Whatever the time of year, there’s nothing more romantic than treating your loved one to a night in and a home-cooked dinner.
It’s easy to pile on the pressure and try something extravagant, but keep things simple and you’ll both enjoy yourselves (after all, it’s the thought that counts!). Take a look at our selection of romantic dinners and date night recipes including starters, mains, desserts and drinks that we hope will get sparks flying!
Date night starter dishes
This romantic recipe is ready in just 10 minutes — a super simple starter, packed with the flavours of southern Spain. Serve with chilled wine and crusty bread to make it the ultimate Spanish experience.
If you’re looking for the ideal simple seafood starter, these oysters are an excellent choice. Just give them a sprinkling of ginger, chilli and coriander, as well as a kiss of tangy rice wine vinegar and your oysters are seasoned to perfection.
Scale this recipe down for a gorgeous starter, or make scallops the star of the show and serve them up as the recipe describes, with beautiful pieces of black pudding, fresh mint and perfect mashed potato. This is a dish that’s guaranteed to impress.
Embracing in-season citrus fruits, gorgeous goat’s cheese and, of course, earthy beetroot, this easy, vibrant salad is a serious winner as a date night starter. Using all raw ingredients straight from your fridge or cupboard, this dish couldn’t be more simple.
Date night main dishes
This decadent pan-fried duck recipe will really make your date night-in feel like something special. The crispy skin, bits of bacon and creamy, rosemary-infused beans taste absolutely sublime, and it only takes 7 ingredients and 20 minutes to cook.
Freshness from the herbs, saltiness from bacon lardons and a beautiful hint of garlic (though not too much for date night!), this is a seafood recipe you’ll both keep thinking back to for weeks to come.
This beautiful rump steak with green pesto and Parmesan is the perfect showstopper dish. With only five ingredients and cooking in just 10 minutes, it’s the ideal recipe when you need to impress fast.
A great vegetarian number, the combination of soft, pillowy gnocchi with punchy blue cheese and sweet pear is guaranteed to sweep your loved one off their feet! If you really want to show off, check out our gnocchi recipe and make your own.
This smoky seafood dish will make your night sizzle. The addition of pomegranate provides sweetness, while the chilli adds a little kick. All in all, it has everything you need for the perfect romantic dinner-for-two.
Date night pasta dishes
Why not go the extra mile for your romantic dinner and try making your own pasta from scratch? Not only is it actually seriously quick and easy to do, it’ll also step-up the flavour of your pasta dish, big time. All you need is flour, water and a mere 15 minutes of your time!
There’s nothing more satisfying than a gorgeous bowl of fresh seafood pasta. It’s so quick and easy to make, plus you can switch up which seafood you use depending on what you like or how fancy you’re feeling. This recipe is sure to go down well at your table for two.
Crunchy, breaded aubergine on top of a simple tomato and basil spaghetti, this recipe is the perfect romantic dinner idea next time it’s your turn to cook. It takes a tiny bit of effort but it’ll be ready in half an hour and your work will absolutely pay off when they ask you to cook it again in a week’s time!
This 15-minute showstopper couldn’t be easier to whip together. Topped with crispy chilli and horseradish-flavoured breadcrumbs which adds an incredible flavour that turns up the heat! Nonna Teresa’s pasta is a beautiful dish that celebrates deliciously simple ingredients.
Date night dessert recipes
A fruity fro-yo with a spicy twist, this mango dessert recipe is simply divine. The mixture is churned up with lime, mint, pistachios and crushed cardamom pods with shavings of dark chocolate to finish it off. If you’re looking for an incredibly tasty dessert that looks like a showstopper but is quick and easy to make, give this recipe a try.
This chocolate brownie recipe is the perfect mix of indulgence and fun for a Valentine’s Day dessert. Try to source the best quality ingredients you can to take the flavour up a notch, then serve topped with vanilla ice cream, crunchy hazelnuts and caramel popcorn — perfection!
Nothing beats a perfectly poached pear, infused with warming saffron and the light spice of cinnamon. Poach the pears the day before for maximum flavour, then just heat the syrup to pour over, serve with cream or ice cream and tuck in.
Date night cocktail recipes
Start your romantic meal-for-two in style with a vibrant pink cocktail. This recipe uses pomegranates, but you’ll also get amazing results from puréed peaches, rhubarb or strawberries when in season.
All you need is white rum, fresh lime juice, sugar syrup and a sprig of mint to make this punchy twist on a traditional mojito. Stirred together with ice, it’s a seriously refreshing cocktail that’s perfect for date nights at home.
This sweeter alternative to the margarita all cocktail-drinkers already know and love is a serious winner. Our recipe uses just a tablespoon of your favourite jam with tequila, Cointreau and lime to make your taste buds go wild! You’re going to love it.
For more inspiration check out our dinners-for-two, or go old-school and find out Jamie’s dishes that won over Jools.