50 Simple and Savory Single-Serving Meals

By , SparkPeople Blogger
If there's anything tougher than cooking for a crowd, it's cooking for one. When you have a single mouth to feed, it can be difficult to muster the motivation to shop for ingredients, prepare meals, cook and clean up—especially when most recipes yield multiple servings that will likely languish in the fridge before ultimately getting pitched. For many one-person households, the takeout menu often takes priority over the recipe book…but that convenience comes at a cost to your pocketbook and your waistline.
Fortunately, there are plenty of compact recipes designed for solo dining, making it easy to downsize the cooking process without compromising on taste. With these efficient yet delicious one-person meals, you'll buy fewer ingredients, spend less time prepping and waste less food—and discover that good things really can come in small packages.


  1. Two-Minute Maple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal: With 11 grams of protein and only 135 calories, this fast, filling breakfast will keep you satisfied until lunch.
Image via The Seasoned Mom
  1. Asparagus, Brie and Smoked Salmon Omelet: Stuffed with smoked salmon, slender asparagus, creamy brie and ripe cherry tomatoes, this omelet makes the perfect brunch for one.
  1. Grain-Free Apple Cinnamon Roll Porridge: For those looking to eat grain-free, this porridge alternative gets its sweetness from fresh apples and a touch of cinnamon.
Image via Foraged Dish
  1. Masala Omelette: This omelet is packed with fresh veggies and a hint of spice that makes breakfast or brunch a special treat for the senses.
  1. Scrambled Eggs with Cherry Tomatoes and Pesto: Topped with cherry tomatoes and dairy-free pesto, this gorgeous and healthy breakfast is gluten-free, Paleo-friendly and low-carb.
Image via Tastes Lovely
  1. Nutella Cookie Dough Breakfast Bites: Don’t let the name fool you: Packed with protein and fiber, these single-serve bites taste like dessert but get your day off to a healthy, energized start.
  1. Microwave Banana Oatmeal: Creamy and delicious, this single-serve oatmeal will help keep you full till lunch.
Image via Fannetastic Food
  1. Cheesy Pesto Scramble: Full of veggies and high in protein, this is breakfast for one feels a little bit indulgent, thanks to the addition of cheese and pesto.
Image via Foraged Dish
  1. Vegetarian Farmer's Breakfast: This German classic-made-modern is perfect for rebuilding after a tough workout.
  1. Blueberry Coconut Flour Pancakes for One: These grain-free, Paleo-approved pancakes have been scaled down for one hungry individual.
Image via The Roasted Root

Sandwiches & Wraps

  1. Southwestern Wraps: Make as many or as few of these delicious and nutritious Southwestern wraps as you'd like.
Image via Jo Cooks
  1. Avocado Egg Salad Wraps: Need a single-serve lunch on the quick? This protein-packed wrap comes together beautifully in just a few minutes.
Image via Jo Cooks
  1. The Ultimate Avocado Sandwich: This super tasty sandwich is stacked with essential "good" fats and plenty of protein.
  1. California Turkey Club Wrap: Stuffed with turkey, bacon, avocado, tomato and lettuce, this makes a delicious and balanced lunch.
Image via Tastes Lovely
  1. Pork Pita with Fried Black Beans & Apple Celery Slaw: Pork, apples and beans form a tantalizing trifecta in this savory lunch or dinner dish.
  1. Turkey Pesto Avocado Sandwich: A mouth-watering, turkey and grilled cheese sandwich with avocado and pesto that makes for a crispy, melt-in-your mouth experience.
Image via Roasted Root
  1. Grilled Zucchini Hummus Wrap: Who said vegetarian meals have to be boring? Fresh veggies are grilled to perfection and packed into this wrap, making it an easy meal for one.
Image via Maebell's
  1. Spicy Spinach and Avocado Quesadilla: Spicy and simple, this six-ingredient meal makes it easy to whip up a healthy, hearty dinner on busy nights.
Image via Maebell's

Snacks & Appetizers

  1. Individual Chicken Pot Pies: These petite pies are the perfect comfort food on a chilly night, while helping you hit your daily veggie quota.
Image via Jo Cooks
  1. Quinoa Pizza Crust: Topped with tomato sauce, fresh basil, shallots, ribboned carrots and cashew cheese, this super-simple pizza is packed with fiber and protein.
  1. Zucchini & Ginger Cashew Pesto on Zucchini Logs: Vegan and gluten-free, this makes a nutritious and satisfying snack.
  1. Spinach Quinoa Stuffed Peppers: Sweet bell peppers are stuffed with quinoa, spices, corn and black beans, then roasted to perfection.

