Planning a dinner menu—elaborate or simple—can be a huge headache. The last thing I want on Valentine’s Day is to be scrambling in the kitchen, frantically scrolling through Pinterest for inspo, or, worst of all—resorting to pizza delivery for dinner. If your goal this year is to plan your menu in advance, these recipes are perfect for your Valentine’s Day dinner (at-home edition).
From experience, I know that cooking for two isn’t always a walk in the park. Luckily, these apps, entrees, and desserts are ideal for 1-2. (But If you have leftovers, the more the merrier!). From simple salads to rich and savory mains, look no further for the ultimate Valentine’s Day dinner at-home ideas.
17 Valentine’s Day Dinner at Home Ideas
Sit back and enjoy the love in the air. These menu ideas will make your Valentine’s Day dinner at home a (tasty and romantic) breeze.
Cheeseboard for Two
Charcuterie is always a date-night favorite, but the assembly can get pricey. Constructing a smaller board fit for two is a simple option for a Valentine’s Day appetizer. Throw in a little bit of everything—sweet dark chocolate, salty olives, and creamy brie.
What Makes It Date-Night Ready: While a cheeseboard can look elaborate, it takes little time to construct. Plus, you won’t fill up before the main course!
Simple Green Salad from Via Carota
Valentine’s Day dinner isn’t about an over-the-top experience—it emphasizes intimacy and simplicity. Focus more on your company and less on meal prep with this simple green salad tossed in a shallot vinegarette and topped with toasted walnuts.
What Makes It Date-Night Ready: This salad requires little prep time and is easy to toss together. It’s a great option for when you’d rather go all-in on the main course or dessert.
Pesto Parmesan Potatoes
Comfort foods are a must for any romantic dinner in my book. These pesto parmesan potatoes are both elegant and incredibly delicious. With the perfect ratio of salty to savory, they’re the perfect sidekick for any lighter main dish like fish or chicken.
What Makes It Date-Night Ready: Who doesn’t love potatoes? This dish is a step up from your typical baked or pan-friend spuds, making them a tasty addition that’s equally as stunning.
Bruschetta is a simple way to add a bit of color to your table. Keeping with4 the theme of reds and pinks for V-day, these cherry tomatoes add a burst of flavor and color. Pair with a bit of nutty pesto and a quality baguette for a bit of an Italian-inspired side.
What Makes It Date-Night Ready: Its ease is what makes bruschetta a great appetizer option for an intimate dinner. How could you turn down such a versatile addition to any menu with ingredients you probably have in the fridge?
Olive Oil & Rosemary Focaccia
Ah, bread. In any form, I look forward to enjoying its warm fluffiness as a complement to any main course. Homemade focaccia is an easy way to elevate any meal, and it’s less complicated than that sourdough you’ve been meaning (but dreading) to make.
What Makes It Date-Night Ready: Add a bit of olive oil and spices to dip, and you’ve got yourself a restaurant-ready addition to your Valentine’s Day menu. Your S.O. will be blown away—guaranteed.
Ricotta Board With Pears
Boards make appetizers ten times simpler without lacking in flavor or pizzazz. This board pairs rich and creamy ricotta with fresh and crunchy sliced pears to create a textural wonderland in every bite.
What Makes It Date-Night Ready: Aside from its incredible flavor, this ricotta board is a stunner in any setting. Plus, the ingredients whet the palate without leaving you too stuffed for the main course, making it a great option ahead of a heartier dish.
Vegetarian Coq au Vin
This vegetarian Coq au Vin is the ultimate dinner for two. It’s the perfect portion size that won’t leave you with leftovers for days and comes together without too much hassle. Plus, if you’re looking to keep things meat-free or just lighter for the evening, you’ve met your match.
What Makes It Date-Night Ready: This dish is an all-around winner when it comes to Valentine’s Day Dinner at home ideas. It boasts the comfort food element when paired with creamy mashed potatoes while still being sophisticated and elegant.
Pasta is the way to my heart, and I’m sure many of you and your valentines agree. That being said, this zucchini pasta is the perfect way to incorporate a fan favorite into your date night menu while still mixing it up from the typical penne or linguine.
