21 Recipes to Elevate Your Date Night Dinner With Shellfish

When thinking up first date ideas that *aren’t* super awkward, making dinner always seems like a reasonable option. But as the big night approaches, the pressure is on. You don’t want to crumble under the stress of making homemade pasta for the first time, and you certainly don’t want your date leaving hungry because you settled on whipping up too few tapas; what’s a hopeless romantic to do? Just add seafood. Shellfish can elevate a dish beautifully without being too over the top. Plus, there’s a plethora of fun and affordable seafood options out there to plan for a spectacular date night in. These 21 swoon-worthy shellfish recipes will give you all the inspiration you need.

1. Spinach Pesto Israeli Couscous With Prawns: When it comes to cooking with seafood, prawns are always a guaranteed hit. It’s hard to go wrong with these crisp and delicious fruits of the sea, especially when they’re piled atop a lush pile of couscous. (via My Kitchen Love)

2. Green Curry Scallops With Mango Cilantro Salsa: Depending on where you live, there might still be a little time to enjoy summer flavors — maybe even out on the patio. After all, not *everyone* is super stoked about fall. Using only five ingredients, this dish is what’s for dinner on Easy Street. (via Pinch of Yum)

3. Seafood Pizza: To some, there’s nothing more romantic than curling up on the couch with a cheesy pizza and a favorite flick. Up your game with a homemade pizza, and to impress further, adorn it with garlicky shrimp. (via The Egg Farm)

4. Cioppino (Seafood Stew) With Mashed Potatoes: Seafood is usually associated with bright and citrusy flavors, which of course remind us of summer. However, seafood can also make for some incredible chilly-day comfort food. This seafood stew is a perfect example. (via Coffee and Crayons)

5. 30-Minute Spaghetti and Clams With Brown Butter and Garlic Breadcrumbs: Making a special dinner can come with a lot of prep and, sometimes, a *little* stress. Be easy on yourself! This gorgeous and delish pasta takes a measly 30 minutes to make; pour some wine and enjoy the experience. (via Cooking for Keeps)

6. Dungeness Crab Cakes: If you’re going the multiple-course route, remember that the appetizer sets the tone of the meal. These meaty crab cakes will kick things off with an impressive fusion of elegance and fun. (via Dang That’s Delicious)

7. Octopus Tacos With Sweet Peppers and Kalamata Olives Salsa: Feeding the adventurous? These flavorful Mediterranean-inspired octopus tacos will get you MAD cred. (via Cravings in Amsterdam)

8. Pesto Linguini With Scallops and Blistered Tomatoes: When cooking for someone special, it’s hard to beat the undeniable charm of a beautiful pasta dish. Adding some juicy pan-seared sea scallops to the mix will make it that much more incredible. (via Yes to Yolks)

9. Quinoa and Spinach Stuffed Calamari: Many people are uneasy with calamari. If not cooked properly, it can feel like you’re chewing on a rubber band. When it’s cooked properly, however, it’s tender and tasty as heck — especially when stuffed with healthy goodies. (via Tasting Page)

10. Lobster Poutine: If you want to blow the socks off your date, make them a lobster poutine. Canadians will admit that they’re particular about their poutine, but it’s hard to deny anything topped with tender lobster meat. This dish wins, plain and simple. (via The Girl on Bloor)

11. Delicious Crab Bake: When you come across recipes like this one, it’s hard to believe there are still people out there who stand firmly against the combination of seafood and cheese. Eating this crab bake is the only way to spend your next rainy date night in. (via Garlic Matters)

12. Steamed Clams With Garlic and Chives: A beautiful pot of steamed clams is the perfect way to start an evening, whether you’re out on the patio surrounded by cafe lights or in a cozy and dimly lit dining room. Just don’t forget the crusty bread — dippin’ is mandatory. (via What’s Gabby Cooking?)

13. Crab Cake Benedict: Switch things up a bit and plan a brunch date! Sip some Bloody Marys and present a unique spin on a classic eggs benny with luscious and lumpy crab cakes. (via Superman Cooks)

14. Clam Chowder: Chowders are guaranteed to be filling and flavor-packed. This bright bowl of creamy goodness gives you clams, corn, potatoes and smokey bacon. If this dish doesn’t result in a second date… well, it wasn’t going to last anyway… (via Cravings in Amsterdam)

15. Vietnamese Prawn Salad With Soy-Lime Dressing: Spice things up on date night with this refreshing and aromatic Vietnamese vermicelli dish. It’s wholesome, beautifully presented and packed with sweet, spicy and umami flavors. (via Simply Delicious)

16. Spicy Thai Mussels: Believe it or not, mussels are perfect for those who may be unfamiliar with cooking shellfish. Once in the pot, it’s just a matter of waiting for them to open up. And let’s not forget how delicious they are — especially tossed in a creamy and spicy coconut broth. (via Flavour and Savour)

17. Brown Butter Lobster Ravioli With Tomato Cream Sauce: Who doesn’t absolutely LOVE ravioli? The very concept is heaven sent. Here, you get pasta pillows filled with soft ricotta, brown butter lobster and shrimp. As if that wasn’t enough to woo someone, these gems are tossed in a tomato cream sauce. YUM. (via Half Baked Harvest)

18. Buffalo Shrimp and Blue Cheese Grits: Entertain with a dish that merges north and south. If you’ve ever been to the south, you’ve probably tried shrimp and grits; if you’ve been to western New York, you’ve hopefully had Buffalo wings. This combo will turn up the heat without a doubt. (via Taste and See)

19. Creamy Garlic Butter Scallops With Prosciutto: Some things are best enjoyed on their own. Though scallops are a delicious accompaniment for things like pasta, they’re truly amazing when flying solo. Add a bit of garlic butter and some salty prosciutto, and you’ll seem like a culinary genius. (via Jo Cooks)

20. Bobó de Camarão (Brazilian Shrimp and Coconut Stew): Take your date on a culinary adventure with this bright and mouth-watering shrimp and coconut stew. If you want to make things even more special, prep it together! (via Sun Diego Eats)

21. Kung Pao Shrimp Tacos With Jalapeño Sauce: Hosting a date night on Tuesday? Go big with tacos! These bad boys offer an irresistible blend of spicy, creamy and savory. Plus, a #TacoTuesday date night could be the beginning of an amazing tradition. (via Jar of Lemons)

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