7 Ideas for Cooking Together to Spice Up Date Night

Add a little extra love to your cooking with a date night together!

Published April 6, 2023
Happy couple having a cooking date night

Date night! But make it a date night spent together in the kitchen. If you, like some of us, can't handle the idea of someone else in the kitchen with you, hang in there because we have plenty of suggestions beyond splitting cooking duties. And if you're someone that can't get enough of cooking with your SO, we have plenty of ways to shake up your time together, keeping it fresher than those fruits and veggies you're working with.

Set the Mood With Music

Music is an important part of life, and it's an essential part of date night, especially at home where you're playing DJ. Meld your preferred stations together into one or design and personalize a playlist together. Take a vintage nostalgic approach à la mix tape or burned CD by crafting a playlist to give to one another.

Need a place to start? Consider a station using Billie Holiday, modern alternative, some 70s jams, or acoustic as inspiration. Then again, a Spotify-curated playlist appropriately titled, "The Perfect Italian Dinner," can really hit the spot.

Quick Tip

Whoever isn't currently taking care of any chopping, sautéeing, or cooking can take charge of the music. Don't forget to poll your listeners for suggestions!

Couple dancing in kitchen

Go for Snacks That Make Good Appetizers

Don't delay the gratification of food! Make your appetizers, snacks, or snacketizer something easy if you're already planning a full night of cooking. Grab some pre-sliced cheese, deli meat, or a salami stick with some crackers, and you're well on your way to a quick charcuterie board. You can even pick up a tray of prepackaged cheese and crackers.

Take it even easier with some fresh fruits or vegetables with dip. You can even do chips and guacamole, homemade or not, and you're in business! If you want to use this time to get the oven warmed up, consider warming up bread to dip in olive oil or even going up a level with some garlic bread.

Try Fun Things to Cook Together on Date Night

Whether it's a romantic date night dinner idea or just something fun, don't overcomplicate it! Or, you know what, do tackle a challenging recipe. You have four sets of hands. You can prepare pasta with meatballs, using ground beef or a meat-alternative, with classic red sauce and spaghetti. Of course, any of those ingredients can be homemade, making sure the sauce is the perfect blend, or rely on the jars to do the work for you.

You can also make pizza, chicken nuggets, grill up some vegetables, or make a one-sheet pan dinner. There are no rules; you can even make a Thanksgiving dinner for two in February. Lead up to your date night in the kitchen with a Costco weeknight dinner or a Trader Joe's meal idea. Don't forget to grab some flowers at Trader Joe's! And wine, obviously.

A few other ideas that would be fun things to cook together on your at-home date night:

  • Classics like surf and turf with steak and lobster tails
  • Copycat recipes from your favorite restaurants
  • Upgrade your basic chicken by making stuffed chicken breasts
  • Picnic-inspired foods that are simple to make
  • Rice or noodle bowls that you can both customize
  • Bourbon shrimp with sautéed veggies
  • Elevated salads with unique ingredients
  • Classic dishes you both love, but make them more upscale with fresh herbs
  • Keep it simple with a gourmet grilled cheese and delicious soup
  • Homemade sushi rolls
  • Veggie and protein stir-fries that keep you both chopping and talking together
  • Make it ultra-romantic with a fondue dinner for two

All that matters is you're building a relationship together. And a dinner. Because, after all, you're building a life together one date night at a time.

Two men having a cooking date night and looking at recipe

Try an at-Home Online Cooking Class

If you want to have a unique experience cooking together at home, you can also look for an online cooking class that you can try on your next date, like an upscale option with a live chef from The Chef & Dish or classes with pre-set dates from a place like CozyMeal. Or, if you want it to be even more relaxed, just look for a video or online tutorial you can follow at your leisure. Just make sure to grab the ingredients in advance.

Make It a (Simplified) Multi-Course Meal

Going out for a multi-course dinner is fun and romantic, but you can also make it an incredible cooking date idea. To keep it stress-free and focus on each other, just keep each course simple. For example, start with a super simple appetizer like fresh fruit and cheese, then prep a protein and veggies you can roast in the oven (like pork tenderloin and butternut squash). While that's cooking, whip up a simple cold soup and tossed salad.

If you're not too full for dessert, try a sweet and satisfying dessert in a mug or just go for a full-bodied wine and dark chocolate.

Don't Forget the Drinks

You know what pairs well with romance, dates, and dinner? A cocktail! Don't forget mocktails, too. You can't count out a mocktail these days with the selection of nonalcoholic liquors at your fingertips, from a virgin cosmo to zero-proof sangria. Keep it classic and romantic with an old-fashioned or luscious cucumber gin martini. Then again, there's something about rum cocktails that always seems to add some love to the air.

If you'd rather split a bottle of cabernet or oaky chardonnay, perhaps pop a bottle of bubbly prosecco, make sure you have a wine key on hand. Wine glasses optional.

Plan Activities Other Than Cooking

Pass the time between recipe instructions and while the food cooks with an activity or three. Set up a board game, like Monopoly, or play a card game while you relax, enjoy a snack, and wait for your dinner to cook. Grab two pairs of controllers to play a friendly (or competitive!) video game together. Make it sweet, make it romantic, make it funny. Maybe the winner gets to skip doing dishes tonight. With all that music, you can dance around the kitchen together.

Ask each other questions you've never thought about, like how they could find themselves in the Guinness Book of World Records or other fun relationship questions. On the other hand, it is date night, so why not put an intimate spin on your conversation. Aren't you curious about what they were thinking on your first date?

And if you're just only starting to learn about each other, keep it light with getting-to-know-you questions. Nothing reveals who is a person is quite like asking their favorite flavor of ice cream or discussing your zodiac compatibility.

Couple playing cards in kitchen and cheersing their beers

Make a Reservation for Two in the Kitchen

Block off your calendars: it's date night, and you don't even need to strap on your heels. Get cozy in your jammies, dressed up with that dress you've been dying to wear, grab your leggings and some slippers. Pop the wine, mise en place your supplies, and pucker up! It's time for falling in love.

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7 Ideas for Cooking Together to Spice Up Date Night