From pizza to noodles to roasted game hen and steak, we've got you covered.
soy-honey-glazed arctic char
Credit: Christina Holmes

Whether it's a weeknight or a special occasion, cooking dinner for two doesn't always have to mean taking a recipe that serves four and cutting it in half. Here, we've gathered a dozen dinner ideas for two, many of which lend themselves especially well to a smaller number of servings. Think: homemade pizza, because it can be hard to turn out pizzas for a crowd, or a steak dinner that has you split one ribeye, rather than buying two. Or roasted game hen because a chicken is too big but the game hen yields just the right amount for two diners. There are also plant-based dinner ideas for two, because not every couple wants chicken or salmon every night. These smart recipes just might have you thinking two is the new four.

Grilled Chicken with Cherries, Shallots, and Arugula

Grilled Chicken with Cherries, Shallots, and Arugula

Grilled chicken can be boring, but not when you top it with an arugula-cherry salad that you've tossed with a shallot vinegar dressing. The peppery greens and sweet fruit are a winning combo and a great match for the chicken.

sriracha shrimp

Sriracha Shrimp

A hot, dry skillet cooks shrimp that are lightly coated in mayonnaise to a gorgeous golden brown in mere minutes. Serve them over salad or with rice… or both!

squash gratin

Honeynut Squash, Leek, and Brie Gratin

This rich vegetarian gratin for two to share is made with no-bake lasagna noodles, which soak up the sauce nicely. Serve it with a bright salad of crisp lettuces and an assertive vinaigrette.


Dan Dan Noodles

Our take on the spicy and tangy thin noodles originating from and popular in Sichuan is a 35-minute dinner you'll want to make every week. It uses ramen-style noodles, dark leafy greens like spinach or tatsoi, and ground pork with ginger, garlic, soy, and tahini—and you'll need chili oil for serving.

soy-honey-glazed arctic char

Soy-Honey-Glazed Arctic Char

Dinner in 15 minutes? Yes please! Use artic char or salmon fillets and serve with sautéed baby bok choy which you cook at the same time as the fish. Together with steamed rice, it makes a colorful and healthy dinner for two.


Cauliflower "Rice" Stir-Fry

A no-grain cauliflower dish that's surprisingly hearty. Store-bought vegetable stock makes a quick shortcut if you don't have time to make your own broth, and you can also lean on pre-cut broccoli, carrots, and red pepper.

Steak With Pink-Peppercorn Butter

Skillet Steak with Pink-Peppercorn Butter

One generous rib-eye makes the perfect steak dinner for two. Here, it's pan-seared in a cast-iron skillet and finished with a piquant pink peppercorn-and-Meyer lemon butter. Serve with a salad and baguette.


Baked Salmon with Coconut Broth

Coconut milk, lemongrass, and chiles give this salmon dish a beautiful fresh flavor. And a bed of brown rice helps soak up all the delicious broth.


Pizza with Yellow Tomatoes and Basil

What could be cuter than sharing a homemade pizza for dinner à deux? For this summery one, sunny yellow tomatoes provide a sweetness that's set off nicely by fresh basil.

mustard tarragon game hen

Roasted Game Hen with Root Vegetables

A Cornish game hen is smaller than a chicken, which means it's great for two people; plus, it cooks much faster. And just as with chicken, the pan juices you'll get from roasting a hen form a tasty sauce when combined with Dijon, lemon juice, capers, and fresh tarragon.

Flounder en Papillote with Asparagus and Shiitake Mushrooms on decorative plate

Flounder in Parchment with Asparagus and Shiitakes

Steaming fish in a parchment packet in the oven, or "en papillote" in French, yields deeply flavorful results and is a messproof way to cook fish–in this case, flounder or sole fillets. Mushrooms and asparagus make a delightful accompaniment and steam right alongside the fish.


Stuffed Acorn Squash

Kale, onion, and white beans are the base for this succulent winter squash dish, where a halved and seeded acorn squash forms two edible bowls. Fresh sage and thyme, plus chopped toasted hazelnuts, add extra flavor and dimension.


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