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65 Easy Dinner Recipes for Two

This week, you’re finally having a date night (on the couch, but still), just the two of you. Before you order a pizza per usual, consider cooking a meal together instead. Not only are the results way tastier than takeout, but you can pop open a bottle of wine to sip on while you work to make the task decidedly romantic. Here, 65 easy dinner recipes for two that you and your boo will love. Note: Some of these recipes make more than two servings, but we like to think of that as built-in meal prep (leftovers FTW).

68 Date Night Recipes That Are Shockingly Simple (and Romantic)


1. Pasta Pomodoro with Chicken and Goat Cheese

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, beginner-friendly, high protein

Honestly, if you can make homemade roasted red pepper pomodoro sauce in five minutes, why do you ever even go to a restaurant, let alone buy jarred marinara?

2. Sweet Potato Noodles with Sweet and Spicy Peanut Sauce

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegan, gluten free, <30 minutes

The only time-consuming aspect of this meal is making the peanut sauce, which involves dumping all the ingredients into a food processor and blitzing away. Sounds easy enough, no?

3. Turkey-Stuffed Acorn Squash

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: gluten free, high protein, beginner-friendly

Eat your heart out, butternut. Tons of earthy mushrooms and crisp apples make this a fantastic recipe for a chilly evening.

4. Poblano and Mushroom Tacos with Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

  • Time Commitment: 55 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, beginner-friendly

If your taco night revolves around ground beef, it’s time to expand your repertoire. These are colorful, bursting with flavor, vegetarian and so easy to prepare. (So basically, they’re fantastic in every way.)

5. Roasted Cauliflower and Black Pepper Ravioli

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, beginner-friendly

OK, we’re not making the ravioli from scratch or anything, but adding roasted cauliflower, spinach and white beans on top definitely makes it special enough for date night.

6. Grilled Flatbread Pizza with Artichoke, Ricotta and Lemon

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, special occasion-worthy

Think of this flatbread slathered in creamy ricotta as spinach and artichoke dip's sophisticated cousin. Bonus? Store-bought flatbread means no kneading necessary.

7. Blueberry Balsamic Grilled Turkey Salad

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours and 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: make ahead, beginner-friendly, high protein

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more colorful salad. This gorgeous meal includes juicy peaches, vitamin C-packed bell peppers and a sweet blueberry balsamic glaze that you can prep ahead.

8. Roasted Cauliflower Grilled Cheese

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, beginner-friendly

Gooey Havarti and melted Gouda share the spotlight with roasted cauliflower and lemon mustard aioli in this grown-up take on grilled cheese. (But honestly, your kids would probably dig it, too.)

9. Lasagna-Stuffed Mushrooms

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, low carb, keto-friendly

Basically, you’re stuffing all the goodness of pizza (cheese, herbs and marinara) into a delicious portobello mushroom cap instead of layering it atop dough.

10. Greek Grilled Vegetable Bowls

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, beginner-friendly, make ahead

Some nights, you want a nice, light salad. But tonight, you’re too hungry for that. Here, farro, chickpeas and avocado tzatziki will fill you (and your S.O.) right up.

11. Greek Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, beginner-friendly, gluten free

Too lazy to use a bowl? Yeah, us too. Use a sweet potato as a vessel for these Greek veggies instead.

12. Mango Black Bean Quesadillas

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, kid-friendly,. beginner-friendly, vegetarian

If you have 15 minutes, you’ve got time to whip up these quesadillas. We never thought about putting mango inside our tortillas before, but now we don’t know how we ever lived without it.

13. Chilaquiles with Poached Eggs and Spicy Honey

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: special occasion-worthy, beginner-friendly, make ahead

This traditional Mexican dish is typically savory, but this riff has a touch of sweetness, thanks to orange blossom honey. Infuse it ahead to save time before dinner.

14. Polenta and Meatballs

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 5 minutes
  • Why We Love It: high protein, special occasion-worthy

Spaghetti and meatballs? Yawn. It’s time to give your weekly dinner staple a much-needed makeover. Enter hearty polenta, a classy twist on an old favorite.

15. Whole30 Stuffed Peppers

  • Time Commitment: 4 hours and 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: slow cooker recipe, gluten free, dairy free

A rich Italian dish with a Whole30 twist. Bursting with cauliflower rice, ground turkey and aromatic basil, these stuffed peppers are beyond filling.

