. 1-minute coffee cake in a mug

With a name like that, you can’t go wrong. This easy treat is made with Greek yogurt, cinnamon, and pinches of all your basic baking ingredients. Cook everything in the microwave and top it with a mouthwatering streusel.

Drooling yet? Get the recipe here.

13. Berry cobbler

Cobbler was definitely on our needs-a-crowd recipe list — until now. Oatmeal, berries, and a few tablespoons of flour, brown sugar, and butter are all you need for a personal berry cobbler in minutes.

Grab a mug and get cooking.

14. Microwave fudge brownie

Single-serving dessert recipes = the easiest form of built-in portion management. This microwave brownie recipe is made from only five simple ingredients: unsweetened cocoa powder, Greek yogurt, whole wheat flour, agave, and vanilla extract. Oh, yeah.

Add some chocolate to your life with the recipe.

15. Strawberry protein pancakes with yogurt filling

Are these a dessert or a breakfast? No matter what time of day you eat these babies, they’re delicious (and filling!) A protein-rich pancake batter made of oats, Greek yogurt, and egg whites gets whipped together in a blender and then cooked in minutes.

Stuffed with yogurt and jam, these make an awesome crepe-inspired dessert.

Here’s how to make ’em.

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16. Chicken bruschetta pasta salad

When you’re craving Italian but not the ginormous portions a restaurant serves, try this Italian-inspired recipe at home. More pasta than salad, it combines spelt noodles, chicken breast, red onion, tomato, and basil leaves for a balanced and delicious dish.

The sauce? A super easy combo of heart-healthy olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Make an Italian masterpiece for one with the recipe.

17. Minestrone soup

Unless you want leftovers for the week (which isn’t a bad idea), soup is another tough solo dish. This recipe solves the problem. And thanks to the fiber and protein-rich ingredients, it will keep you satisfied for hours.

With 2 cups of chicken broth, loads of beans and veggies, and two crumbled strips of bacon, you’ll feel warm and fuzzy in no time.

Soup’s on with this easy recipe.

18. Avocado caprese salad

When you’re looking for a light, simple lunch, this fresh salad is a winner. Healthy fats like avocado and olive oil fill you up while honey and balsamic add just the right balance of sweetness to the salad.

Creamy, crunchy goodness right this way.

19. Mediterranean grilled cheese sandwich

Take your grilled cheese from late-night munchie to full-on meal with this Mediterranean-inspired version. Creamy feta isn’t as gooey as mozzarella or cheddar, but it sure is rich, high in muscle building protein and bone boosting calcium, and it tastes amazing paired with red onions, tomato, kale, and black olives.

Get the recipe here.

20. Mexican stuffed sweet potato

Corn, black beans, chipotle chili powder, and lime juice come together to create mega Southwestern flavor. Stuff it all inside a baked sweet potato (cook it the night before for quicker assembly) and top with cashew crumbles.

If you’re not following a vegan or dairy-free diet, try goat cheese crumbles for a tangy flavor and nutrition boost.

Check out this healthy recipe here.

21. Tart cherry tuna-stuffed avocados

Is it us, or do stuffed foods just taste better? Take this stuffed avocado, for instance, which is packed with omega-3 rich tuna, antioxidant-filled dried cherries, and heart-healthy chopped pecans. This recipe takes just a few simple ingredients and turns them into a filling meal with anti-inflammatory benefits!

Load up on healthy fats and fiber with the recipe.

22. Tomato, basil, and mozzarella sandwich

Drizzle olive oil on two pieces of whole wheat bread (or any crusty slice). Top with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil, and sprinkle black pepper, garlic powder, and crushed red pepper on top. Feel free to add your favorite Italian meat, like prosciutto if you’re not following a vegetarian diet.

Cook the sandwich in a pan over medium heat, flattening it with a spatula, until the cheese is totally melted. Aw yeahhh.

Try this satisfying solo lunch right here!

Delish Recipes for Cooking for One (2024)


What is the best way to cook for one person? ›

12 tips that make cooking for one person a breeze
  1. Keep staple items on hand. Buy cooking basics in bulk and store them in air-tight containers. ...
  2. Buy individual pieces of produce. ...
  3. Learn how to scale down recipes for one person. ...
  4. Get creative with seasonings. ...
  5. Freeze extra ingredients and leftover meals.
Sep 19, 2018

What is a good dinner for one person? ›

  • Spinach Orzo Salad For One.
  • Baked Cod For One.
  • Slow Cooker Chickpeas And Sausage For One.
  • Sweet Potato And Black Bean Salad For One.
  • Baked Chicken Thighs For One.
  • Chicken Fried Rice For One.
  • Small Batch Ham And Cheese Sliders.
  • Crack Chicken For One.

