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Cooking for One: 25 Ridiculously Easy, Healthy Meals You Can Make in 7 Minutes

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Cooking for One: 25 Ridiculously Easy, Healthy Meals You Can Make in 7 Minutes

In the kitchen, one can be the loneliest number. 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 order out or eat a sad bowl of cereal rather than cooking. After all, spending time making a dish that requires pans and utensils isn’t worth it when you’re dining alone, right?

We call BS. Not only can cooking healthy recipes for yourself provide some much-needed alone time, but a healthy, home-cooked dinner (or breakfast, or lunch) can help you feel accomplished and energized for whatever life throws your way. The best part is that cooking for one is a lot quicker than cooking for a crowd.

We’ve gathered some of the healthiest, tastiest meals for one from around the web to inspire you to get in the kitchen (Yes, even if you’re a member of the can’t-cook-club). Treat yo’ self with these easy, yummy meals—you’ll be happy you don’t have to share.

Breakfast

Skip the Eggos and whip up these protein-packed waffles instead. Vanilla protein powder and healthy subs like 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 clean-up 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.
Overnight oats are always a solid breakfast option, but this microwave version might be our new favorite. Combine oats, milk, flax seed, an egg, maple syrup, blueberries, and banana in a mug, and microwave for 2-3 minutes. The egg makes it a little thicker than standard oatmeal, and adds some protein to the mix.
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

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 pasta, chicken breast, red onion, tomato, and basil leaves. The sauce? A super-easy olive oil and balsamic combo.
Soup is another tough solo dish, unless you want a crockpot-full to eat for the rest of the week (though that’s not always a bad idea…). This recipe solves that problem 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 will 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, and 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

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 man 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 (optional), 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.
Another soup for one, hooray! Coconut milk and chicken broth form the base here, and are blended with tons of carrots (duh), onions, cilantro, and fresh ginger. Turmeric gives the soup an even brighter color, while cumin and chili powder spice things up.

Dessert

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, stat, 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 to have a personal pie to yourself 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.
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