16. Brown Rice Chirashi Bowl

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: special occasion-worthy, beginner-friendly

Your favorite sushi joint will miss you. These Japanese chirashi bowls feature high-quality fish, a vinegar-based dressing for the rice and tons of raw veggies. 

17. Paprika Grilled Salmon Spring Salad

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, make ahead, dairy free

It’s packed with potatoes, peas, asparagus and salmon, and is hearty enough to satisfy even the most salad-averse diners.

18. Brussels Sprout, Tempeh and Soba Noodle Skillet

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegan, beginner-friendly, one pan

This meal has everything: our favorite cold-weather veggie, soba noodles and plant-based protein. Did we mention it's vegan to boot?

19. Pan-Roasted Trout with Walnut Green Sauce

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: special occasion-worthy, high protein, beginner-friendly

This aromatic green sauce, a new take on classic German grune sosse, is the ultimate topper for fish. (BTW, this recipe is ready in 50 minutes, but 30 of them are just for chilling the sauce.)

20. Quinoa and Black Bean Tacos

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: one pan, vegan, gluten free

Ten minutes prep + seven ingredients = one delicious vegetarian meal (and two happy campers). We'll take extra cilantro-lime cashew cream, please.

21. Healthy Chicken Noodle Soup

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: high protein, beginner-friendly, crowd-pleaser

A combination of vermicelli and veggie noodles gives this comforting classic a healthier, more colorful update. Use rice vermicelli to make the dish gluten free.

22. Foolproof Cheater’s Confit

  • Time Commitment: 3 hours and 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: special occasion-worthy, high protein

Complete with endive salad in citrusy mustard dressing. If you use frozen duck legs, be sure to thaw them completely before beginning. (Swap duck legs for chicken legs if you must.)

23. Beetroot Risotto

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegan, gluten free, beginner-friendly, one pan

There’s a definite wow factor to this jewel-toned meal, not to mention the pops of mint and cinnamon that will surprise your taste buds and impress your boo.

24. Chicken Kebabs with Pesto Rice

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes (plus marinating time)
  • Why We Love It: high protein, beginner-friendly, make ahead

Pairing herb-marinated chicken with nutty, bright pesto is an ingenious way to amp up an Italian dinner (without relying on pasta, as usual).

25. Sheet Pan Pork Chops with Honey Mustard Parsnips

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: high protein, sheet pan recipe, beginner-friendly

A classic one-pan meal for two, we love to see it. Bacon adds smokiness, while Dijon honey mustard offers the dish tangy sweetness.

26. Bacon Cheddar Cauliflower Soup

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: gluten free, kid-friendly, beginner-friendly

Nothing says, “Let’s cozy up on the couch for date night while it lightly snows outside” like a creamy, garlicky, bacon-y bowl of soup. Serve with crusty bread for dunking.

27. Steak Carbonara

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: high protein, <30 minutes, <10 ingredients

An indulgent pasta dish that will be done almost as soon as you’re finished grating the Parmesan and chopping the basil. The key to the short cook time is using thin-sliced sirloin.

28. Lemon Chicken with Sauteed Greens

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: high protein, beginner-friendly

Why aren't all veggies cooked with bacon? Its rendered fat offers so much more flavor than standard EVOO.

29. Roasted Sweet Potato and Kale Bowl

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegan, gluten free, beginner-friendly

Between the crunchy kale, juicy pomegranate seeds and earthy sweet potato, we bet this will quickly turn into a go-to dinner for you. Make extra of the spicy chickpeas for snacking.

30. Pasta Alla Norma

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, beginner-friendly, one pan

File this under “looks ridiculously impressive but secretly isn’t.” Here, rigatoni is tossed with herbs, tomato sauce and roasted eggplant. Trust us: You’ll go back for seconds.

31. Easy Keto Tuna Nicoise Salad

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: low carb, keto-friendly, <30 minutes

This keto twist focuses on protein (tuna and eggs) and low-carb veggies (leafy greens and green beans) in lieu of carby potatoes. Très chic, if we do say so ourselves.

32. Ramp Anchovy Carbonara Pasta

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: gluten free, beginner-friendly, <30 minutes

An incredibly straightforward wheat-free pasta recipe that packs a huge punch of flavor. It just might make your date think you’re a chef at first bite.

