A Recipe Book for Childless Adults

Cooking for one takes skill, ingenuity, and a willingness to accept that the meal will be over in five minutes, while your loneliness could last a lifetime.

These recipes are for people with absolutely no caretaking responsibilities whatsoever, even to themselves.

Tuna and Rice

Mix one packet of tuna with one box of Rice-A-Roni. If you grew up eating one particular variety of Rice-A-Roni, use that to create a flavor profile of soured nostalgia.

Variation: Add one grab of your block of store-brand cheese.

Metric conversion: One grab of cheese = as much cheese as you can grab.

Two-Flavor Soup

Retrieve the undated remnants of Boxed Soup A from the fridge—let’s say “broccoli flavor”—then open Boxed Soup B—let’s say “butternut squash flavor”—and mix. Microwave for 3 minutes and add crackers for texture. Call it a “strata” if that makes you feel better about yourself.

If your Two-Flavor Soup needs a little extra seasoning to be palatable, try a long squirt of sriracha sauce. Sriracha is an essential component of the childless adult’s kitchen, so make sure you buy the biggest bottle you can find.


This meal combines the comfort of spaghetti with the healthy benefits of soup. First, cook up a very small amount of pasta, because carbs. Drain the pasta and add the entire can of spaghetti sauce. Microwave together for 3-4 minutes, or until you have no more shits to give and just want to watch Justified already.

Soupghetti is best eaten with a spork.

Soupghetti Carbonara

If you need an extra boost of protein in your diet, try dropping a few slices of packaged deli ham into your soupghetti. You don’t need to cut the ham slices up, just stab ‘em on the tines of your spork and go to town.

The chilled ham blends wonderfully with the warm soupghetti mixture, making it a “fire and ice” treat for cold, cold singles.

Kitchen Clean-out Crudites

Grab a plate and fill it with everything you need to eat before it goes rancid: the lettuce that’s browning around the edges, the strawberries that are starting to get a little squishy, the end of the block of cheese with a crust on it. Roll up a few slices of whatever deli meat you’ve got on hand, and arrange your crudites on the plate so that they look mildly appealing. Go back and add an accent to crudités, then eat.

Maybe It’s a Salad

Prepare Kitchen Clean-out Crudites recipe (see above). Serve in a bowl with salad dressing.

Probably Nachos

Put chips on a plate, add anything that looks tolerable from your refrigerator “crisper” drawer (haha), and cover with cheese. Microwave until the cheese is melted, and eat with salsa.

Variations: add sliced/torn tomato, hand-squeezed avocado, crumbled up broccoli, refried beans squirted out of the middle of a (cooked) frozen burrito, sriracha sauce, canned wonton strips.

Burrito Bowl of Death

This meal got me through grad school.

Put a frozen burrito at the bottom of a bowl, then cover with chips and cheese. Microwave until bubbling. Add salsa until you reach a soup-like consistency. Enjoy.


This is ramen. Follow the instructions on the package.

Fancy Ramen

Make ramen as instructed above. Add a few slices of deli ham, a few bits of crumbled broccoli, and a boiled egg that you bought in a package at the store. Sriracha sauce optional but recommended.