While most people wouldn't say no to a romantic dinner at a fancy restaurant with candles and red roses, there's something so sweet and charming about a date night in. It's an opportunity for couples to talk about their day, what's new in their lives right now, and feel connected to each other.
What do you do when you want to make dinner for the person that you love the most but you just aren't that confident in the kitchen? Maybe when you and your boyfriend first started dating, you invited him over to your apartment for dinner and served him a meal from your local gourmet market (shhh... you totally pretended that you whipped it up). You know he loves you for you and doesn't care that you can't cook, but hey, you would love to be a culinary whiz and do something nice for him.
It's okay if you're not super experienced when it comes to making dinner. There are so many recipes that you can try out and before you know it, you'll be cooking a ton and wondering why you didn't do this sooner.
These 25 dummy-proof dishes are simple and perfect for women who don't know how to cook for their men.
25 Impress Your Man With These Super Simple Sweet And Tangy Chicken Thighs
Chicken thighs might not be something that you're used to eating or cooking since chicken breasts have been more popular for a while. Chicken thighs are delicious, though, and the best part is that you can make an amazing dinner with them in no time flat.
These marinated chicken thighs from i Food Blogger couldn't be simpler. You'll make a marinade for the chicken out of sesame oil, lemon juice, soy sauce, olive oil, salt and pepper, garlic, Worcestershire sauce and honey, and marinade it for at least thirty minutes. All you have to do next is bake the chicken for between 25 and 30 minutes.
Your man will definitely be impressed with these sweet, tangy chicken thighs, and you can make an easy side too. Potatoes, rice, or salad would be nice.
24 Cozy Up Together With This Comfort Food Pasta Made With Goat Cheese And Sun-Dried Tomato
Pasta just says comfort food. Okay, so do pizza and fried chicken and potato chips and french fries... but when you want to cook dinner for your significant other, you want a comfort food dish that is simple to make and also really yummy. Pasta is going to be your best bet.
This recipe from Cooking For Keeps for Creamy Goat Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta is great for a cozy night in with your special guy. You'll need the ingredients mentioned in the recipe title along with one chicken breast, kale, garlic, onion, and spices like garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika.
This will for sure become your favorite dish when you're craving comfort food (and your boyfriend will agree).
23 This Simple Sheet Pan Supper Of Curry Chicken And Vegetables Will Make The Perfect Date Night Dish
Does your boyfriend love spicy food like chicken curry and yet you're kind of intimidated to try your hand at making it?
If your answer to that question is yes, then this recipe from Lexi's Clean Kitchen is exactly what you can make for dinner.
It's simple and will make a flawless date night dish. You'll season chicken breasts, carrots, and cauliflower with cinnamon, garlic powder, cumin, yellow curry powder, and salt and pepper. You'll bake them together on a sheet pan with oil and before you know it, you'll think, "This is amazing. Sheet pans are totally the way to go."
You'll both enjoy the spicy flavors and it'll feel like something new and special.
22 Tacos Meet Lasagna In This Easy-To-Make Casserole That Your Boyfriend Won't Believe Is Healthy, Too
You can't log onto Instagram on a Tuesday and not see a million posts of delicious tacos. Chances are, your boyfriend loves tacos, too (because who doesn't?!) and would love nothing more than for you to make him tacos for dinner.
You can make this Taco Lasagna Casserole from Paleomg and make him super happy. Tacos meet lasagna. Yes, this is really a thing, and yes, it's easy to make.
With only twenty minutes of prep time, you'll season ground beef with taco spices, then layer it with salsa and tortillas in a baking dish.
Since this dish is from a Paleo food blog, the suggested tortillas are a brand made with almond or cassava flour. Your boyfriend will love this delicious meal and the fact that it's good for him, too.
21 Show Your Boyfriend How Much You Love Him With These Impressive Greek-Style Stuffed Peppers
Red bell peppers are a sweet, healthy addition to salads or vegetable platters, and they can be dinner, too. You might not have made stuffed peppers before and it's time to change that.
These peppers stuffed with quinoa, artichokes from a jar, ground chicken, and cheese. Thankfully, you can use jarred artichokes and don't have to worry about chopping a giant, rock-hard artichoke, which can be intimidating for new cooks.
With this recipe from Wry Toast, you'll make something new and different and definitely interesting. Show your boyfriend how much you care and make this dish from the heart.
