If you cook for yourself and another person, you’re probably an expert at adjusting recipes to serve a smaller amount. Unless you love days of leftovers, following conventional recipes that serve four or more leaves you with a pile of containers in your freezer that you know in your heart will be tossed out months later.
I speak from experience. I understand your plight, so I’ve gathered up easy dinner recipes for two. There are a few fancy ones and a few that are perfect for a weeknight. So, relax – you don’t need to figure out how to adjust any of these scaled-back recipes.
There are so many recipes to choose from – salads, tacos, casseroles, soup, and easy one-pot dinners. I hope you find some new small-batch recipes to try!
Easy Truffle Mushroom Pasta
Truffle mushroom pasta is an easy dish with a few simple ingredients. The truffle sauce is creamy, rich, and so easy to make in about 30 minutes. Tastes like a restaurant dish!
Tender seasoned beef wrapped up in tortillas with all the toppings, including a simple creamy salsa-inspired sauce, is totally doable on a weeknight, thanks to an Instant Pot. It’s easy to prep and are ready to go in less than an hour.
Zucchini Turkey Meatballs with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
These turkey meatballs skip the breadcrumbs and, instead, are made with fresh zucchini and pantry spices. They’re topped with an easy roasted red pepper sauce and served with broccoli cauliflower rice.
Salsa verde taco soup made with fresh tomatillos, green chile, brown rice, and ground beef. It’s a small-batch recipe for two that leaves you with just enough leftovers for lunch the next day. I’ve included instructions for both the stovetop and Instant Pot (see notes). And, just like tacos, the soup is garnished with a quick and easy guacamole and a dollop of sour cream because I believe every soup needs a great garnish.
This crispy chicken salad is an easy dinner thanks to some smart shortcuts like bagged salad and store-bought chicken tenders. The dressing is a zingy peanut-garlic combo, and all of it comes together in about 30 minutes.
This easy-to-prep soup for two has smoky bacon, tender roasted vegetables, and cheddar cheese. All of the veggies and bacon roast together on one sheet pan before being added to the soup. Add some shredded cheddar, and you get a cheesy creamy soup that’s perfect on a cold day.
These beef fajitas are easy to prep and you can marinate the beef ahead of time. Altogether, it takes about 20 minutes to prep it all and about 20 minutes to cook, making this an easy weeknight dinner.
Because this recipe serves two, you don’t need to haul out a big pan to make the sauce. An oven-safe 8.5-inch skillet is a perfect size for the sauce. In fact, I used a smaller pot to cook the pasta, too. Just break the spaghetti in half, and you don’t need a big stock pot either.
Mexican Caesar salad is a twist on a classic and can be served as a side dish or as a main dish. Crisp romaine, sweet corn, creamy avocado, and sliced jalapenos tossed together in a creamy cilantro Caesar dressing. Serve it as is, or add a protein like grilled chicken or shrimp for a light and easy dinner.
This steak pasta with spinach is an easy dinner recipe that can be served warm, at room temperature or cold. Tender steak tossed with a mustard and balsamic dressing is a delicious dinner full of flavor.
This is a quick and easy pasta dish for two with simple ingredients and a little kick of heat from some crushed red pepper flakes. Bring the pasta water to a boil while you prep the ingredients for the sauce and, once you add the pasta to cook, the sauce comes together by the time the pasta is tender.
My cookbook, Gourmet Cooking for One (or Two), is a collection of comfort food–inspired recipes scaled down to serve one or two people. In this book, you’ll find 75 recipes for small-scale dishes, including updated classics, 30-minute single-serving dinners, and simple one-pan recipes that you can make any night of the week!
I hope you’ve found some new easy recipes for two to try!
Post updated from the archives. First published in August 2017.
I’m a passionate home cook, cookbook author, recipe developer, freelance writer, food photographer, and dog mom ❤ I garnish (almost) everything with parsley and believe you can make deliciously amazing dishes with everyday ingredients.