19 Easy Dinners That Will Impress The Heck Out Of Your Date

Your lady or gentleman caller never has to know that their perfect meal wasn’t actually hard to make.

2. A low-maintenance but very chic kale risotto:

The beauty of this vegetarian risotto is that you bake it instead of standing there stirring for 20 minutes, so you can devote your undivided attention to your bae. Store-bought pesto is totally fine if you don’t have time to DIY.

3. Individual steaks with sweet balsamic-roasted cherry tomatoes:

You could cover a piece of cardboard in roasted cherry tomatoes and it would be delicious. But steak is much better than cardboard.

4. Perfectly seared scallops with herb-infused brown butter:

Scallops are so fast to cook that you can do it while your date is watching and show them how talented you are with a frying pan. (Just maybe do a practice round first?) Serve these with a starchy side or plenty of good bread to soak up the sauce.

5. Roasted sweet potatoes topped with a pretty mix of chickpeas, tomatoes and herb sauce:

Just act like you came up with that genius flavor combo yourself. No big deal.

6. Cozy chicken piccata:

I don’t know about you, but if someone cooks me something with capers in it, I’m going to be very impressed. Serve these up with pasta.

7. Mussels steamed in white wine:

Mussels are super fast to cook, suggest a very romantic Parisian-bistro vibe, and dealing with the shells provides a fun(ny) date activity.

8. Super-simple cacio e pepe spaghetti:

This is the extremely classy, grownup version of the butter-and-cheese microwave pasta that was your passion as an 8-year-old. But it still only takes four ingredients.

10. A cheesy skillet full of chicken and zucchini parm:

This borrows the things that make everyone love pizza (tomato, cheese) and applies them to something a little more impressive.

11. Creamy lemon & asparagus pasta that just happens to be vegan:

Because nothing says “I love you” like working with someone’s dietary limitations and making it look easy.

12. His-and-hers pork chops with mustard greens:

You can skip the quick-pickled shallots if you’re in a hurry, but they’re worth a lot of extra credit points. Try kale if you can’t find mustard greens.

14. Crispy chicken and Brussels sprouts that get cozy in one pan:

You brown the chicken, add the sprouts, and roast with a little broth until everything’s tender on the inside. LIKE YOUR DATE’S HEART.

15. A bright coconut curry that doesn’t actually require exotic ingredients:

Nothing you can’t find at your normal grocery store, and you could make it a day ahead of time if you’re prepping for a weeknight assignation. Serve this with rice or quinoa.

17. Shrimp scampi lounging on a bed of linguine:

Shrimp is the fastest thing in the world to cook, and the only other stuff you’ll need is basic pantry staples. Plus, you’ll have wine leftover!

19. A simple veggie stir-fry that actually makes tofu taste good:

Believe me, that accomplishment will get you major points with any cute vegetarian.

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