26 Romantic Dinner Recipes to Take Date Night to Another Level
Looking for romantic dinner recipes to treat your partner with? We’ve got you! These 26 romantic dinner recipes - from the nibbles at the start to the drinks that round off the evening - are the perfect place to start as you plan your evening together.
What makes a good romantic dinner?
A good romantic dinner needs only two ingredients: you and your date. It’s cheesy, but it’s true - look at all the best date ideas you want, but the right person can make eating a pile of French fries in the car feel romantic.
With that said, there are (of course!) a few things to do to really set the atmosphere for a romantic dinner. Lighting is important - candles are a nice touch, but it’s mainly important to have soft and warm light - no fluorescents, please. Music is also crucial to setting a mood. Don’t overthink it: just go for a playlist you love.
The evidence that you’ve put thought and effort into the evening is what is going to make it feel romantic - so whether that looks like an extra-tidy house, a thoughtfully picked bottle of wine, or a bouquet of flowers on the table, that’s up to you. Check out our Dinner Dates book for step-by-step ideas on creating incredible romantic dinners!
Appetizers to get things started
If you want to start out your romantic dinner ideas with some high-level sophistication, raw oysters are the way to go. They’re a dramatic showstopper with no cooking time - this delicious mignonette sauce takes no time to throw together.
This delicious garlic and tomato flatbread is a moreish starter that makes for amazing romantic dinner ideas at home - it’s out of the ordinary, but still super easy to throw together.
#3 - Garlic Caprese Bread
Roast cherry tomatoes with strips of pancetta to make these hearty appetizers. Depending on the vibe you’re going for, you could make them small and bite-sized or a proper first course.
#4 - Coconut Lime Ceviche
Ceviche is a fish dish from Peru, where white fish is lightly pickled in lime juice for a bright and refreshing starter idea.
These are one of the easiest romantic dinner ideas on this list - and no less charming for it. Threading some cheese and ham onto a toothpick with an olive: what could be simpler?
These delicious bites are made with a garlicky cream cheese filling mixed with fresh herbs baked in mushrooms - it’s pretty easy to lose count of them!
Using sweet potatoes in this flatbread sets it apart from other easy romantic dinner ideas - with just a few ingredients in this dinner for two, it’s well worth trying!
Slicing butternut squash into ‘steaks’ which you then cook with brown butter and sage until its tender and fragrant - yes, please! This can double as a vegetarian romantic dinner recipe or as a starter.
Starting with soup is a classic romantic dinner idea - and this one is literally award winning. Rich and silky, this clam chowder is perfect for a romantic dinner at home on a cold winter’s night.
Romantic main course recipes to impress your partner
#10 - Filet Mignon
Who doesn’t love a good steak? This is one of the best romantic dinner ideas at home for him - and it takes hardly any time to cook. This recipe suggests that you serve the steak with a mushroom red wine sauce, and you won’t hear us arguing.
#11 - Shrimp Scampi
This delicate shrimp dish is flavored with lemon and white wine - it’s perfect over pasta for a light dinner recipe. Add red pepper flakes for a kick!
Gnocchi is a kind of pasta actually made with potato for an extra soft and pillowy texture - pair that with this rich vodka tomato sauce (sounds crazy, right? But it really works!) makes for an incredible romantic dinner idea.
Risotto is so comforting - this garlic and parmesan version is perfect for a cozy evening in.
#14 - Herb Crusted Lamb Chops
If you’re looking for romantic dinner recipes that are set to impress your date, this rack of herb crusted lamb chops will definitely do the trick! Pair with roast potatoes for a traditional approach, or go for spiced rice and pickled cabbage for a lighter and more Mediterranean atmosphere.
#15 - Roast Chicken
Sometimes, classic is best. This succulent roast chicken is the perfect centerpiece for a romantic dinner with your love. Pair it with roasted potatoes for a romantic meal of classic comfort food.
#16 - Spaghetti and Meatballs
Lady and the Tramp, anyone? It might be a family classic, but there’s something about the nostalgia of a good plate of spaghetti and meatballs that is so charming - wonderful for date night. Add garlic bread and parmesan cheese to make it, arguably, the perfect meal.
Scallops are a great romantic dinner idea because they feel so out-of-the-box. Tender and sweet, these shellfish go perfectly with this light butter and lemon sauce.
We all hope that our date nights get a little spicy - and these wasabi crab cakes take that seriously. They are a vibrant and delicious dish sure to make your date feel truly spoiled.
#19 - Spaghetti Aglio e Olio
This delicious Italian pasta dish - literally called spaghetti with garlic and oil - is so simple to put together. The clean flavors of good olive oil and rich garlic form the basis for a light dinner recipe that is easy to make and dangerously good to eat.
Perfect desserts and cocktails to cap off your date night
Let’s face it - in a list of romantic dinner recipes, we had to include chocolate covered strawberries. They’re a cliché, but they’re popular for a reason. If you really want to pullout all the stops for your date, these are the way to go.
#21 - Classic Banana Split
Sometimes, it’s just an ice cream night. Infuse your romantic dinner with some retro charm and make banana splits with all the trimmings.
#22 - Love Potion #9
If dessert just isn’t your thing, may we suggest a nightcap? This triple berry pomegranate martini is tart and refreshing. Plus, if you’re planning a Valentine’s Day dinner, this is a great cocktail to choose - it’s bright pink!
#23 - Bésame
This cocktail - also called the “kiss me” - is made of tequila with raspberries and passionfruit. Sour, sweet, and very drinkable - it’s a great date-night option!
No-bake cheesecakes are great romantic dinner recipes because they can be made ahead and brought out when you need them. The lack of oven time means you’re essentially just mixing a bunch of things together and pouring them into the pan. This one is served with fresh raspberries and cream to make it extra impressive!
#25 - Hanky Panky
This cheeky cocktail is made of gin, sweet vermouth, and Fernet-Branca - it’s a special occasion date-night option for those with a slightly more sophisticated palate.
#26 - Chocolate Martini
On the other end of the cocktail spectrum is this decadent chocolate martini - with Baileys and chocolate syrup as well as vodka and liquor, this creamy drink is effectively a dessert in a glass. It’s one to pull out if your date has a sweet tooth.
Crafting the Best Romantic Dinner
There you have it - 26 delicious and impressive romantic dinner ideas to wow your date. You don’t have to be a whizz in the kitchen to make these recipes, but a little effort will absolutely pay off.
We have 30 more creative, chef-crafted recipes in our beautiful Dinner Dates book - be sure to check that out for more practical ways to make date night as fun as possible!