20 Cook Up This Easy Macaroni Casserole When Your Man's Had A Bad Day Or A Busy Week At Work
Mac and cheese is impossible not to love. Everyone grows up eating it since it's such a child-friendly food, and you never really grow out of craving it on a regular basis.
It goes without saying that your boyfriend loves mac and cheese and would be impressed and thrilled if you made him some for dinner. You can go one step further and make this Easy Macaroni Casserole from Skinnytaste.
You'll cook ground turkey with vegetables, add tomato sauce and pasta to the baking dish, and then bake it for just under one hour.
It's got protein and, well, it's a pasta dish, so it's an automatic home run.
19 Every Man Loves Chicken And Potatoes So Whip This Dinner Up In The Slow Cooker In The A.M.
You often hear that men love meat and potatoes, and they also love chicken and potatoes. This type of meal is comforting, full of protein and carbs, and hearty.
Slow cookers are a savior when you're not confident in the kitchen yet and want to make an easy and delicious dinner. With this recipe from Delish, you can put chicken and baby red potatoes, along with olive oil, garlic powder, lemon, and salt and pepper, in the slow cooker in the morning and come home after work to dinner. The recipe suggests cooking it on the high setting of the slow cooker for four hours, but you could also cook it on low for 8 hours.
Your boyfriend will be more than happy with this meal, and you'll feel good that you made it.
18 Warm Up With This Delicious 5-Ingredient Chili For Saturday's Date Night In
It's hard to imagine a more comforting (and a spicier) dish than chili. It's got all of the things that men tend to like: lots of beef, lots of spicy flavor, and the opportunity for carb-heavy toppings (like tortilla chips, for example).
There's no reason to be intimidated by chili recipes with tons of ingredients and different steps. Instead, try this 5-Ingredient Chili from Gimme Some Oven and serve it up to your boyfriend.
It's a great dish when you're having date night in on a Saturday night. Best of all, it has only five ingredients: three cans of diced tomatoes with green chilies, ground turkey or beef, two cans of the beans of your choice, chili powder, and an onion.
17 Spice Up Your Monday Night And Make Your BF This Taco Salad That He's Sure To Love
If it was up to your boyfriend to choose dinner every night of the week, it's very possible that he would pick tacos. They are just so good: a spicy and flavorful protein, veggies like cabbage or lettuce or maybe a fancy slaw, and awesome toppings such as avocado or guac.
Taco salads are a popular meal because they are simple to make any night of the week and feel healthier since you're skipping the tortillas. When you're looking to spice up a regular old weeknight and cook for your boyfriend, it's a good idea to make this taco salad from Rainbow Delicious.
It's really easy: you'll make ground beef with taco seasonings and then add the salad ingredients (lettuce, avocado, and tomato).
16 Your Man Will Enjoy These Chicken Tacos And Love That You Made The Effort (But It Was So Easy)
Cooking for someone you love is such a nice thing to do. It's also pretty cool when they're impressed and think that you went to a ton of effort and you can sit there with a big grin on your face, knowing how simple it really was.
That's how you'll feel when you make these chicken tacos from How Sweet Eats. All you'll do is cook chicken thighs in a skillet, add seasonings (garlic powder, chipotle chili powder, and cumin are just a few), and add everything to a taco. The suggested toppings are queso fresco cheese and avocados.
No man would complain about his girlfriend making chicken tacos for him (and the cheese and avocado are a nice bonus).
15 Get Over Your Fear Of Cooking Fish And Impress Your Guy With This Simple Lemon Garlic Herb Salmon
Fish can be intimidating for even confident cooks, so chances are, if you're not used to getting into the kitchen very often, this is one protein that you tend to avoid.
That totally changes right now. This Lemon Garlic Herb Salmon recipe form Cafe Delites isn't hard to make at all. In fact, it's super simple.
Lemon juice, salmon, garlic, butter, salt and pepper, and olive oil. Those are the only ingredients that you need. You'll love learning how to cook salmon and should definitely pat yourself on the back after. Your boyfriend will be impressed and you'll impress yourself, too.
14 Every Man Loves A Good Roast Chicken, And This One's Easy And Full Of Delicious Herbs
In only half an hour, you can roast chicken drumsticks coated in dried basil, dried oregano, olive oil, cayenne pepper, garlic and onion powder, and salt and pepper.
The result? Juicy, amazing chicken that your boyfriend will absolutely love... and that you won't believe that you made. But you did. You totally did it and it's awesome.