33. Roasted Cod with Mint Chimichurri

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, high protein

Transform what some people consider a bland fish into a remarkable dish bursting with parsley, cilantro, mint and garlic. (You’ll have chimichurri sauce leftover for sandwiches and salads, too.)

34. Chipotle Zucchini and Corn Tacos

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, beginner-friendly, gluten free

Veggie tacos don’t need to revolve around beans. These boast roasted zucchini, corn, avocado, and a drool-worthy cumin and adobo sauce.

35. Saucy Pineapple BBQ Chicken Bowls

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, crowd-pleaser, Instant Pot recipe

Whether you slow cook for six hours or pressure cook for eight minutes, you’ll be amazed by how sweet, tangy and easy these BBQ bowls are.

36. Honey Garlic Salmon with Apple Dijon Salad

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: high protein, beginner-friendly, <10 ingredients

Here’s a meal for someone who likes to receive praise without doing a ton of work (in other words, all of us). Let the super-simple Dijon, soy sauce and honey glaze do all the talking. 

37. Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, no cook, make ahead

Tasty Moroccan spices like turmeric, cinnamon and cumin zest up the rotisserie chicken base (add tahini, if you'd like). Trading pita for lettuce cups keeps the carbs low too.

38. Mango Chicken Stir Fry

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: one pan, high protein, beginner-friendly

This stir-fry cooks in just 15 minutes and delivers crunchy snow peas, creamy hints of cashew butter, sweet mango and spicy ginger.

39. Kung Pao Chickpea Brussels Sprout Stir Fry

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, one pan, vegan

Searching for a stir fry with a little extra kick? Look no further than this dish, made with sinus-clearing kung pao sauce.

easy dinner recipes for two oven baked chicken kofta wraps recipe
KRISTEN KILPATRICK/THE DEFINED DISH

40. Oven-Baked Chicken Kofta Wraps

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, high protein, low carb

Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, Paleo-friendly and Whole30 approved, these lettuce wraps are nutritious in every sense of the word.

41. Easy, Healthy Orange Cauliflower

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegan, <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly

Orange chicken might not be the epitome of health food, but this plant-based rendition uses no oil and only a little bit of sugar (use even less, if you insist).

42. Indian Pumpkin Butter Chickpeas

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, one pan, beginner-friendly

Chickpeas are an underrated main, but just two cans of garbanzos create a shockingly protein-packed dinner for two. Swap butter out for coconut oil to make it vegan.

easy dinner recipes 10 minute healthy cauliflower fried rice
DAMN DELICIOUS

43. Healthy Cauliflower Fried Rice

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, low carb, one pan, keto-friendly

You can whip up this healthier version of fried rice faster than you can say, "delivery, please." That's a win-win dinner situation in our book.

44. Lemony Broccolini Pasta

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, beginner-friendly, vegetarian

Hey, there’s nothing wrong with dumping jarred marinara onto your plate of pasta. But sometimes we want something a little more elegant that takes just as little effort to prepare. Enter this 15-minute gem.

45. One-Pan Roasted Chicken with Carrots

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: sheet pan recipe, high protein, special occasion-worthy

Cook it all at once on a sheet pan and enjoy dinner without a pile of pots and pans in the sink. Serve with rice or raw greens.

46. Slow Cooker Chicken Teriyaki

  • Time Commitment: 6 hours and 5 minutes)
  • Why We Love It: slow cooker recipe, high protein, kid-friendly

Fact: Making dinner in your Crockpot rocks. So the next time you go to plug it in, pile in the ingredients for this slow cooker chicken teriyaki recipe and let the magic begin.

47. Zucchini Pizza

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: gluten free, low carb, beginner-friendly

Why do we love this recipe? Not only is this pizza super simple to make, but it's also gluten-free and Paleo-friendly. Add wine for an instant date night (but you knew that already).

easy dinner recipes for two chicken quinoa veggie bowl recipe
THE CLEAN EATING COUPLE

48. Chicken Quinoa Veggie Bowls

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, make ahead, <10 ingredients

We're still wondering how something so delicious and nutritious can be so easy to make. Chalk it up to the four-ingredient lemon-tahini sauce.

