20 Special Date-Night Recipes for Two

Steak With Pink-Peppercorn Butter
Photo: Johnny Fogg

Whether it's your anniversary, Valentine's Day, or a date night in, we'll help you plan the ultimate menu for a romantic dinner at home with our recipes for two. These dishes result in an elegant meal that's easy to pull off—and will make the time you spend together extra delicious. Whether you're feeding a carnivore, a pescatarian, a vegetable-lover, or a dessert fan, you'll find date-night dinner ideas that make eating in so much better than going out.

01 of 20

Steak Tartare

steak tartare with brown bread
Bryan Gardner

Bring the romance of the bistro to your dinner table when you serve steak tartare. Be sure to use the best quality beef tenderloin for this restaurant-worthy appetizer.

02 of 20

Mini Pear-and-Cranberry Amaretti Crisps

pear and cranberry amaretti crisps
David Malosh

This easy recipe makes two mini fruit crisps, but whether you split one or have your own is up to you. We'd opt to share—that way, there's a second dessert ready to go if you're still hungry after your at-home movie showing.

03 of 20

Stacked Bibb Lettuces with Lemon Cream

stacked bibb lettuces lemon cream
Lennart Weibull

This is the easiest, most unexpected salad ever. A combination of heavy cream and lemon juice takes the place of a traditional vinaigrette to dress Bibb lettuce leaves for date night. It's simple, but fancy.

04 of 20

Roasted Game Hen with Root Vegetables

mustard tarragon game hen
Johnny Fogg

While most roast chicken recipes serve four, game hen is the perfect size for a couple. Paired with root vegetables, like carrots and celery root, it's a special, but quick meal to make in the winter.

05 of 20

Seared Scallops with Celery and Golden Raisin Salad

Martyna Szczesna

This special seafood dinner takes just 20 minutes to make. Pro tip: Don't flip the scallops more than once or you run the risk of missing out on that perfect golden sear.

06 of 20

Fondue for Two

Fondue for Two Station
Justin Walker

Nothing says date night quite like cheese fondue. Serve it with crudités, charcuterie, cubed bread, and roasted potatoes for an indulgent and interactive appetizer.

07 of 20

Roasted Branzino with Lemon and Thyme

Whole-Roasted Branzino with Lemon and Thyme on plate with lemon wedges and silverware
Ryan Liebe

So much easier than pan-searing and just as impressive, this oven-roasted branzino is flavored with just four ingredients—lemon, thyme, salt, and pepper—which let the sweet, flaky fish shine.

08 of 20

Thai Cucumber Salad

thai cucumber salad
Bryan Gardner

Make this refreshing, spicy cucumber salad when you need a crisp side. It combines cucumbers with thinly-sliced red onion, Thai chiles, roasted peanuts, and plenty of fresh herbs.

09 of 20

Brothy Mussels with Oven Fries

brothy mussels oven fries
Johnny Fogg

Want a traditional French bistro dinner in the comfort of your own home? Make these easy mussels with baked fries. The fries are perfect for sopping up extra broth.

10 of 20

Chocolate-Mousse Parfaits

Chocolate-Mousse Parfait Desserts
Justin Walker

No date night is complete without a sweet ending. This rich, airy mousse requires 25 minutes of prep—but allow at least an hour for it to set. Our advice is to make it the night before.

11 of 20

Skillet Steak with Pink-Peppercorn Butter

Steak With Pink-Peppercorn Butter
Johnny Fogg

A juicy, rich steak to share is the ultimate date-night dinner for carnivores. This easy recipe uses a boneless rib-eye and builds flavor with an easy homemade butter.

12 of 20

Quick-Braised Red Snapper

braised red snapper
Christopher Testani

If you've never cooked a whole fish before, this recipe is the perfect place to start. It's quick to make and show-stopping—it's a dish that guarantees you'll score a second date.

13 of 20

Dan Dan Noodles

Bryan Gardner

Our lighter take on the classic Szechuan pork-and-noodle dish calls for dark leafy greens (think spinach, mustard greens, or tatsoi). DIY chili oil takes it to the next level.

14 of 20

Honeynut Squash, Leek, and Brie Gratin

squash gratin
Johnny Fogg

Whether you serve it as a vegetarian main or a side, this rich, cheesy recipe is sure to please.

15 of 20

Flat-Iron Steak au Poivre

Bryan Gardner

Flat-iron steaks are a smart choice for date night. They're juicy and flavorful, but not as pricey as some other cuts. Au poivre refers to the sauce made with crushed black peppercorns, cognac, Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock, and heavy cream. Round out the meal with a side salad or roasted potatoes.

16 of 20

Sriracha Shrimp

sriracha shrimp
Armando Rafael

Give shrimp a hint of heat by coating them in a combination of mayonnaise and Sriracha. Enjoy as an appetizer or serve them over steamed rice with crisp lettuce or stirred into rice noodles for a lively entrée.

17 of 20

Radicchio Salad with Chopped-Lemon Dressing

Radicchio Salad With Chopped-Lemon Dressing with spoons
Justin Walker

The ultimate partner for a steak or seafood dinner, this special salad has an irresistible dressing. Quartered lemons are mixed with whole grain mustard, sugar, and olive oil then tossed with torn radicchio and fresh mint.

18 of 20

Soy-Honey-Glazed Arctic Char

soy-honey-glazed arctic char
Christina Holmes

If your go-to seafood is salmon, try Arctic char instead for your date-night dinner. It's rich, a little fatty, and very moist and an upgrade from your usual.

19 of 20

Rib-Eye with Jalapeño Butter

rib eye with jalapeno butter on a wooden surface
Elizabeth Cecil

Looking for a standout dinner for a summer date night? Make this grilled rib-eye steak with a spicy butter for bonus flavor.

20 of 20

Flounder in Parchment with Asparagus and Shiitakes

Flounder en Papillote with Asparagus and Shiitake Mushrooms on decorative plate
Ryan Liebe

Cooking fish in parchment is a wonderful way to keep the flounder flaky and tender. Plus, it makes for easy clean-up.

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