31 Dinner Recipes For One That'll Make You Wish You Had Leftovers (2024)

You might want to double up on some of these, TBH.

By Mackenzie Filson
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Got a table for one? We know it might not sound immediately satisfying, but we kind of love cooking dinners solo. If you're used to cooking larger meals, rest assured that many of these super-simple recipes require very little prep or dishes, and are easy to scale down or only yield 1 to 2 servings (perfect for if you find yourself with spontaneous date night dinner plans or last-minute guests). We feel pretty confident that after you cook some of these dinner for one recipes, you'll wish you had enough for leftovers the next day. 😉

Here at Delish, pasta is not only a basic food group, but one of our constant standbys when we find ourselves cooking a dinner for one. It's easy to scale to how hungry we are that night, endlessly riffable with pantry staples, and ultra weeknight-friendly. Whether you're in the mood for a classic Italian pasta dish, like cacio e pepe and pasta alla gricia, or new classics like our baked feta pasta and Sichuan pesto noodles, you'll find you can never go wrong with pasta.

In the mood to really treat yourself? We love cooking up a nice steak on those decadent nights when we're dining in solo. Think of it this way, you don't have to share any of your cast-iron skillet steak or steak with bourbon garlic cream sauce if you don't want to and you'll look super-impressive when you eventually have guests over! No matter the dish you choose, be sure to round out your meal with one of these small-batch dessert recipes that are perfect for two (or one person with a major sweet tooth).

1

Cacio e Pepe

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Cacio e pepe literally translates to “cheese and pepper." These two ingredients are usually thought of as small components to a dish, but in this pasta recipe, they take center stage. The fruity bite of freshly ground pepper adds complexity and is earthy, sweet, and spicy all at once.

Get the Cacio e Pepe recipe.

2

French Onion Grilled Cheese

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Caramelized onions and melted Gruyère are a heavenly match, so sandwiching them between crispy toasted bread is a sure win. This grilled cheese take on the classic French onion soup will make you wonder why you ever bothered with the broth.

Get the French Onion Grilled Cheese recipe.

3

Creamy Tuscan White Bean Skillet

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Creamy Tuscan anything is a cult classic here at Delish, but this vegetarian version might be our new favorite. Featuring white beans and spinach swimming in a luxurious tomato cream sauce, this hearty skillet dinner is so comforting and satisfying, you’ll never miss the chicken.

Get the Creamy Tuscan White Bean Skillet recipe.

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4

Paella-Inspired Party Packs

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Filled with Spanish rice, chicken thighs, chorizo, frozen peas, and roasted red peppers, these packs take inspiration (with some creative liberties) from one of our favorite centerpiece meals—paella. If you're craving the classic meal but need something more hands-off, then these foil packs are here for you.

Get the Paella-Inspired Party Packs recipe.

5

Steak With Bourbon Garlic Cream Sauce

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Steak will always scream "Treat yo' self" so if you want to really jazz it up for your next solo dinner, make this 12-ounce strip with a creamy bourbon garlic sauce. Seared until deeply browned, basted in garlicky butter, and served with a dreamy pan gravy, this steak is the perfect centerpiece for any dinner.

Get the Steak With Bourbon Garlic Cream Sauce recipe.

6

Everything Bagel Pasta

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If you love everything bagel seasoning, crunchy, savory bread crumbs, and creamy pasta, you'll love this dish. You might even want to marry it. We don't blame you, we kinda do too: It's forgiving, free of complications, comforting and eager to please.

Get the Everything Bagel Pasta recipe.

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7

Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps

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We’re always on the lookout for yummy ground turkey recipes, and this one is one of our faves. These lettuce wraps come together fast (just 20 minutes!), are super-flavorful, and can be customized how you like it. Top them with your favorite taco toppings, really anything goes!

Get the Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps recipe.

8

Baked Feta Pasta

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Obviously roasting a block of feta with bursting tomatoes is going to be amazing. But is it good enough to break TikTok like this one did? Our answer, begrudgingly, is yes. It's genius—super-easy, but also fancy enough for when you have a plus-one on date night. 😍

Get the Baked Feta Pasta recipe.

9

French Onion Chicken Meatballs

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We’ll be honest: we’re a little obsessed with French onion soup. The melty cheese, jammy caramelized onions, and rich broth is a flavor combination we just can’t get enough of, from the classic soup to French onion chicken to French onion soup bites. To turn this favorite into a substantial meal (or hearty appetizer), we added chicken meatballs and even more cheese in this skillet recipe.

Get the French Onion Chicken Meatballs recipe.

