Whether you’re planning to surprise your sweetheart with a romantic dinner or you love to share the kitchen with your companion, these dinner ideas will get your juices flowing. We’ve found ten great ways to express your love through food, from easy to elaborate. After all, as the old adage says, the way to the heart is through the stomach!
1. Get retro with fondue.
Fondue may have gone out of style with patterned sofas and big yellow smiley faces, but that doesn’t make at any less delicious or indulgent. Folks around the world still enjoy this melty, self-serve treat. There’s even a national fondue restaurant chain called Melting Pot! If you don’t wanna spend the big bucks to eat out, though, whip up this unique twist on the traditional cheesy dinner from Honest Cooking.
2. Indulge in aphrodisiacs with mole sauce.
Why save the chocolates for after dinner? If you’ve never tried authentic mole sauce, you’re in for a treat! It’s a rich, flavorful tradition from Mexico that compliments so many vegetables and proteins. This recipe from Feasting at Home combines the subtle sweetness of butternut squash with a beginner-level mole sauce. If you want to taste mole before you embark on recreating it, the Entube mole paste in our 2020 Terra Kit will get you there!
3. Have your Lady & The Tramp moment
Spaghetti brings out the kid in all of us. It’s as fun to eat as it is versatile! Go with a classic marinara, a light olive oil and herb dressing (try the Seattle Garlic seasoning in our 2020 Garlic Kit), or try out Bon Appétit’s classic, savory cacio e pepe recipe.
4. Embark on a romantic taste test.
Charcuterie is a simple preparation with an elaborate presentation. Traditionally made of meats, cheeses, olives, and other nibbles, a well-constructed charcuterie board will feature over a dozen different flavors to experience together. Look for fine cured meats, aged cheeses, artisan jams and jellies, candied nuts, and crackers or fresh sliced vegetables to tie it all together.
Vegans can rejoice, too! There’s no rule about making a delicious plant-based tasting board. Use hummuses, dried fruits, or even artisan nut cheeses like this smoked English farmhouse wheel from Miyoko’s.
5. Stuff your dinner. And yourself.
Stuffed shells may seem like an undertaking, but they’re a surprisingly simple dish to put together–if a little messy. These creamy, filling Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Shells from Food Network pair nicely with a glass of white and a cosy couch.
6. Covet some caprese.
It’s one of the most classic culinary combinations: ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and fresh basil. Add a drizzle of balsamic reduction and your taste buds will be enraptured by the bright, clean flavors. You really can’t go wrong with caprese, so go nuts. For pan-seared caprese steak, add a slice of beefsteak tomato and a slab of mozz right after you flip it, then garnish with chiffonade basil after resting.
Not into the meat? Marinate tomato slices in balsamic, olive oil and chopped basil. Roast a whole head of garlic in olive oil, then smear the individual cloves on sliced and toasted french bread. Add tomatoes and mozzarella to each slice, then pop into the oven for about five minutes!
Need something lighter? Blanch some crunchy veggies like broccoli and green beans, then toss with cherry tomatoes, pearl mozzarella, whole basil leaves, balsamic vinegar, and a dash of olive oil–try the shallot infused oil in our Gourmand Kit for an extra layer of flavor. Perfect light dinner to precede a night of dancing!
7. Explore the most underrated meal: brinner.
Breakfast for dinner is clutch for a night of carefree indulgence. Who says all of that early-morning goodness needs to enjoyed in the daylight hours? Whip up some hash browns, pancakes, bacon, eggs, whatever your breakfast fancy is! Or, try this super simple Eggs Benny Skillet Recipe from Delish that practically begs for a spicy garnish of bourbon smoked chili powder (available in our Gourmand Kit).
8. Grab a slice with the one you love.
Pizza may seem more like football game fare, but I promise you that a home-cooked pie can work wonders on the palate, and cooking it together can be a fun, romantic activity. Nothing like watching your partner try to flip pizza dough! Whether your crust is from scratch or store bought, preparing and baking this meal with a partner definitely adds to its charm. If you have a cast iron skillet handy, try this oh-so-easy deep dish recipe from Minimalist Baker.
What’s your favorite romantic dinner to make? Do you love cooking for your partner, or do you two jive in the kitchen together? Let us know in the comments!