How to cook cheaply for one? ›

Budget meals for one
  1. Dhal with garam masala carrots. ...
  2. Pea & ham pot pie. ...
  3. Super-quick sesame ramen. ...
  4. Baked ginger & spinach sweet potato. ...
  5. Brown butter linguine. ...
  6. Chorizo hummus bowl. ...
  7. Microwave shakshuka. ...
  8. Sardines & tomatoes on toast.

Is there a meal plan for just one person? ›

Cooking for one doesn't mean less choices. With HelloFresh and our meal kits for singles, you can pick from a selection of 100+ weekly menu and market items each week, crafted and curated by our chefs.

Is cooking for One worth it? ›

Cooking for just one or two people can be a challenge, but it's worth the effort because it saves your wallet and waistline.

What to make for dinner alone? ›

  • Creamy Tuscan White Bean Skillet. ...
  • Paella-Inspired Party Packs. ...
  • Steak With Bourbon Garlic Cream Sauce. ...
  • Everything Bagel Pasta. ...
  • Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps. ...
  • Baked Feta Pasta. ...
  • French Onion Chicken Meatballs.
Feb 29, 2024

What should I make for dinner if I live alone? ›

  • Tempeh Quesadilla. Rated 5 out of 5.
  • Collard Greens & White Bean Soup. Rated 4 out of 5.
  • Spicy Baja-Style Shrimp Tacos. Rated 3 out of 5.
  • Quick Tandoori Chicken. Rated 4 out of 5.
  • Quick Tomato Sauce. Rated 4 out of 5.
  • Ricotta Mini-Pizzas With Kale Pesto. Rated 5 out of 5.
  • Mushroom & Egg Toast. Rated 4 out of 5.
  • Black Bean Chili.

What is solo dinner? ›

Solo dining has started to reshape the traditional way foodies visit restaurants, as more people get comfortable enjoying their own company and eating out alone. Once seen as the ultimate social no-no, dining alone is shedding its stigma and has evolved into a weekly occurrence for many introverts and even extraverts.

What are 2 things you should find in every recipe? ›

Food is delicious because of three main things: flavor, salt, and heat. If you know what to look for regarding these three components, you'll have a decent idea if a new recipe is worth a go.

What to buy when you don't know how to cook? ›

No-Cook Proteins
  • Pasteurized Lump Crab Meat. Already pre-cooked, pasteurized lump crab meat can be an easy way to add seafood options to the table without turning on an appliance. ...
  • Prosciutto. Prosciutto is an easy way to add umami to your no-cook dishes. ...
  • Canned Tuna. ...
  • Canned Salmon. ...
  • Zucchini. ...
  • Avocado. ...
  • Hummus. ...
  • Nut Butters.
Aug 3, 2021

What is a realistic food budget for one person? ›

The average weekly grocery budget for a single person can vary significantly depending on factors like location, dietary preferences, and income. However, a rough estimate might be between $50 to $100 per week. Is cooking dinner at home a thing of the past; how often do you eat out?

Is it cheaper to eat out or cook at home for one person? ›

For those who want a quick and easy answer: It's generally cheaper to cook food at home than eat out. The reason so many people can get stuck on the question is the human psychology variable. People don't always spend wisely, and it isn't as if prices are always the same at a supermarket or a fast food restaurant.

Is cooking for yourself actually cheaper? ›

If you compare the same meal and don't account for the time you spend cooking it, it will be cheaper to do it yourself every time. If you go to fancy restaurants it's not even close. You just have to compare the price of a soda, ~$3 and up (usually $5), to its price at the supermarket and you'll have your answer.

Is it cheaper to eat out or cook for one person? ›

Cooking at home is typically cheaper for a single person compared to eating out. Home-cooked meals allow you to purchase ingredients in larger quantities, control portion sizes, and take advantage of leftovers, reducing overall food costs.

Is it cheaper to eat out or cook at home for one? ›

It's also important to note that some meals at home are much quicker to prepare than the time you'd spend waiting in line at a restaurant. So according to the data, it's pretty clear you will save money cooking your own grub.

How do you enjoy cooking when you live alone? ›

Here are a few extra suggestions:
  1. Don't cook in silence, if you don't like it. ...
  2. Similarly, don't always eat alone, if you don't like it. ...
  3. Meal planning. ...
  4. Get a small freezer, if at all possible. ...
  5. Buy meat, fish or cheese from independent shops, or the counter. ...
  6. Don't worry about eating simply. ...
  7. Set goals.


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