Many recipes are designed for families or large households -- usually a minimum of four people. There are multiple techniques for cooking for a small household.

Some recipes can be "downsized".

Some leftovers can be stored and make additional meals later.

Some ingredients can be pre-prepared and ready to be put into a quick meal.

And some items are easy to cook for just one or two people.

Some recipes provide ingredients for a second meal. For instance, baked chicken can be shredded and be used in many other recipes, such as chicken tacos.

Many of these techniques are also useful if you have a household where people have different dietary needs or schedules.

Meals for one or twoEdit

Some meals can easily be cooked for one or two people and do not require a disproportional amount of set-up and clean-up.

  • stir fry
  • omelette
  • pasta and prepared sauce
  • scrambled eggs

Multiple serving storedEdit

Some recipes are harder to prepare in smaller quantities, but can be stored in smaller portion sizes for later. This has the advantages of preparing multiple meals at one time and having food that requires very little preparation conveniently ready.

  • lasagna
  • cookies (some doughs can be frozen and ready to cook to have fresh cookies later; other cookies can be frozen after cooking)
  • pancakes freeze surprisingly well (then you can toast them when you want some)
  • stew
  • most broth-based soups
  • chilli

Prepared ingredientsEdit

Sometimes the finished meal cannot be prepared in mass quantities and stored, but some of the ingredients or earlier stages can be completed and then the finishing touches or fresh ingredients are added later.

  • chopped or peeled garlic in olive oil (store in refrigerator)
  • spaghetti sauce
  • pesto sauce
  • roasted vegetables

Transformed ingredients or mealsEdit

You can also "pair up" meals so that creating one meal sets the stage for a second meal. Unlike storing servings, the second meal is a different menu, but it builds on the first, reducing the amount of work. Some of these "reused" meals may be familiar from the ways that some people transform leftovers from large special occasions (like Thanksgiving dinner).

  • baked chicken and chicken soup
  • roasted turkey and turkey hash or turkey sandwiches
  • boiled potatoes and mashed potatoes (maybe with garlic or other seasonings)
  • mashed potatoes and shepherd's pie


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