Hear us out: having a date night is a great idea for both your budget and your relationship. A cozy night in can allow you and your partner to spend true quality time together — and save some money. Cooking a meal together can be a great bonding experience; plus, there’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of enjoying something you made from scratch.
However, just because it’s a night in doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be a treat. Rather than cooking the same old meals you always have in your dinner rotation, make the night extra special by trying something new.
Need ideas? We’ve got you covered. Here are three date night meals you should be making.
Homemade Pasta with Bolognese Sauce
Making pasta by hand seems like the kind of thing only professionals do, but it’s actually quite simple — and makes a great date night activity. This four-ingredient recipe includes instructions for how to roll fresh pasta with a stand mixer, pasta maker and by hand, so you don’t even have to have any special tools. Not only is it the perfect activity to do as a team, but homemade pasta makes a romantic finished dish.
Plus, if you’ve never made your own Bolognese sauce, get ready for a house that smells delicious and unbeatable flavor. With high quality ingredients like grass-fed ground beef, imported Italian tomatoes and freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, you can create a show-stopping, restaurant-quality dish. Take note, though: a good Bolognese takes a few hours in order for the flavors to fully develop, so get it on the stove early and crack open a bottle of wine in the meantime.
Surf and Turf
The ultimate date night duo: surf and turf. Pick up a pair of USDA Prime New York strips and some king crab legs, then have yourself a feast. There’s a reason surf and turf is such a popular combination — and we’re particularly big fans of the complementary flavors of steak and crab. This is also a great meal for date night because it allows you and your partner to divide and conquer. With one person manning the grill and another watching the steamer pot, you’ll be the perfect team creating the ideal meal.
Roasted Rack of Lamb
A Frenched rack of lamb makes an impressive entrée that is still relatively simple to make. Try this classic recipe with fresh herbs and serve it up with a side of mint jelly and roasted potatoes. Since lamb isn’t likely one of those meats that makes it into your weekly dinner rotation, this meal is bound to feel extra special.
Whether you cook together or whip up a delicious meal to impress your beau, having a date night in is a great way to relax, reconnect and enjoy each other’s company — without the added distractions and bad lighting of restaurants. As far as we can tell, there’s only one downside to consider: who’s going to do the dishes?