Arroz Con Pollo for One

In case you’re wondering, arroz con pollo just means chicken with rice. It’s a favorite Latin American dish, roughly similar to paella (but with a lot fewer steps and ingredients). I’ve adapted this from a Jacques Pépin recipe. I know what you’re thinking, isn’t he French? He is. But his wife is Puerto Rican and she taught him a thing or too.

Besides reducing the quantities, I’ve changed this recipe a bit. He used chickpeas  and bacon ((I never have chickpeas, so I went with beans instead and I usually get chorizo, more versatile).  He also put in cilantro stems. I like the dried version (coriander), but not fresh. And I’d never use it all anyway. So dried it is.

It’s all ready in about an hour. And, it only uses a single pot. Less cleanup is always a bonus as far as I’m concerned!







More Recipes with Beans

tuna cannellini bean saladTuna Cannellini Bean Salad Recipe for One

Want a quick meal? Just open a few cans and you’ve got an easy lunch. No actual cooking needed.

 

pasta e fagioli soupPasta e Faglioli (Bean) Soup

An Italian classic that’s filling and easy too. It’s flavored with pancetta and rosemary, for a meal that’s both both aromatic and delicious.

 

Brazilian chicken paprika stewBrazilian Chicken Paprika Stew

This is chicken paprikash that went south and stayed.  The cream is gone, replaced with sausage, lime, and beans. It’s rich and satisfying, and all in one pot!

 

black beans and rice recipe one personBlack Beans and Rice Recipe for One Person

Two meals in one! This can be an entree or a soup. It’s also pantry friendly. Just cook the beans slowly with garlic, onions, and two surprise ingredients. Cook it longer for a side dish/entree, or a bit less for soup.

 

Kitchen Hack: Binder Clips

Now, I know, you likely think of the binder clip as a handy office tool. But, it turns out to have lots of kitchen uses too. It’s a great kitchen hack too!

For example, use it to close up bags of chips, bags of coffee, or to keep your open bag of rice shut. There’s another use, that I just discovered yesterday. I was taking out a bunch of ingredients from the freezer to put in the fridge to defrost. I realized that I could just clip the bags together with a binder clip. That way, when I was ready to cook, I wouldn’t have to search through the refrigerator hunting for each item I needed. It would all be together!

More Kitchen Hacks

kitchen hack oxo peelerKitchen Organization Hack: Oxo Peeler 

Finding one tool in a container full of them can be a pain (especially if it’s a small one). This hack helps you spot your peeler instantly.

 

open tight jarHow to Easily Open a Tight Jar

You don’t need any special equipment or expensive gadgets to get those jars open. Just an ordinary tool to break the seal.

 

small kitchen storageSmall Kitchen Storage Ideas: How to Store Everything You Need to Cook in a Tiny Kitchen

This is my kitchen. Yes, that’s it. The whole thing. But small doesn’t mean you can’t keep and store everything you need to cook full meals (even for company).

separate a head of garlicEasily Break Apart a Head of Garlic

You don’t need special tools to get one or two cloves of garlic for your recipe. Just an ordinary knife will do the trick.

Small Batch Savory Mushroom Onion Pie

In America, we mostly tend to think of pie as something sweet, filled with fruit, and eaten for dessert. That’s certainly good (I wouldn’t turn down a good pie), but it’s not the entire story.  Pies can do more than that. However,  for reasons unknown, with the exception of chicken or turkey pot pie, we tend to mostly ignore the whole world of meat, vegetable, and other flavorful, no-fruit pies that make wonderful entrees.  Take this savory mushroom onion pie, for instance.  It’s got a crust like a fruit pie, but instead of blueberries or apples, it’s packed with mushrooms, cheese, and onions.

Not only is it delicious, but it’s an entire meal all by itself.  Think a less-eggy quiche.

I’ve adapted the filling recipe from here and the crust from here.

Now, you can use store-bought pie dough, store-bought pizza dough (yes, really, I saw Jacques Pepin do it once—if it’s good enough for him, it’s good enough for me), or make your own. It’s not hard. I’ve included directions for both. If you’ve got a pre-made crust, skip the instructions for that and go straight to the filling. If not, make the crust, and then start the filling while the crust chills.







Small Batch Savory Mushroom Onion Pie Substitutions and Variations

  • Use leek instead of onions
  • If you don’t have heavy cream, use half and half, or even milk
  • Add some broccoli with the cheese and onion mixture

More Mushroom Recipes

chicken with mushrooms and tarragonChicken with Tarragon and Mushrooms

Fine French food, without a big restaurant bill.  Flavored with tarragon and mushrooms, in a creamy sauce. Tastes indulgent, but it isn’t.

