Once Upon A Chef Date Night Ideas

Women's Dating

Once Upon a Chef Offers Delectable Ideas for a Date at Home

Sheena Holt

Written by: Sheena Holt

Sheena Holt

Sheena Holt comes to DatingAdvice with a BA in English and creative writing. Sheena's work has appeared in numerous literary and culture publications, including Lithium Magazine. Her work as an editor and writer has taught her a lot about the ins and outs of dating in the 21st century. As Managing Editor for DatingAdvice.com, she has interviewed hundreds of dating professionals and relationship experts. Sheena also enjoys writing long-form fiction in her spare time to keep her storytelling skills sharp.

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Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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The Short Version: Going to a restaurant isn’t the only way to share a delicious date with your partner. With the help of Once Upon a Chef, you can enjoy high-quality food from the comfort of your home. Once Upon a Chef is a food blog with easy-to-follow and tasty recipes written by classically trained chef Jenn Segal. Jenn recommended to us some easy date night recipes that are proven crowd pleasers. 

Many couples believe that to have a proper date, you need to go out to a restaurant and spend a decent amount of money. But sometimes, sharing a romantic evening with your partner at home is more valuable than going out for the night.

Spending the evening at home and cooking a meal from scratch is a great way to connect with your partner. It’s more intimate than going to a restaurant, allowing you to have deeper conversations and feel closer than you would in public. And when you cook together, you work as a team. Collaboration brings you closer together, whether you’re in the earlier stages of a relationship or you’ve been dating for years. 

Making a meal at home is much more affordable than going out to eat. And when you eat at home, you can spend a fraction of what you’d shell out in a restaurant, so it’s worth taking a look at some recipes for your next date night.

Once Upon a Chef is a great resource for finding recipes that are simple and affordable.

Jennifer Segal, the blogger and cook behind Once Upon a Chef, gave us excellent date night recipe suggestions so readers and their partners can enjoy quick and easy meals that taste great. The blog features tested recipes with approachable ingredients and step-by-step photos.

If you aren’t much of a cook, making a nice meal with your partner can be intimidating. You don’t want to make something that flops or requires undivided attention, especially early on in a relationship when you’re still getting to know each other. It’s best to keep things simple so that you’re not in the kitchen for hours, cooking an elaborate meal and then cleaning up well into the night. That way, you can drink wine while playing a board game or cuddle up on the couch and watch a movie. 

Jennifer recommended to us several recipes that can minimize mess, expense, and stress on date nights. Hopefully with these suggestions in your pocket, you’ll be able to wow that special someone on an at-home date that’s more affordable and intimate than going out.

1. Add Some Spice With Greek Night

The Mediterranean Diet is considered by many dieticians to be the healthiest diet around, leaving many who follow it feeling energized and satiated by its tasty offerings. For an evening of delicious food that will leave you feeling great, try Jennifer’s recommendations for yummy Greek food you can make at home.

Start the evening off right with an easy appetizer (and maybe a cocktail or glass of vino). One of the easiest starters is homemade hummus. “It’s so much better than the store-bought stuff and simple to whip up,” Jennifer said. Serve it with warm pita, pita chips, or fresh veggies on the side for a healthy and tasty snack before the main course.

shrimp saganaki
Shrimp Saganaki is a tasty and healthy addition to your date night.

For an entrée, Jennifer recommends trying her Shrimp Saganaki recipe. Shrimp Saganaki, or Greek-style shrimp, is an easy-to-follow shrimp preparation in which the shrimp is served with feta in a spicy tomato sauce. It is easy to pull together in a single pan, meaning less clean-up and more time spent bonding with your partner. The sauce certainly delivers on flavor, and when you serve it over orzo, it offers the perfect amount of spice. With this meal, you’ll be very glad you decided to stay in.

2. Win Someone Over With a Romantic French Dinner 

There’s nothing more classically romantic than a French dinner for two over candlelight. So put on some jazz records, dim the lights, and get ready to cook a delectable French dinner, all from the comfort of your home.

You really can’t go wrong with brie, and this Baked Brie en Croûte with Honey, Dried Cherries, Rosemary & Pecans recipe is no exception. Baked brie is delicious and fun to make, with many options to let your culinary creativity shine through. You’ll be impressed with yourselves when you pull it out of the oven. 

baked brie
French cuisine is the perfect option for a romantic evening.

For a cocktail in keeping with the French theme, kir royales, or sparkling wine with crème de cassis, are a great way to go. The blackberry flavor of the crème de cassis brings a sweetness and beautiful color to the drink that will leave you wanting more. 

Steak au Poivre, or pepper steak, is a main course that is très français and the perfect entrée for your evening of French dining. If anyone has a case of nerves, smashing the peppercorns with a frying pan will surely lighten the mood. Pair this with cauliflower purée, and you’ve got yourselves a romantic French dinner.

3. Embrace a Cheesy Date and Share a Pizza 

Whether you’re going out for a slice, ordering in, or even heating up from frozen, pizza is an absolute go-to for many couples sharing a meal for a date. But with Jennifer’s help, you and your partner can elevate this Italian favorite into a classy evening at home that will prove extremely fun to create together. 

Before you get started on the pizza, you’ll definitely want a snack to hold you over until dinnertime. Jennifer’s Italian-style popcorn is the perfect appetizer.

When you think of popcorn, you probably don’t imagine it as an Italian dish. But Italian-style popcorn is crazy good, easy to make, and fun to munch on while you create the rest of the meal. It’s the perfect light appetizer to prepare for the start of your evening and get you excited for the dishes to come.

caesar salad
A simple caesar salad pairs well with Jennifer’s Margherita pizza.

Eating pizza by itself can be a bit heavy on carbs, so it’s nice to have a salad on the side to feel healthy and light for the rest of your dinner. The dressing for Jennifer’s Caesar salad is quick to whip up and is not overly garlicky or fishy — a taste you’ll want to avoid in case there’s a goodnight kiss on the horizon. 

With store-bought or homemade pizza dough, this Margherita pizza is a cinch to make and will rival what you would’ve ordered out at a pizzeria. Its thin crust won’t leave you feeling sluggish or bloated, and dressing the pizza with your partner will give you a fun activity to share together.

Don’t Forget Dessert!

No meal is complete without a yummy dessert! This chocolate chip cookie in a mug is a smart way to go because it’s super-easy, perfect for two, and everybody loves chocolate chip cookies! For dessert, you want something very low-stress, and this cookie provides it.

Another foolproof dessert option that will take you both back to your childhoods is a recipe for the best Rice Krispie Treats you’ll ever eat. And you’ll have enough to take to work and share with your co-workers the next day, or of course, come back for seconds after your date heads home!

cookie in a cup
Make chocolate chip cookies for an irresistible dessert.

So if you’re looking for a cozier alternative to a noisy and potentially overpriced restaurant, cooking at home makes for a really fun and intimate date night. Your partner will appreciate the time and thought you took to give them a great experience, and you’ll enjoy getting to show how you care through action. Cheers to that! 

Jenn provides perfected  and approachable recipes for a wide variety of cuisines and all skill levels. If you need help with dinner on date night or any other night, Jenn’s got your back. For more recipes, check out Jennifer’s blog or her cookbooks to find at-home meals of restaurant-level quality.