Valentine's Day

8 Dinners for One Because You're Alone & That's OK

Single-serving meals for the single-serving eater.

February 14, 2018

Have you heard it’s Valentine’s Day? That day for hand holding and smooching and endless utterings of adoration? For some, at least. For the rest of us, the day holds less import. But does it have to? “NO!” shouts a chorus of loners, arms raised in unison.

This Valentine’s Day, you could treat your partner-in-crime or your best friend—or you could treat the person who knows you better than anyone else: yourself. I’m here to advocate not for a fancy meal for two (or three, or four—no judgement!), but a verified Feast! For! One! Don’t sit around, twiddling your thumb, with the blues and takeout. Crank up the oven, pour yourself a glass of something nice, listen to your favorite playlist, and toast to another year around the sun spent with—points to self—this guy.

Whether you want to try your hand at something new and complex, or savor something simple, go for it. This night is all about celebrating yourself.

Solo Spaghetti

This recipe is perfectly tailored for the single cook. It's rich without being overly complex. Twirl away.

Steak your claim

A saucy steak for the handsome single? Don't mind if I do!

Knead it Out

Go for the gnocchi tonight. What better way to spend your evening than rolling and portioning a pillowy potato dough. Toss it all with a smoky paprika sauce. Buon appetito!

Spicy and Smothered

This recipe is just like you: fierce and independent. Stuff tortillas with gooey cheese and layer it all with a fiery sauce because you're worth it.

Ooey Gooey

Don't skimp; lean sumptuous. This Tuscan onion soup recipe, when cut in half, is the perfect meal for one. Plus, you'll have some leftovers for lunch. We all win!

Crisp and Charred

This crispy pork is perfect. It's charred and spicy and with a generous squeeze of lime. Sichuan peppercorns are excellent company.

Udon for You

Cozy up to a warm bowl of spicy, peanutty udon this evening. This recipe will have you in and out of the kitchen in no time. Put on a good movie and curl up on the couch.

Cocoa Loco

Top off this evening of self love and decadence with none other than a cardamom laced hot chocolate. It comes together in minutes and warms your soul.

How will you be feeding treating yourself this Valentine's Day? Tell us how in the comments below.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Winness
  • Debbie
Valerio is a freelance food writer, editor, researcher and cook. He grew up in his parent's Italian restaurants covered in pizza flour and drinking a Shirley Temple a day. Since, he's worked as a cheesemonger in New York City and a paella instructor in Barcelona. He now lives in Berlin, Germany where he's most likely to be found eating shawarma.


Winness February 19, 2018
I live alone and I prefer to cook fresh daily. Leftovers are not as appreciated in my kitchen. The recipe for Tuscan onion soup, which serves 4, can easily be cut in half. Please continue to keep single households in mind for future recipes. Thanks!
Debbie February 14, 2018
Yayyy Feast! For! One! Folks just don't know what they are missing! Must try the spaghetti with eggs! Thanks for remembering us Valerio!
--self proclaimed LONER and PROUD ;)