If you're anything like us, you've googled "healthy meals for one" more than a few times. After all, the usual sandwich and salad combos start to get stale, frozen dinners become downright depressing, and no we don't always want to meal-prep and have the same dinner five nights in a row. Sure, there's always takeout, but it's not the best option—for your wallet or your health—in the long run. We recognize that cooking for one can be a bit of a challenge, though.
And that's why we've pulled together a list of the best easy meals for one. Even better: We've broken them down by meal. That means you get to cobble together an insanely tasty menu, like cinnamon roll Greek yogurt pancakes for breakfast, a Mediterranean grilled cheese sandwich for lunch, and a vegetarian burrito bowl for dinner. And dessert? Like we'd forget about that. There's a one-minute coffee cake that's yours for the taking. (Looking for similar sweets? We've got more mug recipes here.)
We know the fear of leftover fatigue or doing the math to modify recipes for a single serving (why do so many recipes make so much at once?) can drive anyone to call it quits. But not only can cooking healthy recipes provide some much-needed alone time, it's also a lot quicker than cooking for a crowd. Tie on your apron, because these 25 tasty and healthy meals for one will inspire you to get in the kitchen and get quick and easy meals on the table.
Breakfast for One
Skip the Eggos and whip up these protein-packed waffles instead. Vanilla protein powder and healthy subs such as coconut flour and coconut sugar make these a sweet and filling a.m. meal that packs a nutritional punch. Skip the syrup... a honey-and-lemon drizzle kicks the flavor up a notch while cutting down on sugar.
Who says omelets need to be complicated? This fancy-looking recipe only calls for eggs, mushrooms, sour cream, and some of your favorite herbs. Easy to add, herbs make all the difference in taste.
This restaurant-quality dessert is packed with savory ingredients: bacon, sweet potatoes, a runny fried egg, and crispy kale. Best of all, everything cooks in one pan, meaning minimal cleanup after you devour it.
Peaches are an underrated fruit when it comes to smoothies—berries seem to get all the love. But that’s about to change with this recipe. A frozen peach (use fresh if you’ve got 'em!) gets blended with heart-healthy walnuts, oats, and banana for a frozen breakfast with plenty of staying power.
This is a solo breakfast that denies categorization. Not quite French toast nor oatmeal, this dessert-like breakfast is the best thing since the sliced bread version of this. Try topping with a spoonful of almond butter for a sweet and nutty addition.
Some days you wake up, and a sweet-tooth craving immediately hits. These breakfast cookies are the perfect solution, especially since they can be eaten right away, or placed in the fridge or freezer for 30 minutes while you finish getting ready. Grab 'em on the way out the door and enjoy a sprinkle-filled morning... your 10-year-old self would be so jealous.
Pancakes might seem like a cooking-for-the-masses breakfast, but with the right proportions, they can easily become a solo meal. This sweet cinnamon stack looks decadent but is hiding a ton of healthy ingredients: Greek yogurt, protein powder, egg whites, and rolled oats take the place of a boxed mix.
Lunch for One
When you're craving Italian but not the six servings a restaurant dish usually comes with, try this Italian-inspired recipe at home. More pasta than salad, it combines spelt noodles, chicken breast, red onion, tomato, and basil leaves. The sauce? A super-easy olive oil and balsamic combo.
Unless you want leftovers for the week (which isn't a bad idea), soup is another tough solo dish. This recipe solves the problem when you just want soup once by giving us a single-serving portion: Two cups of chicken broth, loads of beans and veggies, and two strips of crumbled bacon will have you warm and fuzzy in no time.
When you're looking for a light, simple lunch, this fresh salad is a winner. Healthy fats like avocado and olive oil fill you up, while honey and balsamic add just the right balance of sweetness to the salad.
Take your grilled cheese from late-night drunchie to full-on meal with this Mediterranean-inspired version. Creamy feta isn't as gooey as the standard mozzarella or cheddar, but it sure is rich, and tastes amazing paired with red onions, tomato, kale, and black olives.
