13 Dinner Ideas for Two When You’re Not Sure What to Make

When you’re cooking for a friend or partner, it’s hard to come by recipes that are portioned for just two people. Family-sized recipes abound in the food blogging world, so you either have leftovers for days or have to become a mathematician, scaling down the portions and enduring a confusing cooking time. You might even be left with a funky-tasting final product if you didn’t get the portions just right.

Ditch the mounds of leftovers by cooking a perfectly portioned dinner for two. These 13 recipes will make for a delicious weeknight meal — no math equations or extra-large Tupperware required.

French Onion Beef Tenderloin

Dinner Ideas for Two: French Onion Beef Tenderloin
Image: Eating Well

If you love the flavors of a classic French restaurant, you'll love this French onion beef tenderloin for two. Traditionally a complicated dish, this particular recipe will have you prepping for as little as 45 minutes while you treat the steaks with some incredible spices. To take this dish to the next level, serve with green beans and mashed potatoes with buttermilk and chives.

Giant Skillet Stuffed Meatballs, for Two

Dinner Ideas for Two: Giant Skillet Stuffed Meatballs
Image: Wry Toast

Nobody can say no to meatballs, and these giant skillet stuffed meatballs are especially irresistible. Made with extra-lean ground beef, these meatballs are baked as opposed to fried and are a great option if you’re on a low-carb diet. If you’re not, enjoy with a carb of your choice. This recipe will take you 45 minutes from start to finish.

Eggplant Florentine With Fire Roasted Tomato Sauce & Toasted Ciabatta

Dinner Ideas for Two: Eggplant Florentine
Image: Purple Carrot

For those looking for a meat-free healthy dinner, this eggplant florentine is for you! Made with tofu ricotta and delicious tomato sauce, this dish doesn't just taste good, it looks good too. It takes a total of 35 minutes to prep and cook and makes for an easy weeknight dinner date.

Seared Salmon With Pesto Fettuccine for Two

Dinner Ideas for Two: Seared Salmon With Pesto Fettuccine
Image: Eating Well

Salmon is a useful ingredient to keep stocked up in your freezer, not to mention it's flavorful and good for you. This seared salmon with pesto fettuccine is another healthy dinner choice that's also really easy to throw together. A quick time-saver is to buy refrigerated pesto that you can find in most grocery stores. Just cook your fettuccine, throw some salmon in a pan and the hard work is over. White wine is fantastic with this salmon dish.

Chicken Breasts With Mushroom Cream Sauce

Dinner Ideas for Two: Chicken Breasts With Mushroom Cream Sauce
Image: Eating Well

Throw out your tired old chicken recipes and commit to a serious upgrade with this chicken breasts and mushroom cream sauce dish. The secret to this dish is the perfectly balanced sauce. Add just the right amount of cream — too much and it will be overpowered. And the most important ingredient? Two tablespoons of dry vermouth, or dry white wine. Delicious.

Dinner for Two: Cowboy Steaks ‘n Sprouts

Dinner Ideas for Two: Cowboy Steaks 'n Sprouts
Image: Dessert for Two

Steaks are a great dinner treat and are especially easy if you’re cooking for two. The coffee rub on these cowboy steaks give it a unique, smoky flavor. These steaks are cooked in a cast iron skillet and the Brussels sprouts are cooked in the oven for a delicious roasted side dish. Surprisingly, this dinner recipe takes just 25 minutes, including prep time.

Mussels South of Two Borders

Dinner Ideas for Two: Mussels South of Two Borders
Image: Eating Well

When it comes to dinner you can experiment with every type of seafood out there and these mussels are no exception. Mussels south of two borders refers to the freshwater mussels native to Mexico and Central America. And this recipe is decidedly Latin-American with a combination of chorizo, chiles, and beer. This delicious dinner can be whipped up in one hour — including prep time.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Shrimp With Arugula Salad for Two

Dinner Ideas for Two: Prosciutto-Wrapped Shrimp
Image: Eating Well

The act of eating seafood is a fun bonding activity and this prosciutto-wrapped shrimp with arugula salad is no exception. Plan this easy dinner for a night in and spend just 30 minutes preparing. Serve with toasted whole-wheat baguette sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

Dinner for Two: Greek-Style Stuffed Peppers

Dinner Ideas for Two: Greek-Style Stuffed Peppers
Image: Wry Toast

What’s really fun about these Greek-style stuffed peppers is you can play around with the fillings. Using some uniquely Greek flavors, this refreshing dish calls for ground chicken, bell peppers, artichokes, and quinoa. However, if you’d like this dish to be vegetarian, just leave out the chicken — the rest of the ingredients are strong enough to ensure this dish is a winner. You can pull this low-fat recipe together in 40 minutes flat.

Garlic Orzo Tuscan Shrimp Recipe for Two

Dinner Ideas for Two: Garlic Orzo Tuscan Shrimp
Image: Zona Cooks

This garlic orzo Tuscan shrimp recipe for two is so easy that most of the cooking is done in one pan. The light and creamy Parmesan cheese sauce with a garlic and sundried tomato sauce gives shrimp a serious upgrade. This whole dish takes only 20 minutes but will impress your dinner guest for a lot longer.

40-Cloves-of-Garlic Chicken Alfredo

Dinner Ideas for Two: 40-Cloves-of-Garlic Chicken Alfredo
Image: Food Network

This 40-cloves-of-garlic chicken alfredo is the perfect treat. But don't be afraid by the garlic. The recipe also calls for skinless chicken thighs, 1/4 cup dry white wine, and 1 cup of heavy cream, which all balance the garlic well. This is an easy recipe to whip up, taking a total of 45 minutes (including cooking time).

Rib-Eye Steak and Crispy Smashed Potatoes for Two

Dinner Ideas for Two: Rib-Eye Steak and Potatoes
Image: Epicurious

Rib-eye steaks are an all-time favorite that never disappoints — and they're an ideal treat for a weeknight. This rib-eye steak and crispy smashed potatoes recipe is a luscious and rich meal that uses the fat from the steak to perfect the paprika-spiced potatoes. This recipe takes 1 hour and 50 minutes from start to finish, but only 45 minutes of active time in the kitchen.

Steakhouse Sheet Pan Dinner for Two

Dinner Ideas for Two: Steakhouse Sheet Pan Dinner
Image: Food Network

A juicy steak in a steakhouse can cost a small fortune, so why not save a few pennies and purchase two 8-ounce New York strip steaks from your local butcher? While you're there, pick up four tail-on jumbo shrimp and you’ve got your protein for this meal. This dinner is seriously indulgent, combining butter, heavy cream, and Parmesan cheese for the side dish.

Dedicate one hour and 15 minutes in the kitchen for this steakhouse sheet pan dinner for two, and if you eat low-carb, skip the potatoes.

Table for Two

There's can be a fair amount of pressure when it comes to cooking for another person, but these recipes make it easy to look like a gourmet chef on a regular weeknight. Enjoy the art of perfecting a meal for two, or let your dinner partner in on the action and cook together. Either way, you’ll enjoy a delicious final product with someone who will be happy you took the time to serve them a home-cooked meal.