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.
Take a browse or jump ahead to a section. There are so many recipes to choose from – salads, tacos, casseroles, soup and easy one pot and sheet pan dinners. I hope you find some new small-batch recipes to try!
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ROSEMARY GRILLED CHICKEN ON CABBAGE – Vibrant Plate | Another simple dinner for two that starts first with marinated chicken. The chicken cooks in a grill pan leaving behind all sorts of browned bits also known as flavor bits. Thin-sliced cabbage cooks on that same pan soaking up all that chicken flavor. It’s a low-carb dinner perfectly sized for two.
CHICKEN & BLACK BEAN SPINACH SALAD – Girl Gone Gourmet | This salad is packed with veggies, chicken and beans with a tangy garlic-lime dressing.
CRISPY CHICKEN SALAD WITH PEANUT-GARLIC DRESSING – Girl Gone Gourmet | This crispy chicken salad is an easy dinner for busy nights thanks to some smart short-cuts 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.
EASY GROUND TURKEY TACO BOWLS – Girl Gone Gourmet | Easy 30-minute ground turkey taco bowls for two with all the toppings! Because let’s face it, tacos are all about the toppings, right? These quick bowls have ground turkey seasoned with spices, corn, and pinto beans spooned over simple lime-infused rice. They’re topped with sliced avocado, diced tomatoes, queso fresco, and sour cream.
30-MINUTE BEEF AND BROCCOLI – Girl Gone Gourmet | Make your own take-out style beef and broccoli. This version is ready in about 30 minutes and is full of tender beef and good-for-you broccoli.
STEAK TACO SALAD – Girl Gone Gourmet | This fast and fresh steak taco salad for two has tender pan-seared sirloin, creamy diced avocado, black beans, pepper jack cheese and a super simple 3-ingredient salsa verde dressing.
WEEKNIGHT BEEF FAJITAS – Girl Gone Gourmet | Sometimes beloved restaurant favorites are super easy to make at home and fajitas are a great example. The beef spends some time in a simple marinade before hitting a hot skillet. The bell peppers and onions cook in the flavor left behind by the beef and from there it’s ready to serve with all your favorite toppings like guacamole, sour cream, and salsa. Add a couple margaritas and you have a dinner for two that will rival your neighborhood Mexican cantina.
STEAKS WITH CHIMICHURRI AND ROASTED HARISSA SWEET POTATOES – The Organic Kitchen | And after you indulge on Saturday with butter shrimp and bread you can make this beautiful steak with chimichurri sauce and sweet potatoes to make up for it. So many delicious and good-for-you ingredients in this one.
SALSA VERDE TACO SOUP – Girl Gone Gourmet | Salsa verde taco soup made with fresh tomatillos, green chile, brown rice, and ground beef. This is a small-batch recipe for two that you can make on the stovetop or in an Instant Pot. It’s garnished just like tacos with a dollop of sour cream and a quick and easy guacamole.
30-MINUTE SESAME BEEF BOWLS – Girl Gone Gourmet | When take-out cravings hit this easy sesame beef bowl recipe is the answer. It’s not authentic but it takes care of the cravings in about 30 minutes.
INSTANT POT BRAISED BEEF TACOS – Girl Gone Gourmet | 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.
Seafood and Fish Recipes
FISH FOR TWO WITH LEMON SHERRY PAN SAUCE – The Life Jolie | Fish is a great contender for fast dinners because it doesn’t need a long cooking time and a simple pan sauce is all it needs to dress it up a little. I love the flavors in this simple dinner for two and it all comes together in less than 30 minutes.
GRILLED SALMON PACKETS – Girl Gone Gourmet | 20-minute grilled salmon packets with grape tomatoes, asparagus, and dill. This is the best kind of dinnertime “fast food”.
SALMON WITH ROASTED GRAPES AND THYME – Le Petit Eats | Would you believe this dish has only five simple ingredients (including salt!)? It looks like the perfect dinner when you want something fancy without having to spend hours in the kitchen.