Soups & Salads

  1. Spinach & Feta Pita Pizza: This might be the only time you can enjoy an entire pizza without an ounce of guilt.
  1. Pesto Mozzarella Tart: Using pesto as a base, this versatile pastry snack can be prepared in three delicious ways.
  1. Superfood Green Smoothie Bowl: This well-rounded breakfast is a complete source of protein, healthy fat, fiber, vitamins and antioxidants.
Image via Roasted Root
  1. Veggie "Sushi" Rolls: Perfect for a midday pick-me-up, they’re packed with nutrients, fiber, antioxidants, protein and healthy fats -- not to mention creamy deliciousness!
  2. Kale and Quinoa Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette: This fresh medley is a flavorful way to incorporate more kale into your diet.
Image via Jo Cooks
  1. Mediterranean Grilled Chicken Salad: Satisfying enough to serve for lunch or dinner, this savory salad is delicious paired with hummus and kale chips.
Image via Jo Cooks
  1. Tadka-Topped Roasted Root Soup: Pureed veggies are transformed with tadka, a seared Indian spice mix that infuses the dish with unforgettable flavor.
  2. Pomegranate and Pear Mason Jar Salad: Not only is it gorgeous, this bold, bright salad boasts a mouth-watering mix of sweet and salty flavors.
Image via Fake Food Free
  1. Summer Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette: This healthy spring salad makes the most of the season's produce, featuring fresh strawberries in both the salad and the dressing. Serves two, or one if you're hungry!
  1. BBQ Chicken Cobb Salad: Avocado and eggs are the foundation for bold southwestern flavors, crunchy bacon and red onion.
  2. White Bean Salad: Filling and satisfying, this salad has more than 20 grams of protein and loads of iron, calcium and magnesium.
  1. Easy Thai Steak Salad: An ideal source of protein for one, this veggie-loaded sirloin steak salad couldn't be simpler to throw together.
Image via Jo Cooks

Meat & Seafood Main Dishes

  1. Creamy Pork Chop with Mustard & Apples: Super simple to prepare, this classic dish never disappoints.
  1. Spanish-Style Chicken with Olives & Peppers: This sassy, spicy dish is prepared all in one pan for easy prep and clean-up.
  1. Herb-Crusted Turkey Roast for One: For those times when you’re craving a tender, juicy turkey, without the Thanksgiving crowd.
Image via Zagleft
  1. Blackened Tilapia with Cilantro Lime Sauce: This healthy, flavorful and low-calorie dish comes together in just 10 minutes.
Image via Zagleft
  1. Roasted Salmon & Asparagus: In this 20-minute dinner, seasoned salmon bakes on a bed of asparagus in one pan.
Image via Zagleft
  1. Catfish with Fennel and Tomatoes for One: Fennel, red pepper, tomatoes and garlic lend a delightful flavoring to this savory seafood dish.
Image via Zagleft

