Cooking for one: 6 easy, healthy dinners you can make in 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? Wrong. Not only can cooking healthy recipes provide some much-needed alone time, but the best part is that it's a lot quicker than cooking for a crowd. Here are six dinner meals perfect for one person.

1. Mac and Cheese in a Mug (pictured above)

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.

2. Vegetarian Burrito Bowl 

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.

3. Mushroom Kale Naan Flatbread 

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.

4. Egg Fried Rice 

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).

5. Shrimp Scampi 

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.

6. Curried Carrot Soup 

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.

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