On The Table

A collection of knowledge-based articles to inspire overall wellness.

Healthy Cooking for One: Recipes & Tips

Healthy cooking for one can be a challenge, as most recipes yield a family size serving. Use these healthy tips to cook single servings while avoiding food waste and saving money!

Healthy Cooking for One: Recipes & Tips

Cooking for one can be challenging, as most recipes are geared toward a family size serving.

(Which is great to ration for leftovers, but more on that later!)

So if your needs and ingredients are sufficient for only a serving or two, you have come to the right spot.

Find out how to make healthy and easy meals for one person, including delicious single-serve recipes and money-saving tips!

Easy & Healthy Meals for One Person

From breakfast to dinner, these recipe ideas are healthy and sized appropriately for one person.


A high-protein, low-carb breakfast will prime energy levels to kickstart the stay! Some delicious and easy meals for one person include:

Overnight oats, which can be made the night ahead and ease busy mornings. Vegan, peanut butter, and yogurt options available!

• High-protein smoothies for an on-the-go breakfast. Delicious flavor combos include chocolate mint, chocolate banana, and peach, raspberry, and basil.

Black bean egg white omelet rich in protein and fiber to ensure lasting energy throughout the entire morning.

Stuffed French toast with berry compote and turkey sausage. This tasty recipe will keep your health on track without you feeling deprived of delicious food!

Lunch & Dinner

If needing lunch and dinner for one, give these delicious ideas a try:

• Tuna salad for a quick, convenient lunch packed with healthy fat and protein. Mix a 5-ounce can of wild albacore tuna with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt, diced carrots and celery, a teaspoon of lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Top onto whole-grain crackers, or dip with carrot sticks.

• Zucchini noodles with pesto for a low-carb meal option. Simply spiralize one small zucchini into "zoodles" and bake or sauté Top with a protein sauce and this pesto recipe or other preferred sauce.

• Pizza pita pockets to kick that pizza craving. Slice a pita into two halves, open into "pockets," and stuff the pockets with pizza toppings. Nook briefly in the microwave or oven to melt the cheese and sprinkle with a light dusting of parmesan as desired. Serve with a small side salad or steamed broccoli for a completely balanced lunch.

Tips to Cook for One

Cooking for one does not have to be overwhelming. Use these tips to cook single servings while avoiding food waste and saving money!

Reinvent Your Leftovers

Leftovers are great and all, but sometimes eating the same meal throughout the week can become monotonous.

Shake up those leftovers by repurposing and making the most of them! Simple ways to transform leftovers include:

• Chicken: Get the most from a whole chicken by adding to a salad or chicken burrito bowl.

• Ground turkey: Use as taco meat or prepare the turkey chili recipe offered below.

• Brown rice: Craving Chinese food? Whip up a quick and healthy stir-fry with rice, veggies, tofu, and a fried egg.

• Whole wheat noodles: If over spaghetti, bulk chilled noodles with non-starchy veggies and a protein source. Drizzle with olive oil, red pepper flakes, and other preferred seasonings.

Freeze Extra Food

Become best friends with your freezer and prepare foods in large batches for later use. Frozen foods to stock up on include:

• Homemade soup such as chicken tortilla stew. Rich chicken broth bulked with chicken breast, tons of veggies, and flavorful herbs is a convenient recipe to have on deck!

Turkey chili that is protein and fiber-packed! Feel free to use lean ground beef or chicken or omit meat entirely. Bulk with extra veggies for a nutritional punch.

Brown rice, which is a nutritious whole grain that pairs with many dishes but can take a bit of time to prepare. Batch cook brown rice and keep stocked in the freezer for an easy-to-grab side or filling.

• Cooked beans, as they can be timely to prepare like rice. Ease meal prep and make an extra batch of beans next time you prepare them. Add to casseroles, soups,

Freezing foods also allows you to buy things in bulk and get a sale price. So, take advantage of the buy one, get one free offer at the grocery store, and freeze the extra for later use.

Making use of the freezer can save money by salvaging foods that may be nearing expiration, too. For instance, freeze herbs for later use in stews, soups, and casseroles instead of letting them wilt.

Establish a Meal Plan

Setting a couple of hours aside once a week and dedicating it to meal prep can provide nutritious foods throughout the week. This is without sacrificing all your time!

Plan out weeks via cooking the recipe size and portioning it out for a week's lunch. Using a beginner's guide for meal prep can be useful to get you started, with step-by-step meal prep tips including:

Step #1: Compile a grocery list, as doing so makes for swift trips to the store. It also lessens the risk of grabbing for unintended foods such as chips and cookies.

Step #2: Shop the store's perimeter where the most nutritious foods tend to exist. This includes lean proteins and fresh fruits and vegetables.

Step #3: Prep meals and snacks.

Step #4: Store the meals, making sure to organize appropriately.

Taking advantage of a meal delivery service, such as bistroMD, can also make meal prep a breeze. Each healthy meal is likewise properly portioned for one and sure to satisfy the tastebuds and waistline!