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These romantic dinner ideas are ideal for date nights at home! Cook the recipes together or surprise your special someone.

Romantic Dinner Ideas
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Want to cook up a romantic dinner? Some foods just have that elegant, romantic vibe: whether they’re simple seared scallops or a cozy, hearty lasagna. So here are all our top romantic dinner ideas for impressing your special someone at home! You’ll find dinner recipes, sides, and dessert ideas, which you can cook together as a fun activity, or whip up as a special surprise. There’s nothing more fun than a cooking date (in our minds), so let the fun begin! See also: 25 Top Valentine’s Day Dinner Ideas

And now…the top romantic dinner ideas to try at home!

Want more inspiration?

Here are a few more places for romantic dinner idea inspiration! Check out:

Tips for a cooking date

If you’re planning to cook up some romantic dinner ideas with your partner, you’ve got to be in the right mindset for a cooking date! Here are a few tips we’ve have learned over the years for cooking romantic recipes at home:

  1. Don’t be overly ambitious. If you’re new to the kitchen or short on time, don’t try to make lots of new recipes at once. Pick a main recipe to focus on, then accessorize with a simple salad or dessert.
  2. Avoid starting hungry. Cooking when you’re starving is no fun, and is sure to end in tears or a fight. Start cooking well before you might get hungry — and set out some snacks (and wine?) during the cooking process. Munch on some raw veggies or nuts to avoid a kitchen catastrophe.
  3. Delegate. It’s easiest to work in the kitchen by delegating a “lead” on the recipe, and a “sous chef.” The lead is in charge of reading the recipe and delegating the tasks to both people. It’s the smoothest way to get things done — and you can alternate roles depending on the recipe!
  4. Clean as you go. No one likes ending with a huge pile of dishes! Delegate one person or the other to do some quick cleanup before moving on to the next part of a recipe. It will save you a lot of heartache in the end.
  5. Slow down & just have fun! Sit back and enjoy the process: turn on some music, take a deep breath, and enjoy the time together! Cooking can be fun, but it requires a sense of humor and a relaxed demeanor! Even if it doesn’t turn out quite like the picture or taste like you intended, enjoy the time you spent getting there.
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Sauce for scallops

30 Romantic Dinner Ideas: Scallops with Lemon Herb Sauce & More!

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4 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 3 to 4 servings 1x
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Here are the tricks to how to cook pan seared scallops and get that perfect brown crust! Follow these simple tips for a simple romantic dinner.


  • 1 pound sea scallops, thawed if frozen
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (tarragon, thyme, parsley, etc)


  1. Thaw the scallops, if frozen (see above).
  2. Brine the scallops: In a shallow dish, mix together 4 cups room temperature water and 2 tablespoons kosher salt. Place the scallops in the water and wait for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the scallops and dry thoroughly. Lightly season with a several pinches kosher salt.
  4. Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. If using a medium skillet, cook the scallops in two batches. Once the oil is hot, add the scallops and cook without turning for 2 to 3 minutes,  until an even brown crust clearly forms on bottom.
  5. Flip scallops with tongs. Cook additional 2 to 3 minutes on the other side, until a crust just forms on bottom and the center of the scallop is almost opaque.
  6. Remove the scallops from the skillet to a plate and reduce the heat to medium. Add the butter, lemon juice, minced garlic and chopped herbs. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a spatula to release flavor from any browned bits stuck to the pan. Cook 1 minute until fragrant.
  7. Reduce the heat to low. Add the scallops and cover them with sauce. Then remove from the heat and serve immediately.
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Romantic
  • Diet: Gluten Free

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. ILINA says:

    Wow, such great recipes abound!
    I found my mouth watering, even though i’d just eaten! haha
    It’s funny for me however, because i had already been cooking quite a few of these recipes, as I too, am a long standing experienced home cook, plus i bake & sell.
    I’m a new follower, as you guys do impress me, so may i take this opportunity to say, Thank you for sharing your recipes & your lives with your viewers.

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Thank you!

      1. ILINA says:

        Hi again guys!
        I wish to add, that I think you guys deserve many more supporters, as you’re totally deserving!
        I tried 2 of your recipes last week & both turned out just great & of course, very yummy!
        I love your cooking style & the use of all the fresh ingredients, combined with great & tasty seasoning, all makes for delicious dishes.
        I have also watched a few of your cooking videos & have really enjoyed them.
        I will double check to see if I’ve already subscribed, although I do believe that I have.
        Once again, awesome recipes abound & here’s wishing you & your family well.
        Ilina, from Tasmania, Australia.