Home Cooks And Pro Chefs Are Sharing "Designed For Date Night" Recipes, And Their Logic Is Genius (2024)

    "Once, I was pretty sure a man was planning on ghosting me after our date...but he liked this recipe so much that he had to text me and ask for it anyway."

    by Ross YoderBuzzFeed Staff

    I'm a firm believer that cooking a meal for someone is one of the best ways to prove just how much you care about them...or, in some cases, to showcase just how much you're dying to take things to the next level, romantically speaking.

    Bleecker Street Media / Via giphy.com

    For many folks who cook regularly, their go-to date night recipes are chosen for very particular reasons. I was recently reminded of that when I asked readers to share their favorite home-cooked meals that were designed for date night.

    These are the recipes that home cooks swear by when it comes to creating impeccable date night vibes for their long-term partners, new-ish significant others, or first dates, and they run the gamut from "pretty darn fancy" to "literally anyone could cook this."

    To kick things off, I'll go first: I whipped up these slab bacon tacos with scallion crema for my soon-to-be husband the first time I ever cooked for him. Hot damn, these are exceptional, but also exceptionally involved if I'm being 100% honest. But did they end up sealing the deal? I'd bet my life on it.

    Home Cooks And Pro Chefs Are Sharing "Designed For Date Night" Recipes, And Their Logic Is Genius (2)

    Ross Yoder

    Here's what our readers had to say:

    1. "Ratatouille! It's so sexy and luscious, and as a long and slow weekend cook, there's lots of anticipation. Plus, we have fond memories of a couples' vacay we once took in France."

    Home Cooks And Pro Chefs Are Sharing "Designed For Date Night" Recipes, And Their Logic Is Genius (3)

    u/julessrules / Via reddit.com

    —Renee, New York

    2. "I wanted to make a real panty-dropper, show-stopper meal for Valentine's Day, so I came up with this uni pasta. It's very easy to prepare — it only takes 15 minutes! That means less time in the kitchen and more time to do other date night things 😉. Also, uni is an aphrodisiac. Nothing screams 'I love you' more than uni."

    Home Cooks And Pro Chefs Are Sharing "Designed For Date Night" Recipes, And Their Logic Is Genius (4)

    Jecca Chantilly / Via jeccachantilly.com

    "Confirming that panties were dropped that day. 🫡"

    —Jecca, New York

    3. "Black bean, corn, and poblano enchiladas. I made up the recipe one day with leftovers in the fridge, but my now-fiancé loved them so much that he now requests them on a near-weekly basis. TBH, I'm somewhat convinced these enchiladas are the reason he asked me to marry him."

    Home Cooks And Pro Chefs Are Sharing "Designed For Date Night" Recipes, And Their Logic Is Genius (5)

    u/jnnyjff / Via reddit.com

    Here's how to make them for your own special someone:

    1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Sauté 1 diced poblano pepper and 1 cup of fresh corn in oil until softened. Add fresh garlic, cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt, and pepper to taste, and sauté for one minute longer, until fragrant.

    2. Add the mixture to a bowl along with 1 can of drained and rinsed black beans, 1 cup of shredded pepper jack cheese, and 2 tablespoons of your favorite enchilada sauce. Mix until thoroughly combined.

    3. Distribute the filling across 6 flour tortillas and roll tightly. Add a thin layer of the enchilada sauce to your baking dish, then evenly distribute the rolled tortillas on top. Lightly cover the tortillas in more enchilada sauce and top with another cup of shredded cheese. Cover the dish in foil and bake for 20-25 minutes.

    4. Remove the foil and broil on low for 3-5 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and starting to brown. Allow to cool slightly and serve hot.

    —Anonymous, 31, Washington

    4. "I make this tofu larb, which is a meat-free version of a popular Thai dish. For a new romantic interest, it's quick to put together, fun to eat, and super tasty without being too heavy. Not for nothing, it also makes you seem like you know your sh*t! I personally like to reference that one time I went to Thailand, if the date is going well..."

    Home Cooks And Pro Chefs Are Sharing "Designed For Date Night" Recipes, And Their Logic Is Genius (6)

    u/52weeksoffooood / Via reddit.com

    "Once, I'm pretty sure a man was planning on ghosting me after our date, but he liked it so much that he hadto text me and ask for the recipe."

