Are you wondering what to make for Valentine’s Day Dinner? You don’t need a 5-course meal or fancy dinner reservations to treat your Valentine to a romantic evening. This year, try celebrating Valentine’s Day at home with these romantic dinner ideas.
Cooking Dinner at Home for Valentine’s Day Dinner
Planning an evening in for Valentine’s Day ensure an intimate setting for an evening for two. It will also save you a few bucks.
In this post, you’ll find everything you need to come up with an amazing Valentine’s Day Menu to cook at home.
Favorite Ideas and Tips for Valentine’s Day Dinner At Home
Need a few ideas for a romantic Valentine’s Day in? Here are some of my favorite, easy ideas for making Valentine’s Day and romantic meals at home something special:
Valentine’s Day Dinner Menu Planning
- Prepare a Valentine’s Day Menu in advance. Create something that’s a little more special than your typical evening meal. You’ll want this meal to stand out as something special for the week!
- Cook Valentine’s Day recipes that aren’t complicated but have complex flavor because its ingredients give it a nice flair. Look for ingredients you don’t eat day to day to include in your Valentine’s Day meal.
- If you know of a favorite dish that your significant other has, consider preparing that to dine on. It’s also fun to try to recreate favorite restaurant dishes for an at home date night.
Valentine’s Day Dinner Recipe Prep
- Do the prep work ahead of time! The less time you have to spend frantically prepping right before, the more you will be able to relax and enjoy your romantic Valentine’s Day dinner.
- If you and your significant other both love spending time in the kitchen, consider preparing a special meal together. Now that the kids are older and we often have time alone in the evening, my husband and I love to spend time cooking together.
Set the Mood for Romance
- Set the dinner table. Now’s the time to get out the placemats, special plates, glasses, and flatware to set your Valentine’s Day dinner apart from the rest of the week.
- A little quiet, romantic music is always a nice touch. Turn a few lights off and light up the room with candles. If it’s not too warm an evening, light up your fireplace to cozy up the room.
No Romance? No Problem!
I’ve been there too! Planning an indulgent Gal-entine’s dinner with my best Valentine’s Day Recipe ideas with your best gal pals is a super fun thing to do.
Treating yourself to some self-care and a delicious dinner is a great way to celebrate February 14th if you’re alone this year.
Exfoliate your skin with this Rosemary Mint Sugar Scrub, run a bath, and soak in these Lavender Eucalyptus Green Tea Bath Salts while you let a hot oil treatment sit on your hair and read a book.
Don’t let being alone stop you from enjoying these delicious Valentine’s Day Recipes – it is the perfect excuse to treat yourself!
The Best Valentine’s Day Dinner Ideas
Get ready to celebrate the most romantic day of the year with a night in using these easy Valentine’s Day dinners.
I’ve got you covered with all of my favorite Valentine’s Day recipes – appetizers, pasta dishes, entrees. And don’t forget the decadent Valentine’s Day desserts!
I know you’ll find something that you and your special someone will love because I’m sharing all of my favorite Valentine’s Day dinner ideas!
Valentine's Day Drinks
Start the night by unwinding together with something to sip on before it's time to sit down to dinner.
Cranberry Rosemary Shrub Cocktail
This Cranberry Rosemary Shrub Cocktail has the perfect color for a pre-dinner Valentine's Day cocktaill! A homemade cranberry shrub with hints of black pepper, rosemary, and cinnamon is combined with bourbon and seltzer in this colorful drink!
This Shrub Cocktail recipe has instructions for creating a mocktail for those who don't consume alcohol!
Made with just three ingredients, this Strawberry Mimosa recipe is perfect for special occasion brunches, Valentine’s Day, or breakfast in bed!
A Glass of Wine
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Valentine's Day Appetizers
While you're sipping on your evening beverage of choice, it's great to have an appetizer or two to nibble on.
Serving an appetizer is especially great if you plan to cook your Valentine's Day Dinner recipe together. This way no one is waiting while hungry!
