One Skillet, Two Plates

One-Skillet Meals for 2

If you’re tired of making more food than you need and then eating leftovers all week, here’s the solution.

This delicious recipe–scaled for 2 people–uses just one skillet, so cleanup is quick and simple too.

Ingredient Hacks When Cooking for 2

  • Buy tubes of pureed herbs. Found in the produce aisle, they’re handy and keep well in your fridge, so you won’t end up tossing out a bunch of frazzled fresh herbs.
  • Consider buying fresh produce in small quantities from the salad bar at a grocery store. If this isn’t an option for you, slice, chop, or dice extra ingredients and freeze for other recipes.
  • If you don’t use an entire can of broth, beans, or tomato paste, freeze the rest to use another time.
  • Don’t buy a big jug of juice for use in a recipe if you’ll never drink the rest; pick up some individual drink boxes instead.

Skillet 101

  • Every skillet has a maximum “safe” temperature; that is, the highest temperature it can tolerate. Certain cookware such as cast iron can survive even the hottest temperatures. Some skillets are safe only for low oven temps, and others aren’t oven-safe at all. Be sure you know how resilient yours is before using it for a recipe in the oven.
  • For some recipes, the size of the skillet doesn’t matter. But for others, the cooking or baking times might need to be adjusted if you use a skillet other than what’s called for in a recipe.
  • As a rule of thumb, an 8″ or 9″ skillet is great for one or two people, and a 9″ or 10″ one works well for two to four.

    Whether you have a roommate, a new spouse, an old spouse, no spouse, or simply want to prepare less food, cooking for two can be tricky. It seems that so many recipes are geared toward families, and while leftovers are fine and dandy, too many can get downright boring.

    These recipes are portioned for just two servings. And even more exciting? No more scrubbing a bunch of pots and pans–you can cook them in just one skillet.

    If you’re cooking for just two people, your struggle with scaling recipes or eating leftovers night after night is a thing of the past. 

    Fruited Balsamic Chicken

    INGREDIENTS (Serves 2)

    2 T. olive oil
    2 (5 to 6 oz.) chicken breast halves
    ½ C. chopped onion
    Salt and pepper to taste
    ½ tsp. minced garlic
    2½ T. balsamic vinegar
    1½ tsp. honey
    1 medium peach (ripe but still firm), sliced
    1 C. pitted sweet cherries
    Sliced fresh basil, optional


    Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and dump the onion around the outer edge of the skillet; season with salt and pepper. Fry the chicken a few minutes on each side, until golden brown, stirring the onion often. Transfer the chicken to a plate.

    Add the garlic to the skillet with the onion and heat for 30 seconds or so. Stir in the vinegar and cook for a couple of minutes, until the liquid is reduced by about half. Stir in the honey, then add the peaches and cherries, tossing to coat.

    Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the skillet, nestling the pieces among the fruit; season everything with a little more salt and pepper. Cover the skillet, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 7 to 8 minutes, until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°. Top with basil.

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