    —Jaya, United Kingdom

    5. "Ina Garten's Engagement Chicken served with oven-roasted smashed potatoes and broccolini. It's the way to his heart every single time."

    Home Cooks And Pro Chefs Are Sharing "Designed For Date Night" Recipes, And Their Logic Is Genius (7)

    u/pewpoo / Via reddit.com

    deborahherman

    6. "I feel like you can't get more 'date night' than this brown butter lobster pasta. I made this for our first Valentine's Day after having a baby since we couldn't go out, so we could still have a fancy date night-type meal in the comfort of our own home."

    Home Cooks And Pro Chefs Are Sharing "Designed For Date Night" Recipes, And Their Logic Is Genius (8)

    u/GingerandSeaSalt / Via reddit.com

    —Victoria, North Carolina

    7. "Red wine-braised beef over mashed potatoes. It was the first 'fancy' meal I made my boyfriend at the dinner where he met my parents for the first time, and now, he requests it at least once a year. It's been 10 years, and it's still his absolute favorite."

    Home Cooks And Pro Chefs Are Sharing "Designed For Date Night" Recipes, And Their Logic Is Genius (9)

    Peter Starman / Getty Images

    pennyr4e22f207c

    8. "One time I made this seared steak with peppers and Samin Nosrat's focaccia, which is the recipe I use most frequently. My boyfriend still talks about it, but honestly, it was all about the steak sandwich he made with the leftovers I sent him home with the next day — the best type of calling card."

    Home Cooks And Pro Chefs Are Sharing "Designed For Date Night" Recipes, And Their Logic Is Genius (10)

    Clare Langan / Via instagram.com

    —Clare, California

    9. "My favorite date night recipe is black-eyed pea jambalaya! It was the first meal I cooked for my girlfriend, and it's usually my opener when cooking for anyone I care about. It's filled with flavor, spice, and Southern Comfort...and it's also my way of seeing if you'll be able to handle the food you'll eat if you're going to become a part of my family."

    Home Cooks And Pro Chefs Are Sharing "Designed For Date Night" Recipes, And Their Logic Is Genius (11)

    Jaxx Drinkwater Southern Cooking & BBQ / Via youtu.be

    "When my girlfriend wasn't eating a lot, I was so terrified I made a bad batch or that she didn't like my cooking. Turns out she could've eaten the whole pot, she said, but since she knew she wanted to have sex, she held back."

    —MiMi, New York

    10. "For me, it's Marcella Hazan's potato gnocchi with tomato butter sauce. It shows you've got some moves, but it's still really simple. It was the first proper meal I made for my now-wife. We were 10 days into dating, and I made this at midnight with ingredients I bought after I finished work at 11:00 p.m. I wanted to impress her, and I wanted to see if she felt the same way I do about food."

    Home Cooks And Pro Chefs Are Sharing "Designed For Date Night" Recipes, And Their Logic Is Genius (12)

    Asher Cooks

    "She loved the meal, and I loved cooking for her. Suffice it to say, it was a lock at first bite."

    —Asher, New York

    11. "I made this old-ass recipe for blackened chicken nachos when I was in the infancy of my culinary journey, and it became my boyfriend's favorite nacho recipe of all time. He requests it from me monthly, and I will always make it for him because I love that he loves when I make them for him."

    Home Cooks And Pro Chefs Are Sharing "Designed For Date Night" Recipes, And Their Logic Is Genius (13)

    u/leighleigh26 / Via reddit.com

    "We'll sit and eat those sloppy nachos together on the couch for the rest of our lives."

    —David, New York

    12. "For our first anniversary, my fiancé took us to a fancy restaurant in Scottsdale. The entire night was so fun and romantic, and we truly ordered half the menu. But the dish that we both crave every time our anniversary rolls around is their miso-glazed black cod. It's absolutely divine, and it's not difficult to make at home."

    Home Cooks And Pro Chefs Are Sharing "Designed For Date Night" Recipes, And Their Logic Is Genius (14)

    Tati Campelo / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    —Anonymous, 30, Arizona

    13. "My favorite date night meal is bruschetta chicken. It's the first meal I made my now-husband, and I tell him all the time it's why he married me."

