31 Easy Dinners for One That Are Too Delicious to Share
We love cooking for a crowd, but some nights it’s just us on the couch with Netflix and a glass of wine. While it’s tempting to settle for a bowl of cereal when you’re eating solo, there’s plenty to be said for treating yourself. Not sure what to make? These recipes will give you all the satisfaction of a homemade meal without a ton of leftovers. Here are 31 easy dinners for one that are well worth the (minimal) effort.
1. 10-Minute Macaroni and Cheese in a Mug
This quick meal is a childhood dream come true. And it beats digging into a whole pot all by your lonesome with a wooden spoon. (Been there, done that.) With two types of cheddar, butter and heavy cream, the coziest dinner ever is just minutes away.
2. Mini Chicken Shawarma
If you’re getting bored of the same chicken recipes, here’s one to fix that. The star is a robust homemade herb sauce made with lemon juice, dill, garlic and Greek yogurt. Whether you assemble one to eat with salad or chow down on three, these tiny sammies won’t do you wrong.
3. 15-Minute Mediterranean Couscous with Tuna and Pepperoncini
Feel like a total pro minus the heavy lifting. Once you make the couscous, all that’s left is easy ingredients like canned tuna, cherry tomatoes and capers. This vinegary, savory dish pairs brilliantly with a glass of Chardonnay.
4. Green Goddess Wraps
Sometimes treating yourself means chowing down on your daily veggies. And these wraps are pretty much salad tacos, meaning they’re fork-free and fun to eat. Once you try the dressing made with buttermilk, sour cream, chives, basil and lemon, you’ll want to have a reserve in your fridge 24/7.
5. Sheet-Pan Lemon Butter Veggies and Sausage
Fact: Nothing tastes bad in lemon butter. Especially pretty seasonal produce and chicken sausage. Prep ahead for the week or just make what you’re eating tonight.
6. Tomato Salad with Grilled Halloumi and Herbs
Basic caprese just got an upgrade. This one boasts slabs of salty halloumi cheese dressed in olive oil and charred on the grill. (Don’t want to fire up the barbecue? Just use a grill pan on the stove.)
7. Mini Spanish Tortilla with Zucchini
Let’s go to Madrid for dinner tonight. There, a tortilla is an egg dish loaded with potatoes and more of our favorite things. This one gets thin-sliced zucchini, onion and grated Manchego cheese. Eat it straight from the cutest, littlest skillet you own.
8. Blackberry-Peach Grilled Cheese
Turn the laziest sandwich in the universe into a fancy, golden-brown masterpiece. Tart, plump blackberries offer pops of juicy sweetness between melted rich fontina, mild Emmentaler and creamy goat cheese. Have it with mixed greens or fries.
9. Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad Stuffed Peppers
We love chicken salad. A ton of globby mayo…not so much. We substitute Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard and rice vinegar to give it creaminess and tang, plus replace boring old plates with bell pepper-bowls. Make just enough for tonight or a batch that’ll cover tomorrow’s lunch, too.
10. 20-Minute Paleo Egg Roll Bowls
Consider this a compromise between making dinner and ordering takeout. Dig into the salad version of traditional egg roll filling, complete with seasoned ground pork, shredded cabbage, minced ginger, carrots and scallions. Add double Sriracha for extra heat or serve over white rice.
11. Asparagus Salmon Foil Packets
Don’t you just love an empty sink? Keep it that way with this recipe that’s practically mess-free. Make a foil packet with a single fillet, asparagus spears and lemon-garlic butter. Bake for 20 minutes, throw away the foil and pat yourself on the back before taking the first bite.
12. Whole30 Chicken Meatballs and Cauliflower Rice with Coconut-Herb Sauce
These lean meatballs are packed with protein and bursting with flavor from red onion, garlic and Dijon. Wait until you try the sauce, made with canned coconut milk, scallions and red pepper flakes. Prep and cook a single serving or make a bunch of meatballs ahead for salads, pasta or sandwiches.
13. Ginger-Pineapple Shrimp Stir-Fry
No leftovers? You got it. This dish has it all: tender shrimp, vibrant produce and fluffy seasoned rice. Minced ginger, fresh mint and Fresno chile peppers will give you just the right balance of heat and herbs. Squeeze in a lime and a drizzle of hot sauce before taking your first bite.
15. One-Pan Eggs with Asparagus and Tomatoes
Dinner for one often calls for a scramble that’s eaten as quickly as it’s cooked. Level up to this ridiculously-easy sheet-pan dish that’s just as effortless. Roast the veggies in thyme and olive oil before cracking the eggs right on top. Hey there, runny yolk.
