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Yes, cooking for one or two is worth it: 6 recipes for inspiration

If you live alone or with just one other person, it can sometimes be hard to find the motivation to cook. Supermarkets tend to sell most foods in packages that could serve a small battalion, and it’s so tempting to simply order takeout rather than prepare dinner for one or two. But cooking for yourself or cooking together as a couple may be good for your well-being or relationship.

Cooking for “just” yourself means investing time in your own nutrition and personal health, so it’s by design a positive activity. What’s more, the act of cooking is viewed by some psychologists as a type of mindfulness meditation practice that reduces stress and boosts mood. Not surprisingly, what’s good for one is even better for two. For couples, cooking together can offer a host of benefits, including improving cooperation and communication and reducing financial stress.

Despite the many upsides of preparing meals at home, cooking for just one or two can seem a little absurd sometimes, particularly when many recipes are designed to feed a large family. Even your oven may seem too big and rather inefficient in terms of energy use. This is where a Hamilton Beach® toaster oven can really come in handy.

We offer a selection of toaster ovens that put the accent on “oven,” letting you bake and broil, of course, but also air fry and even cook on a rotisserie in some models. Since toaster ovens use on average one-third to one-half less energy than a conventional oven, cooking for one or two may start seeming more worthwhile with a quality toaster oven.

Need ideas for dinner tonight? Here are six recipes developed specifically for your toaster oven by the Hamilton Beach Test Kitchen.

Easy dinner ideas for two

Chicken Thighs with Roasted Rosemary Root Vegetables 

With roasted chicken, potatoes, parsnips and turnips, this simple dish is true comfort food. Everything is cooked on your toaster oven’s baking pan, so cleanup is a snap.

Dijon Salmon with Green Beans Sheet Pan Supper

This delicious low-carb sheet pan dinner cooks in just 15 minutes, making it the ideal meal at the end of a busy day.

Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Carrots Sheet Pan Supper

Glazed with a mixture of balsamic vinegar and apricot jam, this simple pork tenderloin recipe will become a weeknight favorite. Cooks in just 30 minutes.

Pork Chops with Maple-Glazed Apples Sheet Pan Supper

With apples, Brussels sprouts, cranberries and maple syrup, this pork chop recipe highlights the flavors of autumn. A simple and quick supper for any season.

Vegetarian Sweet Potato Bake

With ricotta and Gruyère cheese, this layered sweet potato bake is rich and creamy. Chives, Dijon mustard and cayenne pepper give it a little kick.

Steak and Winter Root Vegetables with Herb Compound Butter

With your Hamilton Beach air fryer, eggplant parmesan gets a timely update: thin slices of crispy eggplant layered with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil. Even people who don’t like the texture of traditionally prepared eggplant will like this.

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