How to Cook for One

It's tempting to avoid cooking when you're living by yourself. Yet, cooking for one is a great way to stay healthy, keep your budget in line, and to learn new skills.


  1. Image titled Cook for One Step 1
    Find simple recipes and cooking styles. If you feel like there is too much involved, it can put you off cooking. Easy recipes and easy cooking styles will give you the motivation to cook and enjoy the fresh flavors. Some of the best styles of cooking for one include:
  2. Image titled Cook for One Step 2
    Look for recipes for one. There are numerous cookbooks available for single person cooking, such as Solo Suppers and Going Solo in the Kitchen. Having just a few of these books will provide you with ample inspiration from which you can start developing your own recipe ideas.
    • Look online for recipes for one. It's much easier to find recipes made for one than hunting through lots of recipe books. Try searches such as "cooking for one", "recipes for one", or the name of a dish you like "for one".
  3. Image titled Cook for One Step 3
    Learn to "cut down" the ingredients of a recipe. When you check for the number of servings in a recipe, you'll find that some are just too large an amount. For easy recipes, such as stir-fries, soups, roasting, grilling, and broiling, it is easy to cut down on the amounts.
    • Look for recipes that feed two persons. These are more common than recipes for one and it's easy to place the extra in the fridge for tomorrow's lunch or dinner.
    • Be very careful cutting down recipe amounts for baked foods (cakes, pastries, bread, etc.) and complex dishes. The amounts cannot always be cut without disrupting the cooking outcomes. Read up on why some ingredients form a part of certain dishes so that you know what be reduced and what needs to stay in the original amount.
  4. Image titled Cook for One Step 4
    Freeze the rest. Rather than cutting down the recipe amount, make your own frozen dinners. This can be a fantastic way of freeing you up from cooking every night and will provide the motivation to cook some of the more complex recipes in the knowledge that your effort will result in several meals.
  5. Image titled Cook for One Step 5
    Buy smaller portions of everything. Look for foods divided into sachets, small packets, etc., so that you don't have to use up huge amounts of the food. Also learn how to store used ingredients for longer, such as freezing pasta sauce, stock, or tomato paste in ice cube trays and using small amounts as needed rather than throwing anything away unused.
    • One chicken breast, fillet of fish, piece of steak is a portion you can easily cook up at home with the addition of some steamed vegetables.
  6. Image titled Cook for One Step 6
    Enjoy eating just in time rather than hoarding up food just in case. Find your local favorite grocery store, fruit and vegetable store, butcher, etc., and be a very regular food shopper. Pick up fresh items daily to every 2-3 days in only the portions needed. That way, you'll always be eating fresh, you'll enjoy
  7. Image titled Cook for One Step 7
    Enjoy quality food. There is only one of you, so think about splurging on the best food items now and then because they won't be as expensive for one person, especially when it comes to meat and fish.
  8. Image titled Cook for One Step 8
    Learn how to turn leftovers into a range of easy dishes. Leftovers can be easily turned into soup, stews, filo-pie filling, cold salads (with crusty bread), omelets, frittata, etc. These leftover dishes are very easy, quick, and stretch your food further.


  • Label and date anything that you freeze. Learn the dates for using up these items.
  • Whether there is one of you or a horde, seasonings remain important. Be sure to have plenty of herbs, spices, sauces, and stocks in the pantry.


  • Take anything from a can or plastic package and store in your own storage containers. Bacteria can grow in cans and store packaging.

Things You'll Need

  • Kitchen gear
  • Fridge and freezer for long-term storage
  • Seasonings, sauces, etc.

Article Info

Categories: Basic Cooking Skills