37 Easy and Delicious Date Night Dinner Ideas
Let us guess—it’s been way too long since your last date night. Life has a knack for getting in the way of small pleasures like date nights. It can take forever to get reservations at the new restaurant downtown, and who has time to get all dolled up for date night when there are kids dirty from soccer practice running around the house? We get it. But there is still a way to plan a romantic date night. It’s time to clear your schedule for a few hours to enjoy an at-home dinner together. With these amazing date night dinner ideas, you won’t even realize you’re not at a fancy restaurant. And staying in doesn't just save your schedule some hassle, but it’s also much more budget-friendly than eating out. Even if you’re trying to save up, you can still treat yourself to one of our affordable date ideas. These fun dinner recipes take pantry staples and weeknight favorites like pasta, chicken thighs, and pork chops and dress them up for an adults-only dinner. With these five-star suppertime superstars, you’ll save money and get to focus on what matters about date night—each other.
Roasted Beef Tenderloin
Recipe: Roasted Beef Tenderloin
If your date night go-to is a steakhouse, you’ll love to serve a beautiful roasted beef tenderloin at home.
Creamy Rice with Scallops
Recipe: Creamy Rice with Scallops
Scallops feel dressy enough for date night, but this 30-minute recipe is easy enough that you can actually relax and enjoy your night in.
Pasta with Burst Tomatoes and Mascarpone
This pasta recipe might look restaurant-worthy, but it starts with frozen tortellini and ends with a handful of pantry staples.
Best-Ever Crab Cakes with Green Tomato Slaw
You might think of crab cakes as a dish you only order at restaurants, but once you see how easy they are to make at home, they’ll be on your at-home date night rotation.
Grilled Steak with Blistered Beans and Peppers
Take date night outside and fire up the grill with this colorful, flavorful dinner recipe.
Recipe: Almond-Crusted Tilapia
This recipe looks and sounds formal, but it only takes a few ingredients to put together, and it will go well with just about any side dishes you like.
Spicy Red Curry with Chicken
Recipe: Spicy Red Curry with Chicken
Would you believe this gorgeous chicken curry was made with the help of your slow cooker? You should!
Pasta with Shrimp and Tomato Cream Sauce
This simple but stunning pasta recipe is only missing a glass of wine on the side.
Braised Lamb Shanks with Parmesan-Chive Grits
Your partner will never know that this sophisticated meal was made in the slow cooker, and you don’t have to tell them.
Salmon with Lemony Greens and Grains
This easy skillet dinner is hearty but healthy if you’re trying to keep on pace with a diet when date night rolls around.
Marinated Pork Tenderloin
Recipe: Marinated Pork Tenderloin
Prep this simple marinade the night before or morning-of your date night, and you’ll only have 30 minutes of hands-on time for a delicious meal.
Tomato-Basil Lasagna Roll Ups
Recipe: Tomato-Basil Lasagna Roll Ups
This recipe has all the flavor and comfort of classic lasagna with elevated presentation that was made for date night.
Seared Scallops with Fresh Tomato-Basil Sauce and Orzo
This summery pasta recipe looks restaurant-worthy, but it only requires 10 minutes of hands-on time.
Cast-Iron Cowboy Steak
Recipe: Cast-Iron Cowboy Steak
Go all out on date night and treat yourself to a restaurant-style steak, straight from the skillet.
Recipe: Chicken Alouette
We keep turning to this trusty vintage recipe for dinner parties and holidays, and for good reason.
Recipe: Crab-and-Bacon Linguine
You’ll feel like you’re at a white tablecloth-restaurant with this elegant pasta on your plate.
Fontina-Stuffed Pork Chops with Mashed Potatoes
Pork chops might be a budget-friendly weeknight favorite, but that doesn’t mean they can’t get dressed up for date night, too!
Slow-Cooker Ginger, Sweet Tea, and Whiskey Short Ribs
These slow-cooker short ribs are easy to prepare, but the bright, tangy sauce they’re paired with feels so sophisticated.
Fresh Salmon Cakes with Buttermilk Dressing
The salmon croquettes made with canned salmon from your childhood wouldn’t recognize this elevated, fresh recipe that’s perfect for a light date night with a glass of chilled white wine.
Cast-Iron Chicken Piccata
Recipe: Cast-Iron Chicken Piccata
You can make restaurant-worthy chicken piccata in a flash thanks to your loyal cast-iron skillet. Serve over whatever noodles you have on hand and dinner is done.
Rack of Lamb with Carrot Salad
Recipe: Rack of Lamb with Carrot Salad
If this is a celebratory date night, go all out with a dressy lamb recipe that looks like it would require reservations to eat.
Slow-Cooker Bolognese Sauce
Recipe: Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce
If Italian is one of your go-to cuisines for a date night on the town, replicate it with a fun at-home date night that’s just as delicious but much more budget-friendly.
Recipe: Chicken-Mushroom-Sage Casserole
You probably don’t picture a casserole when you think “date night,” but this pretty dish is presentable enough to fit the bill—with all the ease you love about casseroles.
Skillet Orzo with Fish and Herbs
Recipe: Skillet Orzo with Fish and Herbs
This one-dish recipe is just as easy to prepare as a weeknight family dinner but feels more grown-up for date night.
Grilled Pork Loin Steaks with Cherry-Plum Sauce
You can make the sauce three to four days in advance to help you get your date started as quickly as possible the night of.
Moroccan Turkey Legs and Thighs with Fruit, Olives, and Almonds
A date night without picky kids around is the ideal time to try out an adventurous recipe that’s bursting with flavor, like this recipe that sounds complex but comes together with the ease of your slow cooker.
Cast-Iron Pork Cacciatore
Recipe: Cast-Iron Pork Cacciatore
You’re just 30 minutes away from putting this impressive dinner on the table—no joke.
Flank Steak Tostadas
Stuffed Eggplant Parmesan
Recipe: Stuffed Eggplant Parmesan
Maybe you’re doing date night at home to cut out the extra calories that come with eating out. This low-carb version of eggplant parmesan doesn’t skimp on the comfort of indulging in classic Italian food.
Baked Chicken Roulade
Recipe: Baked Chicken Roulade
This recipe elevates budget-friendly chicken to a date night-ready meal.
Fettuccine Alfredo with Leeks, Peas, and Bacon
Step away from the jarred Alfredo sauce: This recipe is the easiest way to make it at home for a fun new recipe for you two to try together.
Molasses-Soy Glazed Salmon and Vegetables
Salmon entrees at restaurants can get pricey at restaurants, so it’s the perfect at-home date night dish to save money. Cheers!
Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin
Recipe: Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin
In case you didn’t already know, everything is better with bacon. This versatile recipe will pair well with any of your favorite side dishes.
Tortilla-Crusted Tilapia with Citrus Slaw and Chipotle Tartar Sauce
If you’re not in the mood for fuss, this elevated fish fry is the perfect happy medium for a casual date night.
Roasted Chicken Thighs with Herb Butter
Easy Shrimp Scampi with Basil
Recipe: Easy Shrimp Scampi with Basil
Pair this simple, succulent pasta dish with some crusty bread, a starter salad, and a glass of white wine, and you’ve got an incredible date night ahead of you.
Sliced Pork Chops with Brown Butter-Golden Raisin Relish
With a recipe this sophisticated, you won’t even recognize the easy pork chops you usually serve the kids for dinner.