7 Incredible Date Night Meals to Make at Home

Date night is one of those special times that doesn’t seem to come often enough.  Some couples are really good about doing it on a regular basis, but for many, it’s a special occasion.

As your kids get older, I think it becomes a lot easier to find time to get away.  If you have an infant or toddler (like we do), however, it can be a challenge.

But having an awesome date night doesn’t mean you need to leave the house.

Sometimes it’s a lot more romantic, relaxing, and satisfying to stay in and cook dinner together.

So, we’ve tracked down 7 incredible recipes that make for great date night meals.  These are perfect for when you’ve dropped the kids off at their grandparents’ house, but you want to stay in for the night.


7 Incredible Date Night Meals (to Make at Home)

#1 Chicken Cordon Bleu with Parmesan Cream Sauce

If you’re going to stay in and cook for a date night, I always say go for something you wouldn’t normally make.

You know, something maybe a little more complex and fancy.

For some reason, that’s how I feel about chicken cordon bleu; when I eat it (at a restaurant), I love it.  But it’s not something I ever think of cooking myself.

It’s not as hard as it looks, so it definitely makes my list of good date night meals at home.

Source: Aunt Bee’s Recipes (click the link to go to the recipe)

#2 Chicken Parmesan Meatballs with Creamy Polenta

The creator of this recipe calls it “romantic comfort food” and I tend to agree.

It’s creamy, delicious, and tastes like something you’d eat at a fancy Italian restaurant.

Not only that, but it makes the whole house smell amazing and puts you in a good mood. 🙂

Source: Little Spice Jar (click the link to go to the recipe)

#3 Lemony Arugula Spaghetti Cacio E Pepe

Without exaggeration, we’ve probably made this dish a dozen times.  We absolutely love it.

It doesn’t feel super heavy for a pasta dish, and has a great level of heat to it (i.e. a little spicy).  If you don’t like spicy foods, you’ll probably want to cut back on the red pepper flakes.

I love how the flavor of the bacon, arugula, and garlic all come together.

Although you can find this recipe at the link below, this is actually taken from Chrissy Teigen’s “Cravings” cookbook (which I highly recommend, by the way).

Source: Eat Drink Frolic (click the link to go to the recipe)

#4 Fondue Date Night

We love fondue.  It’s actually our “go to” special-occasion-but-we’re-staying-in meal.

The past couple New Years Eve’s we’ve stayed home and made fondue, and it’s been awesome.  Such a great way to have a date night at home and feel like you’re out.

The best part of fondue is that it’s easy to do appetizer, main course, and dessert:

  • Appetizer: Melted cheese (dipping vegetables, bread, apples)
  • Main Course: Some kind of chicken or vegetable broth to cook your meat of choice
  • Dessert: Melted chocolate (dipping strawberries, marshmallows, pound cake, etc.)

Source: Lemon Tree Dwelling (click the link to go to the recipe)

#5 Date Night Gnocchi

I know, most of these dishes are Italian.  There’s something about Italian food that is romantic and makes for a good stay-in date night meal.

Gnocchi is no different.

It’s another dish you wouldn’t normally cook, but it’s surprisingly easy and tasty.

The best part is, it only takes 30 minutes to make.

Source: Pass Me Some Tasty (click the link to go to the recipe)

#6 15-Minute Pan Seared Filet Mignon with Chimichurri

Full disclosure: I am obsessed with chimichurri.

This wouldn’t be a proper date night recipe compilation without at least one steak dinner.

Everyone has different steak cut preferences but I personally love the filet mignon.

It’s not fatty, but if you make it right it can still melt in your mouth like butter.  And I can’t think of a better way to simulate a high end restaurant dinner than a nice filet mignon.

What really grabbed my attention on this one was the chimichurri sauce. The way the garlic and cilantro flavors come together with the meat is magical.

Source: Joyful Healthy Eats (click the link to go to the recipe)

#7 Molten Chocolate Cakes

You really can’t call it a date night if you don’t have dessert, so I saved a delicious dessert recipe for last.

I’ve always been a little afraid to make molten chocolate cake.  It just seems like something that needs to be made by a pastry chef.

But, fear not, here’s a recipe you can manage.  It takes about 20 minutes to make, and consists mostly of ingredients you probably already have around the house.

Now you have no excuse on your next at-home date night to not only make a delicious dinner, but dessert as well.

Source: Dessert for Two (click the link to go to the recipe)

Now, let’s get that date night scheduled.

Yeah, as it turns out, making the meal is easy. Finding the time to schedule the date night is hard.

So get it on the calendar, give your parents a heads up that you’re dropping off the kids, and decide on which recipe you’re going to make.

What are your favorite date night meals (and desserts!)? Let us know and leave a comment below!

About Eric and Tiffany Matthews

We're Eric and Tiffany, the parents behind Cynical Parent. We're just normal parents who are navigating parenthood with both eyes wide open (probably because there's a kid yelling nearby). And of course, we're pretty cynical. Don't believe everything you read or hear, whether it's on the internet, or from a close family or friend (or even from us!). Every child is different, and what works for one may not work for another. Sometimes you just need to try and see for yourself. :)


  1. Love this post (I love chimichurri too)! Thanks for sharing my blog.

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