What Makes It Date-Night Ready: This dish is a great balance of flavor and texture while keeping things light. It also creates an opportunity to incorporate a veggie into your menu without preparing a separate side.
Sheet Pan Veggie Bowl with Yogurt and Herbs
Talk about simple—this sheet pan veggie bowl is a must when time is of the essence. This bowl is the perfect combination of hearty veggies and creamy yogurt in every bite. Plus, sheet pan recipes make clean-up a breeze.
What Makes It Date-Night Ready: With less time in the kitchen, this sheet pan meal gives you more room to focus on choosing a movie to settle in with or to bake a sweet treat with your S.O.
Spring Potato Pizza With Burrata and Asparagus
Okay, I know I said I strive not to resort to pizza on V-day, but this potato pizza is one of my exceptions. First of all, it’s homemade and far more delicious than the greasy pepperoni you’d get elsewhere, and second, it features an incredible combination of flavor with fresh arugula and subtly sweet burrata. Sounds like a winner to me.
What Makes It Date-Night Ready: This pizza is far from a last resort on Valentine’s Day. Its presentation alone makes it a great menu option. Plus, it’s the perfect size for two.
Slow-Baked Salmon with Citrus, Fennel, and Herbs
Salmon is always a great idea when it comes to cooking for two, as 1-2 filets tend to be the perfect size for a pair. If you’re looking for an elevated way to cook this fish on Valentine’s Day without the hassle of grilling but with equal amounts of flavor, this slow-baked salmon will satisfy all your needs.
What Makes It Date-Night Ready: Simply prep and throw this salmon in the oven for a stress-free main course. It’s a lighter option that pairs well with a heartier side like potatoes or quinoa.
Sweet and Spicy Braised Short Ribs
I can’t get enough of these sweet and spicy short ribs. They’re the perfect serving size where me and my partner can enjoy as much as we please with a bit left over. Plus, they’re a bit different from our typical weekly menu, making them perfect for this special occasion.
What Makes It Date-Night Ready: If you’re looking to put more effort into your Valentine’s Day dinner menu, these short ribs have you covered. Pair with creamy polenta or roasted veggies for a well-balanced and elevated evening meal.
Classic Chocolate Poundcake
It wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without a little bit of chocolate! Camille’s chocolate poundcake isn’t just stunning—it’s the perfect bit of chocolate heaven that can be enjoyed post-dinner and even the next day.
What Makes It Date-Night Ready: Chocolate—need I say more?
Salted Caramel Pots de Creme
Personal desserts make dining just a bit more fun. These pots de creme are worth every moment spent creating them. Just look at that presentation—it practically screams romantic dinner for two.
What Makes It Date-Night Ready: If chocolate isn’t your thing (no shame), this salted caramel option still brings all the sweetness you’re looking for in your V-day dessert.
Chocolate Chip Tahini Shortbread Cookies
I love to combine sweet and savory flavors when curating desserts and Daphne Oz’s chocolate chip tahini shortbread cookies do just the trick. Think nutty sesame seeds, buttery shortbread, and indulgent dark chocolate sprinkled throughout. Bonus: the dough freezes beautifully, so you can enjoy them beyond February 14th.
What Makes It Date-Night Ready: Who doesn’t love sharing a plate of cookies while snuggling up on the couch with a cozy bev and comfort movie? I’m sold.
Double Chocolate Cookie Skillet
If you, like myself, love whipping out the cast iron for special occasions, this double chocolate cookie skillet is for you. Top with a bit of vanilla ice cream, grab two spoons and dig in.
What Makes It Date-Night Ready: This skillet cookie keeps things simple and dishes to a minimum.
With a touch of color and freshness from raspberries paired with coffee and cream complements, this raspberry tiramisu is a romantic and indulgent dessert option. While I’d make this sweet treat whenever the craving strikes, the pop of fruity red makes it perfect for Valentine’s Day.
What Makes It Date-Night Ready: Making a baking-dish dessert is a great way to accommodate those with a big (or small) sweet tooth post-dinner.