Looking for a great way to spend time with that special someone? Why not stay in and cook dinner?
At JOW, helping you make delicious meals at home is our specialty. We looked through our massive database of uniquely yummy recipes to find the perfect dinners for date night, and you won’t be disappointed with the results.
In this post, we’ll cover our 15 favorite romantic date night recipes. All of these meals can be made in your kitchen at home with simple ingredients and basic tools, so have no fear if you’re new to cooking.
What Makes a Perfect Meal for a Date?
We stuck to very specific criteria for the date night recipes on this list. To pick out ideal meals for date night, we looked for recipes with three distinct qualities – decadence, elegance, and simplicity.
If you’re going to eat something rich, delectable, and a little extravagant every once in a while, date night is the perfect time to do it.
All of the recipes that we’ve picked for date night have a certain element of decadence to them. Whether it’s the rich, high-quality ingredients, the extra-special presentation, or something else, each recipe has its own unique je ne sais quoi that makes it perfect for a romantic dinner.
If you’re cooking a meal for you and your significant other to enjoy, it needs to be special.
Elegance is one of the defining qualities of all of the recipes on this list. We chose them because they’re fancy enough to be something on the menu at an upscale restaurant but still simple enough to make at home.
While it’s always a plus when your date dinner is classy and decadent, simplicity goes a long way, too. You don’t need to overcomplicate your cooking to make the perfect meal for a date. At JOW, we’re all about crafting recipes that take just a little bit of time and effort but taste absolutely incredible. Many of our recipes are fancy enough for a great date, but still simple enough to cook quickly.
If you choose a simple recipe for your romantic dinner date, you and your boo can have a great time cooking together without having to work too hard for a delicious meal. Getting in the kitchen with your person is always a great time, and it’s even better when your recipes aren’t too complicated.
To add to the simplicity factor, with each of these recipes, we can arrange an optimized grocery list for you, and either have everything you need dropped off or set for pick-up at your local store. Here at JOW, we’re all about making cooking as easy – and fun – as possible.
Now, without further ado, let’s start exploring the best recipes to try for your next date night.
1. Cod With Carrot Purée
This delectable meal looks absolutely incredible on a plate, and it’s made with just three simple ingredients – cherry tomatoes, fresh carrots, and cod. We recommend making this dish with fresh fish, not frozen, as that’s the best way to go above and beyond and get flavors that are out of this world!
Pro tip: Presentation is everything. How you plate this meal can make or break your significant other’s experience at date night, so don’t be afraid to spend extra time making the plates look great.
2. Pasta Ragu
This delicious pasta is the perfect mix of decadent, elegant, and simple – exactly what you’re looking for on date night.
Made with pappardelle, a classy flat noodle that absorbs flavors like no other, this dish also features fresh herbs, garlic, and more. It’s a savory dish that your taste buds will thank you for making – and so will your significant other.
This dish requires just one pot and one pan to make, and it’ll teach you a new skill – making your own homemade ragu. With just a pan, some canned peeled tomatoes, sausage meat, and herbs, you can make the best sauce you’ve ever had in your life. Paired with that delicious pappardelle, and this meal will give you a date night you’ll never forget.
3. Italian-Style Steak
If you’re looking for something green, delicious, and packed with protein, this Italian-style steak is the perfect recipe for your next date night.
Made with beef rump, this salad is ideal for warm summer nights when you have the option of eating outside. Elegant ingredients like parmesan, basil pesto, and pine nuts take the steak to the next level and give it a distinctly summery feel. Grab your favorite frying pan and get ready to cook!
4. Sicilian Style Pasta
Another classy pasta dish, this recipe is made with large shell noodles, which absorb the flavors of the other scrumptious ingredients included in the meal. The salty taste of the capers is unmistakably elegant and reminiscent of your favorite Italian restaurant.
Plus, fresh tuna gives this pasta dish even more flavor and puts a unique spin on the way noodles are typically served.
5. Gnocchi With Ham and Cheese
This yummy recipe is rich, creamy, and perfect for fall or winter evenings when you just want something tasty to eat. It isn’t the fanciest recipe on our list, but it’s definitely one to keep in mind next time you have a date night coming up.
Pan-frying the gnocchi is one of the steps in this recipe that makes the meal extra special. When you cook the noodles in a pan, you end up with a crispy exterior and a chewy interior, made even tastier by the addition of Comté cheese and ham.
6. Onion, Goat Cheese, and Honey Quiche
Fancier than pizza but just as delicious, quiche is the ideal meal for a cozy date night. It’s the perfect dish to make with your significant other working in the kitchen with you. You can split the steps between the two of you, with one person focusing on prepping ingredients and the other working on getting everything cooked.
