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Easy Meals

35 Healthy Recipes for Date Night at Home

Cook up something delicious at home with these 35 healthy recipes for date night at home! Each recipe is simple with an elevated touch, making it the perfect recipe for date night in. Pour a glass of wine and have some fun in the kitchen whipping up a meal with the one you love!

If you’re reading this at the time I post this when the coronavirus pandemic is happening in the United States, then it’s safe to say going out to eat is not happening for you either. Restaurants have unfortunately been greatly impacted by the coronavirus, and while we don’t know exactly what the future of restaurant dining will look like yet, we know carry out (in some cases) and date nights at home are our only options.

Rob and I have actually enjoyed pushing ourselves to get more creative in the kitchen and to make things we normally wouldn’t now that we’re staying in for most meals. I do think one of the silver linings of this quarantine is that it’s inspired us to get more creative in the kitchen and take some time to make things we’ve always wanted to learn how to make.

Not only do I think you learn a lot about each other when making a meal together, but it can also be a good bonding activity that turns into something you guys realize you love doing together. Win, win!

The healthy and fun recipes listed below including this pasta one from me are simple, yet elevated making them perfect when you want to whip up something that feels fancy but is pretty simple to make!

Food has an amazing ability to bring us together in good times and in bad. Making a special family recipe can make us feel connected to our loved ones even when we can’t be with them at the moment. Sharing that with some you love is really special and helps you to create your own memories in the kitchen.

So tell Alexa to put on a love songs playlist, pour a crisp glass of wine, and get cooking in the kitchen together!

How to Make Date Night at Home Special

  • Set the mood. Clean up a bit, light some candles, and put on a good playlist. Use the fancier plates or fun glasses for drinks to make everything feel a bit fancier.
  • Start with a charcuterie or appetizer board. It doesn’t have to be exclusive to meats and cheeses. Get creative with what’s in your fridge and pantry. You could even do this for breakfast the next day with a pancake breakfast board.
  • Dress up! I know, I know sweats are life right now, but it can still be a fun pick-me-up to dress up even if you’re just staying home!
  • Create a signature cocktail or mocktail. Recreate your drink of choice at home or make up your own! Bonus points for the person who gets the most creative using herbs, spices, and random ingredients from your cupboards.
  • Turn it into a chopped challenge. Challenge each other to cook with what you have on hand! Pick out a couple of ingredients for the other to cook with and see what they can come up with. Make it a fun game!
white wine zucchini noodles and bucatini with lemon, garlic, tomatoes and capers

I’ve included one of our favorite date night at home inspired recipes. This lemony white wine zucchini noodle pasta dish is delicious and easy to make! Grab the recipe here and bon appetite!

healthy and simple meals for date night at home

Ingredients for Lemony White Wine Zucchini Noodle Pasta

  • spaghetti or bucatini
  • zucchini
  • fresh garlic
  • lemons
  • olive oil
  • butter
  • cherry tomatoes
  • capers
  • parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • red pepper flakes

equipment / utensils

lemony white wine zucchini noodle pasta
lemony white wine zucchini noodle pasta

Lemony White Wine Zucchini Noodle Pasta

Maggie Michalczyk, RDN
Lemony white wine zucchini noodle pasta is a delicious and simple recipe that you'll love to make any time you're in the mood for a simple yet elevated pasta dish! 
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Servings 2 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 lb spaghetti or bucatini
  • 2 medium zucchinis spiralized
  • 1 lemon zested and juiced
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • Pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp. salted butter
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese plus more for garnish
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1/4 cup capers

Instructions
 

  • Cook pasta according to package instructions. Cook it 1 minute less than the package directions instruct. Before draining the pasta, reserve about a cup of the water for later use.
  • Mince the garlic and zest the lemons using a microplane. Cut the lemons in half and add the juice to a small container so it's ready to go.
  • Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant but not browned, about a minute. Add the red pepper flakes and stir for a few more seconds.
  • Add lemon juice and white wine, increase the heat to medium-high, and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, about 3-4 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Add about 1/4 cup of the pasta water, add the butter, and turn off the heat once it's melted.
  • Add the pasta back into the pan, followed by the lemon zest and parmesan cheese, tossing to coat all the spaghetti with the sauce.
  • Add the halved cherry tomatoes and zucchini noodles Add more pasta water as needed, 1 tablespoon at a time. Cook a little more just until the zucchini noodles and cherry tomatoes are tender. 
  • Serve topped with additional  lemon zest, capers, and freshly grated parmesan cheese if desired. Enjoy!
Keyword white wine pasta sauce; lemon pasta; zucchini noodles; bucatini

Dietitian approved date night recipes:

