Looking for recipes to stay in and cook? These Valentine’s Day dinner ideas make a great date night or romantic dinner!
What’s better than a night in for Valentine’s Day? We love dinner out, but there’s something cozy about staying in and cooking dinner with 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! Here we’ve compiled all our favorite Valentine’s Day dinner ideas and recipes for cozy night in! Each recipe has a bit of a romantic vibe, but works for the whole family too!
First up in our list of Valentine’s Day dinner ideas: Pistachio Crusted Salmon! This method for cooking fish seems like something you’d get at a restaurant, but it’s so simple to make. The aroma wafting from the oven will have you salivating before the food even reaches your plate! Each bite of tender fish and the crunchy, Parmesan pistachio topping makes you immediately want to take another.
This cozy, flavor-packed recipe satisfies every time: Penne Pomodoro! The classic pairing of pomodoro sauce and short-cut pasta exemplifies the simplicity of Italian cuisine: juicy tomatoes, garlic, vegetables and herbs simmered until they meld into a pure, rich sauce.
Here’s a recipe that couldn’t be more delectable. Try these spinach artichoke Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms! Yes, that’s right. It combines the deliciousness of spinach artichoke dip with the meaty, savory goodness of a baked portobello mushroom. Top it off with crunchy Italian breadcrumbs, and you’ll amaze everyone at the table! It’s vegetarian but will please every type of eater: we promise.
Shrimp, butter, garlic, lemon, and white wine: what could be better? Yes, it’s the Italian American shrimp scampi, a classic that’s been stealing hearts and minds for decades. This version is pretty stellar: juicy, garlicky shrimp swimming in a rich, tangy butter sauce. Sop it up with crusty bread, or pour it over pasta: either way, it’s divine.
Next up in our list of Valentine’s Day dinner ideas: Cacio e Pepe: cheese and pepper pasta! Pasta is mega romantic, right? This Italian cheese and pepper spaghetti couldn’t be simpler; the recipe is from our friend Ashley Rodriguez’s book Date Night In. Alex and I ate a killer cacio e pepe last time we were in Rome, and we had one of the best one’s of our life in NYC. It’s a truly simple recipe that’s elegant in its simplicity.
One of our more elegant Valentine’s Day dinner ideas is this Parmesan black truffle risotto! A seemingly gourmet dish, this Parmesan truffle risotto recipe is pretty simple to put together, and the black truffle flavor sends it out of this world. There’s a splash of white wine in the risotto, and you can drink the rest of the bottle as you cook!
Scallops have a beautiful, mild sweet flavor that’s easy to love: and there’s nothing better than that perfect seared crispy outside. Try them bathed in this amazing Lemon Herb Sauce. It takes a little know how to get that golden brown crust without under cooking or overcooking them. But once you know a few secrets…it’s very easy and takes only 5 minutes to cook!
Call us crazy, but isn’t an elegant pot pie is the coziest, most romantic sounding of Valentine’s Day dinner ideas? This pot pie has become one of our top fan favorite recipes, and for good reason. The flaky crust is scented with sage, and the inside is pure creamy, savory goodness with sweet potatoes, onions, mushrooms, and white beans. If you’re looking for romantic dinner, this is it.
This creamy vodka sauce is simmered with garlic and basil, served over rigatoni with lots of Parmesan. The secret? Simmer the sauce for 1 hour!This vodka sauce pasta is so seriously full of flavor, it’s worth every second of that simmer. And what says "I love you” more than a 1 hour simmered pasta?
There’s just something about silky caramelized onions topped golden, crusty cheese that takes your breath away every time. This is classic French cooking at its finest...it's a bit of a project, but worth every minute of it for an elegant Valentine's Day dinner. This recipe is full of rich, nuanced flavor and all the cozy, date night in vibes.
Want a Valentine's Day dinner to impress…with a little kick? Try Shrimp Fra Diavolo! This Italian-style dish stars tender shrimp that swim in a garlicky, spicy tomato sauce. “Fra diavolo” translates to “brother devil” in Italian, alluding to the intense heat of this dish. But make it homemade and you can customize the spiciness to your taste!
We love using Valentine's Day as an excuse to make a fancy paella! This stunning one pan dinner is made for celebrations! This traditional Spanish rice dish has thousands of variations. but it’s always rice with an explosion of colorful toppings. This one stars saffron-scented rice, mixed colorful vegetables and shrimp, and it’s full of traditional flavor. Pair with red sangria or apple sangria.
Gooey white cheddar mac and cheese is like a huge bear hug! It’s cozy and comforting in a way that’s indescribable. Add these tangy red roasted tomatoes, and it’s outfitted as one of our Valentine’s Day dinner ideas! It’s on the rich side, so serve with a refreshing green salad.
You’ll want to bookmark this recipe for making after Valentine's Day too...this Creamy Shrimp Pasta! It’s ultra classic: juicy, savory shrimp and al dente pasta swimming in a creamy sauce. Because we love options, we’ve got two sauce ideas for you: a white wine sauce, bursting with tangy flavor. Or try our easy cream sauce, a creamy Parmesan sauce that’s actually made with no cream at all. Mix the components together and wow!
What’s more Valentine’s Day appropriate than hot pink hummus? This is the perfect appetizer to a cozy dinner. Adding a roasted beet to hummus makes it stunning to look at—and it’s tasty too. You don’t have to cut your veggies to be heart shaped of course...but why not?
Cherries are perfect for Valentine's Day dinner, and here's a great appetizer idea: cherry and goat cheese crostini! Saute tart cherries with a bit of sage and balsamic vinegar, then spoon them over a goat cheese crostini. They're a simple and delicious starter to pair with the main dishes above!
