In our Meal Plan Club (have you joined yet?) there was a really helpful thread about cooking for a family of one or two. People shared their strategies (including shopping from the salad bar for small amounts of vegetables) and their favorite recipes and batch-cooking techniques. It was a good reminder for me — someone who routinely cooks for four or more every week — that every phase of meal planning has its tough spots.
When you're meal planning for one or two in a world of recipes written for four to six, waste is a big concern. You can certainly batch-cook a few things, but you'll likely burn out on eating pulled pork five nights a week. With that in mind, here's a meal plan for one to two eaters that won't leave you swimming in leftovers.
Welcome to This Week's Meal Plan
I believe meal planning is the secret to stress-free weeknight dinners. Since I'm frequently asked by friends and family what I'm cooking for dinner each week, I share my weekly meal plan here. Whether you're just learning to meal plan and looking for a real-life example of how this works or you're an old pro on the hunt for inspiration, here's a peek at how I'm feeding my family this week.
New to meal planning? Start here.
Monday: Lemon Thyme Chicken Thighs
Most of the recipes on this meal plan are written to serve two with this one being the exception. Here's why, though: Cook extra chicken thighs tonight and you won't have to buy frozen chicken tenders for Wednesday recipes. Serve this with a simple salad or roast some cubed vegetables in the pan with the thighs.
Tuesday: Pork and Broccoli Rice Bowls
Bowl food is ideal for small families because you can use up little bit of this or that by piling it into a bowl. These rice bowls have minimal ingredients but scratch that takeout craving. If you don't mind eating rice twice, cook a double batch to serve with Thursday's dinner.
Wednesday: Chicken Parm and Pasta Skillet
Personally Wednesdays are when I'm most likely to bail on my meal plan, so by putting something cheesy and comforting (and precooking a component, Monday's chicken) on there, I'm more likely to stick to my meal plan.
Thursday: Honey Garlic Shrimp
This shrimp is so good! Frozen shrimp is amazing if you're cooking for one too, because you can thaw just the amount you need. Serve this over rice, if you have extra from Tuesday, or use some quick-cooking soba noodles to make this a meal.
Friday: Easy Fig & Prosciutto Flatbreads
Okay, okay, so this one serves four too, but I couldn't resist putting this recipe — one that I long to eat but most of my family won't eat — on here as a reminder of two things. First, meal planning for one or two means you can cook and eat with an extra flexibility that's worth embracing. Two, you don't have to eat alone if you invite people over. This recipe pairs especially well with chilled wine (hint, hint).