Smaller-sized recipes big hit for groups of two

I frequently get asked about smaller-sized recipes for two people and so today is the day you’ve been waiting for. I started looking for recipes for two servings and I found so many that sound very interesting and delicious.

Of course, any recipe can be reduced in size, but we’ll let the experts at Taste of Home do the math for us today and share some of the dozens of recipes they have for two people.

Between the beef, chicken, pork and fish recipes I chose, there should be something here for everyone. Enjoy!

Ground Beef Wellington

​Trying new recipes is one of my favorite hobbies. This recipe is easy enough for weeknights yet nice enough to serve for a guest dinner with a friend.

* 1/2 cup chopped fresh mushrooms

* 1 tablespoon butter

* 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour

* 1/4 teaspoon pepper, divided

* 1/2 cup half-and-half cream

* 1 large egg yolk

* 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion

* 1/4 teaspoon salt

* 1/2-pound ground beef

* 1 tube (4 ounces) refrigerated crescent rolls

* Large egg, lightly beaten, optional

* 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

In a saucepan, saute mushrooms in butter until softened. Stir in flour and 1/8 teaspoon pepper until blended. Gradually add the cream. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a bowl, combine the egg yolk, onion, 2 tablespoons mushroom sauce, salt and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Crumble beef over mixture and mix lightly but thoroughly. Shape into 2 loaves. Separate crescent dough into 2 rectangles on a baking sheet. Seal perforations. Place a meat loaf on each rectangle. Bring dough edges together and pinch to seal. If desired, brush with egg wash. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown and a thermometer inserted into meat loaf reads 160 degrees, 24-28 minutes.

Meanwhile, warm the remaining sauce over low heat; stir in parsley. Serve sauce with Wellingtons.


Sheet-Pan Tilapia and Vegetable Medley

​Unlike some one-pan dinners that require precooking in a skillet or pot, this one uses just the sheet pan, which makes for easy cleanup.

* 2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into wedges

* 3 large fresh Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced

* 3 large radishes, thinly sliced

* 1 cup fresh sugar snap peas, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

* 1 small carrot, thinly sliced

* 2 tablespoons butter, melted

* 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

* 1/2 teaspoon pepper

* 2 tilapia fillets (6 ounces each)

* 2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon or 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon

* 1/8 teaspoon salt

* 1 tablespoon butter, softened

* Optional: Lemon wedges and tartar sauce

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a 15x10x1-inch baking pan with foil; grease foil.

In a large bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients. Add melted butter, garlic salt and pepper; toss to coat. Place vegetables in a single layer in prepared pan; bake until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

Remove from oven; preheat broiler. Arrange vegetables on 1 side of sheet pan. Add fish to other side. Sprinkle fillets with tarragon and salt; dot with softened butter. Broil 4-5 inches from heat until fish flakes easily with a fork, about 5 minutes. If desired, serve with lemon wedges and tartar sauce.


Goat Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Chicken

​This spinach-stuffed chicken breast recipe has so much flavor, yet not too many calories. This Italian style recipe good but and not too heavy. This is a healthy twist on an Italian dish.

* 1-1/2 cups fresh spinach, chopped

* 1/3 cup julienned soft sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil), chopped

* 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese

* 2 garlic cloves, minced

* 1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided

* 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided

* 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (6 ounces each)

* 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided

* 1/2-pound fresh asparagus, trimmed

* Aged balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze, optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1/8 teaspoon salt.

Cut a pocket horizontally in the thickest part of each chicken breast. Fill with spinach mixture; secure with toothpicks.

In an 8-inch cast-iron or ovenproof skillet, heat 1-1/2 teaspoons oil over medium heat. Brown chicken on each side. Place in oven; bake 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss asparagus with remaining 1-1/2 teaspoons oil, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1/8 teaspoon salt; add to skillet in oven. Bake until a thermometer inserted in chicken reads 165 degrees and asparagus is tender, 10-15 minutes longer. If desired, drizzle with vinegar. Discard toothpicks before serving.


Chicken Curry for Two

​n 1 small onion, sliced

* 1 tablespoon plus 1/3 cup water, divided

* 1/2-pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed

* 1 small apple, peeled and chopped

* 1/4 cup raisins

* 1 garlic clove, minced

* 1 teaspoon curry powder

* 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

* 1/8 teaspoon salt

* 1-1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour

* 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules

* 1/2 cup sour cream

* 3/4 teaspoon cornstarch

* 1 tablespoon thinly sliced green onion

* Hot cooked rice

Place onion and 1 tablespoon water in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave on high until crisp-tender, 1 to 1-1/2 minutes.

