Impress your date with these easy dinner ideas for two! Who needs a fancy restaurant when you can enjoy fine dining at home? Your S.O. will love the thought and effort you put into planning a romantic dinner date night. These meals are packed with flavor but simple to make. Whether you’re looking to celebrate an anniversary or spend quality time together at home, these recipes will take your date night to the next level.
Date Night Recipes to Impress at Home
Epic Charcuterie Board
Let’s face it, charcuterie boards are so popular right now because they’re basically adult Lunchables. But hey, we aren’t complaining! A fancy meat and cheese board offers an impressive presentation and a wide range of food choices for your partner. The best part? You don’t have to cook a thing!
To create the ultimate charcuterie board, you’ll need a wide variety of snacking foods. Here are our tips and tricks for creating the ultimate snack tray to wow your date!
- Roll up salami and prosciutto slices and cluster them on the board.
- Scatter clusters of grapes, dates, and chocolate covered cranberries.
- Add a small bowl with olives and another with honey.
- Create groupings of cheese like smoked gouda, white cheddar, burrata, and blue cheese.
- Instead of regular nuts, take your board up a notch with smoked peanuts, candied pecans, chocolate sea salt cashews, and cocoa roasted almonds.
- If you want to be really extra, cut out star-shaped cheese and apples and scatter them around the board.
In this case, more is always better. Your wooden board should be overflowing with goodies. Once your display is complete, light some candles to set the mood, pour two glasses of wine, and snack away.
Guacamole and Homemade Tortilla Chips
This date night recipe is perfect as a pre-dinner appetizer, a post-dinner snack, or as the main meal if you both just really love guac. To make this zesty guacamole for your date, you’ll need:
- 3 ripe avocados
- 1/2 a chopped onion
- Roma tomatoes chopped
- Cilantro (to taste)
- Jalapeno peppers chopped
- Chopped garlic or some garlic powder
- Lime juice freshly squeezed
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- Smoked paprika—just a pinch for a subtle smoky flavor
Mash the avocados and then add the rest of the ingredients and gently combine. Now for the final step: homemade tortilla chips. Cut corn tortillas into triangle wedges. Heat oil in a pan on medium high heat until the oil sizzles. Use metal tongs to put the tortillas into the oil and then remove them, blotting the extra oil off with paper towel. Sprinkle with salt and enjoy!
Prepare an elegant dinner for two with this over-the-top shrimp risotto recipe. With complex flavors and a rich taste, this swoon-worthy dish will make your date night unforgettable! For this recipe you’ll need:
- Olive oil
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4-5 cloves minced garlic cloves,
- Minced mushrooms (to taste)
- 1 bag of spinach
- 1 pound large shrimp
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 3 cups chicken broth (low-sodium preferred)
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- Red pepper flakes (to taste)
Cook the risotto first and keep warm when you cook the shrimp. To make the risotto, add oil to your pan and cook half of the garlic and all of the mushrooms until tender. Add the rice and cook for about 2 minutes. Add half the wine (1/4 cup) and cook until absorbed. Then add the chicken broth along with a dash of salt and pepper. Increase the heat to a boil and stir often. Then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 13 minutes until the rice is tender and creamy.
To cook the shrimp, put oil into another pan and cook the other half of the garlic with the shrimp. Sauté for 1-2 minutes on each side. Pour in the rest of the wine (1/4 cup) and add the red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer so wine reduces and shrimp cooks through. Stir in the remaining butter, lemon juice, and parsley. Add the spinach at the end and cook just until it’s wilted. Pour over the risotto and serve.
This date-worthy dish is rich and creamy. Pair it with white wine and enjoy a romantic Italian meal. You’ll need:
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 sweet onion finely diced
- 1/2 cup diced bacon
- 6 cloves minced garlic
- 4 cups cooked chicken, cut in cubes or shredded
- 3 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 1/2 cups grated parmesan
- Lemon zest
- 8 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 cup basil leaves chopped
- 1/4 cup Italian parsley leaves chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
Cook the pasta until al dente. Then drain the pasta and set aside. Cook the bacon until crispy and drain most of the oil. In the same pan, add the garlic and onion and cook for a couple minutes. Add the chicken and cook it in the same pan, using the leftover bacon grease and some oil. Cube or shred the chicken. In a bowl, mix the egg yolks, heavy cream, parmesan cheese, lemon zest, oregano, basil, and parsley. This is your sauce. Reduce the heat to low-medium. Add in the spaghetti and mix well. Reduce heat to low. Add the cream mixture and toss well until pasta is coated. Cook for 4-5 minutes, just until the flavors combine but before the eggs scramble. Add salt, pepper, and more parmesan cheese on top. Bold flavors make this a go-to recipe for your next date night.
Cauliflower Gnocchi Red Pepper and Tomato Soup
This easy dinner recipe is for those evenings when you don’t have the time or energy to cook from scratch. But we guarantee it’ll still impress your date!
This recipe only requires two ingredients (unless you want to make your own red pepper soup): red pepper and tomato soup and a bag of frozen cauliflower gnocchi. Cook the gnocchi according to package directions or use an air fryer. We recommend the air fry method, because the gnocchi become firm and slightly crispy on the outside—this way, they hold their shape when you add them to the soup. Heat up your favorite red pepper and tomato soup (or just tomato soup, depending on what’s in the pantry) and add the gnocchi. This dinner idea is a fun twist on the traditional soup with dumplings. It’s also healthier and vegetarian! Soup makes you want to cuddle up on a cold night. Plan your next soup and snuggles date night to spend lovey time together.
Salmon Pesto Pasta
This salmon recipe is a great way to show off your home chef skills! It looks beautiful and colorful in a bowl and tastes even better. To make this light date night meal you’ll need:
- 1 pound of fresh salmon
- 1 bag of asparagus
- 1 red pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/3 cup chicken broth
- White wine
- 1/3 cup jarred pesto
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- Grated parmesan cheese
- 8 ounces uncooked penne pasta (option: sub for gluten free)
Cook the pasta according to the package directions, until al dente. Set the pasta aside. In a pan, cook the asparagus and red pepper in oil until softened but slightly al dente. Put this veggie mixture aside. Rub the garlic powder, salt, and pepper on the salmon. In a skillet, cook the salmon in oil over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes each side until lightly golden brown. Take the salmon out of the pan and set aside. Add chicken broth, pesto, and a splash of white wine to the same pan, but on low heat. Add in the cream and lemon juice. Wait until the sauce is lightly bubbling. Add the salmon back into the pan and break up into pieces with a spoon or spatula. Add in the asparagus and red pepper back in. Cook on low for 5 minutes, allowing sauce to thicken and flavors to combine. Add pasta to pan and mix until coated. Serve with fresh parmesan cheese on top. Light and fresh tasting, this salmon pesto pasta makes an elegant dinner for two!