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Healthy dinners for one

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Healthy dinners for one that are super easy and nutritious when dining solo

It's hard to get motivated to cook healthy dinners for one. Sometimes it seems like a lot of effort, and it's not like any one will know if you get takeout two nights in a row. As easy as it is to fall into a routine of hitting up the drive-through on the way home, or dumping a box of 10-minute something into boiling water, your body deserves better.

Farmers markets are incredibly inspiring when you're not sure where to start. Fill a basket with seasonal produce, including herbs, fruits and lots of green stuff - spinach, kale or Swiss chard. Then head home and start prepping before Szechuan Delight calls to ask where you are.

It's helpful to prep some ingredients all in one go. For instance, chop up a few onions and store what you're not using tonight in airtight kitchen storage containers. This will save on prep time for the rest of the week.

These recipes will take you from the busiest days when you barely have time to turn the oven on, to Saturday afternoons when you finally feel like spending some quality time in the kitchen.

Healthy Dinners for One


A dish with "fry" in the title may not sound healthy, but the trick is not to over-cook or use too much oil. Stir-fries are a tasty way to get a full serving of veggies, and they're easy to make in small portions. Cook rice separately and lightly brown your protein until it's almost cooked.

Add in a handful of sliced veggies -- onions, peppers, carrots and broccoli -- then throw in some cashews or peanuts. Season with garlic, chilies, and fresh ginger and brown for a minute then remove from heat. Mix in a scoop of rice and drizzle in pineapple juice, balsamic vinegar or a teaspoon of soy sauce.

Slow-Cooked Stuff Pepper

A small slow cooker may be your new best friend. All you have to do is prep the pepper and go on with your day. You'll return home to the cozy smell of dinner already made. This stuffed pepper recipe on Men's Health is full of protein, vitamins A and C.

Lemon Chicken with Asparagus and Avocado

The website Practical Cooking for One shares this nutritious dinner idea, as well as a few key differences between eating at home and at restaurants. Raw avocados provide tons of essential nutrients and help the body absorb the fat-soluble nutrients in the chicken and other ingredients.

Baked Fish with Sweet Potato Fries and Salad

This Self magazine recipe is ideal for early fall, but can be adapted year-round. Leave the skin on the baked sweet potatoes to maximize the fiber and protein, and don't skip the salad. In addition to contrast of texture and added presentation, the salad adds iron, calcium and antioxidants.

Taco Tuesdays

While it's not necessary to eat tacos only on Tuesdays, making an event out of one night of the work week can be fun. Tacos get a bad rap because restaurants often load them up with sour cream, cheese and salted meat. Making them at home means you have total control.

For the protein, marinate a chicken breast with vinegar, garlic, cumin and salt and pepper, and then grill and slice the chicken. Vegetarians can make re-fried beans or scramble a few ounces of tofu with paprika, cumin, garlic and fresh seasonings.

Opt for low-fat cheese and substitute sour cream with a dollop of homemade guacamole or healthy salsa. Heat up soft corn tortillas until they brown slightly on a pan with just a dash of oil. Chop an assortment of onions, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes and peppers.

Coconut Quinoa, Kale and Chickpeas

Here's a one-pot dish you must try. If you're unfamiliar with quinoa, this is a great way to get to know this healthy grain. Start by pouring 1/4 cup of dry quinoa in a pot with a little oil, mustard seeds and black cumin.

Turn to medium heat and stir until the grain smells nutty, then add a spoonful of currants, a handful of diced onions and kale torn in bite-sized pieces. Pour in 1/2 cup of coconut milk and 1/4 cup of chickpeas.

Season with salt, pepper, garlic, ginger and turmeric or curry powder. Cover and simmer on low until the coconut milk is absorbed (about 20 minutes).

These healthy dinners for one are only a few of the countless meals you can enjoy in the company of some great music and a glass of something fine.

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