Light the scented candles, bring out the bubbly and get ready for an expensive-looking dinner at home. Why spend all of your money when you can make yourself out to be a kind, thoughtful, loving dinner date? When a date takes me out to a restaurant, I cannot help but think that little or no thought went into it, which does change how much I value the day and keep it in mind. Most of us dial a restaurant for a last minute reservation when we want to impress our significant others but as we grow older, time spent on us tends to impress us more than money spent on us.
So, whether you want to impress your date with a thoughtful dinner or whip something together it is definitely a better option than your classic night out. Also, if you can tolerate each other in the kitchen that is proof enough that your relationship is going to stand the test of time. Did we mention that you can walk around in pajamas and watch Netflix straight after?
So now that we have won you over, let us move on to the - 'what do I cook with my limited abilities?' Fortunately, we have got you covered. Here are some fancy-looking dishes that will work for every date and taste pretty amazing too!
20 Grapefruit-Gremolata Salmon
If you are looking for something healthy, elegant and fruity all at once, this could be perfect for you. This light and healthy dish of salmon is great if you are health-conscious but want something exceptionally tasty. It consists of broiled grapefruit, gremolata and salmon. It is pretty easy to make with your total kitchen time being less than 30 minutes at the end of it all. The grapefruit really works well with the salmon and gives the dish that much-needed element of sweetness that it is otherwise missing.
19 Pulled Pork
This pulled pork secretly relies on a slow cooker so that makes your work easier. Serve this between buns with some coleslaw and you have got yourself a winner. The easiest and most tender pulled pork will always come out of a slow cooker so this recipe is always your best bet - date or not. Your juicy pork can be made into a burger, used as toppings for nachos and just had plain. Your options are pretty much endless. This one is easy on your workload and you are going to have a great night as well.
18 Sage & Prosciutto Chicken Saltimbocca
Saltimbocca means 'to jump' into a diner's mouth in Italy and this dish does just that. You will fall in love with the amazing flavors that come from sage leaves and prosciutto. Stopping yourself from making a second plate after your date leaves is going to be an impossible task. This dish only takes 25 minutes to get on the table and is perfect if you are in a hurry. It has only 355 calories to it and is pretty light as well. Here is a recipe to get you started. Get ready for the best chicken dish ever, made better by a toast with a glass of white at the end!
17 Cajun Butter Steak
This Cajun Butter Steak is heaven on a plate. It is extremely tender and it bursts with flavor. This is the type of dish that will make someone want a second date pretty fast. If this is your first date and you are trying to play it safe when it comes to the food, this dish is perfect for you. Pretty much everyone loves it at first bite and it is extremely filling. The buttery goodness will leave you wishing you had leftovers. Uncork your finest red and settle down for a great meal!
16 Giant Stuffed Meatballs
Cheese, spinach and onions stuffed into a ball means something absolutely amazing to us. Essentially your final product is going to be meatballs that have upped their game. This recipe has two different types of cheeses which was enough to get us excited. Also, these meatballs are absolutely gigantic which means the child inside you rejoices. You can also convince yourself that it is healthy since half the stuffing is veggies. What is not to love about this idea? End the night with the poached pears recipe below and you have a successful date planned on budget and on time.
15 Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo
This seafood dish from heaven itself has the creamiest sauce ever and it only takes 40 minutes to get it on the table. This comfort food has shrimp, Alfredo sauce and baguettes altogether which makes me the happiest person alive. For the Alfredo sauce, try and use Cabot’s Seriously Sharp Cheddar Cheese. Their cheese is absolutely amazing and all of their profits go back to the farmers which means a good deed plus an amazing dinner for you. Here is an amazing recipe to get you started! It is only 440 calories at the end of the day, is not too heavy on your budget and tastes amazing.
14 Asparagus Stuffed Chicken
What makes baked chicken better you ask? When it is stuffed with asparagus and Parmesan cheese. This lemon and herb seasoned chicken is super easy to make and is healthy as well. The lemon's zesty nature makes the dish melt-in-you-mouth good and the cheese burst in the middle is the icing on the cake. Talking about cake- that is a great way to end the night after a great chicken. The dish looks really elegant as well so if you eat with your eyes like we do, you are going to love this one!
13 Chicken Mole
Chicken Mole, pronounced Chicken mo-LAY, is Mexico's gift to the world and is your ticket to a great date. If you want a much-needed kick to your classic chicken dish then this sauce will definitely do the trick. It tastes great with some rice and salad on the side followed by a piece of cake. It is also really filling so you do not have to worry about needing a midnight snack. A Chicken Mole dish for dinner is only 311 calories so you are staying healthy as well if that helps! Here is a great recipe to follow for beginners.
12 Crispy Chicken
Crispy Chicken is the right decision pretty much any day of the week. Brown the chicken, add some veggies, grab some drinks and you have got yourself a great night all set up. This recipe uses Brussels sprouts along with the crispy chicken and the two really seem to work wonders together. It is also a gluten-free dish so if you are trying to avoid gluten and think your options are limited, add this one to the list. Even if sprouts are not your cup of tea, trust us, and try this dish. A lot may change.