 

Chicken Mushroom Skillet Recipe chicken mushroom skillet recipe

Pan fry the chicken, cut the mushrooms and veggies, and simmer. It makes its own sauce right in the pan.

 

pork tenderloin with mushrooms and sour cream

Pork Tenderloin with Mushrooms and Sour Cream

Rich creamy and indulgent, with a bit of bite from mustard and capers.  Perfect with the pork.  And hardly any chopping.

 

shoemaker's chicken for oneShoemaker’s Chicken for One

This Italian favorite isn’t really Italian at all. That doesn’t keep it from being delicious. And it’s easy, with very little cleanup after (always a win-win).

 




Easy Plum Tart Recipe for One

I had some Italian plums I’d bought with the vague idea of making one of various recipes for a plum cake or a torte, or even mini pies. But, I (naturally) wanted something smaller, didn’t have the right pan, and I didn’t have the patience for lots of little crusts and fillings. Stumped, I stared at my bookshelf and thought, hey there’s a Pierre Franey cookbook I haven’t opened in a while. That’s silly. And lo and behold, there was an easy plum tart recipe inside. One pan, one crust, and no fiddly time-consuming individual filling.  Plus,  you only have to chill the crust for a few minutes, rather than hours. Less wait time. Perfect!

So, I cut the ingredients in half, and got myself an easy delicious dessert.  It requires no special tart pan and there’s no need to run to the store for non-standard or expensive ingredients (like puff pastry).  My ordinary six-inch baking pan worked just fine.  I used Italian plums (the oblong kind), but ordinary, round plums would work too.




 

 

Easy Plum Tart Recipe for One Substitutions and Variations

  • Experiment with different fruits: try it with sliced apples and some cinnamon, or use sliced pears, cinnamon, and ginger
  • Replace 1 T of flour with 1 T of ground almonds
  • Sprinkle sliced almonds on top of the tart
  • Brush the crust with egg for a beautiful shine
  • Or, try some heavy cream or milk on the edges to make it golden brown

Tools for This Recipe


Zulay Dough Blender

This is one of my favorite baking gadgets.  It’s much easier to use than the two knife method, and takes up a lot less space than a food processor.  It’s held up really well (I bought it about four years ago), and it now comes in your choice of colors (so it will match your kitchen).


J.K. Adams FRP-1 Maple French Rolling Pin

I started out baking with an old, relatively small rolling pin that I got as a gift.  It was pretty (with incised patterns), but a real pain the neck to clean. It was also too small. This one is miles ahead.  It’s easier to manipulate and hold, and does a much better job rolling out dough.

More Fruit Dessert Recipes

mini blueberry hand piesMini Blueberry Hand Pie Recipe

A pie you can hold right in your hand. One pie is one portion—just right for a treat without going overboard. You don’t even need a plate.

 

Rustic Pear Tart

A rich dessert that seems like pie (but is much easier to make. There are only six easy steps. Perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth (without a lot of work or waiting).

 

caramelized pineapple chunksCaramelized Pineapple Chunks for One Person

A sweet dessert straight from your pantry.  And, it’s ready in only a few minutes.  Eat it as is, or serve with chopped nuts.

 

easy one serving apple crisp recipeEasy One Serving Apple Crisp Recipe

This treat comes together in a single bowl.  It’s warm, cinnamony, and made with oatmeal (so it’s healthy!).

 

 




Simple Panzanella Salad for One

Summer tomatoes are (finally!) here and I am soo glad to be rid of the sad supermarket versions! I had some stale bread, and inspired by a friend, I decided to make a simple panzanella salad for one.

Panzanella is a classic Italian dish made from day-old crusty bread, tomatoes, cucumber, and onion. After that, you can add more veggies (such as bell pepper or zucchini), toss in olives, and either a simple oil and vinegar dressing, or a full-out vinaigrette.

This one is adapted from Ina Garten’s version. Her recipe was for 12 people! It is traditional to let the whole salad sit for 30 minutes.  That allows the bread to soak up the flavors. It also gives you soggy bread. Since I prefer it crisp, I ate it right away. Besides, that way there’s no waiting to eat!

I’ve cut her recipe for the vinaigrette in half and substituted white wine vinegar for Champagne vinegar.  I have six or seven kinds of vinegar, and enough is enough! You can use the champagne version if you have it.  This is a bit more dressing than you need for one salad, but it will keep and you can use it for something else (or more panzanella another day).




