15 Recipes for When the Table is Set for One

15 Recipes for When the Table is Set for One

Got a date night with yourself tonight? (Hey, I’m a mom. It’s what I crave!)

Is your husband working late?

Maybe your wife is out of town visiting relatives.

OK, let’s be frank. Maybe you’re just single. And it’s no fun cooking a fancy meal when there’s no one to appreciate it.

So you have three options.

  1. Invite people over for dinner. (Which doesn’t work if it’s a date night with yourself.)
  2. Show up just about dinner time at a friend’s house and refuse to leave until they invite you to stay for dinner. (Which means they might not be friends for long.)

Or. . .

  1. Come up with something to fix for yourself. For just one person.

But what?

Here are 15 single-serving recipes for those nights when you’re cooking for one.

Single-Serving Sandwich Recipes

My daughter’s Fancy Nancy book says “Sandwiches definitely taste better when you stick in frilly toothpicks.” Decorate your sandwich any way you want, but I think these recipes can stand on their own feet.

Creamy Avocado and Bean Wrap
Consider skipping the cheese for less fat. Also, you want to eat only half an avocado. Leave the seed in the other half to keep it from turning brown.

Freezer Bean Burritos
Brown Rice and whole grain wraps make these more fiber-rich and provide better nutrition. Skip the cheese for less fat.

Single-Serving Salad Recipes

Can anything be more boring than salad? And there’s so much chopping!

But these salad recipes are anything but boring. And there’s not that much chopping.

Strawberry, Spinach and Quinoa
Cooked quinoa is in your grocer’s freezer section.

Apple and Cabbage Slaw
Shredded cabbage is in your grocer’s produce section.

Mexican Rice and Bean Salad
Use cooked brown rice from your grocer’s freezer section for higher fiber and nutritional value.

Mediterranean Grain Salad with Bulgur and Tomatoes
Use any small grain you have on hand. But you will have to slice tomatoes. Be sure to keep the cheese light.

Single-Serving Pasta Recipes

one pot tomato and farro recipe

It seems wasteful when you’re eating alone to cook an entire box of pasta. After all, it’s certainly a bad idea to eat the entire box yourself! But instead of reaching for premade pasta meals, consider the following recipes.

Think outside the pasta pot when it comes to whole grain linguine. Yes, it is wonderful with your favorite pasta sauce, but leftovers can sub-in for soba noodles in a yummy Chinese Stir Fry with a bag of pre-cut veggies.

Other pasta-style dishes can be made in one pot with little attention from the chef. Leftovers freeze beautifully for another meal in a week or two. Below are my absolute favorites. Some of which there are never any leftovers of to freeze!

Tomato Farro

Split Pea, Cauliflower, and Rice Pilaf

Butternut Squash Risotto
Weight-loss note: Short grain brown rice ups the fiber count and nutritional value. Keep the cheese light for less fat.

Single-Serving Soup Recipes

A good blender makes soup one of the easiest meals for one. You can serve chunky, cold soups or hot, creamed soups.

Pumpkin and White Bean
Vegetable and non-meat chicken broth can be substituted.

Single-Serving Pizza Recipes

single serve pizza meal

Right after I started Full Plate Diet, I attended a party where pizza and salad were served for lunch. I was the mom on a diet who didn’t have to turn down pizza.

And you don’t have to either!

Below are two powered-up pizza ideas that can be cooked in a pan, in a microwave, on a grill or in the oven. Just remember to use whole wheat pitas and keep the cheese to a minimum.

Black Bean Pita Pizza
Weight-loss note: Cut back on the chicken and cheese for less fat.

Greek Pita Pizza

Single-Serving Oven Recipes

I love filling my oven and cooking lots of items at the same time. I save electricity because I’m only using the oven once, I save my time because I’m only having to be in the kitchen once, and most importantly, I’m not cleaning my kitchen as often.

Here are two recipes that fill your oven and stock your refrigerator for use in meal-for-one recipes. The sweet potatoes can cook on the rack around the pan of vegetables. They are good mashed, smashed or chopped into dishes. The vegetables are good hot or cold, in salads and on pastas.

Garlic Rosemary Roasted Vegetables

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Set the Table

Now you have 15 ideas that making eating for one an event to look forward to. All that’s left to do is write a grocery list and set the table with your favorite china.

You’re going to eat well tonight.

Healthy and well.

Looking for breakfast recipes for one? Check this out! Five 5-Minute Breakfast Recipes


Amanda Martin


July 1, 2014 - 9:00am

When Amanda is not fixin' something delicious from the week's sale produce, she's most certainly doing something fun with her three kids. Read her Full Plate story.

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15 Recipes for When the Table is Set for One