Our 10 Most Popular Meal Plans for Two

updated Apr 28, 2021
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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

Cooking for two — especially when you don’t want to be swamped with leftovers — has the potential to be really tricky, as most recipes are written to feed at least four people. That’s why I think it’s especially helpful to meal plan when cooking for two. And we did the work for you, so you don’t have to tackle the mental math of scaling down recipes on your own!

Here, you’ll find 10 weeks’ worth of recipes and smart tricks to minimize leftover ingredients and ways to repurpose leftovers into entirely different meals. Follow the plans as written, or mix and match recipes for a plan that fits your needs.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

1. How I Prep a Week of Easy Sheet Pan Dinners in Just 1 Hour

Assemble dinner components in reusable containers or zip-top bags. Each evening, spread the contents of the day’s bag on a sheet pan; toss with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper; and then bake. It’s a lazy meal-prepper’s dream. 

Get the plan: How I Prep a Week of Easy Sheet Pan Dinners in Just 1 Hour

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

2. How I Prep a Week of Instant Pot Meals for Two

In case you need more proof about the versatility of your Instant Pot, this week of meals is it. Tackle chicken Cacciatore, pulled pork, and spaghetti with meat sauce, plus breakfast and lunch for the week using the Instant Pot as your guide.

Get the plan: How I Prep a Week of Instant Pot Meals for Two

Credit: Liz Moody

3. 5 Cheap and Healthy Vegetarian Dinners for Two from Liz Moody

Cookbook author Liz Moody shares a week of veggie-packed plant-based dinners. The plan is packed with super-smart tips to keep dinners budget-friendly and easy and includes recipes for dinners you’re sure to love like a chopped Thai salad and healthy-ish quesadillas.

Get the plan: 5 Cheap and Healthy Vegetarian Dinners for Two from Liz Moody

Credit: From Left to Right: Jean Schwarzwalder, Joe Lingeman, Maria Siriano

4. A Week of 30-Minute Meals for 2

For weeks where you need no-fuss dinners that get on the table in a flash (but still taste really good!), this is the plan for you. There’s 20-minute chow mein, and sheet pan salmon with potatoes and asparagus that comes together from start to finish in 30 minutes or less.

Get the plan: A Week of 30-Minute Meals for 2

Credit: Joe Lingeman

5. How I Prep a Week of Whole30 Meals for 2

Set yourself up with a week of easy, satisfying, and wholesome Whole30-approved meals from breakfast through dinner. Start your days with a filling frittata, eat Whole30 chili  midday, and finish up with creamy coconut cauliflower soup.

Get the plan: How I Prep a Week of Whole30 Meals for 2

Credit: Joe Lingeman

6. A Week of Easy Meals for 2

This easy plan is a nice place to get started for meal prep newbies. These meals lean on staple items — like salad greens, rotisserie chicken, and beans — that are repurposed into lunches and dinners throughout the week. Take it to the next step with an easy meal prep session. This plan walks you through one-hour prep that will set you up for the week.

Get the plan: A Week of Easy Meals for 2

Credit: Joe Lingeman

7. A Week of Easy Healthy Meals for Two

Looking for easy, wholesome meals beyond dinner? This five-day meal plan has a make-ahead breakfast, grain bowl for lunch, and a variety of dinners. To top it all off, we’re sharing a step-by-step guide for how to meal prep it all.

Get the plan: A Week of Easy Healthy Meals for Two

Credit: From Left to Right: Kimberley Hasselbrink, Joe Lingeman, Shelly Westerhausen, Joe Lingeman

8. 5 Flexitarian Plant-Forward Dinners for Two

Does mealtime includes one eater who wants meaty meals, while the other prefers to keep things vegetarian? This menu is an ideal solution, leaning on flexible plant-based meals, like a zucchini stir-fry and grain bowls, where a piece of chicken (home-cooked or rotisserie), shredded meat, or fish can easily be added or served on the side.

Get the plan: 5 Flexitarian Plant-Forward Dinners for Two

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

9. How I Prep a Week of Easy Vegan Meals for Two

This five-day vegan meal plan has you totally covered with ideas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can even get a jump-start on the week ahead with about two hours of meal prep.

Get the plan: How I Prep a Week of Easy Vegan Meals for Two

Credit: Leela Cyd

10. A Meal Plan for Two

Food waste is always a concern when cooking for just a couple of people, but this meal plan for one to two eaters won’t leave you swimming in leftovers. The menu includes pork and broccoli rice bowls that are meant to serve two, while the leftover lemon chicken thighs are repurposed to round out a pasta skillet later in the week.

Get the plan: A Meal Plan for Two