Easy Dinner Recipes for Two

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.

dinners for two photo collage.

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!

photo of a bowl of pasta

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!

One-Pan Mushroom Chicken

One-Pan Mushroom Chicken with Broccolini

This cozy one-pan mushroom chicken with broccolini is easy enough to make on a weeknight but tastes like you cooked all day.

overhead photo of the salad in a bowl

Chicken & Black Bean Spinach Salad

The chicken & black bean spinach salad is packed with veggies and tossed with a simple garlic-lime dressing. It’s no side salad – this bowl of goodness is a star all on its own!

beef tacos on a cutting board with lime wedges

Instant Pot Braised Beef Tacos

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.

5-Ingredient Sun Dried Tomato Alfredo

5-Ingredient Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo

A simple, easy-to-make sun-dried tomato alfredo sauce tossed with pasta. It’s what to make on those nights when there’s just no time to cook.

Zucchini Turkey Meatballs with roasted red pepper sauce on a white plate

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.

steak salad with dressing.

Steak Salad with Sautéed Mushrooms

Easy steak salad with sauteed mushrooms is a delicious 30-minute dinner. Tender sirloin served with fresh spinach, herbs, feta cheese and a super easy balsamic dressing.

two bowls of salsa verde taco soup garnished with sour cream and guacamole

Salsa Verde Taco Soup for Two

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.

Steak carbonara in a bowl with a fork

30-Minute Steak Carbonara for Two

A basic carbonara gets an upgrade with sliced sirloin steak and fresh basil. This dinner for two is so easy to make and takes less than 30 minutes.

crispy chicken salad in a white bowl on a green napkin

Crispy Chicken Salad with Peanut-Garlic Dressing

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.

overhead photo of grilled salmon topped with cream sauce

Grilled Salmon with Sour Cream

This grilled salmon recipe is so simple and delicious!

sesame beef with vegetables

30-Minute Sesame Beef Bowls

Easy 30-minute sesame beef is inspired by take-out. The beef is cooked in a savory sauce and served with crisp-tender vegetables and rice. This recipe is a great dinner for two.


photo of taco salad

Steak Taco Salad

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.

Ravioli with Asparagus and Mushrooms | girlgonegourmet.com

Ravioli with Asparagus and Mushrooms

Cheese ravioli, asparagus, and mushrooms tossed together in a lightly buttery lemon sauce. Thanks to store-bought ravioli, It takes only 20 minutes to make, which is perfect for those busy weeknights.

photo of two bowls of soup with a bowl of salad in the background

Bacon Cheddar Cauliflower Soup (for Two)

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.

Easy ground turkey taco bowls with rice and beans

Easy Ground Turkey Taco Bowls

Don’t be tricked by the long ingredient list because these taco bowls take just 30 minutes from start to finish and require very little prep work.

Fettuccine Alfred | girlgonegourmet.com

Fettuccine Alfredo

Ribbons of tender pasta coated in a simple cheese sauce. This fettuccine Alfredo takes just 15 minutes and is so cozy and comforting.

Beef Fajitas

Beef Fajitas

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.

Creamy Gruyere Spaghetti with breadcrumbs and spinach

Creamy Gruyere Spaghetti for Two

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 on a white plate.

Mexican Caesar Salad

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.

Balsamic Mushroom Pasta | girlgonegourmet.com

Balsamic Mushroom Pasta

Mushrooms in a creamy balsamic sauce tossed with fettuccine pasta. It’s easy to make and so delicious!

Shrimp Fajita Bowls

Shrimp Fajita Bowls

Seasoned shrimp with cilantro rice and fresh peppers. These fajita bowls are a light and easy dinner.

photo of a skillet of shrimp penne with vodka sauce

Shrimp Penne with Vodka Sauce

This shrimp penne with vodka sauce is an easy-to-make dinner for two. 

Beef Burrito Bowls

Skip Chipotle and make these easy beef burrito bowls at home! Seasoned beef, rice, and all the toppings – this is a fast dinner full of fresh flavors.

easy black bean soup.

Easy Black Bean Soup

This easy black bean soup for two uses mostly pantry ingredients and is ready to go in less than an hour!

photo of a plate of steak and pasta

Pasta with Steak and Spinach

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.

beef and broccoli in a skillet.

Easy Beef and Broccoli

Skip the takeout and make this Easy Beef and Broccoli! It only takes 30 minutes and is so delicious. Tender sliced steak, fresh broccoli, and a savory sauce – you’ll love this easy dinner recipe!

close-up shot of the final dish in a skillet.

Bucatini all’Amatriciana

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.

cooked salmon on a grey plate with broccoli florets.

Panko Crusted Salmon

This easy Panko Crusted Salmon recipe is ready in 20 minutes! Delicious salmon with mayo sauce and panko is a simple and healthy-ish dinner when you’re craving something light.


Easy Garlic Butter Shrimp Pasta

Easy Garlic Butter Shrimp Pasta is ready in 30 minutes! Shrimp tossed with pasta and a simple garlic butter sauce is a great weeknight dinner or special occasion meal. So easy and so delicious!

Want More Recipes for One or Two?

photo of the cover of Gourmet Cooking for One or Two

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!

Happy Cooking,


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Post updated from the archives. First published in August 2017.


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