Roasted Tomato Crostini with Walnut Almond Pesto and Goat Cheese
This Roasted Tomato Crostini with Walnut Almond Pesto and Goat Cheese is delicious and colorful. It would go perfectly with an Italian themed Valentine's Day Menu and it is really simple to prepare.
Shrimp Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
Shrimp Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms is a scrumptious appetizer to serve before you sit down for your Valentine's Day dinner that's sure to impress your significant other.
They might look fancy but they're actually super easy to prepare!
Balsamic and Thyme Roasted Portabella Mushrooms
Another easy way to prepare mushrooms as a Valentine's Day appetizer is this recipe for Balsamic and Thyme Roasted Portabella Mushrooms. Again, keeping with the theme of being super simple!
Cucumber Feta Rolls
These Cucumber Feta Rolls are tasty, fresh, and unique. They would go perfect with a Greek inspired Valentine's Day Menu or something like a filet mignon or roast chicken.
They're a little bit more labor intensive, but you can prepare the filling ahead of time if needed.
Greek Puff Pastry Appetizers with Kalamata Olives
Puff pastry shells are baked and filled with a mixture of kalamata olives, red bell pepper, fresh oregano, feta, and spinach with a lemony olive oil vinaigrette for a scrumptious puff pastry appetizer perfect for a Valentine's Day pre-dinner bite.
Marinated Feta Appetizer
In this recipe, feta cheese is marinated in olive oil, fresh herbs, garlic, lemon, and sun dried tomatoes for a delicious and simple appetizer.
The great thing about it being a marinated cheese is that it can be made in advance.
White Bean Bruschetta
This simple White Bean Bruschetta is another quick make-ahead appetizer to help simplify your Valentine's Day Menu. Prepare the white bean mixture ahead of time, and spread it on the toasted bread just before serving.
Marinated Olives with Garlic, Thyme and Rosemary
With just a little olive oil, some crushed garlic, aromatic herbs and lemon peel you can prepare these Marinated Olives with Garlic, Thyme and Rosemary. Something anyone who likes olives would enjoy!
Valentine's Day Pasta Entrées
To me, rich pasta dishes seem to fit perfectly on any Valentine's Day Menu.
I think its because we don't normally eat this decadently on a day to day basis. Plus, a big bowl of pasta always looks like something you'd order in a restaurant!
Gorgonzola Pasta with Beef Tenderloin
Creamy Gorgonzola Pasta is tossed with balsamic beef tenderloin for the ultimate pasta dinner! Serve with sautéed greens, a salad, or roasted veggies for a complete meal.
Spinach Mushroom Lasagna
Spinach Mushroom Lasagna is an easy but impressive vegetarian dinner recipe that's perfect if you're choosing to keep your Valentine's Day dinner meatless, and it can be made in its entirety ahead of time.
Serve with a simple green side salad for a complete meal!
Shrimp Scampi with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Artichokes
This recipe for Shrimp Scampi with Tomatoes and Artichokes is the perfect easy, yet romantic, pasta dinner for Valentine's Day.
It takes a classic shrimp scampi recipe up a notch with the addition of artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes to the recipe. In my opinion, it’s the best recipe for shrimp scampi.
You’ll love dipping crusty bread in the sauce for this shrimp scampi, too!
Instead of simmering for hours on the stove, this easy Bolognese Sauce requires just an hour to develop layers of rich flavor!
Toss this Bolognese recipe with your favorite pasta or use it to make lasagna bolognese. You'll love all the flavor in this meat sauce!
Italian Chicken, Mushroom, and Zucchini Skillet
Italian Chicken, Mushroom, and Zucchini Skillet features pan seared chicken tenderloins, zucchini and sliced mushrooms in garlicky herbed tomato sauce.
Such an easy Chicken Skillet Recipe but it has a nice presentation! This is served with pasta.
Pasta with White Beans, Tomatoes, and Sausage
This recipe for Pasta with White Beans, Tomatoes, and Sausage is a little lighter because it doesn't have a heavy sauce in it and it has plenty of tomatoes, arugula, and white beans to go along with the Italian Sausage.