Here's a perfect salad for Valentine's Day dinner: shaved Brussels sprout salad! This one is a study in texture contrasts: the feathery shaved Brussels, the pop of the Pomegranate seeds, and the bright crunch of the apple. It’s vibrant and colorful, covered in a lightly sweet vinaigrette.
Another great Valentine's Day dinner side dish: pomegranate salad! Crunchy pomegranate seeds make a beautiful confetti over the top of leafy greens. Add tart green apple slices, toasted pecans, and goat cheese or feta crumbles, and it’s a true symphony of flavor! Pick from a few different dressing choices: our favorites are apple cider vinegar dressing or pomegranate vinaigrette.
These Brussels sprouts are a fantastic Valentine's Day side dish...and they really are next level! They’re impossibly crispy, baked until they’re caramelized and the outside layers flake off into darkened crunchy chips. Then they’re draped in a tangy maple balsamic glaze that heightens the flavors to their peak. One bite of these, and everyone around the table will be asking how you did it.
Of course, we've got to have some romantic Valentine's Day cocktails to go with the dinner ideas, right? Try this sweet tart red cocktail: the Raspberry Martini! This drink is stunning and full of bright berry flavor: from first sip, you’ll be sold! The sweet tart, lightly floral flavor of raspberry is beautifully pure, thanks to homemade raspberry syrup.
Here's a beautifully bright brilliant pink Valentine's Day drink: yes, it’s a Cosmo! A Cosmopolitan cocktail, to be exact. This classic cocktail is ready to spice up your next gathering, be it a dinner party or drinks on the patio with friends. It was at its height in the 1990’s (hello, Sex and the City), but the Cosmo is a legit sour cocktail that’s worth drinking.
Looking for a decadent Valentine's Day dinner treat? Try this chocolate mousse recipe: rich, smooth, and surprisingly easy to whip up at home! Here's how to make a killer smooth, creamy, rich chocolate mousse.
The chocolate martini is rich and creamy, basically a dessert in a glass! It’s got Irish cream and creme de cacao for maximum flavor, like the liquid version of your favorite chocolate bar. Mix this up for special occasions like Valentine’s Day or a romantic dinner…or just anytime you need a sweet treat in cocktail form.
Here’s one of the most sophisticated and refreshing cocktails out there...and it's perfect for Valentine's Day dinner. Try the French 75! It’s got a mysterious name, but it’s made with a few simple ingredients. It’s tangy, bubbly, and a bit botanical, and it makes every dinner more festive!
Here’s an iconic Valentine's Day dessert that’s the pure definition of decadence: Molten Chocolate Lava Cake! It gets its name from its liquid “lava” center, which flows like a volcano when you dig into it with a fork. Are you a chocolate lover licks the batter off spatulas when baking? (Guilty.) Then you’ll be head over heels for this one. Turns out, it’s not as tricky as you think!
The best dessert for in our Valentine's Day dinner ideas: mug cake! This genius method for going from 0 to cake in just a few minutes is absolutely worth a try. This chocolate mug cake recipe comes out insanely fudgy and 100% delicious! It’s got a secret ingredient that makes a delightfully rich flavor. The hardest part? Waiting for it to cool until you can dig in.
What's better than ending a Valentine's Day dinner with flourless chocolate cake? Rich and fudgy, dense and dark chocolaty, it’s a chocolate lover’s dream. Top it with this easy raspberry compote for a sweet tart pairing that cuts the sweetness of the cake perfectly.
This dessert could not be more romantic or perfect for Valentine’s Day. Our crustless triple cherry cheesecake is ultra creamy, made with Greek yogurt and baked slowly to perfection. It’s got a healthy spin but tastes decadent!
Cherries and chocolate are the best Valentine's Day combination! This rustic chocolate cherry tart is simple to whip up and tastes incredible. The contrast of the sweet cherries with rich chocolate and flaky crust is absolutely sublime.
Last up: one of our very favorite ways to end a Valentine’s Day dinner bananas foster! If you like playing with fire, this one’s for you. Our recipe is easy with instructions on how to flambé and get that dramatic flame! It tastes truly incredible. Grab two spoons for your skillet and dig in!
Here’s how to make chocolate covered strawberries: an easy dessert that’s impressive every time! This recipe makes perfectly dipped berries.
1 pound ripe strawberries
5 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips (like Guittard or Ghirardelli)
Toppings: sprinkles, crushed pistachios (shown), crushed freeze dried raspberries (shown), crushed nuts, toasted coconut, white chocolate to drizzle (see recipe), and so forth
Wash and dry the strawberries: Wash the strawberries and gently pat them as dry as possible.
Line a baking sheet and prep toppings: Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Prepare all your toppings in advance and place them in bowls next to the baking sheet.
Melt the chocolate: Place the chocolate chips into a dry glass measuring cup or small glass cup or bowl: the smaller the better. (Make sure it’s completely dry or the chocolate will seize.) Microwave on High power for 30 seconds, then stir. Microwave another 30 seconds, stir, and 30 seconds more and stir. At this point it should be mostly melted with a few chunks: keep stirring until all the chocolate chunks disappear and the chocolate is perfectly smooth. (Keep stirring if it doesn’t fully melt. You can try another 10 second burst and stir again, but you’ll want to avoid getting the chocolate too hot. Read more at How to Microwave Chocolate.)
Dip the strawberries and add toppings: Hold the green portion of a strawberry. Dip the strawberry into the chocolate and then pull it out, twisting it to let the excess drip off. Place the strawberry onto the baking sheet. Immediately sprinkle it with toppings, since the chocolate dries quickly.
Refrigerate: Refrigerate the tray of strawberries for 30 minutes. Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving. They’re best the day of making, but they can store for up to 1 day uncovered (don’t place them in a sealed container or they become soggy).
Keywords: Valentine’s Day Dinner Ideas, valentine’s day recipes