Bring back the romance with these amazing date night dinners you can make in the comfort of your own home! Cue the candles and music for a delicious meal for two!

Image of a man and woman eating a pasta date night dinner at home. They are smiling as the man feeds the woman a forkful. - Shelf Cooking

Want to rekindle the flame with your significant other, but struggling to find a way to go out on the town? We get it! Between increasing prices, the struggle to find a babysitter, and packed schedules, it can feel almost impossible to make a night out a reality!

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We're here to tell you that with a little creativity and effort, date night can not only still happen, but be absolutely fabulous, too! We've put together a list of our favorite date night dinner recipes that you can make at home. No more excuses!

How To Create An At-Home Date Night

A man and woman are dancing together. The camera is focused on their clasped hands and they appear to be smiling. - Shelf Cooking

Maybe you've been married several years and need a night to focus on your relationship. Or, maybe you've just met a new love interest and want to impress them with a home-cooked meal without any distractions. Either way, it's easy to create a fun and romantic evening within the walls of your home!

To do this, here are a few tips:

  • Create a space that feels special. That might be the kitchen table with a nice tablecloth and fancy dinnerware. Maybe it's a blanket and pillows on the floor, with white twinkle lights strung around it. Let your creativity lead the way!
  • Get rid of distractions. If you have kids, they will probably be distraction number one! Obviously, don't get rid of them, but maybe they can go to grandma's or a neighbor's for an evening? If that's not an option, put them to bed early or set them up with their own special movie night in another room. Also, eliminate electronic distractions. No phones or emails or checking scores during date night!
  • Focus on togetherness. The important part of date night isn't necessarily what you do, but being together! Cooking a meal together, using conversation starters, or playing a new game will make for an unforgettable night, even at home!

Menu Ideas For Date Night Dinners

You can enjoy restaurant-style meals for half the price by creating them at home! These date night dinners are easier to make than you would think. Plus, they are fun to prepare with a partner or to make on your own as a surprise. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Baked ziti – Go Italian with this delicious and super easy pasta dish! Pair it with salad and homemade rustic bread to feel like you're at your favorite Italian restaurant. (Don't forget the candles and music!)
  • Parmesan tilapia – Seafood sounds and tastes fancy, but this meal comes together in only 15 minutes!
  • Chicken gnocchi soup – This Olive Garden copycat recipe will make you feel like you're at the restaurant, without the crowds or price!
  • Baja fish tacos – Pair these with some refried beans and Mexican rice, and you'll hardly believe you're at home and not the local cantina.
  • French onion chicken – This chicken is *chef's kiss*! Because it only requires one pan to make, that means less time on dishes and more time for cuddling.
  • Chicken alfredo – You really can't go wrong with pasta when creating a romantic evening. This delicious recipe comes together in the Instant Pot in only 20 minutes!
  • Baked meatballs – Speaking of pasta, these meatballs are the perfect pairing.
  • Bibimbap – Date night is the best time to try something new! These Korean rice bowls are amazing and simple to make.

Delicious Date Night Side Dishes

Overhead image of slices of cheesy garlic bread for a date night dinner at home. - Shelf Cooking

We can't forget about the side dishes that add an extra “wow factor” to a meal! All of these are easy to pull together and still full of flavor. Check these out:

Do you have a go-to side dish that you love? Tell us in the comments!

Perfect Desserts To Finish Off Date Night

Image of chocolate dipped strawberries for dessert on a wooden cutting board. - Shelf Cooking

Date night just wouldn't be complete without a sweet treat for your sweetheart! We love having a delicious dessert to look forward to. Sharing an indulgent dish for two is the perfect way to cap off the night. Here are some recipes we suggest trying:

  • Easy fudge brownies – You honestly can't go wrong with this classic dessert. Serve warm and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream (and hot fudge or caramel!) to satisfy that sweet tooth.
  • Cake batter blondies – Not a fan of chocolate? That's ok! These cake batter blondies will do the trick.
  • Slow cooker apple crisp – Start this earlier in the day and have it cooking while you prep and enjoy dinner. Of course, this is begging for some ice cream, too!
  • Chocolate covered strawberries – The classic symbol of romance wrapped up in a sweet treat!
  • Mug cakes – The perfect dessert for two! We have a whole bunch of recipes for you to choose from.
  • Sopapilla cheesecake – This Mexican-inspired dessert sounds fancy but is crazy-easy to make.
  • Ooey-gooey bars – What's an ooey-gooey bar, you ask? You'll just have to try them to find out! (Fair warning: they are addicting!)
  • Strawberry cream pie – This no-bake pie has “romantic summer night” written all over it!

Ok friends, we've provided the ideas for date night dinners, now it's up to you to execute! Ask that special someone for an evening at home and and cook up some LOVE…and some seriously amazing recipes, obviously. What dinner sounds like something you'd like to try with a partner?

We know this post is chock-full of amazing recipes, but we're not done yet! Check out these links for more ideas: