I define ‘Single Girl’ recipes as follows:
- Takes no more than 30 minutes to make, from start to finish. (But honestly, 15 minutes is more like it!)
- Only makes enough for one person, but can easily be multiplied for leftovers, dinner buddies, or if you have a boy that lives in your house that needs to eat too.
- Requires minimal prep. Aka….easy clean-up.
- Not unhealthy, per say, but also not a salad.
- Doesn’t need to have 3 side dishes to go with it to make it a meal.
If you’re anything like me, you know that it’s so easy to resort to fast food dinners when you live alone, or are feeding just yourself. Cooking just feels like a lot of time and effort when it’s just me, and if you don’t plan well it can actually end up being more expensive than your go-to bowl at Chipotle. I’ve said before that I work wild hours, so whatever I cook at home needs to be really, really quick or I’ll be hangry by the time I sit down to eat it (bonus points if it can be eaten on the floor in front of my TV).
But in the end, fast food was burning a hole in pink Kate Spade wallet and isn’t very healthy. So I set about curating, testing, and tasting recipes that I found on Pinterest to see if they pass the ‘Single Girl’ test: quick, minimal prep, wholesome, and only makes 1-2 servings. These are also great dishes to try if you’re cooking for 2 people, which poses some of the same challenges, or you like to be able to feed friends on the fly.
Below are my favorites, which I’ve tested multiple times! If you’d like to see more, feel free to follow my Food + Drink board over on Pinterest, where I’m constantly on the look-out for dishes to add to my Single Girl recipe file. In the mean time, this should get you started!
1. 15-Minute Flatbread Pizza
I could eat pizza every day until I die, but making it from scratch (even using a roll-out crust) is too high-maintenance for me. This flatbread pizza only takes 15 minutes (I promise) and has amazing flavor. I love flat breads because you can do so much with them, depending on what toppings you like, but I love this Margherita from Let The Baking Begin. It definitely passes the test! Even if you’re crap in the kitchen, you’ll be able to make this.
2. The simplest Garlic Butter Salmon + Zucchini EVER
Don’t run away just because I said the word “salmon”. This one really is fool-proof. I get tired of chicken breasts and salmon is a healthy alternative (and it makes you seem impressive when you feed it to people). This is one of those wrap-your-salmon-and-veggies-in-foil-and-throw-it-all-in-the-oven type recipes, which means your whole meal is in your foil packet, and you’re done. The flavor here is yummy without being really heavy. The recipe is from Delish (you’ve probably seen their videos on Facebook), and makes 4-5 servings. I usually make them all at once since it doesn’t really take any extra time, and then I eat the rest throughout the week.
3. Grilled Cheese on Crack
This recipe continues to amaze me. It’s easily the simplest recipe out of all five I’ve featured here, and yet it really does taste like something from a restaurant. I slightly modified this recipe from Greens & Chocolate, since I didn’t have the same cheese or buffalo sauce on hand. Any sweet barbecue sauce will work really. I recommend sourdough bread with this guy.
4. The World’s Best Spaghetti Sauce
I mean it, I dare you to find a better one. The prep is simple but it takes a little longer to make, so what I do is cook up a batch on a weekend, and it makes enough for at least 6 servings. I freeze enough for one serving in a zippy bag, and when I’m hungry for spaghetti I thaw it under hot running water while the noodles cook. Throw in a little Parmesan cheese and you’ve got a fancy pasta dish that only took as long as your spaghetti noodles took to cook. This recipe is from my favorite food blogger over at Chef-in-Training!
5. Mac n’ Cheese in a Mug
I’m sure you’ve seen these recipes floating around out there, but my favorite one is from Made by Monique, and I can verify that does only take 10 minutes max to make. The problem with the boxed kind is that even if your throw some real cheese (not just the powder) in there, it makes a A TON and doesn’t taste good reheated. That’s why I’m a fan of the mug variety. Be sure you have plenty of water so you’re noodles don’t dry out! I use fresh Parmesan and sharp cheddar to make mine.
Okay, Single Girls. Cook something yummy this week. You’re worth it!
(Please note: All photos are my own, but the recipes themselves are original work taken from other blogs as linked. Check them out!)