Simple Panzanella Salad for One Substitutions and Variations

  • Replace the capers with olives
  • Add other fresh veggies, more kinds of bell pepper, zucchini, mushrooms, or some cabbage
  • Make it heartier with good quality tuna or some fresh mozzarella pearls (tiny balls of cheese)




More Side Salad Recipes

israeli chopped saladIsraeli Salad

Easy, healthy, and no cooking. Serve as is, or add humus, olives, and pita for a light lunch.

 

dill caper potato saladDill Caper Potato Salad

Sweet/sour capers plus lemony dill combine for a salad that’s big on flavor, but light on mayo.

 

lemony cucumber salad recipeLemony Cucumber Salad

A lemony cucumber salad is the perfect antidote to a brutally hot day. It’s light, refreshing, and delicious too.

 

dijon mustard vinaigrette potato saladDijon Mustard Vinaigrette Potato Salad

This Dijon mustard vinaigrette potato salad is different from the usual potato salads. Since it’s French, it’s got no mayo. Instead, there’s  olive oil, lemon juice, and Dijon mustard for a bit of bite.

 

 




Shoemaker’s Chicken for One

Shoemaker’s Chicken (or Chicken Scarpariello) is a classic Italian dish that isn’t really Italian at all. The true story goes something like this: Italians come to America and start adapting and creating new recipes, they become popular, a new tradition is born.

“Authentic” or not, it’s still delicious, flavored with a sweet/sour pan sauce that cooks right with the chicken.  One pan, minimal cleanup. Always a good thing.

There, are (naturally) plenty of variations on this dish, from just simply cooking it with olive oil, wine, and lemon to adding sausage and peppadew peppers.  Well, I didn’t have any sausage. I also didn’t have the right peppers, and since a) I didn’t want to get some for one meal or b) burden you with getting a whole jar of something for one meal, I used ordinary bell peppers instead. Then I added a bit of vinegar and a pinch of sugar to approximate the peppadew flavor.

Also, I used two different recipes as a starting point. The first one, from Bon Appetit,  called for browning the chicken in a skillet and then transferring to the oven to finish, The second one, from Pierre Franey’s 60 Minute Gourmet cookbook, cooked it all entirely in the skillet. My skillets are old, and I’m not entirely sure how oven-safe they are.  So, all-on-the stove top it was!

I did, however, make the potatoes suggested in Bon Appetit’s recipe.  That was just simply heating the oven to 450, then cutting a large Yukon potato into chunks, tossing it with 1 T of olive oil, salt and pepper and baking for about 20-25 minutes.

Order of operations: If you’re making the potatoes, preheat the oven first, then start the chicken, cut up the potatoes, put them in to cook, and finish the chicken.






 

More Chicken Recipes

stovetop coq au vinStovetop Coq au Vin Chicken with Red Wine Sauce

A streamlined version of a French classic (with an “easy” button).  Ready in under an hour, with only one pan to clean.

 

chicken mushroom skillet recipeChicken and Mushroom Skillet Recipe

The perfect solution when you want food fast.  It makes its own sauce, right in the pan.

 

roast chicken with plumsRoast Chicken with Plums

Perfect for summer, bathed in a sweet, tangy sauce with just a hint of savory warm spiciness. And super simple to make.

 

chicken with mushrooms and tarragonChicken with Tarragon and Mushrooms

Fancy French food (without going out, or paying a big bill). Increase the recipe, make it for company, and they’ll think you’re a food genius.  Or, keep it all to yourself.

 




Swedish Meatball Loaf Recipe for One

I adore meatballs, especially Swedish meatballs, but  I find lately I’m having less and less patience with anything that has to be individually prepared, filled, or stuffed! However, I came up with a solution! Skip the dividing and the rolling, and just make a Swedish meatball loaf instead.

This recipe is adapted slightly from one in my 60-Minute Gourmet cookbook.  I cut it in half (because an entire meatloaf was more than I wanted all at once).  And, I fiddled with the ingredients a bit.  It called for allspice (I have none) and aquavit (ditto – and not buying an entire bottle of something for one recipe).

Make the mixture, heat, and eat. No fussing. No bother. And no need to roll endless mini-meatballs either.

This works beautifully with just some rice (white or brown). Top both with the sauce.

The recipe is enough for one generous serving or two smaller ones.  If you have extra, eat it cold for lunch (or as a sandwich) the next day.  My mom would eat it for breakfast (her favorite), but you can do lunch if you want to be more conventional.




