Cooking for Two: Date Night Dinner Ideas

These simple dinner ideas from Rachael Ray will help you take your date nights from ordinary to extraordinary with easy recipes, colorful ingredients, and impressive results. Cooking for two is even more fun when you do it together, so enjoy being in the kitchen crafting these sensational dishes that are way better than takeout.

Rachael's Sliced Hanger Steak with Smoky Mustard Dressing and Spring Vegetables with Shallots and Greens

Color your partner impressed with this display of vibrant foods and mouthwatering aromas. Whether it's your first date or your hundredth, steak is often a crowd pleaser. Don't let the picture fool you—you'll easily be able to turn out this impressive plate with minimal effort. All you need is a grill or large cast-iron skillet for the steak and a sauté pan for the veggies. The veggies are quick, taking about 3 to 5 minutes to saute. Then let them simmer while you get the steaks ready. For medium-rare steaks, cook for about 8 minutes. If you prefer medium to medium-well, shoot for 10 minutes. You'll be enjoying your date night dinner in no time—just don't forget to snap a few pics before you dig in!

Stock Up On Ingredients:
dijon mustard
white wine vinegar
extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
vegetable stock

Rachael's Meat Lovers' Sauce with Paccheri or Rigatoni

If your go-to restaurant is anything Italian, then look no further than this delectable, crave-worthy dish for your next date night at home. Your average pasta dish gets a serious upgrade with savory ingredients like pancetta, Italian sausage, and ground beef—yum! The recipe serves four to six, so you can enjoy the tasty leftovers or invite a couple over for double date night. Either way, don't be surprised if you find yourself going back for seconds. Buon appetito!

Stock Up On Ingredients:

Rigatoni pasta
ground sage
beef broth

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Orange-Glazed Pork Chops, Roasted Vegetable Medley and Almond Rice Pilaf

Here's a dish that's fun to make together and enjoy outside on the deck. The glazed pork chop is full of sweet flavor that contrasts nicely with the smokiness of the roasted veggies and the buttery, salty rice. Good food is essential for date night, but don't stress too much over the meal. The time spent together preparing the dish and even cleaning up afterward make the night with your special someone even more memorable. Just make sure your kitchen is stocked with all the must-have cookware you need to whip up this delicious meal.

Stock Up On Ingredients:

slivered almonds
long-grain rice
chicken stock

Chipotle Grilled Fish Tacos with Tequila-Lime Slaw and Avocado Crema

If you're looking for a bit of lighter fare, then these tasty fish tacos may be just the recipe to add to your arsenal. Salt and pepper go a long way, but this dish calls for even more savory seasonings like cumin, paprika, coriander, garlic, and ginger. Bonus: With these simple tacos, you two could be chowing down in 30 minutes or less! Just when you thought this meal couldn't get more fun, the slaw has not one but two shots of tequila, which makes it a real party. Get creative with different toppings to mix and match, and enjoy your colorful culinary creation that looks as great as it tastes.

Stock Up On Ingredients:

ground cumin
ground coriander
vegetable oil
cider vinegar

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The Love Gun Cocktail

Finish the night off right with a cocktail that really packs a punch. Self-taught mixologist John Cusimano (Rach's hubby!) created this love-inspired cocktail with a tasteful blend of champagne, bitters, Aperol, and gin. (P.S. The not-so-secret secret ingredient that spices up this cocktail is a sprig of tarragon.) The drink is then finished off with a citrus blast of fresh blood orange that'll surely delight your palate. There's no need to end the night early after you finish dinner. Pour a drink for you and your sweetheart and snuggle up for a relaxing night in.

Craving more date night dinner ideas? Check out these romantic dinners for whenever you're cooking for two.

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