Apartment Living: How to Cook for One

Lifestyle | Mar 26, 2019


A women slicing fruits and vegetables in a kitchen.
A woman slicing fruits and vegetables in a kitchen. Photo by Matt Seymour on Unsplash

Anyone who tells you that cooking for one is a secondary option, a standby for when you don’t have anything better to do is dead wrong. Because cooking for one is awesome. First and foremost, you can make exactly what your hunger pangs tell you to make. No negotiations; you can be completely selfish. Want to try a new recipe? Great, cook it up! This is cooking on your terms, for yourself, at whatever time you feel like eating. Here are a few tips to help you embrace the solo chef lifestyle.

Plan your meals and ingredients

Not only will you relieve the stress of having to figure out meals on the spot, but you’ll also have a blueprint for using everything you buy. Especially if you’re trying recipes that involve larger items — butternut squash, whole chicken, specialty bread — have other recipes on deck that use that ingredient as well.

Grocery Shopping for one

To cut the waste, get what you can from the bulk food aisle and the deli counter at your local grocery store, both of which allow you to buy as much or as little as you like. Farmer’s markets are also a great resource, as the portions tend to be a bit smaller and you can buy produce in singles. Also, think about ingredients that are freezable like fruits and veggies–so you can grab what you need and keep the rest on ice.

Try meal prepping

Prepping meals ahead of time helps you conserve money, waste less, and save a bunch of time, not to mention eat healthier. The idea is to spend a few hours on the weekend creating a bunch of meals that you can just grab whenever you need one during the week. It’s a quick and easy way to stay on track with health goals. Plus, you don’t have to stare in the fridge wondering what you’re going to have for dinner, trying to figure out if mustard is the right sauce for a Goldfish cracker burrito. Your meals are all right there, lovingly prepared, and ready to go. Check out one of our favorite bloggers for some ideas on how to get started.

Cook in batches

Versatile ingredients are always a good candidate to cook in larger quantities, so you can either freeze it or repurpose it throughout the week. Monday’s mashed potatoes can easily become Tuesday’s gnocchi, Wednesday’s potato pancakes, and Thursday’s shepherd’s pie topping.


Just because you’re cooking for one doesn’t mean you’re relegated to a life of Pop Tarts and microwave burritos. Treat yourself sometimes. Have fun. There are a ton of not-at-all-boring recipes out there specifically designed for one person.