Cooking For One

Meal Ideas!

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Cooking for one does not have to be a chore. Mealplan4me will give you practical tips on how to plan meals for singles. I have several suggestions below of how to stretch a main course meal using chicken, beef and other proteins throughout the week, to avoid having to cook every night. Keep checking regularly for new menu ideas!

Cooking For One Myths

  • "I don't have time"
  • "I don't want to have a lot of leftovers"
  • "It's not fun to cook for yourself"
  • "Recipes are not meant for one person"
  • "It's easier to eat out"
  • "I just eat cereal for dinner"

These are just a few things I hear from singles when asked why they don't cook at home. I think there may be some truth to the myths above, but only because single people are made to believe that. On the other hand, I know single people that do cook for themselves on a regular basis.

So, what's the difference in attitude?

Cooking for one is all about proper planning and taking care of yourself! Eating and cooking is not a chore and it does not have to be treated as if it is. Singles can cook healthy meals for themselves as long as you plan ahead. 

Cooking for One Tips

Cooking in Bulk

If you want to avoid cooking throughout the week, you can narrow cooking down to 2-3 nights a week just by cooking in bulk. Here are a few examples:


Singles can purchase one whole chicken and plan to eat it various meals using chicken meat. As long as you properly store it, it can last you several days. 

Here are a few recipes:

Roast Chicken: You can roast it using your favorite spices, along with adding some carrots and potatoes to the roasting pan.

Chicken with Salads: You can use some of the leftover roast chicken to place on top of a main course salad!

Chicken Soup: Use the leftover bones from the roast chicken to make stock. You can add your favorite vegetables and noodles.

Chickpea Rice with Chicken: Use some of the leftover chicken to mix with a Turkish Style Chickpea Rice!

Roast Beef

Singles can purchase a 3 pound roast beef and plan to eat it with several different meals through out the week.

Here are a few recipes:

Slow Cooker Roast Beef with Carrots & Potatoes: This is a great recipe for singles. Not only will it last you a few days, all you have to do is throw it into a slow cooker and it will do all the work for you!

Beef Burritos: With the leftover roast beef, you can make yourself a beef burrito the next day!

Beef Stew: There are many great recipes on-line for beef stew. You can easily make this with any leftover roast beef.

Beef Chili: I have a recipe for a  vegetarian chili, but can easily add shredded beef to it. 

Salads: Take any salad and add shredded beef on top!


In college, I used to make a huge pot of soup and it would last me several days. You can easily make a large pot on a Sunday and plan to eat it through Wednesday. It will save you a few days of not having to cook!

Ground Beef

You can easily purchase bulk amounts of ground beef at discounted prices. It's cheaper to buy a 10 lb block of ground beef, for example, rather than pre-made rounds of ground beef patties. If you opt to freeze it by portions, make sure to divide it out into single portions once you get home, then place in the freezer rather than placing the whole block as a whole.

You can also opt to section out the 10 lb block to be used throughout the week. You can divide out half of it to be used in your recipes for the week, then freeze the rest of it. 

Here are a few recipes:

Turkish Ground Beef & Potato Stew: This is an easy stew to make using minimal ingredients. Potatoes are always an easy and affordable buy. 

Turkish Leek and Ground Beef Stew: Use leftover ground beef for this dish and just add the leeks.

Grilled Kofte: This is the Turkish version of hamburgers, except they are miniature and has added spices. You can serve it on top of rice or place inside pita bread. Make sure to use raw ground beef and not leftover browned ground beef for this dish.

Spaghetti with meat sauce: With leftover ground beef, you can make a quick meat sauce. Brown the meat and then add some store bought spaghetti sauce, then mix. Add this meat sauce mixture on top of your choice of pasta.

Package Your Own "Frozen Dinners"

When you are cooking for one, you can cook in bulk, you have a choice of either eating the leftovers throughout the week or you can freeze them for a later date. To make it even more practical, you can save your leftovers as a meal in a proper freezer bag or freezer storage system

You can use food saver system to freeze entire meals. Just invest in cooking a few different meals on a Sunday and you can have "pre-packaged" meals for the entire week or even month! Imagine just coming home from a long work day and pulling out a frozen home cooked meal. All you have to do is pop it into the microwave and you are done!

These are just a few "Cooking for One" menu planning ideas for singles. I'll be adding other ideas in the near future, so please stop by to check them out!

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