When thinking up first date ideas that *aren鈥檛* super awkward, making dinner always seems like a reasonable option. But as the big night approaches, the pressure is on. You don鈥檛 want to crumble under the stress of making homemade pasta for the first time, and you certainly don鈥檛 want your date leaving hungry because you settled on whipping up too few tapas; what鈥檚 a hopeless romantic to do? Just add seafood. Shellfish can elevate a dish beautifully without being too over the top. Plus, there鈥檚 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鈥檚 hard to go wrong with these crisp and delicious fruits of the sea, especially when they鈥檙e 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 鈥 maybe even out on the patio. After all, not *everyone* is super stoked about fall. Using only five ingredients, this dish is what鈥檚 for dinner on Easy Street. (via Pinch of Yum)


3. Seafood Pizza: To some, there鈥檚 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鈥檙e 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鈥檚 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鈥檚 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鈥檙e chewing on a rubber band. When it鈥檚 cooked properly, however, it鈥檚 tender and tasty as heck 鈥 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鈥檙e particular about their poutine, but it鈥檚 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鈥檚 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鈥檙e out on the patio surrounded by cafe lights or in a cozy and dimly lit dining room. Just don鈥檛 forget the crusty bread 鈥 dippin鈥 is mandatory. (via What鈥檚 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鈥檛 result in a second date鈥 well, it wasn鈥檛 going to last anyway鈥 (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鈥檚 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鈥檚 just a matter of waiting for them to open up. And let鈥檚 not forget how delicious they are 鈥 especially tossed in a creamy and spicy coconut broth. (via Flavour and Savour)


17. Brown Butter Lobster Ravioli With Tomato Cream Sauce: Who doesn鈥檛 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鈥檛 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鈥檝e ever been to the south, you鈥檝e probably tried shrimp and grits; if you鈥檝e been to western New York, you鈥檝e 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鈥檙e truly amazing when flying solo. Add a bit of garlic butter and some salty prosciutto, and you鈥檒l seem like a culinary genius. (via Jo Cooks)


20. Bob贸 de Camar茫o (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 Jalape帽o 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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