If you’re cooking up plans for a romantic dinner at home, we’ve got Valentine’s Day dinner ideas that are sure to impress. Create a custom three-course menu by choosing from the following salads, main courses, and desserts. Whether you’re cooking for a meat lover, a vegetarian, or are new to the kitchen, we have something for everyone. Set your prettiest table, whip up one of these menus, and prepare to bask in compliments.
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Baby Blue Salad
Baby greens and blue cheese combine with oranges, strawberries, and spiced pecans in this colorful and flavorful salad. The spiced nuts and balsamic vinaigrette can be made in advance, so you can quickly toss everything together just before serving.
You can never go wrong with this classic, and it pairs well with just about any main dish, from seafood to steak. If you’re serving this salad to an anchovy hater, just scale down or omit them completely. (Although one taste of this delicious dressing will convert any haters.)
This crunchy (and healthy) mix of fennel, apples, and celery is a light, refreshing way to start off a meal. It’s especially nice with pork or chicken.
Cast-Iron Cowboy Steak
A thick, juicy, bone-in steak is a true treat and it makes a great—and easy—Valentine’s Day dinner for two. Cook the meat to perfection without smoking up your kitchen by grilling it outside. Or if it’s too cold, sear the steak in a cast iron pan on your stovetop, then finish it in the oven at 400˚.
Pork Tenderloins with Balsamic Strawberries
Wrapped in bacon and topped with tangy marinated strawberries, these pork tenderloins look like a fancy restaurant dish, but they are so easy to make at home. The recipe can easily be halved for two people—or make the full amount and enjoy leftovers the next day. The recipe is made using a grill, but you can easily cook the pork in your oven at 400˚ to 425˚.
Tuscan Pasta with Tomato-Basil Cream
If you’re looking for a vegetarian meal that still feels decadent and special, this is the recipe for you. Even better, it takes minutes to prepare thanks to store-bought ingredients like ravioli and Alfredo sauce.
Scallops with Lemon-Basil Sauce
Scallops are an elegant and surprisingly easy protein to cook at home. Give them a try in this simple seafood-topped pasta and you’ll wonder why you don’t make them more often.
Chocolate Shortbread Cakes
These adorable mini cakes look straight from a bakery but they are practically foolproof to make at home. No baking is even required! All you need to make these no-bake treats is a jumbo-size muffin pan or a 6-mold mini cheesecake pan. Top with an edible flower for a special touch. (This recipe makes 12 servings, but can easily be halved.)
Buttermilk adds a hint of tanginess to this grown-up take on chocolate pudding. Top with a dollop of Buttermilk Cream and a dash of cocoa powder for a pretty presentation. (This recipe makes six servings—treat yourselves for several nights in a row!)
Mini Triple-Chocolate Buttermilk Pound Cakes
We love single-serving desserts on Valentine’s Day, and these cute little bundt cakes will melt anyone’s heart. Drizzle with Chocolate and Buttermilk Glazes for a striking look. (This recipe makes two dozen cakes, but you can halve the recipe. Although we bet your co-workers would appreciate any leftovers.)