Drinks & Desserts

  1. Key Lime Pie Protein Smoothie: Full of protein and vitamin C, this smooth, creamy smoothie satisfies your sweet tooth while keeping sugar cravings at bay.
Image via The Seasoned Mom
  1. Banana Bread Mug Cake: Grain-free and refined sugar-free, this mug cake is healthy enough to eat for breakfast and delicious enough to enjoy for dessert.
Image via The Roasted Root
  1. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Protein Smoothie: Fuel your next workout or power through the day with the rich, buttery taste of your favorite dessert, packed with protein and low in calories.
Image via The Seasoned Mom
  1. No-Bake Giant Cookie for One: Soft, chewy and secretly healthy, this guilt-free cookie is ready in minutes.
  1. Healthy Edible Banana Bread Batter for One: Enjoy the taste and texture of banana bread batter, without the egg, gluten or excess calories.
  1. Carrot Cake Coconut Smoothie: When you need to hit the reset button, this bright smoothie is chock-full of vitamin A. Bonus: It tastes like carrot cake in a glass.
Image via Foraged Dish
  1. Honey-Roasted Figs with Pistachio & Greek Yogurt: With a cold, creamy texture and exotic flavors, this is a healthy way to satisfy your sweet tooth.
  1. Chocolate Peanut Butter Mug Cake: When your sweet tooth strikes, splurge smart with this single-serving dessert.
  1. One-Minute Blueberry Muffin: This healthy, single-serving muffin is ready in just a minute with a microwave, and can also be prepared in the oven.
  1. Vanilla Cake Batter Oatmeal: Indulge in the scrumptious taste of cake batter in a protein-packed oatmeal.

9 Cooking Tips for Singles

  1. Make a meal plan. Just because you're cooking for one doesn't mean you should wing it. Take the time to create a weekly meal plan and stock your kitchen with healthy staples. You'll be much more likely to cook instead of falling into the takeout trap.
  2. Become a master of scaling down. Almost any recipe can be cut in half, or even quartered, to produce the perfect-size portion for one. To streamline the process, invest in a kitchen scale and use an online conversion calculator.   
  3. Make friends with the freezer. Go ahead and make that big recipe, then divvy the extras into single-serve portions and freeze them for future meals. In addition to reducing waste and making mealtimes easier, this helps with portion control. You can also freeze extra fruits and veggies for smoothies.
  4. Invest in some small appliances. A single-size blender, juicer, toaster oven and food processor will keep you motivated to cook while shortening the process.
  5. Learn how to preserve produce. Prolong the life of your fruits and veggies with a few smart storage tips.
  6. Shop the bulk bins. By hand-picking custom amounts of grains, flour, cereals, spices and other loose items, you'll save big over the full-size packaging and reduce waste.
  7. Breathe new life into leftovers. Look for creative ways to reinvent leftovers. For example, all that extra chicken can be repurposed into a soup, quesadilla or pasta dish.
  8. Make it fun. Do whatever makes the cooking process more enjoyable, whether that's rocking out to your favorite music playlist, breaking out the fancy dishes or cooking and eating outside on warm summer evenings.
  9. Hit up the grocery counters. Instead of settling for the pre-packaged (and often larger-sized) meats, seafood and deli selections, visit the counters and request single portions of those foods.
What are your favorite single-serving recipes? How do you make cooking for one a win-win?

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FISHGUT3 1/21/2021
thanks Report
DCHANCE6 12/19/2020
I had to stop reading after the quinoa pizza recipe with 84 grams of fat per serving. 😳 Report
DCHANCE6 12/19/2020
I had to stop reading after the quinoa pizza recipe with 84 grams of fat per serving. 😳 Report
SUNSET09 12/17/2020
These are great ideals, SparkFriends. An opportunity to cook outside the box Report
CATNAP6291 10/26/2020
good ideas Report
THINCPL2004 9/23/2020
Great idea's Report
ATHOMPSON606 9/23/2020
Agree with @pika1319 - I can't stand for long due to several spinal disorders. I do food prep - chopping, measuring, weighing, etc on Saturday and then cook on Sunday. Then I'm set for dinner for the week. Love having leftovers... just heat and eat, with minimal cleanup the rest of the week. If you are just cooking for yourself you should be liking what you're cooking. I'm a very picky eater, so if I like it, I don't mind eating it every day. I've been eating the same exact bedtime snack every night for over two years. Probably helps that I think fast food is disgusting and the thought of take out, with strangers touching my food without washing their hands, freaks me out. Plus, it's a huge waste of money. Report
PIKA1319 9/23/2020
Nothing wrong with leftovers! Why would you want to waste time/energy cooking every single meal every single day when you can just cook a recipe that serves 6-8, split it up and boom, done, no more cooking for the week?! Also easy to track - just copy & paste from the previous day!