SHRIMP FAJITA BOWLS – Girl Gone Gourmet | These shrimp fajita bowls are a light dinner full of fresh flavors.
KENTUCKY BOURBON PAN SEARED HALIBUT – Champagne Tastes | Simple halibut topped with a rich bourbon sauce. This is the type of dinner you might order in a restaurant, but guess what?! You don’t have to because Sarah walks you through how to make this elegant dish for two at home.
SHEET PAN DINNER FOR TWO: SALMON AND VEGGIES – Garden In The Kitchen | And to wrap our 11 easy dinner recipes for two, here’s a simple salmon dish, with a medley of fresh veggies, for two that’s cooked on a sheet pan which means clean-up is a breeze. Dinner for two without a big mess? Sounds good to me!
SPICY CHICKEN RAGU (INSTANT POT) – Girl Gone Gourmet | This spicy chicken ragu for two cooks in an Instant Pot making it an easy dinner for busy weeknights. There’s no browning or pre-cooking steps required – everything goes into the Instant Pot and in less than 30 minutes dinner is ready to go.
TRUFFLE MUSHROOM PASTA – Girl Gone Gourmet | Truffle mushroom pasta is an easy pasta dish that you can make with a few simple ingredients. The sauce is made with truffle cheese which is an affordable way to enjoy the flavor of truffle without breaking the bank. The pasta is creamy, rich and earthy and very easy to make in about 30 minutes, but you’d never guess. It tastes like a restaurant dish and is a cozy dinner for two.
TORTELLINI TUNA CASSEROLE – Girl Gone Gourmet | This tortellini tuna casserole is my updated version of the one I loved growing up. The creamy from-scratch sauce is made with fresh mushrooms, garlic, white wine, and peas. Plus, the tortellini cooks right in the sauce – no need to boil it ahead of time.
ROASTED GARLIC SPAGHETTI WITH TOMATOES AND SPINACH – Krumpli | Another elevated pasta dish this time with simple tomatoes and spinach and plenty roasted garlic. I love roasting garlic because it mellows its sharpness and I think Brian’s hit a home run with this simple dish that’s full of fresh flavor.
SHRIMP PENNE WITH VODKA SAUCE – Girl Gone Gourmet | This Shrimp Penne with Vodka Sauce is an easy dinner for two. My version uses a simple short-cut – no chopping required! – so it’s ready to serve in less than 30 minutes.
CREAMY GRUYERE SPAGHETTI – Girl Gone Gourmet | Spaghetti is easy to turn to for a scaled-back dinner, but it’s easy to get stuck in a spaghetti and jarred tomato sauce rut. This spaghetti dinner shakes things up a bit with a creamy gruyere cheese sauce, some spinach, and a light bread crumb topping that adds a crispy texture. The sauce comes together while the pasta boils making this a fast 20-minute dinner.
BAKED CHICKEN PARMESAN CASSEROLE – Girl Gone Gourmet | This baked chicken parmesan casserole for two is a low-prep dinner that takes all of ten minutes to get in the oven. All of it – including the pasta and chicken – cook together in one baking dish so there’s no need to use different pots and pans to boil the pasta and bread and fry the chicken. It has everything you love about a classic chicken parm – including a crispy breadcrumb and cheese topping – without all the extra work.
BUCATINI ALL’AMATRICIANA – Girl Gone Gourmet | This is a quick and easy pasta dish for 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.
SUMMER SQUASH TORTELLINI BAKE – Girl Gone Gourmet | Fresh herbs, roasted yellow squash and tortellini baked together in a creamy goat cheese sauce.
Want More Recipes for One or Two?
My cookbook is a collection of comfort food–inspired recipes scaled down to serve one or two people. It’s a book for anyone who wants to cook for themselves but doesn’t want leftovers cluttering up the refrigerator only to be tossed out later. 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!
GOURMET COOKING FOR ONE OR TWO: INCREDIBLE MEALS THAT ARE SMALL IN SIZE BUT BIG IN FLAVOR