Dining solo? Checking out these easy healthy dinner ideas for one

  • 2 Minutes Read
Joanna Kriehn
Joanna Kriehn, MS, RDN, CDCES - Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES)

Give back to yourself by preparing one of these easy healthy dinner ideas for the next time you feel tempted to reach for a frozen meal or order takeout.

Easy healthy dinner ideas for one

These easy healthy dinner ideas for one reduce leftovers using a simple template

If meal variety is important to you, search the web for recipes that focus on this template: lean protein + whole grain + veggies.

Building a meal with this template makes it easier to adjust portions, unlike casseroles, which leave you with leftovers.

Healthy, single-serving salmon filets minimize meal prep for one

Although a bit pricey, salmon filets are rich in heart-healthy fats and high-quality protein. Purchase individually flash-frozen filets, which tend to be sold in five-to seven-ounce portions, perfect single servings.

If you can plan ahead, remove the salmon filet from the freezer and place it on a plate in the fridge before leaving for the day. It should take about eight to ten hours to defrost. No chance to plan ahead? Defrost the packaged fish in cold water in a bowl for about 15-30 minutes.

Salmon Dijon with quinoa and mixed veggies

Instructions below scale the original MyNetDiary Premium recipe to one serving.


-Preheat the oven to 400F.
-Spray a non-stick baking pan or foil-lined pan with cooking spray, place salmon filet on foil.
-Mix two teaspoons of olive oil, two teaspoons of lemon juice, and two teaspoons of dijon mustard in a small bowl. Stir to combine.
-Sprinkle salmon lightly with garlic powder and then spread 1/2 of the above sauce over the fish.
-Bake 10-15 minutes or until the salmon flakes easily.


Once salmon is prepped and the oven is preheating, boil one cup of water on the stove in a pot with a lid. Rinse 1/2 cup of quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve for one minute. Once water is boiling, add quinoa, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for ~ 20 minutes or until water has absorbed. Remove from heat to prevent burning.

Mixed veggies

Place one cup of frozen mixed vegetables and one tablespoon of water into a glass bowl and cook in microwave on medium for about three minutes. Once warm, drain any excess water from the bowl and mix with quinoa and one teaspoon of olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Serve salmon, quinoa, veggies on a plate. Top with reserved sauce. Enjoy!

Meal prep for one by cooking once and eating twice

Cooking a larger recipe when you have time is an effective way to have a tasty meal on hand for those busy weeknights. Look for recipes that make two to four servings or double recipes meant for one. Get creative by cooking a double batch of lean protein and using it differently the next day for lunch, such as the following recipe.

Simple Tossed Salad with Salmon

Prepare two salmon filets with the Dijon salmon recipe above and enjoy the second on top of salad the next day for lunch. Dress the salad with your favorite balsamic vinaigrette and top with two tablespoons of nuts for added crunch.

Easy Lentil Soup

This soup contains spinach and couscous for a complete, two-serving meal. Try preparing it after work one night for dinner, AND enjoy it another time for lunch. Plus, the refrigerated ingredients in this recipe won't spoil too quickly if you can't cook this meal when planned. Each serving contains 277 calories, which means you'll likely have room for dessert!

Enlist support to make these healthy dinner ideas for one become a reality

Looking for creative ways to break out of that cooking rut? Find support and inspiration from others who also prioritize healthy eating. Perhaps you and your health-conscious neighbor can team up for some "batch cooking." Discuss food preferences and budget up front, and then cook a few meals a week for each other. Both of these recipes make larger portions and freeze well.

Low-fat Mexican Turkey Casserole makes ten servings. Bursting with flavor while reining in the fat, this is an excellent choice for a cold winter night.

This White Chicken Chili uses a slow-cooker which means you can work from home AND have a home-cooked meal waiting for you at the end of a long day. By doubling the recipe, you'll have plenty for your neighbor and an extra meal for the freezer for days when you have to work late. To reduce sodium, choose low-sodium chicken broth in place of regular.

Whether you're following a balanced meal template or batch cooking, we hope these easy healthy dinner ideas for one have provided some inspiration. Remember, eating healthy whole foods is a way to give yourself that extra self-care you deserve!

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Meal Planning & Diets->Dinner Meal Planning & Diets->"Plan, Shop, Prep, and Cook"
Dec 20, 2021

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