In a 1-1/2-quart slow cooker, combine the chicken, apple, raisins, garlic, curry, ginger, salt and onion. Combine the flour, bouillon, and remaining water; pour over chicken mixture. Cover and cook on low until chicken juices run clear, 3 to 3-1/2 hours.

Bring sour cream to room temperature. Remove chicken mixture to a bowl; keep warm. Transfer juices to a small saucepan. Combine cornstarch and sour cream until smooth; add to juices. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened. Pour over chicken mixture; toss to coat. Sprinkle with green onion and serve with rice.


Skillet Tacos

​This fast and healthy alternative to traditional tacos has a delicious southwestern flair. The fact that is comes together in just 30 minutes makes it even more irresistible.

* 1 tablespoon olive oil

* 1/4-pound lean ground turkey

* 2 tablespoons chopped onion

* 2 tablespoons chopped green pepper

* 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce

* 1/2 cup uncooked elbow macaroni

* 1/2 cup water

* 1/4 cup picante sauce

* 2 tablespoons shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese

* 1/4 cup crushed baked tortilla chip scoops

* 1/4 cup chopped avocado

* Optional: Iceberg lettuce wedges and sour cream

Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add turkey, onion and green pepper. Cook until vegetables are tender, and turkey is no longer pink.

Stir in the tomato sauce, macaroni, water and picante sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until macaroni is tender, 10-15 minutes.

Divide between 2 plates: top with cheese, tortilla chips and avocado. Serve with lettuce and sour cream if desired.


Spinach & Gouda Stuffed Pork Cutlets

​This started as a restaurant copycat dish at home. Cheese just oozes out of the center, and mustard lends a lot of flavor.

* 3 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs

* 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

* 2 pork sirloin cutlets (3 ounces each)

* 1/4 teaspoon salt

* 1/8 teaspoon pepper

* 2 slices smoked Gouda cheese (about 2 ounces)

* 2 cups fresh baby spinach

* 2 tablespoons horseradish mustard

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a shallow bowl, mix breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese.

Sprinkle tops of cutlets with salt and pepper. Layer end of each with Gouda cheese and spinach. Fold cutlets in half, enclosing filling; secure with toothpicks. Brush mustard over outsides of pork; dip in bread crumb mixture, patting to help coating adhere.

Place on a greased foil-lined baking sheet. Bake until breading is golden brown and pork is tender, 12-15 minutes. Discard toothpicks before serving.


Maple Pork Ribs

​A luscious maple-mustard sauce will take your next plate of ribs to a new level.

* 1-pound boneless country-style pork ribs, trimmed and cut into 3-inch pieces

* 2 teaspoons canola oil

* 1 medium onion, sliced and separated into rings

* 3 tablespoons maple syrup

* 2 tablespoons spicy brown or Dijon mustard

In a large skillet, brown ribs in oil on all sides; drain. Place ribs and onion in a 1-1/2-quart slow cooker.

Combine syrup and mustard; pour over ribs. Cover and cook on low until meat is tender, 5-6 hours.


Stuffed Peppers for Two

​This is the perfect size recipe for two peppers. It helps to use a small casserole dish so the peppers won’t tip over while they bake. For color, serve steamed carrots to round out the meal perfectly.

* 2 medium green peppers

* 1/2-pound ground beef

* 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce, divided

* 1/4 cup uncooked instant rice

* 3 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese, divided

* 1 tablespoon chopped onion

* 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

* 1/2 teaspoon salt

* 1/4 teaspoon pepper

* 1 large egg, beaten

Cut tops off peppers and discard; remove seeds. Blanch peppers in boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water; set aside.

In a bowl, combine beef, 1/4 cup tomato sauce, rice, 2 tablespoons cheese, onion, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and egg; mix well. Stuff the peppers; place in an ungreased 1-1/2-quart baking dish. Pour the remaining tomato sauce over peppers. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes or until meat is no longer pink and peppers are tender.

Sprinkle with remaining cheese; return to the oven for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.


Have a great week, and until next time, happy cooking.

Susan McClanahan is administrator at the Cape Girardeau Senior Center. Send recipes to her at or by mail at P.O. Box 699, Cape Girardeau, MO 63702. Recipes published have not been kitchen-tested by Southeast Missourian staff.