49. Simple Moroccan Salmon

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: high protein, <30 minutes, <10 ingredients

Fire up the taste buds for a pan-seared salmon that's as gorgeous as it is satiating.

easy dinner recipes for two lobster risotto recipe1
PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

50. Lobster Risotto

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: special occasion-worthy, <10 ingredients

Looking to really impress? This decadent meal for two has date night written all over it. Bonus points for adding steak a la surf and turf.

easy dinner recipes for two grilled peach and halloumi salad with lemon pesto dressing recipe
PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

51. Grilled Peach and Halloumi Salad with Lemon-Pesto Dressing

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: special occasion-worthy, vegetarian, beginner-friendly

Now this is what we call a dinner salad. Prepare the whole thing ahead except for the peaches, then grill them right before dinner.

easy dinner recipes for two honey lime chicken and veggies in foil recipe
PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

52. Honey-Lime Chicken and Veggies in Foil

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: high protein, beginner-friendly

Dirty dishes just...ruin the mood. Cook your dinner in foil on the barbecue instead if the weather permits. (If not, lean on a grill pan indoors.)

53. Cauliflower Sweet Potato Burgers

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, beginner-friendly, kid-friendly

Forget the dry veggie burgers you've had in the past—these are oh so moist. Smashed avocado and spicy mayo take the family-friendly handhelds over the top.

54. Salmon al Pastor

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: high protein, special occasion-worthy, beginner-friendly

Inspired by the iconic Mexican pork dish, this salmon is a zillion times better than your usual garlic-lemon-black pepper combo. Serve it over rice or flake it up to fill tacos.

55. Skillet Roast Chicken with Peaches, Tomatoes and Red Onion

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: special occasion-worthy, beginner-friendly, high protein

Your trusty cast iron skillet has done it again. This chicken main tastes divine as is, but you should really eat it alfresco if possible.

56. One-Pot Pasta Limone

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, one pot, <10 ingredients

Throw all of the ingredients in the pot and boil 'em to tender, citrusy perfection. We'll take crushed red pepper flakes on ours, please.

57. Skillet Pasta with Summer Squash, Ricotta and Basil

  • Time Commitment: 55 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, one pan, special occasion-worthy

When the weather warms up, spaghetti and meatballs just don't fit the bill. Try this summer stunner on for size instead (and pair it with your favorite pinot grigio).

58. Zoodles with Summer Vegetables

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, vegan, low carb, keto-friendly

You just took a trip to the farmers market and now have enough zucchini, cherry tomatoes and corn to feed a football team for a week. Well, now you know what to do with it all.

59. Skillet Steak with Asparagus and Potatoes

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, special occasion-worthy, one pan

Make this once and you'll never be too intimidated to cook steak at home again. Don't even get us started on the garlicky herb sauce.

60. Cheesy Kale Farfalle Pasta

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, vegetarian, kid-friendly

We'd happily eat a bowl of buttered noodles for dinner, but it's not difficult to dress up pasta without a ton of effort. This cheesy kale farfalle from Stephanie Nass, chef and founder of Chefanie, is proof.

61. Soy-Ginger Salmon Bowls with Coconut Rice

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, high protein

The three-ingredient coconut rice is a total game-changer. And the soy-ginger sauce is equal parts zingy and sweet (the latter courtesy of brown sugar).

62. Crispy, Spicy Cauliflower Tacos with Jicama-Carrot Slaw

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegan, dairy free, special occasion-worthy

In case your boo is totally plant-based. Fair warning: You're going to go gaga for the hemp-rich cilantro crema, which we'd eat all by itself, TBH.

63. Ina Garten’s Creamy Chicken Thighs with Lemon and Thyme

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: special occasion-worthy, high protein, beginner-friendly

This decidedly classy recipe starts on a sheet pan and ends in your go-to skillet. Might we suggest following in Our Lady of Cosmos's footsteps by pairing the dish with cocktails?

64. Cacio e Pepe Flatbread

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly

Aka the tastiest white pizza you'll ever make. It stars mozzarella di bufala, which is creamier, richer and higher in fat than standard mozz.

65. Skillet Gnocchi Bake with Sausage and Kale

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, one pan, beginner-friendly

Store-bought gnocchi never looked so good. Your kids will be chomping at the bit for the leftovers (yes, even the picky ones).

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Taryn Pire is PureWow’s associate food editor. A former bartender and barista, she’s been writing about all things delicious since 2016, developing recipes, reviewing restaurants and investigating food trends at Food52, New Jersey Family Magazine and Taste Talks. When she isn’t testing TikTok’s latest viral recipe, she’s having popcorn for dinner and posting about it on Instagram @cookingwithpire.