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How to Feed Three People at Dinner

Updated on February 3, 2017

Numbers and Recipe Servings

We see a multitude of recipes that serve 4, 6, or 6 to 8 people, and others that serve an entire wedding party or banquet. A few recipes are written to provide lunch dinner for two people, but are more often found for breakfast menus.

Cooks look through these recipes and think," How will I feed just three people?" Those who live alone sometimes wonder, "How can I cook for just one; isn't it easier to eat out?"

In these times, we certainly do not want to be throwing out unused food!

While some recipes are written for three servings, not many exist. An easier way to find the right proportions of ingredients is to convert other recipes. For instance, for a recipe that serves 6, use only half of each ingredient. For cooking times, these converted recipes may require the same time as before, or less time - you'll need to keep an eye on the pot, pan, or oven.

Below are a few recipes that serve three people, but which may occasionally leave a 4th serving left over for lunch for someone the next day.

The most essential part of my day is a proper dinner.

— Rachel Ray

Nacho Salad

Serves 3


  • 1 Pound ground turkey or chicken, or lean ground beef. If you want a more vegetarian dish, substitute any red beans, including dark red kidney beans. See: Top 5 Foods for Health and Weight Control.
  • 2 Green onions, sliced thin or chopped
  • 1 Packet of taco seasoning, or make your own
  • 1 Can of nacho cheese soup or a jar of nacho cheese spread
  • 1 Pound of plain nacho chips (see Serving, below)
  • 1/2 to 1 Head of lettuce - washed, dried and torn into bite size pieces. Use any of your favorite lettuces.
  • 1 Can pitted black olives, sliced
  • Sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 2 More green onions, sliced thin


  • In a salted skillet, brown the meat and onion and drain excess grease or fat.
  • Return the skillet to the stove top and add the taco seasoning. Cook and stir until meat is done.
  • Heat the nacho cheese spread or soup in a microwave over over medium heat on the stove top..
  • Warm the nacho chips on a baking sheet in a slow oven, if you like. You can sprinkle them with a little lime juice before serving for a nice taste.


  • For each person, arrange nacho chips on a serving plate. Place a scoop or two of cooked meat and onions in the center. Top with nacho cheese, surround with lettuce, and sprinkle over the olives. Top this with sour cream or yogurt and green onions.


In these times, we certainly do not want to be throwing out unused food!

Night markets of Marrakech
Night markets of Marrakech | Source

Northwest African Inspired Chicken

Serves 3.


  • 3 Chicken drumsticks and 3 thighs, skin removed (or use all thighs or all legs; if you would like white meat, one large chicken breast can be split three ways)
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 Clove garlic, chopped (or more, to taste)
  • 2 Cups chicken broth
  • 2Tbsp lime juice
  • 2 Large carrots, cleaned and sliced on the diagonal (diagonal slicing provides more flavor)
  • 1 Can (14 to 16 oz) garbanzo beans, drained – save the juice for gravy in the near future.
  • 2 Ribs of celery, sliced on the diagonal

Lime Marinade

  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp of each of the following spices: cinnamon, ginger, pepper, turmeric, coriander (or use 2 tsp of your favorite curry powder for additional heat)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp celery seed


  • 1.5 Cups chicken broth
  • 1/3 Cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 Cup couscous
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • Chopped fresh parsley
  • Lime wedges

*Your favorite brown rice recipe may be substituted for couscous.


  • Using a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the Lime Marinade ingredients and mix well.
  • In a rectangular baking pan, arrange the chicken pieces. Pour the marinade over the chicken and allow to marinate 15 minutes on the counter top.
  • Using a heavy pot with cover, or a Dutch oven, over medium-high heat, warm olive oil and sauté chicken pieces 5 minutes on the first side.
  • Turn chicken and sauté 2 minutes; then add in the onions and garlic and cook another 3 minutes. Pour in the chicken broth and lime juice and stir well.
  • Pour in the carrot slices, then bring the pot to the boil. Immediately reduce heat to low.
  • Cover and simmer chicken pieces until tender (15 to 20 minutes, depending on size). Check occasionally to make sure the pot is not cooking dry – add additional broth if so.
  • Pour in the garbanzo beans, stir lightly, and pour in the celery slices to rest on top of the other ingredients. Allow to heat through, partially covered, while making the couscous – celery will have a nice steamed appearance and retain its crunch.
  • For Couscous, use a medium sized pot over medium heat. Pour in chicken broth, raisins, butter, and spices for this part of the dish. Raise heat and bring the couscous pot to the boil; then add couscous, stir briefly, cover, and remove from the stove top. Allow the pot to sit on the counter top for 5 minutes (covered) so the couscous will absorb all the liquid. Open the lid of the couscous pot and fluff contents with a fork.


  • Scoop couscous, divided onto three (3) serving plates.
  • Place one chicken thigh and leg on top of each serving of couscous and top with vegetables placed on top with a slotted spoon.
  • Stir pot juices and a small amount pour over each serving of food. Garnish with chopped parsley and a lime wedge.

Chicken, brown rice, and veggies is a great healthy dinner option. It's full of whole grains and protein, and will keep you full for a long time.

— Mia Hamm
The real Kasbah
The real Kasbah | Source

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