Every man loves roast chicken and this recipe is sure to be a winner. Since it has dried herbs in it, that makes it special and different, so it's definitely not your average roast chicken recipe. Serve it with anything that you want, from rice to potatoes and vegetables, and you'll have a really nice meal.
13 Your Man Will Ask For Seconds Of This 30-Minute Shepherd's Pie
Maybe you have fond memories of eating your mom's shepherd pie as a kid, or maybe you've always found this dish comforting and yet figured it was too much to tackle in your own kitchen.
Good news: this recipe from Rachel Ray, which you can find on the Food Network website, is ready in only half an hour.
Men tend to love hearty, comfort food, and it seems very likely that your special guy will ask for seconds (or even thirds) when you make him this for dinner. With simple ingredients like carrots, frozen peas, beef stock, ground beef, an onion, and flour, you'll enjoy the process of whipping it up.
12 This Penne With Meat Sauce Will Make A Hearty Dinner For Any Evening Of The Week
Dinner doesn't get much heartier than pasta with meat sauce. When you and your boyfriend want something warm and comforting and you want to get into the kitchen, this recipe from Mayesh Magazine is a great idea.
If you're nervous about making pasta sauce, don't worry: all you need to do is cook an onion, garlic, and mushrooms, then the ground beef, and add tomato sauce. You can easily find one at your local supermarket. This dish is super easy and your boyfriend will be so happy to enjoy a bowl of pasta with you any night of the week.
11 These BBQ Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs Are So Easy — You'll Both Be Impressed
The cool thing about cooking for the person that you love is definitely impressing them with your culinary skills... and with this recipe for BBQ Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs from Fed and Fit, you'll impress yourself, too.
Why not try your hand at cooking your own ribs? Sure, you might be intimidated because ribs seem a lot harder to cook than something like chicken breast or even ground beef, but this recipe will be easy to follow.
You'll make your own barbeque sauce, also from the same food blog, and your slow cooker will help you out. You'll most likely end up making these all the time.
10 Dinner Doesn't Get Faster Or Simple Than This Sheet Pan Sausage And Vegetable Dish Which Brings The Sweet And The Savory
Most guys aren't going to turn down a dinner that has meat in it. When you bring this sheet pan dinner of sausage and vegetables out of the oven, your boyfriend is going to be really happy, and he's going to love that you went to the effort.
The best part about this recipe from Averie Cooks? The fact that you honestly went to no trouble at all. You put sausage, yellow peppers, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, zucchini, olive oil, and some dried herbs on a sheet pan and baked it. You also added some cheese when it came out of the oven. That was it. Sounds great, right?
9 This Fresh Spaghetti Recipe Is The Perfect Summertime Meal
Did you know that you can make a super quick pasta sauce from cherry tomatoes? It's easy to think that the only way to make tomato sauce is to stand over a hot stove for hours, and yet this Fresh Summer Spaghetti recipe from The Endless Meal couldn't be easier or sound more delicious.
It's got a lot going on flavor-wise: it's briny from the balsamic vinegar, sweet from the cooked cherry tomatoes, and it's got carbs, so your boyfriend will be happy.
This recipe is great for a summertime date night in. It won't take much time at all but feels more special than plain pasta and tomato sauce.
8 No Guy Would Say No To This BBQ Chicken Potato Casserole (And He'll Totally Ask For Seconds)
Do you want to make your boyfriend dinner and have him ask for seconds? Of course, right? That's always the goal. You'll definitely meet that goal if you make this BBQ Potato Chicken Potato Casserole from Fed and Fit.
Whip up this homemade barbeque sauce with tomato paste, coconut aminos, garlic powder, apple cider vinegar, a can of tomatoes, chili powder, and salt and pepper. You'll then make a simple chicken breast, shred it with forks, and bake the chicken in the sauce with potatoes that you've boiled.
It'll feel awesome to make such a great meal, and you'll both be happy.
7 You Really Can Make Steak (And Add In Some Veggies, Too) With This Quick Sheet Pan Supper That's Perfect For Two
Just like a slow cooker, using a sheet pan to make dinner can really make your life easier. If your boyfriend is a meat and potatoes kind of guy, and it's likely that he is, then he'll be pleased with this sheet pan dinner of potatoes, vegetables, and steak.
