Mar
22

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. http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/oven-risotto-with-kale-pesto.

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. http://keystothecucina.com/2014/07/31/pan-seared-steak-with-balsamic-and-basil-cherry-tomatoes/.

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. http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/scallops-with-herbed-brown-butter.

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. http://www.loveandlemons.com/2013/11/25/stuffed-acorn-squash/.

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. http://www.redshallotkitchen.com/2014/01/chicken-piccata.html.

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. http://www.inspiredtaste.net/1773/steamed-mussels-in-a-white-wine-broth/.

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. http://www.buzzfeed.com/melissaharrison/heres-what-you-should-make-for-your-next-date-night-dinner#.tfbvOmEyWK.

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. http://www.simplebites.net/skillet-chicken-and-zucchini-parmesan/.

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. http://minimalistbaker.com/creamy-vegan-lemon-asparagus-pasta/.

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. http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/flattened-pork-chops-with-greens-and-mustard-pan-sauce.

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. http://soletshangout.com/one-pan-crispy-chicken-legs-brussels-sprouts-gluten-free-paleo/.

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. http://minimalistbaker.com/30-minute-coconut-curry/.

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! http://cookingalamel.com/2014/04/shrimp-scampi.html.

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. http://minimalistbaker.com/tofu-that-tastes-good-stir-fry/.

Read more: http://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelysanders/easy-date-dinners

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