  1. One Pot Creamy Mushroom and Shrimp Pasta Recipe
  2. Mussels Fra Diavolo
  3. 30 Minute Creamy Tomato Gnocchi with Burrata
  4. SCALLOPS AND GRITS WITH BALSAMIC CHERRY TOMATOES
  5. LEMON GARLIC CHICKEN IN A WHITE WINE SAUCE
  6. Blackened Tilapia with Mango Avocado Slaw
  7. Easy Egg Noodle Stir Fry with Veggies and Chicken
  8. Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Burgers
  9. PECORINO ROMANO RISOTTO
  10. Baked Pesto Salmon
  11. VEGAN DARK CHOCOLATE ANTIOXIDANT PUDDING
  12. SIMPLE SAUSAGE AND KALE PIZZA ON A CRISPY TORTILLA
  13. Mussels with White Wine, Garlic and Herbs
  14. ORANGE MAPLE GLAZED SALMON WITH GARLIC AND KALE FARRO SALAD
  15. ONE PAN LEMON ARTICHOKE CHICKEN
  16. GRILLED SHRIMP AND VEGGIE KABOBS
  17. One-Pan Turmeric Chicken and Rice
  18. SALTED TAHINI BROWNIES (SMALL BATCH)
  19. STIR-FRIED THAI CHICKEN WITH NOODLES AND PEANUT SAUCE
  20. PORK CHOPS AND POTATOES SMOTHERED WITH CREAMY DIJON-SPINACH SAUCE
  21. Vegan Mediterranean Vegetable Salad with Prunes and Fruit Dressing
  22. Date Night Herb Crusted Lamb Chops
  23. Healthy Chicken Cordon Bleu
  24. ROMESCO CHICKEN WITH KALE MASHED POTATOES RECIPE
  25. MUSTARD GREEN AND SAUSAGE ORECCHIETTE
  26. Healthy Lemon Carbonara
  27. Cod, Carrot & Green Bean Foil Packets with Lime Avocado Sauce
  28. 30 Minute Butter Dill Baked Salmon with Roasted Asparagus
  29. SCALLOPS IN BROWN BUTTER SAGE SAUCE {DATE NIGHT PASTA}
  30. Pan seared salmon and caramelized grapes
  31. Healthy Baked Orange Chicken

dessert recipes for date night at home:

  1. pumpkin chickpea blondies {GF & DF}
  2. lemon sugar cookies {GF & DF}
  3. pumpkin chocolate chip cookies {GF & DF}
  4. pumpkin cookie skillet {DF & GF}

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35 healthy and fun recipes for date night in image of zoodles with tomatoes and parmesan
Salads

Summer Zoodle Avocado and Peach Salad

This summer zoodle, avocado and peach salad is bursting with flavor from in season produce and packed with nutrition in every bite! It’s summer in a bowl!

Some of the best (in my opinion!) veggies are at their peak of freshness this time of year, and what better way to enjoy them than to throw them all together a salad as delicious as it is beautiful!

Take advantage of summer produce by making this summer zoodle, avocado, and peach salad! Zucchini is in season in the summer and so are peppers, peaches, berries, tomatoes and more! Check out the full list here and stop by your local farmers’ market to score some locally grown produce.

To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of fruit in salads, but juicy, ripe peaches add a sweetness to this salad that perfectly compliments the different veggies.

Zucchini is one of my favorite veggies and goes great with all things pumpkin as evidenced by my recipe for pumpkin zucchini bread and this one for paleo pumpkin zucchini banana bars!

The Perfect Summer Salad Dressing

I find this salad tastes great simply with olive oil and vinegar, however if you are looking for something a little more exciting, here are a few of my favorite dressings:

Summer Salad Wine Pairing

This salad is the perfect for bringing to a summer get together, because there’s something in it that everyone can like. Pick up a bottle of a dry white wine like a Sauvignon Blanc. My favorite is this one from Francis Coppola!

healthy summer zoodle peach salad

Summer Zoodle, Avocado, & Peach Salad

Maggie Michalczyk, RDN
Packed with nearly every veggie thats in season in the summer, this salad is nutritious, delicious and a beautiful dish to bring to any summer get together! 
Servings 3 -4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 4 cups greens I like combining two like butter lettuce + arugula or baby kale + mixed greens
  • 1 avocado sliced
  • 1 medium zucchini spiralized ( I have this sprilizer and it works great)!
  • 1 ripe peach sliced
  • 1-2 ears of corn grilled and cut off the cobb
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes sliced in half
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese optional
  • 3 basil leaves

Instructions
 

  • Prepare lettuce in a large bowl. Spiralize the zucchini and mix into lettuce.
  • Wash and slice tomatoes, avocado, peach. Add to salad, along with the corn.
  • Top with feta cheese and basil leaves.**

Notes

** Grilled chicken, salmon or skirt steak would be great on top! To keep it vegetarian but add a little heartiness add 1 1/2 cup cooked quinoa, farro, or brown rice. 

Hungry for more? Be sure to check out my guide to smart eating for summer and my favorite healthy travel hacks and snacks!

Pin this summer zoodle, avocado, and peach salad for later!