Our onion, goat cheese, and honey quiche is a savory treat that is equal parts classy and comfort food. If you make it once, you’d better believe you’ll be making it again soon because it’s addictive.
7. Thai Beef Curry
If you want to get creative with your date night menu, this Thai beef curry recipe is exactly what you’re looking for. It’s deliciously sweet and spicy, filled with vegetables and savory beef, and incredibly easy to make.
8. Beef With Parsley Cream Sauce
Parsley cream sauce is one of the most delicious toppings you’ll ever taste.
This recipe has everything you need for a great date night. It’s hearty, rich, filling, and full of exciting flavors. You can add a little bit of horseradish to your parsley cream sauce to make the dish spicy, or you can just get your extra flavor from ingredients like lemon, parsley, and white wine vinegar.
This is one of the recipes on our list where presentation makes a big difference. Make each plate look as pretty as possible by evenly dispersing the sliced carrots and potatoes along one side of the plate. Then, to complete your masterpiece, serve the beef in thin strips lined up along the opposite side of the plate. Now, that’s a photogenic meal!
Need An Appetizer? We’ve Got You Covered.
Want to level up your date night? Try adding one of these delicious appetizers to the menu.
9. Roasted Camembert
Camembert cheese is rich, creamy, and absolutely delightful, and it makes a fantastic appetizer for a fancy date night. The cheese is typically served roasted and accompanied by slices of French-style country bread. Dipping the bread in the creamy camembert is one of the best possible ways to start out a date.
Pair this delectable appetizer with your favorite bottle of red wine, and you’ve got the makings of a date night that you’ll never forget.
10. Eggs Mimosa
This elegant spin on classic deviled eggs is the perfect little appetizer to set out before dinner. Made by topping traditional deviled eggs with slices of bacon and a sprinkle of chives and paprika, eggs mimosa makes an excellent start to date night.
11. Garlic Bread
Who doesn’t love some well-crafted garlic bread before a meal?
While you might think of it as a delicacy that you can only get at fancy restaurants, you can make your own garlic bread at home with just four simple ingredients. All you need is a good baguette, garlic (of course), fresh parsley, and plenty of butter. It’s simple, rich, decadent, and delicious all at once.
When serving garlic bread on date night, try bringing out half of a loaf on a wooden cutting board, cutting off a few slices before serving. Pair the loaf with a sharp serrated knife, and
you’ve got an appetizer that just begs to be posted on your Instagram story!
12. Buttered Radishes
If you live in the US, you may not be familiar with this classic French snack, but you’re in for a treat.
Buttered radishes are a simple and delightfully crunchy appetizer to pair with summer meals like salads and kabobs. They’re made with just two ingredients – butter and raw radishes – and they taste fantastic.
What About Date Night Desserts?
You can’t have a date night without dessert.
Once your appetizers are long gone, the meal has been served and eaten, and the conversation is carrying on for hours, it’s the perfect time to bring out the pièce de résistance of date night – dessert.
Here are some of the best dessert recipes to whip up for your next date night.
13. Coconut Rice Pudding
This delectable little vegan dessert can be served in a small ramekin right after a rich meal. It serves as a palate cleanser, a cool, refreshing treat, and a third course all rolled into one.
If you’ve never had the pleasure of making your own rice pudding, you’re in for a real treat. This dessert is incredibly easy to make but as classy as it gets. You can serve it cold on summer evenings or warm in the fall and winter, so it’s perfect for all seasons. Add a little lemon or lime zest on top, and it’s good to go.
14. Roasted Figs With Pistachios
Figs are naturally sweet and juicy, so there’s not much that needs to be added to them to make the perfect dessert. However, we think these tasty little fruits pair perfectly with some honey and pistachios. This recipe for roasted figs makes the perfect wrap-up to a fantastic date night, and it’s super easy to make.
Roasted figs are an ideal dessert to serve after a meal that features red meat, such as steak or pasta with sausage. Little ramekins of roasted figs also go great with red wine.
15. Apple Tarte Tatin
This incredible dessert is our entire staff’s favorite treat ever, and we think you’ll agree once you try it.
Tarte Tatin is a traditional French dessert created by the famous Tatin sisters, who served the treat at their namesake hotel. It’s traditionally made by cooking apples in butter and sugar until they have been significantly reduced, then adding a pastry base on top. The combination of pastry base and baked apples makes a delightful dish that is made even more enjoyable when it’s flipped upside down.
Want More Inspiration for At-Home Cooking?
If you love to cook but have been feeling uninspired lately, you’ve come to the right place. Our cooking page is packed with delicious recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, drinks, and more. You could cook and cook for months and never run out of new ideas.
Plus, you can head over to our blog, where you’ll find plenty of tips for at-home cooking, as well as more inspiration. Bon appetit!