Corn, black beans, chipotle chili powder, and lime juice come together to create mega southwestern flavor. Stuff it all inside a baked sweet potato (cook it the night before for quicker assembly) and top with cashew crumbles. If you're not vegan or dairy free, try goat cheese crumbles for a tangy flavor.
Is it us, or do stuffed foods just taste better? Take this stuffed avocado, for instance, which is packed with tuna, dried cherries, and chopped pecans. This recipe takes just a few simple ingredients and turns them into a filling meal.
These Mediterranean nachos are more like a deconstructed falafel, which is music to our eating-for-one ears (falafel = mucho work for just one). Replace tortilla chips with pita chips and cheese with tzatziki sauce, then throw on chickpeas, cucumber, tomato, and onion.
Drizzle olive oil on two pieces of ciabatta bread (or any crusty slice). Top with fresh mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and basil, and sprinkle black pepper, garlic powder, and crushed red pepper on top. If you're not vegetarian, add in your favorite Italian meat, like prosciutto or salami. Cook the sandwich in a pan over medium heat, flattening with a spatula, until cheese is totally melted. Aw yeahhh.
Dinner for One
You’ll never eye the blue box again. This creamy mac and cheese gets made entirely in the microwave for those nights when you need comfort food, stat. If you have macaroni, shredded cheese, and milk at home, you’re ready to make this. Whole-wheat pasta gives it a healthier twist; toss in less cheese (or opt for vegan shreds) if you’re watching your dairy intake.
If eating at Chipotle is burning a hole in your wallet, it’s time to try your hand at making burrito bowls at home. By combining brown rice, black beans, salsa, cheese, and diced avocado, a healthy, delicious Mexican-inspired meal is just five minutes away—and a whole lot cheaper. Add leftover tofu or chicken for extra protein, and a dollop of Greek yogurt in place of sour cream.
Craving pizza, but not down to order a whole pie for yourself? Probably a good call... try this naan flatbread instead, topped with goat cheese (so rich!), mushrooms, kale, pine nuts, and onions. Bake in the oven for eight minutes—dinner is ready before the pizza guy would have arrived!
We've heard of many "mug" meals, but fried rice is a new one. Save yourself the Chinese food delivery fee and try this healthier, homemade version instead, which conveniently can be ready in less than 10 minutes (as long as you've got some cooked rice on hand).
Spaghetti mixed with shrimp, garlic, and just a touch of butter—this recipe is already winning. But then you add in a splash of cream, white wine, and red pepper flakes for some heat, and this shrimp dish is out-of-this-world good. Pro tips: Make it easier (and quicker) on yourself by using tail-off frozen shrimp, and up the health factor by choosing whole-wheat spaghetti.
Not much beats cozying up to a steaming mug of hot soup. There's a hearty blend of the root vegetables of your choosing in here (we love sweet potatoes, beets, and parsnips), but it's really the pan-seared cumin and mustard seeds that make this soup, well, soup-erior.
Dessert for One
With a name like that, you can’t go wrong. This easy treat is made with Greek yogurt, cinnamon, and a pinch of all your basic baking ingredients. Cook everything in the microwave and top with a mouthwatering streusel for a healthier coffee cake that will satisfy your sweet tooth whenever a late-night craving strikes.
Cobbler was definitely on our needs-a-crowd recipe list, until now. Oatmeal, berries, and a few tablespoons of flour, brown sugar, and butter are all you need for a personal pie in minutes.
Single-serving dessert recipes = the easiest form of self control. This microwave brownie recipe is made from unsweetened cocoa powder, Greek yogurt, whole-wheat flour, agave, and vanilla extract. So as far as sweets go, it's definitely on the healthier end of the spectrum.
Are these a dessert or a breakfast? All we know is they’re delicious. A pancake batter made of oats, Greek yogurt, and egg whites gets whipped together in a blender and then cooked in minutes. Stuffed with yogurt and jam, these make an awesome French-inspired dessert.