16. Easy Homemade Calzone
Put down the phone and back away from the pizzeria menu. Getting your fill of saucy-cheesy goodness is easier than you think. Fill a round of pizza dough with your fave sauce, cheese and toppings (this recipe calls for mozz, pepperoni, onion and pepper), crimp the edges and bake until golden. Serve with a side of warm sauce and your work is done.
17. Shredded Thai Salad with Avocado
Isn’t she gorgeous? All it takes is a rainbow of veggies—snow peas! peppers! cabbage! carrots!—a few Asian-inspired garnishes and homemade honey-ginger soy dressing. Top it with fanned avocado slices and let the Instagram likes roll in.
18. Easy 5-Ingredient Corn Soup
Nothing beats a buttered ear of corn, and this is its soup form. New potatoes and corn kernels get simmered down and pureed before being crowned with crunchy sesame-seed topping made in brown butter. Comfort food, here we come.
19. Buffalo Chicken Wraps with Blue Cheese and Celery
A store-bought rotisserie chicken takes this recipe from simple to totally effortless. Use bottled buffalo sauce or make your own by combining melted butter and hot sauce in a small pot on the stove. The chicken will take tomorrow’s lunch salad up a notch too.
20. Meal-Prep Turkey Meatballs with Zucchini Noodles
OK, we know you said no leftovers. But the only thing better than an easy meal is *four* easy meals. This lean take on spaghetti and meatballs has you covered with ground turkey, marinara and zoodles. Make some for meals to come, or just prep what you’re eating tonight.
21. Easy Mexican Breakfast Pizzas with Avocado
Who says you can only eat breakfast in the morning? Each of these cuties is topped with marinara, cheddar and a sunny-side-up egg. They’re also gluten-free, thanks to swapping pizza dough for corn tortillas. Add toppings like red onion, jalapeño or corn.
22. Greek Lemon Chicken Skewers with Tzatziki Sauce
Here’s that trip to Greece you ordered. Grill up just the right amount of chicken that’ll leave you with room for toasty pita and a few spoons (fine, a gallon) of homemade sauce, made with diced cucumber, lemon, dill and Greek yogurt.
23. Spicy Salmon Sushi Bowls
We apologize to your beloved Japanese restaurant in advance, but we’ll take it from here. Start with a bed of sushi rice and cubed sashimi-grade salmon marinated in soy sauce, sesame oil, sambal and ginger. Make it pretty with cilantro, green onion, nori and other crispy toppers.
24. Avocado Caprese Salad
If you want to keep your single-serve meal as simple as possible, salad is the way to go. And this one starts with arugula, tomato slices and fresh mozzarella. Drizzle it with honey-balsamic, tear yourself a hunk of bread and settle in for a few hours of Too Hot to Handle.
25. Linguine with Bacon, Peaches and Gorgonzola
Pasta and solo dinners go together like peanut butter and jelly. Cozy up with a bowl of noodles topped with bacon, bacon-fat shallots and peach slices. Finish it with gorgonzola and fresh thyme. *Chef’s kiss.*
26. Vegan Buddha Bowl
Sweet potatoes, warm spices and tahini over quinoa salad is a dinner that you and your trainer can get behind. Roast the veggies while the quinoa cooks, then sprinkle on crunchy bits like beet chips and sesame seeds. This recipe makes either two side servings or one full serving, so pair with grilled curried chicken thighs, miso-glazed fish or have it all on its own.
27. 15-Minute Cucumber-Avocado Blender Soup
If you avoid making soup from scratch because canned soup is just too convenient to pass up, this one’s is for you. Dump cukes, lime juice and parsley in the blender, bake a cheesy piece of bread for dipping and call it a night.
28. Salmon Bowl with Farro, Black Beans and Tahini Dressing
Omega-3s never looked so good. This bowl has just the right amount of farro and black beans, not to mention browned salmon seasoned in smoked paprika, turmeric and coriander. Go ahead and make a big batch of tahini-lemon dressing; you’ll be craving it all week.
29. 15-Minute Cheater’s Pad Thai
You have a lot of TV to catch up on tonight, so time is of the essence. Rice noodles and ground pork come together in minutes in a savory soy-sriracha broth. Top with bean sprouts and peanuts for that restaurant-quality look.
30. Grilled Vegetable Sandwich with Pesto
Does dinner get any easier than making a sandwich? Nope. Slather ciabatta in Dijon mustard and pesto before browning eggplant, zucchini and bell pepper in olive oil. Top it with dressed mixed greens and have it with your favorite potato chips (we’re putting ours right on the sandwich).
31. Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie for One
One of those days, huh? Same. We’re moving dessert up a few hours because there’s nothing a crispy-edged, melty cookie can’t fix. And no, we’re not sharing.