ClockPlayEmailInstagramLinkSMSTwitterYouTubeWhatsAppXSearchClockRight ArrowArrow DownCaret downCaret upCaret leftCaret rightHamburger MenuPop OutThumbs upThumbs up buySpeechAudio onReplayPlusMinusSad smiley faceNo resultsSwapMoreYour grocery bagSuccessShop Tasty MerchYour Cart (empty)Your CartFacebookPinterestEmailPrintSmsTwitterWhatsappCommentTips Highlights
Skip to Content

42 Easy "Private Meals" That People Can't Resist Making When They're Eating Solo

"It's a delicious and nostalgic dish that I enjoy when my husband is out of town for work, and I don’t have to cook for two."

I have a confession — and I hope my husband isn't reading this 🤫. Sometimes, I love the nights that he's out of town on a work trip because it means that I get to cook only for myself, and I get to indulge in some of my favorite "private meals."

Person on couch eating noodles, looking surprised, TV remote in hand, cozy indoor setting

Knowing that, I decided to ask the BuzzFeed Community to tell me about the meals they eat when no one is watching. Here's what they said, and some of these dishes are major inspo.

1. "For me it's scrambled eggs and sliced tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes) over leftover rice with kewpie mayo. But really any combination of eggs + tomatoes + mayo is my perfect meal."

Plate with rice and creamy tomato-based chicken dish garnished with herbs

2. "I cook penne pasta, drain it, and put two slices of sharp cheddar cheese slices in the pan (one on the bottom and the other on top of the pasta). Then I put a lid on it and let it melt into stringy, gooey heaven."


3. "Two waffles sandwiched together, filled with peanut butter and chocolate chips."

A half-eaten blueberry waffle sandwich with peanut butter and jelly on a white plate

4. "Spaghetti and breadcrumbs. I make pasta and toss it with panko sautéed with olive oil, garlic, hot peppers, and pecorino. I eat it with green onions and green olives on the side. My mouth is watering as I type!"

A plate of spaghetti with tomato sauce and a sprinkling of herbs and breadcrumbs

5. "Sara Lee Cherry Pie topped with Cool Whip. There is just something about having a pie that almost tastes homemade all to yourself for under $5. A one-to-one ratio of pie to cool whip is ideal."


6. "I make chili cheese dogs with sliced bread, a little butter, microwaved hot dogs, canned chili, and pre-shredded cheese. Please don't tell my family about this."

A hotdog with a slice of cheese on a piece of bread, topped with a scoop of sauce, on a black plate

7. "Stove Top stuffing. Nothing else. Just the stuff from the box."


8. "I've been making this meal I call 'cheap spaghetti' since I was 17 and working with a limited food budget. I would make ramen noodles without the seasoning packet, drain the water, then add tomato sauce and sliced hot dogs. It's a delicious and nostalgic dish that I enjoy when my husband is out of town for work, and I don’t have to cook for two."

A skillet on a stove containing cooked pasta with sliced sausages and sauce

9. "Kraft mac 'n' cheese with a can of drained whole kernel corn and chopped up deli ham."


10. "Creamed tuna on buttered toast. This was my mom’s favorite budget-stretching meal, and it's still a major comfort food for me and my sisters. My husband is disgusted by it, so I have it when he’s away."

A piece of toast on a plate, topped with a creamy sauce with green peas

11. "Two hard-boiled eggs and one steamed potato, both mashed together with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and dried basil. It's a simple comfort food from my childhood that honestly makes me feel nostalgic and happy."


12. "Fake French grocery store bread, cheap prosciutto, Laughing Cow cheese, and $7 rosé."

A hand holding a baguette sandwich filled with slices of cured ham

13. "I'll microwave a baked potato and add Fritos jalapeño cheddar dip. Then I top it all with sour cream and dig in."

8 Pets Aplenty

14. "Grilled cheese made with white bread and Kraft cheese slices. Just the classic sandwich. Some people (like my husband) love to use mayonnaise to sear a grilled cheese, but butter is the best for me. The oil from the cheese and butter is heavenly and is my definition of comfort food."

Grilled cheese sandwich cut in half with melted cheese on a plate

15. "A plain bagel sandwich topped with plain cream cheese, canned tuna fish, pretzels, and one final layer of cream cheese."


16. "A cheese and chip sandwich. I use white bread, American cheese, and whatever chips I have lying around. IMO, plain potato chips or nacho cheese Doritos are the best opion. Sometimes, I go wild and add pickles. This sandwich tastes like childhood."

Open-faced sandwich with one slice of bread, mayonnaise, cheese, and potato chips on a paper plate

17. "Bisquick pancakes with canned corn. Top them with sour cream. I make elaborate meals and baked goods all the time, but my dad used to make these just for the two of us, and I still find this meal to be so delicious!"


18. "Pan-fried mozzarella on fluffy pita bread seasoned with oregano, salt, and pepper. I like to fry one side of the cheese until it’s crispy, then flip it and leave the other side so it’s gooey. It's good."

Grilled sandwich with melted cheese on a white plate

19. "I'll sometimes make a plate of sliced apples, cheddar slices, sliced avocado, cucumber and a few mixed nuts. This is one of my go-to's after a long day of work."


20. "I eat sunny-side-up eggs on top of some Trader Joe's frozen fried rice. It feels like a hearty meal but still doesn't require much cooking."

A bowl of fried rice topped with a sunny-side-up egg held in hand

21. "Four lamb rib chops with Dijon mustard, eaten straight off the bone. Heaven."


