As much as we like to think we’ll whip up something healthy and delicious every single night, cooking dinner for just yourself can easily slip into frozen meal territory if you’re not careful (and if you haven’t already ordered takeout). But even on days when you have no time at all, you can definitely squeeze in one of these simple 15-minute recipes. They’re perfectly portioned to make just one meal, or enough for dinner tonight and lunch tomorrow—yay for one less day of meal prep! Best of all, these quick and easy dinner ideas won’t give you a headache.
The best part of cooking for one is anything goes, especially breakfast for dinner. We’re not talking a sad bowl of cereal, though… this simple meal is way better with cubed sweet potato, a few slices of bacon, a fried egg, and sautéed kale. Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper and green onion for garnish, and enjoy your Whole30-approved meal (even if you’re not on the plan).
Sure, you could Lorelai Gilmore things and just pour dressing into a bag of lettuce, but that’s not really doing much for ya nutrition-wise. This protein-packed salad steps things up with bright yellow peppers and cherry tomatoes, shredded carrots, purple cabbage, and green lentils. Seriously, how much prettier could it get?
If you like chana masala, you’ll love this even more-filling Moroccan version, which adds red lentils for a boost of protein. The recipe uses coconut milk and vegetable broth to make it creamy, so dairy-free or vegan fans can enjoy it too. If you want to make it a little hotter, try adding cayenne, chili powder, or jalapeño slices.
Skip the huge pot of noodles and slice up some zoodles instead. You can speed things up by buying a container of pre-cut zoodles at the grocery store, or using leftover noodles if you have them. Trust us, after you try an olive oil and lemon-dressed pasta, you’ll never go back to red sauce.
If there was ever a meal to prevent you from ordering takeout, this would be it. It’ll most definitely be done faster than you could even call your favorite Chinese resto, and it’s much healthier too—it’s filled with peas, green onion, mung bean sprouts, purple cabbage, and scrambled egg.
Yet another recipe that proves the tastiest meals don’t have to be the most complicated. This recipe is basically just noodles with a bunch of veggies, but it is so flavorful when you factor in the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and basil.
Who says you need a party to break out the grill? Treat yourself to a fresh piece of grilled chicken… it’ll taste so much better than anything out of the freezer, guaranteed. While the chicken is cooking, you can mix together the arugula, tomato, and red onion salad.