 




More Meatball and Ground Meat Recipes

easy Italian meatballs for oneEasy Italian Meatball Recipe for One

Italian meatballs, but just enough for one person.  Great for the classic spaghetti and meatballs. Or, use them in soup (see below).

 

Easy Italian Wedding Soup

Once you’ve got those meatballs, you can make soup in mere minutes.  Just a few basic ingredients, dump, heat, and eat.

 

white ragu papardelle

White Ragu Pappardelle Pasta for One

Yes, it’s ragu, but not the usual red sauce.  Instead, it’s made with white wine, sausage, and ground beef. No tomatoes anywhere. Even better with fresh pasta.

 

sloppy joes one person recipeSloppy Joe Recipe for One Person

This is not your mom’s sloppy joe. It’s got a kick! The secret is sriracha.  More flavor, more modern, and even more delicious.

 




One Person Easter or Passover Dinners

We’re still home alone, and there are more holidays we’ll have to celebrate Easter or Passover for one, or else join our friends and family on Zoom.  While we can’t go to mom’s or grandma’s or even eat in a restaurant, we can still eat well and celebrate. Even if those celebrations look a bit different than usual.

Since the two holidays have entirely different traditions, with different dietary rules and customs, I’ve chosen dishes that are low-fuss, but still pack plenty of flavor. The side dishes are suitable for either holiday, and obviously, if you observe Easter, you can eat anything on the page!

Because having a one person Easter or Passover doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a delicious festive meal.

One Person Easter Main Dishes

apple glazed ham steakApple Glazed Ham Steak Recipe for One Person

Sure, everyone serves ham with pineapple, but this is better. The sweet/tart apple is a better foil to the salty ham. And, it’s easy too. Since it cooks quickly (the fastest main dish on this page), it’s great if you don’t feel like waiting to eat!

 

greek lamb breastGreek Lamb Breast Recipe

A hands-off recipe that requires very little effort. Just prep it, marinate, and then forget it.  Slow-roasting deepens the flavors and warms your home too.  Throw in some potatoes to bake for a really low-fuss (but delicious) meal. Or try one of the side dishes below. Incidentally, some Jewish traditions are a definite “no” to lamb on Passover; others are OK. If you are a “yes,” you can eat this!

 

lamb breast provencale with rosemaryOne Person Slow Roasted Lamb Breast Provencal Recipe

An easy hands-off main dish.  Just put it together, and let it cook slowly in your oven while you do something else.  Your home will smell wonderful as the garlic and rosemary permeate your house!

One Person Passover Main Dishes

stovetop coq au vinStovetop Coq au Vin Chicken with Red Wine Sauce

A weeknight friendly version of a classic French dish. The standard version takes a lot of time and effort.  This one doesn’t!

The recipe does call for flour, but you can use potato starch instead. There’s also butter, but you can use neutral oil if you’d rather not mix meat and milk.

unstuffed cabbage roll recipe

Small Batch Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls Recipe

Much less work than the standard version! Mine is layered, like lasagne; no rolling, no stuffing. Still delicious. I used red cabbage (as I had bought it for something else), but green is fine too.

 

Jewish chicken curry chitarneeJewish Chicken Curry Chitarnee

A festive Sephardic Jewish recipe that’s zippier than the usual Ashkenazi fare. Not to worry, it’s not super-spicy. It’s flavored with onion, garlic, ginger, mild chilis, and cardamom, all of which become warm and mellow as they cook. The wine vinegar is OK for Passover too. And only one pot!

 




One Person Easter or Passover Side Dishes

oven roasted lemon garlic broccoliOven Roasted Lemon Garlic Broccoli

Roasting broccoli transforms broccoli.  The bitterness disappears, tenderizing it, and giving the broccoli a sweet, almost nutty flavor.

 

 

butternut squash brown sugar vanillaRoasted Butternut Squash with Brown Sugar and Vanilla

The side dish that thinks it’s a dessert! A touch of sugar, enhanced with vanilla, and then roasted in the oven until it becomes nutty and sweet.

This does have butter in it, so if you don’t want to mix that with a meat dish, try the broccoli or the potato bites.

 

crispy garlic basil potato bitesCrispy Garlic Basil Potato Bites

Tiny bite-size bits of starchy goodness, these potato bites are crispy outside and tender inside.  Almost like fries (but a lot less messy). Not to mention the extra garlic kick.

One Person Easter Desserts

small batch brownies cocoa powderSmall Batch Brownies with Cocoa Powder

Warm, slightly gooey, and super-chocolatey brownies sized for one person. And, only one bowl required! Be decadent and top them with chocolate syrup and/or some ice cream.