22. "I’m a chef, so I work late and usually have no energy to cook for myself. My go-to is ramen. I usually add some dumplings from the freezer. And I add a combination of soy sauce, hoisin, Sambal, rice vinegar, fish sauce, and sesame oil to the broth. It takes all of five minutes and is very yummy."

Bowl of ramen with three dumplings and a wooden spoon on a patterned border plate

23. "Rice Krispies in grapefruit juice. I know, I know. It sounds weird. But it tastes sooo good."


24. "A warmed corn tortilla with avocado and salt. It's simple perfection."

Hand holding a half-eaten avocado wrap indoors

25. "Lately, it’s been toasted flatbread, hummus, za'atar, and feta cheese. It’s filling, comforting, and requires basically no effort. In the summer, some sliced tomatoes are an excellent addition."

Flatbreads with sesame seeds on a wooden board next to a bowl of dip

26. "Hash Dog Tacos. I make hash browns, mix in two diced hot dogs, add a bunch of taco cheese, pour on some hot sauce, put it in those store-bought soft tortilla bowls, and finally, crunch up Takis to sprinkle on top. It looks disgusting but tastes amazing."


27. "Pasta tossed with Hollandaise sauce or in a mixture of hot sauce and butter."

Plate of spaghetti with tomato sauce on a patterned plate

28. "I made a solo charcuterie plate with cheese, crackers, salami, raw veggies, olives, and green onions."

Assorted fresh sliced fruits and vegetables displayed on a plate with a pack of dipping sauce in the center

29. "I know it's pure junk, but I love to eat Frito Lay cheese dip with Doritos. I would never eat this around other people besides my husband (and even he can’t wrap his head around the fact I love this so much)."


30. "Buttered egg noodles with ketchup. I suppose it's a less mature form of pasta with tomato sauce. There's just something about the saltiness of the butter with the sweetness of the ketchup that does it for me. It's best if you can get the noodles just shy of al dente."

A plate of penne pasta with dollops of ketchup on a wooden table, next to a laptop

31. "I absolutely love microwave buttery popcorn paired with nacho cheese sauce. Dump the buttery popcorn into a bowl, open the nacho cheese sauce, and heat it up a little bit in the microwave, then enjoy dipping the popcorn into the cheese sauce while watching a movie."

Hand holding a small cup of partially eaten orange-flavored ice beside a box of popcorn

32. "A simple chicken and cheese quesadilla is super easy and delicious when I'm in a rush or feeling lazy."


33. "I love eating French bread pizzas made from French bread or naan, topped with marinara, shredded mozzarella, and pepperoni. My mom made this when I was a kid, so it's our nostalgia food."

Two halves of a pepperoni pizza sub on a baking tray

34. "When I'm craving something sweet, I eat bran flakes covered in Hershey’s chocolate syrup. I know it’s criminal. I don’t let anyone know I eat this (and I tell myself there's good fiber in it despite the overall glycemic index). Something about the texture of bran flakes with the chocolate syrup really does something for me. Definitely my #1 guilty pleasure meal!"


35. "Refried beans and cheese wrapped in a tortilla with salsa and sour cream."

A cheese quesadilla cut into quarters on a plate

36. "Crackers with canned mushrooms and shredded cheese melted in the microwave. When I was little, and I was home alone after school, I wasn't allowed to use anything in the kitchen besides the microwave. So, this meal is a remnant of my youth. There's something about canned mushrooms that is better than fresh, and the cheddar cheese is a must. I eat this every time my husband is away for work."


37. "I get hard salami crispy in the microwave and eat it on bread with plenty of yellow mustard. If you’ve never had it, don’t knock it. I originally heated it to 'cook out the fat,' but the way the salami changes flavor in the microwave is amazing. Try it, and you won’t be disappointed."

Person holding a bitten sandwich with visible sausage filling

38. "A can of pinto beans heated with yellow American cheese on top. I stir it together then add cilantro, onion, and hot sauce with a dollop of sour cream on the top. Then I dip tortilla chips into it and eat the last of it with a spoon like soup. It's soooo good."


39. "I like to make candied bacon grilled cheese sandwiches. I fry the bacon with butter, sugar, and garlic powder and put it on toast. Then I fry the toast in a pan with butter, garlic, and garlic aioli, if I have it on hand. It is so good."

Grilled cheese sandwich cut in half with melted cheese on a plate

40. "When I’m eating solo, I boil up some pasta or dried rice noodles, heat up some soup stock, and throw some veggies and an egg in. Bonus points if I have leftover meat from a previous meal. For a flavor boost, I'll add something like miso, curry paste, garlic, onions, sesame oil, kimchi, or fish sauce to the stock. It’s always a hearty and satisfying meal, and it’s actually fairly nutritious!"

A person holding a bowl of shrimp and vegetable soup, with a storage container in the background

41. "Quasi-nachos: Tortilla chips with shredded cheddar cheese melted on top."

Plate of nachos with melted cheese, next to a can of Natural Light beer

42. "I grab two packs of ramen and leftover KFC (or any fried chicken), taken off the bone and cut into pieces. Heat up the chicken in a pan with some spicy teriyaki sauce, add the ramen, and then poach an egg in the broth. It's cheap, easy, and delicious."

Bowl of ramen with spicy chicken, soft-boiled egg, green onions, and pickled ginger on wood table

Got one to add? Share your go-to private meal in the comments or in this Google form.

Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.