18 Dinner Ideas for Two That Work For Any Occasion

·5 min read
Neapolitan-Style Margherita Pizza
Neapolitan-Style Margherita Pizza

GREG DUPREE

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. On This Page

    • Italian Recipes

    • Healthy Recipes

    • Easy Recipes

    • Vegetarian Recipes

    • Japanese Recipes

Cooking for two sounds romantic, but it can be a challenge. Not only do you have to decide what the two of you want to share, but many meals are portioned for larger groups or put together from various components that are just too much for a pair. These recipes are ideal for two adults dining together, and may yield just a few leftovers, so you can enjoy the deliciousness one more time.

Whether you're planning a date night, roommate dinner or just cooking for someone you love, these dinner ideas for two prove that two cooks in the kitchen can be a very good thing.

Italian Dinner Ideas for Two

When you think of Italian dinners for two, pasta certainly comes to mind, but there's more to this popular cuisine than a bowl of noodles.

Italian Fish Stew

This quick stew recipe topped with halibut serves four, but it's easy to cut all ingredients in half! Or, just make four servings for simple leftovers for two more dinners.

Fast Italian Fish Stew
Fast Italian Fish Stew

Cacio e Pepe

The perfect pasta recipe for two, once you master this peppery, cheesy spaghetti recipe, you've found a new Italian staple. Make sure your pasta is al dente and you're ready to eat as soon as you're done mixing all the ingredients together, because cacio e pepe tastes best when it's fresh.

RELATED: 9 Ways to Add More Protein to Your Favorite Pasta Dish—and Recipes to Get You Started

cacio-e-pepe-recipe
cacio-e-pepe-recipe

Neapolitan Style Margherita Pizza

Making personal pizzas side by side is the perfect Italian-inflected at-home night for a duo of cooks. Get creative with toppings or stick with the classic mozzarella and basil.

neapolitan-pizza-0519foo
neapolitan-pizza-0519foo

Tortellini with Broccoli Pesto

Like most hearty Italian dishes, this big batch of tortellini will serve more than two people, so reserve some pesto to use in another batch of tortellini or with other pasta. You can also make it all and enjoy the rest cold as a pasta salad the next day.

Tortellini With Broccoli Pesto
Tortellini With Broccoli Pesto

Healthy Dinner Ideas for Two

Fill your body with nutritious superfoods such as quinoa and sunflower seeds, courtesy of these healthy dinner ideas for two.

Nicoise-Inspired Summer Salad

This composed salad looks beautiful, and is as simple as laying out prepped ingredients on a plate. Swap in any type of cured fish you like for protein, or make this healthy salad vegetarian using seitan instead.

Nicoise Inspired Summer Salad
Nicoise Inspired Summer Salad

Skillet Quinoa with Olives and Crispy Tofu

A one-pot meal that's packed with flavor and nutrients, this unexpected combo of olives and crisp tofu is a total winner. If you don't want to share, we don't blame you!

Skillet Quinoa with Olives and Tofu
Skillet Quinoa with Olives and Tofu

Superfood Lentil Salad

Quick charred zucchini and a sunflower seed vinaigrette are just two powerhouses that give this salad depth, texture, and of course, plenty of healthy benefits.

RELATED: 10 Superfoods You Can Keep in the Freezer—and How to Cook With Them

Superfood Lentil Salad Recipe
Superfood Lentil Salad Recipe

Easy Dinner Ideas for Two

Who doesn't love an easy meal? The below dinner ideas for two each require 30 minutes or less of hands-on work, but are filled with bold flavors and varying textures.

Peanut Butter Ramen

Easy enough to make from pantry staples, these instant noodles with peanut sauce are super easy to whip up and fully open to interpretation. Add protein or fresh veggies, make them spicy, or add some crunch on top.

Peanut Butter Ramen Recipe
Peanut Butter Ramen Recipe

Lobster Tails With Cilantro Butter

It's just butter and two lobster tails for each person with this easy yet decadent dinner for two. Add some rolls to dip the butter into and you're golden.

Lobster Tails With Cilantro Butter
Lobster Tails With Cilantro Butter

Slow Cooker Coq au Vin

Bold and rich in flavor, this slowly braised chicken comes together slowly but easily for a special dinner for two, plus leftovers that will taste even better after being reheated in the sauce. Serve with mashed potatoes, noodles, or a baguette.

Slow Cooker Coq au Vin Recipe
Slow Cooker Coq au Vin Recipe

Cheesy Chicken Nachos

Fill a sheet pan with chips and the toppings of your choice and voila, dinner for two! Have some fun and eat them right off the tray, or be a little more proper and plate your nachos. Your call.

Homemade nachos recipes - Cheesy Chicken Nachos
Homemade nachos recipes - Cheesy Chicken Nachos

Vegetarian Dinner Ideas for Two

Don't eat meat? We've got you (and your plus-one) covered with these meat-free meals that taste delicious.

Cheese Soufflé

Whip up a decadent and fluffy soufflé for two that's as impressive as it is tasty. Dig in with two spoons for a special night.

Cheese Souffle
Cheese Souffle

Grilled Halloumi Salad

Grilled cheese takes on a whole new meaning when it's the cheese that hits the heat. This salad full of protein makes for the perfect meal and is even good leftover too.

RELATED: 12 Easy Summer Salad Recipes That Use The Season's Best Ingredients

Grilled Halloumi Salad
Grilled Halloumi Salad

Egg Salad Toast With Fresh Herbs and Capers

This elegant toast is perfect for lunch or dinner and totally vegetarian. The herbs add a level of freshness, and the tanginess from the capers makes this restaurant-worthy.

Egg Salad Toast
Egg Salad Toast

Lemony Lentil Soup

A batch of this bright and healthy plant-based soup is perfect for a cozy dinner—and you may even have leftovers for another meal. Add some pita on the side to dip.

lemony-lentil-soup-0519din
lemony-lentil-soup-0519din

Japanese Dinner Ideas for Two

Skip takeout and whip up a Japanese-inspired meal on your own. Think tempura, nigiri, and more.

Shrimp and Broccoli Tempura

Soft soba and crisp homemade tempura unite as the perfect pair in this refined dinner for two. Delegate one diner to throw together the dipping sauce and the other to fry the goodies for the perfect meal.

Shrimp and Broccoli Tempura, one of our easy shrimp recipes
Shrimp and Broccoli Tempura, one of our easy shrimp recipes

Japanese-Style Shrimp Salad

This quick and healthy meal comes together in 15 minutes and is packed with rich, tangy, and spicy flavors. Purchase pre-cooked shrimp to make the prep even shorter.

Japanese-Style Shrimp Salad Recipe
Japanese-Style Shrimp Salad Recipe

Salmon Nigiri

Sushi night at home is the best night! Make it date night with this nigiri recipe, which can be supplemented with edamame.

Salmon Nigiri
Salmon Nigiri