Frequently Asked Questions

Hello! I created this page to answer some of the questions that I get asked most often (that would be FAQ or Frequently Asked Questions 🙂 ). I hope you find this a helpful resource when you have questions about our recipes or our site.

Let’s get started…

What baking dishes do you use?

Great question and I get asked this almost every day.

With each recipe, I reference the baking dish or bowl I use in the recipe card at the bottom of each post. We are so excited to be able to provide our readers with the beautiful 5×5-inch baking dish and the 5×7-inch baking dish that we use in our recipes. These dishes are the perfect size if you are cooking for one. You can see them and order them from our One Dish Kitchen Store Page.

A 4×6-inch baking dish that has a base area of 24 square inches will work for many of our recipes as well. You can also use a 6-inch round baking dish with the same results.

I also use a 10-ounce ramekin that measures 4 inches in diameter and is approximately 1 ¾-inches tall.

We have had success with dishes as large as 6×6-inch square. Keep in mind that as the base of the dish gets larger, the same amount of mixture will fill less of the dish (being a bit thinner) so it will cook faster. So if you use slightly larger dishes, I would recommend checking for doneness a few minutes earlier than shown in the recipe.

The size of the baking dish you use is SO IMPORTANT. This is why we link directly to the products we use so they are easy for our readers to find them.

How do I save my favorite recipes to easy access them later?

1) To “favorite” a recipe, click on the ❤️ button on the recipe page.
2) To access the recipes you have saved, click on the bookmark button.recipe webpage example showing bookmark icons.3) The screen below will pop up with the recipes you have saved.example of pop up screen showing saved recipes with a "sign in" link shown.4) If you are not logged in, click the “SIGN IN” button and all your saved recipes will show up (see below). If you have not set up an account, click “sign up” on the popup screen. This will allow you to save all your favorite recipes.webpage screen showing favorite recipes.Note: If you don’t sign up for the favorite recipe feature, the recipes you saved will eventually be lost.

How Can I Avoid Wasting Food When Cooking For One?

Avoiding food waste is so important to us all and can be an issue if you cook for yourself. One thing we do is provide “Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients” in each of our recipe posts. In this section, we list other single serving and small batch recipes that use the same ingredients. This section is great for meal planning and can help to use up leftover ingredients. You can find this section in every one of our recipe posts towards the bottom of the page.

Can I double or triple your recipe to increase servings?

First of all, I only develop and test my recipes to serve one. I test these recipes many times before they are published on One Dish Kitchen.
Most of our recipes can be doubled with success and I know this because I have tested them.
If I know that a recipe can be doubled successfully, I will state it in the recipe notes. Here’s the thing – when you alter a recipe from the way it is written, the results will differ. If you have doubled or tripled a recipe and it worked out great, please let us know.
If you are doubling a baking recipe, you can evenly divide the mixture into either two 5×5-inch dishes or two 4×6-inch dishes. Alternatively, you can use one larger dish that has a similar overall surface area, ranging from 40 to 50 square inches, such as a 6.5×6.5-inch or a 6×8-inch dish. Be aware that the size of the baking dish may slightly alter the required baking time, so make sure to monitor the progress regularly.

Can I substitute one ingredient for another?

I post recipes that I have made using the ingredients listed in the recipe. You can certainly try a substitution if you would like, but I don’t know how it will turn out. I only test recipes as you see them written.

How do you come up with your recipe creations?

I take personal, family favorites, and newly discovered recipes and alter or develop them from scratch to create single serving versions of those recipes.
I also take requests, if you have a favorite recipe and would love to see it made into a single serving version, let me know at and we will add it to our list of recipes to possibly work on.

I made your recipe and it didn’t turn out right. What happened?

I am so sorry that happened! Unfortunately, every kitchen is a bit different and there are a few variables that could influence the outcome of a recipe.

> The biggest variable could be your oven. Is your oven calibrated?
> Back to the baking dishes, what size did you use? Remember, if you use a dish that is substantially larger or smaller than the one recommended in the recipe notes, chances are the results won’t be the same.
> Has your baking powder/baking soda expired? Surprisingly, expired ingredients will often alter the outcome of the dish.

Where are you from?

I grew up just outside of New Orleans, in a little town called Slidell. I was exposed to the fantastic food we have in New Orleans and have since traveled throughout the US and beyond and discovered great and wonderful dishes.

About 20 years ago, my family and I moved to the Houston area, which is probably the most international city in the US.  Check out Anthony Bourdain’s story here to see what I mean.

In early 2021, after our youngest daughter went away to college, my husband and I moved to the mountains of Western North Carolina and absolutely love it here.
Joanie and EJ in kitchen

You mean you aren’t single? Why do you make single serving recipes then?

I first started making single serving recipes when my oldest son went away to college. He lived on microwave rice and ramen and I wanted him to be able to enjoy his favorite recipes while away (and also I wanted him to learn to cook a little). After creating a few single serving recipes, I found that I loved the process of scaling down recipes. As I posted the recipes to our site, other people discovered them too and wrote to tell me how much they were enjoying the recipes. From college students, young professionals just starting out on their own, professionals traveling away from home, a mom who wants to eat “real food” rather than the kids’ favorite mac and cheese, to those who are living on their own by choice or happenstance, there are a lot of us out there who want to enjoy preparing and enjoying a single serving meal.

Where did your travel posts go?

Before One Dish Kitchen, all of our recipes were on our other site, ZagLeft. ZagLeft was our first home where we wrote about travel and recipes.  And it was on ZagLeft that we ventured off to explore and develop single serving recipes.

The “Cooking For One” section of ZagLeft became so popular that in early 2017, we launched our new site One Dish Kitchen (where you are now), and decided to devote our recipe development to strictly single serving and small batch recipes.

We continue to write travel-related posts on ZagLeft and it will be a growing source of information on interesting places to travel, whether traveling solo or with others.  Also, we have years of favorite recipes for families on ZagLeft that continue to be popular and that we continue to nurture.

I love your recipe for _____ and would like to feature it on my site, or I think your picture of _____ is awesome and would love to share it on my website, do you mind?

First of all, thank you. I’m flattered – truly I am and the short answer is Yes, but please credit me (One Dish Kitchen) when using the photo and include a link to the recipe webpage.
Also, please never share a full recipe without my permission. It takes hours to create a recipe and take photographs and if a recipe is cut/pasted and placed on your site, even though you think you’re paying a compliment, you are really just violating copyright laws.
Instead, would you please snap a picture of your version of our recipe, or use our photo with a link back to us directing your readers to the original recipe on the One Dish Kitchen site and write about your experience with that recipe. Thank you.

Who takes care of the running of your website?

That would have to be my husband EJ. He’s the glue that keeps One Dish Kitchen running smoothly. A year ago, he left his corporate job to help run our business.

Not only does EJ handle the back-end blog stuff, but he is also our videographer and editor for our recipes on YouTube, he is the chief recipe tester, sometimes dish washer, and always my biggest supporter. Without EJ, One Dish Kitchen would not be what it is today. I’m a lucky girl!

Do you have any partnership opportunities?

I work with a variety of clients and offer my services by way of sponsored posts, recipe development, and food photography. I believe in 100% transparency and will always disclose if a post on One Dish Kitchen is sponsored.

I only work with companies that I truly love and trust. If you are a brand and would like to talk a little more about working together, please get in touch, email smiling with camera in hand standing above vegetables.