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SALT LAKE CITY — For many of us, the concept of cooking for one may look like eating leftovers night after night, or eating boring eggs. And the other side of eating leftovers every evening may feel like spending a lot of time in the kitchen night after night.
The good news is cooking for one doesn't have to look like either of those scenarios.
I encourage my clients to stock their kitchens with pantry (and fridge/freezer) staples so they can throw a quick meal together, whether or not they've planned it out, and to seek out easy recipes for one.
Another piece of advice I have for clients who don't enjoy cooking "only for one," or don't feel like it's worth it, is to make the cooking process more enjoyable. Turn on a favorite playlist, watch a show or listen to a podcast. Cooking for one is usually less stressful than cooking for others since no one else is eating your meal. So lean into this less stressful opportunity and make it fun.
To help get you cooking, here are 10 of the best recipes for one:
I love this recipe because it takes just a few minutes to chop up the veggies, then you can throw all the ingredients in a pressure cooker or Instant Pot and let it do all the work. It's hearty, delicious, and easy to make 1 serving or double it.
2. Detroit Style Pizza for One from Joanie Zisk of One Dish Kitchen
This homemade pizza for one is easy to make on your own. Just start the dough three hours before you want to eat. Other than that, it's mostly a hands-off recipe.
3. Beef Enchiladas from Joanie Zisk of One Dish Kitchen
This recipe makes two enchiladas, which is perfect for one person. It just takes about 15 minutes to prep and 20 minutes to bake. Double this recipe for leftovers, which you'll definitely want.
4. Hummus Toast with Everything Bagel Spice from registered dietitian nutritionist Amy Gorin
This simple toast recipe would be great for breakfast or a 5-minute dinner. It's got lots of different flavors and textures going on and it's very easy to prepare.
This is one of my favorite pantry staple meals. I always have frozen fish, couscous and frozen vegetables on hand. No need to defrost the fish since this recipe uses frozen fish. The simple lemon butter topping adds a lot of flavor and makes your fish tender and delicious.
6. Baked Chicken Tenders from Joanie Zisk of One Dish Kitchen
Who doesn't love chicken tenders? This simple recipe for one is quick and super tasty!
This breaded pork chop with veggies recipe can all be cooked in one pan and is ready to eat in just 20 minutes. You can also swap the green beans for whatever vegetable you have.
8. Lentil Avocado Salad from Joanie Zisk of One Dish Kitchen
Lentils are one of my favorite inexpensive, plant-based proteins. They're easy to use, take on any flavor, and are an affordable option. These little lentils take on the delicious flavors of a tasty red wine vinegar and dijon vinaigrette.
I used to think that carbonara was a special meal that I couldn't just have whenever. Well, this recipe changes the game. This 15-minute recipe is definitely something you can throw together any day. Plus, it'll still feel like a special meal (for half the effort).
This recipe is the best for cleaning out your fridge. Throw in those random veggies or toppings from your fridge so you can reduce food waste and make simple tacos that taste different every time you make them.
If you've felt like cooking for one is something to not look forward to, I hope these simple recipes can change your mind. Of course, cooking may not always be something to look forward to, but if you enjoy cooking for others these recipes will help you enjoy cooking for yourself just a bit more.
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