Also, pretty sure most of the ingredients for these don't come in a single serving size (except individual fruits & vegs), so you're going to have waste/leftovers anyway, unless you figure out some more recipes to use said ingredients in or just repeat that one recipe)

(Wahh, you say, I don't wanna eat the same thing more than once! Well, how about you be grateful that you even have food every day and more than once a day - it's more than what a lot of people have!) Report
ELRIDDICK 7/26/2020
Thanks for sharing Report
PATRICIAANN46 3/17/2020
Thank You...…………. Report
SHOAPIE 3/16/2020
Great ideas! Report
SHERYE 3/16/2020
What a lot of great recipes - thank you Report
Looks delish! Report
SPINECCO 3/16/2020
Great recipes. Report
KOHINOOR2 3/16/2020
Great recipes! Thanks! Report
HOLLYM48 3/16/2020
Great recipes! Report
Great recipes! Report
NELLJONES 3/16/2020
Cooking for one is tough. Thanks. Report
NENEBFIT 3/16/2020
Can’t wait to have time to go back thru these more thoroughly! Husband isn’t eating the same diet as I am so this will be incredibly helpful! Thank you! Report
PLCHAPPELL 3/16/2020
So many great recipes to try Report
JWINKSLLC 3/16/2020
Easier and cheaper: I use small containers and divide leftovers into them, put them in the freezer, and have my own frozen meals all the time. And I know exactly what's in them too!! Report
I find having a seal a meal appliance on the counter, ready at all times, really helps me to keep things longer in fridge. Leftovers, cheese, meat, etc. Instead of repackaging stuff in plasticware, I just seal it up. It's convenient and keeps stuff longer. Mine sits on top the microwave, available. Having it put away wasn't working. I wasn't thinking about it, nor was I rummaging through the cabinets for it. Report
Thanks for sharing Report
Thanks. Report
Useful Report
Not sure going to all the extra expense/time of shopping/driving 30-50 miles for a store to even find most of these ingredients, then set out to measure, mix n bake for small portions-I agree with DGRIFFITH make regular meal and divide into individual or for two and freeze... Report
Some great suggestions!
A lot of processed food and high sodium food like smoked salmon. Keep it fresh and simple and use common sense and forget expensive store packaged things Report
thank you Report
great recipes Report
Thanks for sharing Report
A lot of these look good and worth trying. I look at recipes as a starting point and have often substituted ingredients that I don't have on hand and ended up with something pretty tasty! Thanks Report
Thanks for sharing Report
Thanks for sharing Report
While cooking for one is hard., the recipes here that I am interested have ingredients that are almost impossible to find in rural areas like mine.
This is very helpful, SparkFriend. A co-worked and I were discussing this very thing. We share loaves of bread, peanut butter, jelly and milk as singles, we wouldn't use it before it spoils. I'll have to share these with her. Thank you. Report
Friendly heads up to people having a hard time sourcing ingredients try Amazon, seems to be same as our local grocery stores price wise 😉 Report
Too bad the recipes contain unusual ingredients. People who are single or with a SO do not use ingredients quickly. Spending money on something that is one-off, is a waste. Recipes using common ingredients would have been better. Report
Sorry — not impressed. Too many weird ingredients, packaged mixes, etc. I can't find the instant oatmeal in the 1st recipe locally, I'm certainly not likely to have smoked salmon around for the 2nd & the local stored don't carry coconut flour & coconut butter for the 3rd. We don't all live in big cities. I quit after 3 recipes... Report
Quite the variety of recipes. Report
Tank you Report
I make meatloaf in a muffin pan. I wrap the leftover meat muffins and freeze them for quick dinners after a busy day. Report
I loved the "idea" of a key lime protein smoothie. Unfortunately, that recipe had only 2 grams of protein per the nutritional indication. Won't be making it anytime soon. All of the recipes sounded great until I read the nutritional values and then I had to scrap them as they were too high in carbs and too low in protein. Report
Oh man, where do I start?! Report
Many great choices Report
Awesome...thanks!! Report
Everything looks so good! Report
I have been looking for recipes for one, but didn't even think to check Spark! So grateful!! Report