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.

 

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).

 




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.

 




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.

 

 




Sugar Crusted Salmon Fillet

I found this sugar crusted salmon fillet recipe in a magazine somewhere. It’s the ideal answer to “what’s for dinner” when you’re hungry and you don’t have a lot of time to fuss in the kitchen.  It was also the perfect opportunity to take advantage of some beautiful (and relatively low-cost) salmon from my Imperfect Foods order.

The beauty of this is, all you have to do is make a quick dry rub, coat the salmon with it, and then cook it. The whole thing takes about 15 minutes. If you have leftover rice (I always make extra), you’re ready to eat in about 20 minutes. What I tend to do with the rice is either make more than I need so I can have it quickly later, or freeze it in little zip baggies. Pull it out, zap it for 2 minutes, and “instant” rice!

Back to the salmon, it ends up slightly sweet, but with a little bit of a kick from the cumin, pepper, and paprika. I did reduce the sugar from the original recipe (because I don’t want super-sweet food). However, if your tolerance is higher than mine, coat it with 1 1/2 tsp of sugar.

Keep it simple and serve this with some plain rice and a basic salad or some fresh cucumber and tomato.




More Salmon Recipes

pan fried salmon with nectarine salsaPan Fried Salmon with Nectarine Salsa

A fresher, sweeter take on the usual salsa. This one is made with juicy nectarines and a squirt of lime. It gives the whole meal an extra pop.

 

salmon in foil packet with potatoesSalmon in Foil Packet with Potatoes

Quick, delicious, and no cleanup. It’s an entire meal in one easy package.

 

salmon greek yogurt dill sauceSalmon with Greek Yogurt Dill Sauce

Rich and creamy, but the taste is yogurt (no cream at all). The tangy yogurt sauce, with a hint of mustard, complements the rich fish beautifully.

 

smoked salmon pasta with tomato cream sauceSmoked Salmon Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce

A rich, decadent sauce that’s great for dining alone, or serving to company.  It’s easy to make too.

 




Roast Chicken with Plums

Once summer rolls around, it’s hard to think about cooking too much. Complicated dishes, with lots of steps have very little appeal. On the other hand, something like this roast chicken with plums just hits the spot. It’s sweet, tangy, with just a hint of savory warm spiciness. And super simple to make.

My first thought the day I made this was to go for chicken with peaches and ginger, Then I had an idea. I had some fresh plums. Why not use those instead? Since plums are more tart than peaches, it needed something to balance the flavor, and add some sweetness. A bit of googling, and some reverse-engineering from a recipe I couldn’t see completely, and ta da!

All you have to do is cut up the ingredients, mix everything together, and bake it. You don’t have to fuss, or make a separate sauce, or hover over the stove.

I recommend using firmer plums as the riper ones are too soft to cut easily and tend to just collapse into mush (delicious mush, but still mush).




Roast Chicken with Plums Substitutions and Variations

  • make a spice rub with cumin, garlic, red pepper flakes, lemon, salt, and olive oil and marinate the chicken overnight
  • add ginger and lemon to the sauce
  • put the plum sauce on the bottom of the pan and layer the chicken over it (so the juices drip down)

More Chicken Recipes

Vietnamese baked chicken with limeVietnamese Chicken with Lime and Ginger

Ginger for warm spiciness, plus lime for a citrusy tang, and a bit of a kick from chili garlic sauce.

 

crispy lemon chicken thighCrispy Lemon Chicken Thigh Recipe for One

Great hot or cold, and perfect for picnics. Three kinds of lemon pack a big, citrusy punch, balanced by brown sugar.

 

feta brined roast chickenFeta Brined Roast Chicken Recipe for One

You’ve heard of brining turkey in salt? This is better. Brining with feta adds more flavor, and keeps the chicken moist and juicy.

 

peruvian roast chicken with green saucePeruvian Roast Chicken in Green Sauce Recipe

The sauce! Oh the sauce! It’s tangy, garlicky, and soooo good. Great on the chicken and also as a veggie dip.

 




Pan Fried Salmon with Nectarine Salsa

Does this happen to you? I bought a big bag of nectarines from Imperfect Foods without thinking what to do with them, or how I was going to eat all those nectarines all by myself.  Sometimes my eyes get ahead of my brain. Uh oh, now what? But, I had previously bought salmon from them and frozen it. I thought, well the sweet nectarines should pair beautifully with the fish. So, the answer was pan-fried salmon with nectarine salsa!

And then later, there will be nectarine mini tarts. Because why not.

Nectarine makes a refreshing change from the usual tomato. They’re sweeter, juicier, and a perfect foil for the tangy lime and spicy jalapeño. And summer is the ideal time to take advantage. The salmon was simply pan-fried with a squeeze of lime and a few seasonings.

This made a bit more salsa than I needed for just the salmon. But, it was fantastic over eggs the next day.




Pan Fried Salmon with Nectarine Salsa Substitutions and Variations

  • Don’t have salmon? This would work beautifully with a pork chop too. Pan-fry with some olive oil and cumin
  • Or, try the salsa with some scrambled eggs
  • Haven’t got jalapeño? Use red pepper flakes instead

More Salmon Recipes

salmon in foil packet with potatoesSalmon in Foil Packet with Potatoes

Season, fold, and bake. No cleanup, and it’s a whole meal in a simple packet.

