Hot take: Going out to dinner for Valentine’s Day is kind of overrated—especially in 2021. Why sit out in the cold this year when you can (Very easily) cook dinner for you and your partner at home? To help you out, I’ve put together a list of easy date-night dinners for two that you can make in the comfort of your own kitchen for less than the price of a prix fixe meal. These straightforward recipes are easy to master and don’t take hours of prep work or planning, so prepare to wow your partner with your skills—even if you’re not a master chef.
Here’s the thing: Going out to dinner is great, but a romantic home-cooked meal is one of the sweetest things you can do for someone you love. Some of the recipes below call for fancy-ish ingredients like shiitake mushrooms or ribeye steak—things that you can find at any supermarket, but might not normally buy. Others have simpler ingredient lists but take a little extra time and care to put together. Either way, they’re special meals that will inspire you to start eating in a lot more often once you’ve master a few of these date night recipes.
No matter which meal you choose, these fancy (Easy!) dinners for two are an awesome way to show someone that you really care without splurging on an over-priced night otut. From yummy chicken parm that you make in a skillet to or fancy lobster risotto, pick your favorite, and make this Valentine’s Day dinner extra special. Or any date night in, for that matter
Roasted Mushrooms and Creamy Polenta
If you don’t want to cook meat, fancy mushrooms make a great, date-appropriate alternative. Roasted mushrooms over polenta is restaurant-worthy, but relatively easy.
Skillet Chicken Parm
Keep things saucy with date night skillet chicken parm.
Julia Child fans out there will appreciate the care and attention that goes in to the perfect beef bourguignon—and your date will, too.
Serve this skillet chicken cacciatore over pasta or rice, and get ready for a seriously delicious night in.
Chicken Pot Pie
Chicken pot pie might not be the sexiest date night dinner, but it’s a great way to show someone you love them.
Master this lobster risotto and you’ll have an A+ date night option forever.
One-Pot Creamy Chicken Mushroom Florentine
This chicken and mushroom florentine actually serves four, but earns its spot on this list because of how simultaneously simple and special it is.
Asparagus With Shrimp and Angel Hair
This delicate shrimp and asparagus pasta tastes like spring—which, actually, is exactly what you need in the depths of winter.
Brown Butter Scallops and Parmesan Risotto
If you think of scallops as a restaurant-only food, think again. These brown butter scallops are quick to make, and take just a little bit of kitchen finesse.
Vegetable Tamale Pies
If meat-free comfort food is your jam, nothing is more romantic than an individual tamale pie.
Sautéed Salmon With Citrus Salsa
This sautéed salmon with citrus salsa is on the lighter side, which leaves plenty of room for dessert.
Shitake Asparagus Sauté with a Poached Egg
Veggies go fancy in this shitake and asparagus sauté.
Cast-Iron Ribeye with Mushrooms
If you want to go big, there’s nothing quite as impressive as a perfectly seared ribeye.
Shrimp scampi is a classic that never gets old.
Seared Hanger Steak with Tahini and Smashed Charred Beets
Sweet beets and bitter tahini round out this juicy hanger steak.
Seared Duck Breast with Cherries and Port Sauce
This seared duck breast is perfect for your once-a-year Valentine’s date night in.
Be honest: The most romantic thing someone could ever do for you is make pizza from scratch.