Looking for recipes to stay in and cook? These Valentine’s Day dinner ideas make a great date night or romantic dinner!

Valentine's day dinner ideas

What’s better than a night in for Valentine’s Day? Here at A Couple Cooks we love dinner out, but there’s something cozy about staying in and cooking up a dinner for the people you love. Whether it’s a romantic dinner for two or a dinner with the whole family, there are so many ideas to make a special meal! And even better: many of them are just as easy to make.

Here we’ve compiled all our favorite Valentine’s Day dinner ideas for cozy night in! Every recipe has a bit of a romantic vibe…though it works for the whole family too. Of course: you don’t have to use these on Valentine’s Day either! You might find some favorites in this list that work for any day of the year.

And now, Valentine’s Day dinner ideas for a night in!

More romantic recipes

Need more romantic recipe inspiration? We’ve got you. Here are a few more ideas that would be perfect for Valentine’s Day:

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Valentine's day dinner ideas

Valentine’s Day Dinner Ideas (Mug Cake & More!)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


This is the absolute best chocolate mug cake recipe! Here’s how to make a mug cake in under 5 minutes that’s insanely fudgy. 


  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons Dutch process /dark cocoa powder (or standard cocoa powder)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (granulated or coconut)
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons milk of choice
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil
  • 2 tablespoons dark chocolate chips (non-dairy as desired)


  1. Mix: In a 12 ounce* microwave-safe mug, mix the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda and salt. Stir in the milk and oil. Add the chocolate chips and stir once.
  2. Microwave: Place a paper towel under the mug in the microwave, then cook on High 60 seconds. Check for doneness: if it’s still gooey and wet on top, microwave another 20 seconds, then another 10 seconds. It done when the top looks cooked and springs back when you touch it (it will still appear moist but will be springy). The exact timing depends on the microwave: ours works well with 60 seconds, then another 30 seconds. 
  3. Cool: Important: wait for 2 to 3 minutes for the cake to cool down from piping hot to warm. Don’t taste right away: it doesn’t taste right. But cooling a few minutes does the trick! Top with whipped cream or ice cream and serve warm. 


*It also works in an 8 ounce mug (shown in the photos), but it may spill a bit over the sides (hence the paper towel).

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Microwave
  • Cuisine: Dessert

Keywords: Valentine’s Day Dinner Ideas

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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  1. Agreed that vegetarian food doesn’t seem very romantic- I’m not sure if it’s because vegetables rarely scream “indulgent” or if we just need better marketing. But this is a solid list of things I want to eat- especially that carbonara. That looks so impossibly good.

    1. Haha I guess that must be it! The carbonara is super delish! The egg yolk makes the best creamy sauce :)

  2. The cherry chocolate tart was probably the best dessert that I have ever had in my life! I will be back for more recipes