Pasta Alfredo with Broccoli and Mushrooms
This Alfredo sauce is a tad lightened up but every bit as rich and creamy. It has mushrooms and broccoli and would be great with grilled chicken or Italian Sausage added for a one dish meal for Valentine's Day dinner.
Ricotta is mixed with a combination of primavera style vegetables, parmesan, and fresh herbs to create a tasty primavera stuffing to fill manicotti pasta.
The manicotti primavera is then baked smothered in homemade marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese for a comforting meal.
Italian Beef Ragu with Pappardelle
Chuck roast is cooked until tender with garlic, herbs, and plenty of tomatoes in this Instant Pot Italian Beef Ragu with Pappardelle for a delicious and hearty Valentine's Day pasta recipe. Bonus: it cooks in the Instant Pot!
A simple, just-spicy-enough sauce you can pull out of thin air! Serve it on pasta with anything from shrimp, to chicken, or sausages.
Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Sage
Preparing Homemade Gnocchi from scratch is a great Valentine's Day recipe to make together with your significant other.
It is served sauted with a little butter and sage, but you can add whatever you want to it or alongside. I think it would be great with some seared scallops.
Chicken Parmesan with Sun-dried Tomato Sauce
In this baked Chicken Parmesan, chicken is coated in a parmesan breading, browned in a skillet, then finished in the oven with a sun-dried tomato sauce! I have gotten so many compliments on this recipe!
Sundried Tomato and Spinach Lasagna Rolls
This veggie lasagna rollups recipe is not one I would call quick, but the flavor makes up for it! Plus, it's so much easier to serve spinach lasagna rolls than cut into a pan of lasagna.
More Valentine's Day Entrées
Pasta not your think for Valentine's Day dinner? Here are several other ideas to serve as an entree on your Valentine's Day Menu!
Citrus and Rosemary Roast Chicken
This Citrus and Rosemary Roast Chicken is so tender and flavorful. Prepare the citrus and rosemary mixture in the morning so the chicken has a chance to soak up all the flavors for best results.
Sous Vide Steaks
Cooking steak using the sous vide method results in perfectly tender, juicy steak every single time! Finish off your Sous Vide Steaks by searing them in a hot skillet and top them with compound butter for a truly decadent, restaurant-worthy dining experience.
Seared Filet with Mixed-Herb Gremolata
You can easily make this filet with mixed-herb gremolata with a quick trip to the grocery store. You just need a lot of fresh herbs, garlic, and the meat. It's the perfect way to bring a taste of a fancy steakhouse home for Valentine's Day.
Salmon en Papillote with Asparagus and Potatoes
This salmon en papillote recipe is essentially a fancy foil dinner. Salmon is cooked in parchment paper with asparagus, potatoes, and herbs — so easy and delicious! Great if you prefer seafood for Valentine's Day or are trying to eat more fish.
Greek-Style Chicken Skillet Dinner
This Greek-Style Chicken Skillet Dinner is a tasty one dish dinner. Seared chicken thighs with lemon juice and oregano are cooked with red potatoes, onions, kalamata olives and lemon slices. I would definitely the cucumber rolls as an appetizer to go with this meal. Use bone in, skin on for more flavor.
Chicken Marsala with Sage and Thyme
Another "fancy" dish to make at home that I love is Chicken Marsala. I often order it out at our local Italian place, and I think it would make a great Valentine's Day dinner idea. Serve it alongside these Browned Butter Parmesan Mashed Potatoes.
Roasted Pork with Mushrooms in a Creamy Roasted Garlic Rosemary Marsala Sauce
If you prefer pork to chicken for your marsala, try this recipe for Roasted Pork with Mushrooms in a Creamy Roasted Garlic Rosemary Marsala Sauce.
Meatless Valentine's Day Dishes
Prefer a meatless meal? These recipes are just as decadent and romantic for Valentine's Day, but without the meat.
