Cover What to Cook for Date Night Alex Lvrs / Unsplash

They say two is better than one—get messy and have some fun in the kitchen as you whip up these date night dishes

Letting loose in the kitchen can be both relaxing and exciting, especially when you've got great company alongside you (and some wine never hurts, either). For your next date night, consider whipping up some of these hands-on yet rewarding dishes with your partner for some deliciously flirty memories. 

See also: Quarantine Recipes: Easy Steak Meals You Can Make At Home

1. Homemade Pizza

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What to Cook for Date Night Vincent Rivaud / Pexels
Above Photo: Vincent Rivaud / Pexels

Whether it’s the thought of exploring endless delicious possibilities or the inevitable mess you stir up in the kitchen, there’s something innately whimsical about making pizza at home. This makes for a playful, and hands-on date for you and your partner.

Up the ante by making your own pizza dough—this recipe has options for both a slow fermentation, which requires leaving the dough in the fridge for 24 hours and a quick fermentation, which requires just 90 minutes. While the first option will produce better flavour, the latter will work in a pinch.

From there, a world of pizzas awaits you. Red or white sauce; topped with fresh mozzarella, prosciutto, and rocket, or adorned with grilled asparagus, chilli flakes, and crumbled sausage? Make your own, or keep things interesting and make one for each other, and enjoy.

Tatler Tip: No pizza oven or pizza stone? No problem. You can easily use a preheated inverted baking sheet, cast iron pan, and other common kitchen items in its place.

See also: How to Make Your Own Pizza at Home: Tips From Our Tatler Friends

2. Fresh Pasta

Demanding a great deal of kneading, rolling, folding, and slicing, fresh pasta is the perfect tag-team recipe. Although kitchen tools like a pasta maker, a stand mixer with appropriate attachments, and a drying rack will surely make the job easier, you can easily go without them and follow the sans-equipment guidelines here. Even by hand, the pasta comes together in just under an hour, including the time it needs to rest, and cooks in just five minutes.

Use it in your go-to pasta recipe, or after all that hard work, pour yourselves a glass of wine and reach for that bottle of pre-made sauce—you deserve it.

Tatler Tip: For a vegan-friendly alternative, check out this recipe, which even offers a vibrant green spinach variant.

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What to Cook for Date Night Rebeca G Sendroiu / Unsplash
Above Photo: Rebeca G Sendroiu / Unsplash

3. Dumplings

Pork chive dumplings are one of the easiest kinds to make. With a simple blend of flour and water, preparing the wrapper dough is a breeze, and the filling is just as straightforward. The real challenge here lies in shaping, filling, and folding the dumplings. As suggested in the recipe, consider forming a two-person assembly line. Swap halfway through so both of you can perfect each technique.

The Japanese gyoza is another approachable dumpling for first-timers, even with homemade gyoza wrappers. While the filling has a few more ingredients, it comes together easily in a food processor—the trick to master here, in addition to the pleats, is getting that crisp, golden-brown bottom and a smooth top from steaming.

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What to Cook for Date Night Matthieu Joannon / Unsplash
Above Photo: Matthieu Joannon / Unsplash

4. Korean Barbecue

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What to Cook for Date Night Kristian Ryan / Unsplash
Above Photo: Kristian Ryan / Unsplash

If you’d rather dig straight into the meal, a Korean barbecue feast is what you’re after. Ideally, this would be done over a charcoal grill, but a hot plate or grill over a portable induction cooktop or butane stove will work too.

From there, it’s all about preference. Across beef, pork, and chicken, explore bulgogi (marinated in a soy-based sauce), samgyeopsal (often cooked plain, with a side of dipping sauces like ssamjang or gireumjang), cheesy chicken buldak, and many more. Serve with lettuce, garlic, scallions, chillies, and rice, and you’re in for a vibrant feast.

Complete the feast with fresh, biting, and briny side dishes known as banchan, and be sure not to forget the soju!

See also: 8 Kimchi Recipes You Have To Try: Bibim Guksu, Kimchi Jjigae, And More

5. Sushi

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What to Cook for Date Night Derek Duran / Unsplash
Above Photo: Derek Duran / Unsplash

For a healthy recipe idea, consider making sushi rolls with your partner. While the task looks easy, it may take a couple of tries to nail the filling and rolling technique to achieve the beautiful cross-section you're after.

After you season your sushi rice, there is a vast horizon of maki variants to explore. Start with a simple hosomaki, which uses just one filling, or the chunkier chumaki and futomaki like this avocado and salmon roll, or take up a challenge with an inside-out uramaki.

Tatler Tip: Don't have a sushi mat? Check out this trick, which uses parchment paper for leverage.

See also: 7 Famous Restaurants In Tokyo With A Fascinating History

6. Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

Chocolate-covered strawberries are wonderfully easy to make, yet exude a certain romance that makes them ideal for date night. Experiment with a range of decorations, like a drizzle of white chocolate for a classic but stylish look, or explore textural toppings like finely-chopped almonds, toasted coconut, or sprinkles.

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What to Cook for Date Night Serghei Savchiuc / Unsplash
Above Photo: Serghei Savchiuc / Unsplash
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