11 Smoked Salmon Pasta
This one sounds so fancy which means brownie points for you and yet it is one of the simplest recipes on this list. You can get this dish on the table in less than 30 minutes and it is light and tasty so it is perfect for a weekday. Smoked salmon pasta is a lighter version of pasta carbonara so if you want less hassle, same burst of flavour- try this. It also looks pretty great. This dish would make any Nonna proud so get cracking. Do not forget the lemon juice at the end- the zestiness really helps!
10 Kale Risotto
If you are trying to switch over to a healthier lifestyle and ditch the bag of crisps for good - this one would work perfectly for you. This vegetarian risotto is perfect for the couple that is counting calories but looking for something that tastes delicious. This dish is baked which means you do not have to stand there stirring a pot getting bored out of your mind. Everything about this recipe is self-sufficient and you will be done making the dish in no time. It is also the perfect way to eat that kale that you bought thinking it was a healthy addition to your grocery basket.
9 Flank Steak
If the 'steaks' are high for your date, this could the perfect dish for you. Who can go wrong with meat and potatoes? You are going to need 30 minutes and a date that loves meat as much as they love you. This recipe is accompanied by a marinade but you can skip that if needed. This goes really well with a glass of red so get ready for a fancy date at half the price. Mashed potatoes and a salad on the side really pull the dish together if you have the time and energy for that.
8 Roast Chicken
Who can go wrong with a roast chicken? Who does not love Christmas? You are giving your bae the ability to live a little bit of Christmas when it not the season. If that does not make them love you, who knows what will? This roast chicken is great for a romantic dinner and you have the amazing stuffing to look forward to as well. Oh, and there are also leftovers for the next day! Second date? There is literally nothing bad about this idea. Follow this recipe to woo just about anyone you have your eye on.
7 Pan-Seared Cod
This light dish is perfect for a lazy night in and you will have just enough room for dessert. This pan-seared cod is then added into a white wine tomato basil sauce. If you are trying to recover from a food overload from the day before and need something light, this could do the trick. It takes about 40 minutes to get this dish on the table and the flavors are absolutely amazing when the work together. It is an easy as pie recipe to follow and the only problem is you may dig without being able to wait for your date.
6 Chicken Pot Pie
Why do we love visiting our grandparents' houses? Yes, because we love them but also because of the amazing chicken pot pies that keep us coming back for more. They look so appealing when they are done and you just cannot wait to dig in. The only problem with this one is that you may not be able to hold a conversation because your concentration is going to be on the pot pies. The recipe can be made in a flash in a large saucepan so get ready for memories and amazing flavors. You will also probably have leftovers for the next day so that is a bonus!
5 Morocc0-Style Prawns
These spicy Morocco-style prawns are easy to make and can impress anyone. The pomegranates add a bit of sweetness to the dish which really gets the balance right. This recipe will take you barely twenty minutes so if you are really short on time and love seafood- go for it. Finish this dish with a few mint leaves and you have got yourself one hell of a dish. Remember to cut your veggies really small and focus on those strong flavors- you will go to bed with a happy stomach if you do. We do recommend adding some fried kale on the side- the two work really well together!
4 Coconut Curry
As exotic as this one sounds, you can find everything at your local grocery store and it has hardly any cooking or prep time necessary. It tastes absolutely amazing with some rice on the side and it makes you look like you know your way around the kitchen. If you love a good curry and have the deep urge to try a dish that reminds you of every good curry ever- this one is it! Coconut milk is the secret ingredient for most curries and this one focuses on that so it made its way to our list pretty quickly. Here is a great recipe to get you started!
3 Thailand-style mussels
Really short on time and looking for something out of this world that is high on the spice? Try these Thailand-style mussels. Perfect for a diet and pretty strong if that is what you are looking for. It takes 15 minutes from start to finish and makes you look like you know your way around a kitchen. This dish is super easy to make and you can even switch the spring onions with plain onions if you want it even stronger. The mussels are dairy-free as well so if that is a box you are looking to tick, we got you covered. Pair it with almond and honey dairy-free ice cream for dessert.
2 Citrus-poached pears
This Valentine's Day worthy dessert is nothing short of a masterpiece. It is the perfect cherry on the cake and a wonderful end to a great night. This recipe is also gluten-free and vegetarian so if you are looking to impress a vegetarian cutie - we got you covered. It is sweet and zesty which means it is perfect for a rainy day. You can also substitute the orange juice for mandarin if that works better for you. Either way, this is a great dessert since it is also really low on fat so there is no after-guilt that you have to deal with.
1 Sea bass in puff pastry
Does your date love Thanksgiving and seafood? Well, alert them saying you have managed to combine both. This may be the perfect alternative to a roast of any kind for a seafood lover and they will be sure to thank you. It is stuffed with prawns if you thought the dish could not get any better and has a side salsa verde. It definitely gets people's attention focused on the table. This one takes a little longer at one hour and twenty minutes but hey- if you want to really impress, go all out. Get ready for a second date because this one is a winner. Here is the recipe!