Spring Green Risotto
Asparagus Risotto Recipe is a delicious dish for springtime. This risotto features leeks, fresh asparagus, fresh peas, and mascarpone cheese with a touch of fresh lemon and parmesan cheese.
Butternut Squash Risotto
This recipe for Butternut Squash Risotto is a delicious dish to enjoy during the fall and winter months.
This creamy risotto with squash features leeks, butternut squash, and mascarpone cheese with a touch of fresh thyme and parmesan cheese.
Valentine's Day Side Dishes
We've got our drinks, appetizers, and entrees planned for a romantic Valentine's Day dinner at home. Now we just need a side dish to go alongside.
Here are a few of my favorite fancier-than-every-day side dishes that would go well with many of the entrees on this list!
Garlic Bacon Sautéed Green Beans with Roasted Mushrooms
Garlic Bacon Sautéed Green Beans with Roasted Mushrooms are loaded with flavor and make a nice presentation!
Fennel and Orange Salad
This Pomegranate, Orange and Fennel salad is one of my new favorites. It tastes so bright and un-winter-y during this time of year. It takes advantage of fresh winter produce.
Roasted Asparagus with Lemon Walnut Dressing
Roasted Asparagus is drizzled with a tasty lemon walnut dressing for simple and delicious side dish. This especially goes great with a roast chicken, the Greek Chicken Skillet Dinner, steak.
Italian Mixed Greens Salad with Prosciutto and Lemon Dijion Vinaigrette
This is the perfect salad to pair with an Italian entree for your Valentine's Dinner in! A mix of arugula, radicchio and baby kale is tossed with a simple lemon Dijon vinaigrette and topped with crispy prosciutto and fresh shaved parmesan.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Balsamic
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Balsamic are a fantastic side dish that is full of delicious flavor - caramelized, roasted brussels sprouts, savory bacon, and tangy balsamic vinegar.
Mixed Greens with Oranges and Balsamic Steak
Oranges, blue cheese, mixed greens, and balsamic go great with steak for Valentine's Day dinner. Instead of serving steak on the salad, I recommend preparing the Filet Mignon with Mixed Herb Gremolata to go with it. Then, pair the meal with a glass of red wine and some crusty artisan bread.
Chocolate Desserts for Valentine's Day
What's Valentine's Day without plenty of chocolate? Here are some of my very favorite romantic chocolate desserts to go with your Valentine's Day dinner.
White Chocolate Pudding
Thick, creamy, and decadent, this White Chocolate Pudding recipe is made completely from scratch. Pair it with whipped cream and chopped pistachios, or serve alongside fresh fruit.
Chocolate Sour Cream Cupcakes with Raspberry Cheesecake Buttercream
These Chocolate Sour Cream Cupcakes are topped with a bright and delicious Raspberry Cheesecake Buttercream. The pink is perfect for your Valentine!
Dark Chocolate Almond Molten Lava Cake Sundaes
Dark Chocolate Almond Molten Lava Cake Sundaes are the perfect dessert for two this Valentine's Day. Cake, with a center that tastes like the most delicious hot fudge, is topped with ice cream and sliced almonds for a pretty presentation and decadent chocolate richness.
Chocolate Pecan Tart
This Chocolate Pecan Tart recipe can be used to make one large tart or 6-8 mini tarts. Skip the pecan pie this year, and make a pecan tart instead!
Salted Caramel Budino
Layers of chocolate cookie crumbles, rich caramel custard, salted caramel sauce and whipped cream make up this scrumptious Italian dessert. Another winning Italian recipe to go with an Italian themed Valentine's Day menu!
Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream and Caramel Glaze
Decadent dark chocolate cupcakes are piped with a salted caramel buttercream and drizzled in homemade Caramel Sauce with Vanilla and Bourbon for a delicious sweet and salty dessert.
Raspberry Brownie Parfait with Mascarpone Whip
In these Raspberry Brownie Parfait with Mascarpone Whip, fudgy brownies are layered with mascarpone whipped cream and raspberries for a delightful dessert! Another great make ahead chocolate Valentine's Day dessert idea!
Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream and Fresh Raspberry Sauce
Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream and Fresh Raspberry Sauce are the perfect combo of a fluffy, light vanilla cupcake, rich chocolate buttercream, and a tangy, sweet fresh raspberry sauce.
Chocolate Raspberry Pudding Parfaits
The combination of White Chocolate Pudding and Dark Chocolate Pudding makes these parfaits deliciously rich, but the chocolate pudding takes less than twenty minutes to whip up from scratch!
Prepare it ahead, dish it up in fancy glasses, and store in the fridge until you're ready for dessert!
How to Make Ganache
Learn how make chocolate ganache (hint: it is actually really easy!) and check out these 5 delicious ways to use it for the ultimate chocolate treat.
If you want a super easy dessert for your Valentine's Day Menu, chocolate ganache served with fresh berries is great! Just dip the berries in the chocolate for a simple at home fondue.
How to Temper Chocolate
Learning how to temper chocolate properly is essential when you want to make chocolate covered strawberries for your Valentine's Day dessert. Follow this how-to for all you need to know about chocolate tempering.
More Desserts for Valentine's Day
Chocolate not your thing? That's okay, I've got you covered with some fruity desserts for this Valentine's Day. Raspberry and Strawberry desserts are also a great to serve with your Valentine's Day Menu.
Sous Vide Crème Brûlée
This recipe for Sous Vide Crème Brûlée is made with five basic ingredients and is nearly foolproof! Serve this easy dessert on Valentine’s Day, Christmas, or anytime you need a special occasion dessert.
No-Bake Raspberry Cheesecake Pots
No-Bake Raspberry Cheesecake Pots so pretty for Valentine's Day and a lot less work that a regular cheesecake. I love the individual serving sizes because it makes for such a nice presentation.
Cheesecake Mousse with Lemon Curd and Strawberries
For a fresh and fruity Valentine's Day dessert, make this simple cheesecake mousse that is layered with lemon curd and fresh strawberries.
Dessert Crepes with Ricotta Cream and Raspberries
Homemade crepes are so much simpler to make than you’d think and something fun and different for your Valentine's Day dessert!
Strawberry Fool is an quick fruit dessert recipe made with whipped cream and fresh strawberries. You can also make this easy Valentine's Day Dessert using raspberries if you prefer.
What are your best ideas for an indulgent meal at home for Valentine’s Day?
More Valentine’s Day Ideas
Need a Valentine’s Day gift idea for your significant other? Here is my Valentine’s Day Gift Guide – Kitchen Edition. It features a wide variety of Valentine’s Day gifts perfect for the home cook from the splurge-worthy to budget friendly!
Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be all about romance and candlelight. With kids at home, this February holiday can be a day focused on fun and connections for the whole family. I’ve pulled together a collection here of Kid Friendly Valentine’s Day Ideas.
Need fun activity ideas and treats for a Valentine’s Day Celebration? Check out this list of Valentine books: The BEST Valentine’s Day Books for Kids. There is nothing sweeter than reading books about love and enjoying a special treat afterwards! It’s the best way to make everyone feel special.
Don’t see what you’re looking for here? You can always head over to check out the recipe index to look for more recipes.
Did you try any of these Romantic Valentine’s Day Recipes?
If you tried any of these Valentine’s Day Dinner Recipes, I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or head over to the recipe’s post and give it a review for others to see.
On Instagram? Share your photo and tag me with @goodlifeeats and #goodlifeeatsrecipes. I’d love to see which of my favorite recipes you prepared for your romantic night!
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What are you making for Valentine’s Day Dinner?
Rachel @ Baked by Rachel
Sunday 12th of February 2012
I made those heart crayons for my oldest to bring to preschool for her friends. So much fun. Love the recipes, saving a bunch for later. :)
Saturday 11th of February 2012
Those little Valentine crayon hearts are adorable! My 7 year old would just love to make them! Off to check them out - thanks for sharing the link.