 

salmon greek yogurt dill sauceSalmon with Greek Yogurt Dill Sauce

Crispy cucumbers, creamy yogurt, and touch of fresh dill add brightness and freshness to this sauce. Let it sit if you can to let the flavors meld.

 

smoked salmon artichoke saladSmoked Salmon Artichoke Salad

This works with either smoked or cooked salmon.  The citrus is sweet and bright, and the marinated artichokes add kick.

 

smoked salmon pasta with tomato cream sauceSmoked Salmon Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce

Creamy, velvety and elegant enough for a special occasion. Yet, it’s surprisingly easy to make.

 

 




Pork Chili Verde for One

I know, I’ve already got two chili recipes on here already: Chicken Chili Verde and Small Batch Spicy Stovetop Chili. So why a third? Because the chicken was frozen, and I found a pork chili verde recipe that appealed to me. It also seemed more authentic and actually was entirely green too. It’s made with ground pork, simmered in a salsa verde of jalapeños, garlic, onion, and cumin.

And, unlike the others, this recipe is ready fairly quickly. If you’ve already got cooked (or canned) beans, you can make this in about half an hour. If not, it’s about an hour (still pretty speedy for chili).

The original recipe called for potatoes and corn. I had some pre-soaked cranberry beans leftover from something else, so I tossed those in instead.

The cranberry beans are firmer than kidney beans, and more colorful than the navy beans I usually buy.  I initially bought them because that’s all that was in the store, but I find I rather like them. One of the few pleasant outcomes of the quarantine!

If you don’t have pre-soaked beans, the canned ones are fine. And it will take only 35 minutes to cook, since you don’t have to wait for the beans to soften. Or, speed up the soaking/cooking process with my quick soak beans method.




Pork Chili Verde Substitutions and Variations

  • If you have access to Hatch chiles, use those instead of the jalapeños
  • Don’t want to use beans? Substitute 1 or 2 small potatoes instead (and/or 1/2 C of corn)
  • Make it with all beef, all pork, or a combination of the two
  • You can also use pork shoulder, but then you’d have to cook it longer
  • Skip the beans, double the broth and you have green chili sauce for enchiladas or burritos

More Chili (and Chile) Recipes

eggs with spinach and chili pepperEggs with Spinach and Chili Peppers

Just the thing for a fast lunch or brunch.  The spinach mellows out the peppers, the eggs cook quickly, and the whole thing is topped with cooling yogurt or sour cream.

 

chicken chili verde recipeChicken Chili Verde Recipe

A mild chili, with green chiles, chicken, and cumin. Not spicy, and easy to put together.

 

egg chili cheese burritoEgg Chili Cheese Burrito

Saute, scramble, and it’s a wrap.  A meal in minutes.

 

 

spicy stovetop chiliSmall Batch Spicy Stovetop Chili Recipe

If you’d rather have something that brings the heat, try this spicy chili. It’s flavored with sriracha, cumin, garlic, and onions. Slow-cooked for maximum flavor.

 




Bibimbap Rice Bowl with Meat and Vegetables

It may not roll off your tongue (if you’re not used to it), but bibimbap means a variety of ingredients mixed with rice. So, essentially, a Korean rice bowl. You make this meal in layers, building up the rice, then the meat, the veggies, sauce, and finally top it all with an egg. It’s really flexible though, sort of a Korean spin on cleaning out the fridge.  This particular bibimbap rice bowl recipe is loosely inspired by a recipe I found on Korean Kitchen.

However, I didn’t have all the ingredients she used, such as sprouts or seaweed, and under current circumstances, I didn’t really want to go out looking for them. The idea was to make this easy for myself, and for you too.  In addition, I also wanted to focus on “sturdier” ingredients, such as cabbage and carrots that will last in the fridge, rather than sprouts. You could even use frozen veggies (cook them for less time), like broccoli or one of those frozen stir fry mixes. Definitely not authentic, but still good.

Since I was using cabbage, which takes longer to cook, I just chopped the carrot up, instead of julienning it. That way, the two vegetables would be ready at the same time.

You make this in several stages. If you are using brown rice, start that first, and let it cook while you put the meat mixture together and let that sit so the flavors blend together. If you have white rice, start the meat mixture, and then put up the rice while that’s marinating.




Bibimbap Rice Bowl Substitutions and Variations

  • try different vegetables, such as broccoli, mushrooms, bell pepper, or zucchini
  • swap the beef for ground chicken or even leftover fish
  • this should properly be made with gochujang, which is a spicy Korean pepper paste; if you have it, use it and add about 3/4 tsp water.

 

More Cabbage Recipes

chinese chicken noodle cabbage soupChinese Chicken Noodle Cabbage Soup for One Person

Wonderful comfort food when. you’re stuck inside. Just enough soup for a generous serving for one.   The spicy hot broth helps clear your head , the garlic, ginger, and chili sauce have anti-bacterial (not viruses, bacteria) qualities, and it’s delicious.

Asian chicken salad with cabbageSingle Serving Asian Chicken Salad with Cabbage Recipe

Colorful, spicy, and crispy too.  All you need to cook is the chicken (or use leftovers).

 

unstuffed cabbage roll recipeSmall Batch Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls Recipe

Stuffed cabbage is delicious, and pantry-friendly. But making all those separate rolls is a pain. So don’t bother.  Layer it like lasagne instead!