    Home Cooks And Pro Chefs Are Sharing "Designed For Date Night" Recipes, And Their Logic Is Genius (15)

    u/uk_kali / Via reddit.com

    Neenee

    14. "My current boyfriend loves when I make shrimp stir-fry. I buy noodles, frozen shrimp, stir-fry mix, and teriyaki sauce. Sauté the veggies and shrimp, cook the noodles, then quickly simmer everything in the sauce."

    Home Cooks And Pro Chefs Are Sharing "Designed For Date Night" Recipes, And Their Logic Is Genius (16)

    u/Unathletic24 / Via reddit.com

    "I also sometimes buy chicken soup dumplings and serve it with those."

    rebekahe48054d13b

    15. "Risotto is arguably the perfect carb for a date night. Sure, it's a little time-consuming, but it's actually really easy. And since it involves wine, you and your date can polish off the rest of the bottle while you talk and stir."

    Home Cooks And Pro Chefs Are Sharing "Designed For Date Night" Recipes, And Their Logic Is Genius (17)

    ©daniela White Images / Getty Images

    "Plus, it's delicious."

    —Anonymous, 29

    16. "I used to always make these vermouth-braised short ribs, or really any braised short rib recipe. They're great for a date or hosting because the prep is all ahead of time, so you don't need to be stressed right before the big moment. You'll seem relaxed before the date and look like you have your sh*t together."

    Home Cooks And Pro Chefs Are Sharing "Designed For Date Night" Recipes, And Their Logic Is Genius (18)

    Lauripatterson / Getty Images

    —Abigail, New York

    If you hit a paywall when accessing the recipe above, you can find a very similar version here.

    17. "I swear by these turkey meatballs in tomato sauce. They're so good! For date night, just know that turkey is pretty un-f*ck-up-able compared to beef for anyone who's nervous about cooking meat."

    Home Cooks And Pro Chefs Are Sharing "Designed For Date Night" Recipes, And Their Logic Is Genius (19)

    ©daniela White Images / Getty Images

    —Sophia, New York

    18. "Homemade empanadas! My boyfriend, now husband, ate so many that he got sick, so I couldn't make them for a long time. Thirteen years later, I can finally make them again...but I still have to cut him off after four or five."

    Home Cooks And Pro Chefs Are Sharing "Designed For Date Night" Recipes, And Their Logic Is Genius (20)

    Edith Polverini / Getty Images

    "Not trying to go through another empanada hiatus."

    dontwannabutigotta

    19. "Teriyaki salmon. I make it for my boyfriend every Monday — we call it Salmon Mondays. There's no recipe because I'm lazy AF and bad at cooking, but I combine Trader Joe's Soyaki sauce and salmon in a plastic bag, let it marinate, and bake it for exactly 23 minutes."

    Home Cooks And Pro Chefs Are Sharing "Designed For Date Night" Recipes, And Their Logic Is Genius (21)

    Ivanmateev / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    —Amanda, New York

    20. "When my boyfriend cooks for me, he'll always make these very particular 'burritos,' inspired by Stephen King's The Dark Tower. We customize the lettuce wraps Korean-style, with marinated pork, rice, garlic, Korean peppers, and gochujang."

    Home Cooks And Pro Chefs Are Sharing "Designed For Date Night" Recipes, And Their Logic Is Genius (22)

    u/AdonisDraws / Via reddit.com

    sisterhavoc

    21. And finally: "When my wife and I started dating, my cooking was actually the thing that she was most attracted to. The first meal I made for her was fettuccine Alfredo with chicken, not knowing it was her favorite pasta dish. We've been together almost 14 years now, and I still make that dish from time to time."

    Home Cooks And Pro Chefs Are Sharing "Designed For Date Night" Recipes, And Their Logic Is Genius (23)

    Lauripatterson / Getty Images

    "She always looks at me the same way she did 14 years ago — proud of her chef. And yes, I actually am a professional chef...so that helps."

    scottaaronm

    What's your go-to date night recipe, and what makes it a total slam dunk for impressing someone? Tell me all about it in the comments below. ⬇️

    Be sure to include a link, if you have one!

    Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

    Home Cooks And Pro Chefs Are Sharing "Designed For Date Night" Recipes, And Their Logic Is Genius (2024)
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