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10

Indian Butter Chickpeas

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Looking for your new favorite way to dress up canned chickpeas? You’re in the right place. Simmered in an aromatic tomato gravy, this vegetarian spin on classic butter chicken will forever change the way you look at a can of beans.

Get the Indian Butter Chickpeas recipe.

11

Shepherd's Pie Potato Skins

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We’re so obsessed with our new and improved shepherd’s pie recipe that we had to turn it into a potato skin. The saucy, red-wine spiked ground beef and vegetable mixture gets loaded into hollowed-out russet potatoes, topped with Parmesan mashed potatoes, and baked until all of the flavors mingle and meld.

Get the Shepherd's Pie Potato Skins recipe.

12

Sloppy Joe Orzo

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Think beyond the bun! You don’t need to sandwich a sloppy Joe to enjoy it; transform the classic comfort food into a date night staple with this sloppy Joe orzo instead. It’s really the sauce and ground beef mixture that makes sloppy Joes so delicious, so we decided to take that and pair it with one of our favorite pasta shapes of all time: orzo.

Get the Sloppy Joe Orzo recipe.

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13

Cast-Iron Skillet Steak

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Think you have to go to a fancy restaurant to eat a really great steak? Nah. You can cook a restaurant-quality steak in 15 minutes (sometimes even less) at home. The key: making sure your skillet is super-hot, and your steak dry and well-seasoned before the searing starts.

Get the Cast-Iron Skillet Steak recipe.

14

Sheet-Pan Green Chile Chicken Nachos

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What’s better than a tray of nachos? Four cheese chicken nachos! Don’t worry, though, a couple cans of chopped green chiles cut the richness of all that cheese. (Not that we’re complaining.) We’ll leave the toppings up to you, but we suggest The Works, aka red onion, radishes, avocado, jalapeño, cilantro, and hot sauce.

Get the Sheet-Pan Green Chile Chicken Nachos recipe.

15

Jerk Tofu Grain Bowls

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This vegan recipe is a bit of a culinary road trip through some Jamaican staples: sweet plantains, aromatic rice and peas, and tofu in a jerk marinade. To add a touch of crunch, acidity, and color, we top it all off with a simple red cabbage and carrot slaw that is just as delicious on its own as it is in the bowls. Yum!

Get the Jerk Tofu Grain Bowls recipe.

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16

French Bread Pizza

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We've all been there: You're craving homemade pizza, but you want it fast—no time to deal with rolling out finicky pizza dough. The solution? Grab a loaf of French bread, and get ready for the pizza hack of a lifetime.

Get the French Bread Pizza recipe.

17

Seitan Lomo Saltado

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Lomo Saltado is a very popular Peruvian dish that takes aji amarillo (Peruvian chiles) and papas fritas (French fries) and prepares them in the style of a Cantonese stir-fry. Though typically made using beef, we subbed in seitan to create a deliciously filling vegan meal.

Get the Seitan Lomo Saltado recipe.

18

Sichuan Pesto Noodles

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There are lots of ways to add spice to your meals, but when we’re looking for something really special, we turn to Sichuan peppercorns. These peppers bring a unique herbal spice with a gentle numbing effect to the lips and tongue. You’ve probably encountered them in Chinese food dishes like Sichuan Chicken, and they’re also surprisingly great to add depth to a sweet dish, like Chocolate Brioche. Paired with a few other unexpected ingredients, these peppercorns add new intrigue to the old standby of pesto and pasta.

Get the Sichuan Pesto Noodles recipe.

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19

Fried Halloumi Salad

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This salad is one of our favorite ways to enjoy halloumi. It has crunchy fennel (or sub celery if you like), juicy orange segments, creamy avocado, crispy fried pita, and a simple herb-packed dressing that ties it all together. It's a full-blown MEAL, perfect for those days when you just can't bring yourself to turn the oven on.

Get the Fried Halloumi Salad recipe.

20

Air Fryer Beef & Broccoli

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Sure, ordering takeout can seem like the fastest route to dinner, but if you have an air fryer and a great recipe, that might not be the case. This classic Chinese-American dish features tender strips of beef, perfectly cooked broccoli florets, and a savory-sweet sauce that comes together in just 30 minutes!

Get the .

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Mackenzie Filson

Contributing Assistant Digital Food Producer

Mackenzie Filson is a food writer and contributing digital food producer at Delish. Her favorite ice cream flavor is chocolate-pine and if wine was an astrological sign she'd be a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. She's never met a bag of Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos she didn't eat in one sitting.

31 Dinner Recipes For One That'll Make You Wish You Had Leftovers (2024)
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