 

 

rustic pear tartRustic Pear Tart

Usually, making anything pie-like is a bit of a slog.  This recipe is different. There’s no pre-baking or crimping. And only a few steps to make it. But, you end up with a sweet, buttery dessert that’s a perfect holiday delight.

 

greek yogurt chocolate cakeGreek Yogurt Chocolate Cake

Triple chocolate (cake, chips, and ganache) cake that’s decadent, rich, but not too rich (it’s got yogurt!)  The ganache adds extra chocolatey oomph (and it’s easier than you might think).

One Person Passover Desserts

Cinnamon Sugar Brandy Bananascinnamon sugar bananas

End your meal with these sweet bananas, lightly dusted with cinnamon. Ready in minutes.

Brandy is OK (check the label to make sure if you are observant).]

 

 

single serving double dark chocolate pudding recipeSingle Serving Double Dark Chocolate Pudding Recipe

A single serving of rich, indulgent pudding.  Cook it less and you get thick, hot chocolate. So, it’s really two recipes in one!

 

 




Chile Potato Cheese Soup

Brrrr! We’ve just had a blizzard, with more snow expected later in the week. Time for soup! This recipe was originally potato cheese soup with dill. But, I had no fresh dill, and I wanted something with a bit more kick. Using  the jalapeños transforms it into chile potato cheese soup. Think nacho soup, with tender chunks of potatoes, and lots of cheddar cheese, enlivened with a burst of hot peppers.

I’ve kept this pretty simple, but you could treat it like nachos and top it accordingly. Plus, unlike most of the other soups I found on the internet, this one is made with wholesome, real ingredients: no dried food packages with who knows what inside.

It should make about 2-3 servings, depending on your appetite, and the size of your soup bowls.




 

Chile Potato Cheese Soup Substitutions and Variations

  • go back to the original recipe and use dill instead of jalapeños (add it at the end)
  • start with some bacon
  • add hot sauce
  • top with sour cream and/or salsa

More Soup Recipes

caldo verde soupQuick Caldo Verde Soup

Rich with potatoes, spicy sausage, and sharp greens. And it’s ready in only a few minutes too. Instant soup (or nearly so) without a can or a packet.

 

pasta e fagioli soupPasta e Fagioli Soup (Small Batch)

Aromatic veggies, beans, and tomatoes cooked slowly for a delicious, comforting soup.

 

split pea soup recipe with ham hockSplit Pea Soup Recipe with Ham Hock

Comfort in a bowl, slowly simmered until it’s rich and delicious.  The ham adds lots of smoky flavor.

 

ham and lentil soup

Easy Ham and Lentil Soup for One Person

Just the thing for a cold winter day, and no fancy ingredients needed.  Not to mention, you only need one pot to make it.

 




Garlic Bruschetta Pizza

After all the baking and partying (such as it was) of the new year, time for something a bit different. My fellow foodies theme this month is “Veganuary,” meaning vegetarian dishes with no eggs or dairy products.  I’ve been wanting to make this garlic bruschetta pizza for a while anyway, and it happens to fit the theme too.

It’s downsized for one person, so there’s either enough for one large pizza or two medium ones (one dinner or two lunches, depending on how hungry you are).

All you need are a few simple ingredients that come together for a pretty impressive result. I’ve included the recipe for the dough, but if you don’t want to make the dough yourself (I find the kneading therapeutic right now), you can always just buy it ready-made in your supermarket or even ask at a local pizza place.

And, if you don’t want to be vegan, it’s just fine to add some shredded mozzarella or parmesan on top.




garlic bruschetta pizza cut up

Garlic Bruschetta Pizza Substitutions and Variations

  • add some fresh chopped tomatoes
  • ditch the “vegan” and try it with grated parmesan or shredded mozzarella
  • use fresh basil (add it right at the end of the cooking period)
  • top with sautéed onions and/or mushrooms

More Pizza Recipes

goat cheese caramelized onion pizzaGoat Cheese Onion Pizza

Mellowed sweet onions, slow-cooked onions, earthy goat cheese, leafy spinach, and crispy bell pepper are a fresh change from the usual cheese and tomato.

 

white pizza without ricottaWhite Pizza Recipe Without Ricotta

If you like white pizza, but would rather skip the ricotta (I’m not a big fan either), try this recipe instead. No ricotta in sight.

 

rosemary potato roasted garlic pizzaRosemary Potato Roasted Garlic Pizza

Think of this as potato chip pizza.  I, personally, am always in favor of extra starch.  You get hot pizza, a light dusting of melty cheese, and a crispy crunch.