If you're not used to being in the kitchen, you probably haven't made steak before, and this is a great, easy recipe to try. It's a perfect dinner for two. This sheet pan of steak, red onion, yellow pepper, broccoli, and potatoes only needs garlic, olive oil, and Italian seasoning. And it only needs ten minutes in the oven. Yes. Ten minutes.
It couldn't be simpler or a more perfect date night meal.
6 Whip Up A Romantic Meal Of Lemon Pesto Penne In Only 20 Minutes And Show Him How Much You Care
This Lemon Pesto Penne from Pinch of Yum is both easy to make and also sounds really romantic. You, the guy you love, and two bowls of yummy pasta with feta cheese, baby broccoli, pesto, lemon, garlic, and oven roasted tomatoes. So fancy. So good. Does it get any better than that?!
Since this meal can be made in only twenty minutes, you'll have more than enough time to spend with your boyfriend enjoying your (not that hard) work in the kitchen. You won't feel like you spent hours making dinner, which is good news since you're learning to cook.
5 A Simple Taco Pasta Salad Couldn't Be More Delicious — It's Spicy, Sweet, Creamy, And Sure To Be A Date Night Hit
Tacos are amazing, pasta is amazing, and this Taco Pasta Salad from Kitchen Gidget is doubly delicious.
With black beans, ground beef, cheese, tomatoes, onion, French salad dressing, and of course pasta, this dish has it all. It's spicy, sweet, creamy, and beefy.
These ingredients are great on their own and together, they will make a great meal that you can make any time. This will become a staple in your date night repertoire, especially when your boyfriend takes his first bite and asks you to make it every other night this week. Hey, it was so easy, you won't mind at all.
4 Garlic Butter Chicken Just Screams Romance And The Parmesan Cauliflower Rice Makes This Gourmet Yet Healthy, Too
Picture you and your special someone sitting at your dining room table (or your kitchen counter if you have a small condo) and enjoying a nice, lovely dinner of Garlic Butter Chicken. No, you didn't get take-out from a fancy restaurant in your neighborhood. You made this dinner yourself.
Try this recipe from Eat Well 101 the next time that you're in the mood for a romantic gourmet dinner that honestly doesn't take very long at all. Another awesome part of this recipe is the side dish: cauliflower rice served with parmesan cheese on it.
Every man loves cheese, and your boyfriend will be none the wiser that he's eating a vegetable and not starchy rice (well, unless you tell him, which is totally your call).
3 You'll Want To Make This Delicious Quick Chicken Curry Every Time You're Having A Cozy Night In With The One You Love
Staying home with the person that you love doesn't have to mean ordering in, too. Push past your kitchen fears and get cozy with this Quick Chicken Curry recipe from Family Food on the Table.
Yes, you can absolutely make chicken curry from scratch, and it'll be easier than you thought.
The best part? You can make this in fifteen minutes. Yes, you read that right. How? You'll use a rotisserie chicken that you can find at your local supermarket and add Greek yogurt, curry powder, diced tomatoes, garlic and an onion, milk, and salt and pepper.
Your boyfriend will be so impressed and this is sure to become another favorite recipe.
2 In Only Half An Hour, Make This Loaded Taco Skillet For You And Your Boyfriend (And Watch Him Compliment You Like Crazy)
Everyone loves to cook dinner for someone that they care about and get showered with compliments. Sure, you can do something nice for someone for the sake of it. It's just cool to get positive feedback, and that's exactly what will happen if you make this Loaded Taco Skillet from Lexi's Clean Kitchen for your boyfriend.
You can make it under an hour (in half an hour, in fact). You'll cook vegetables like pepper, zucchini, and carrots, along with ground turkey seasoned with taco spices. Black beans, spinach, a can of tomatoes, and garlic and onion round out the dish.
He won't be able to stop saying how much he loves it... and you, of course.
1 Forget The Take-Out Menus And Show Your Man That Steak Fajitas Can Be Good For You When You Load Up On Some Sweet Potatoes
Steak fajitas are a fun meal to order in a restaurant. You can skip the take-out menus and the restaurant meal and make these for your boyfriend at home.
When you try out this recipe for Steak Fajita Loaded Sweet Potatoes from Paleomg, you'll not only serve up a hearty and meaty dinner for your significant other but you'll both enjoy healthy sweet potatoes. With peppers and spices like chili powder, cumin, paprika, and onion and garlic powder, you won't believe how good this is.
With easy and delicious meals like these, your boyfriend will want to stay in a lot more often, and you'll be more than happy to cook for him since you'll be a pro in the kitchen.