Tired of trying to figure out what to cook each week when it’s just you at home? I hear ya. This weekly meal plan series is designed for the single home cook, but can easily be doubled or used as a guide for couples and families.
Meal planning can be a game changer in your week when implemented consistently. There’s no better feeling than opening your refrigerator to well-stocked shelves of already prepared, healthy meals that you can grab from during busy days.
With Meal Planning, there’s no more:
- Running to the store at the last minute because you forgot an ingredient or are just now figuring out what to cook
- Desperately ordering Uber Eats because you didn’t plan ahead and are starving
- Wasting food at the end of the week because your intentions to cook dinners each night didn’t quite pan out like you’d hoped
Sound all too familiar?
For single people, meal planning can feel even more daunting. With most recipes making over six portions, there’s the real fear of having to eat the same thing for breakfast, lunch and dinner to avoid wasting food.
Speaking from experience, when there’s no one else you’re accountable to, dinnertime can look pretty bleak. If I didn’t plan ahead, my dinners usually look like a random concoction that barely passes as a meal. This could be anything from a yogurt bowl to a big salad with random ingredients thrown in.
It could be worse, but it gets boring after a while!
This is why I’m launching this weekly meal planning series for one. I’m sharing my own meal plan for the week with notes of how to adapt for dietary preferences and portion sizes.
Here are my goals for you and this meal plan:
- To alleviate the stress of trying to figure out what to cook each week
- To provide you with healthy recipes that can be adapted whether you’re plant based or enjoy meat/seafood
- To include variety in your week and avoid recipe burnout
- To show you it’s possible to meal plan and cook for one
- To get you cooking more meals at home so that you can feel your best and save money
Are you with me? Like, literally going to cook with me? I can’t wait!
WEEKLY MEAL PLAN FOR ONE | #1
Instant pot apple cinnamon steel cut oats are much easier to make than on the stovetop and done in no time. These oats are just as nutritious as they are delicious and will keep you full and satisfied for hours!
I like to alternate between sweet and savory breakfasts throughout the week. For my savory option, I usually scramble a few eggs and serve with avocado and fresh fruit. This Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal is a delicious option as we head into Fall. Make a big batch and freeze individual portions for later in single-serve containers. When you’re ready to eat, pour a little almond milk on top and microwave until warm! I like to add a spoonful of nut butter to my oats for a boost of protein and healthy fats to keep me full for longer.
This recipe is the perfect option for a quick and easy Meatless Monday meal on the go!
There are a lot of convenient hacks you can apply to this recipe.
- If you don’t want to make your own dressing, look for a store bought one with whole food ingredients and no added sugar. My preferred brands are Tessemae’s and Primal Kitchen.
- In the produce section, you can purchase already cooked beets and butternut squash if all you’re looking to do is assemble.
- Hate cooking grains? Same. Look for pre-cooked quinoa in the freezer section of your grocery store to make your life easier.
This Butternut Squash Veggie Chili is a great option if you’re looking for a satisfying and healthy meal for the cooler fall months.
Cook it once, use it multiple ways.
- Chances are, if you roasted your own butternut squash for the mason jar salads, you’re going to have leftovers. This recipe calls for butternut squash and if you already roasted it, add it towards the end of the simmering process.
- This recipe serves 4. Chili makes a fantastic freezer meal if you don’t feel like having it for dinner every day this week. Freeze half for a later week!
- If you wanted to add turkey to this chili, I would recommend browning 8 ounces (½ of a package) and leaving out one of the cans of beans.
These Salmon and Asparagus Parchment Packs require minimal ingredients, are easy to assemble, and even meal prep friendly! They’re perfect for someone who loves salmon, but struggles with how to cook it perfectly at home!
These salmon parchment packs can be assembled ahead of time, so that all you have to do is bake when you’re ready. Feel free to try different fish (I’ve used cod and halibut before – delicious!) and swap out the veggies.
For many dishes, squeezing a lemon at the last minute helps brighten up the flavors in the dish without overpowering. But in this recipe, lemon is the star of the show. Lemon, by nature, is tart, but combined with the sweetness of the dates, you get a little tang with a little sweet.
I’ve got a huge sweet tooth and like to have snacks on hand to satisfy it. These Zesty Lemon Energy Bites are the perfect pre-workout snack or afternoon energy boost. They can be stored in the refrigerator or in the freezer for a longer shelf life.
Meal Plan Prep Notes
All of these recipes can easily be prepped over the weekend so you don’t have to lift a finger throughout the week.
But if you like the idea of freshly cooked meals, here’s what I would suggest:
- Prep ahead of time: Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oats, Butternut Squash and Quinoa Mason Jar Salads, Zesty Lemon Energy Bites
- The night of: Assemble the Salmon Parchment Packs and bake one, save one for later. Cook the Butternut Squash Veggie Chili using your leftover butternut squash.
This week’s meal plan for one provides you with breakfast, a snack and eight main meals to be eaten for lunch and dinner, assuming you’re going to freeze half of the chili for later.