10 Date Night Recipes for Valentine’s Day and Beyond

10 Date Night Recipes for Valentine’s Day and Beyond

I’m always on the prowl for romantic ideas to use as date night recipes for myself and my husband to enjoy. Especially these days – at the time of writing this, we’re still very much in quarantine and indoor dining seems like a tall tale. To help others who are stuck at home on Valentine’s Day, I’ve developed this list of my favorite recipes for creating a romantic meal at home. These recipes are also great for any special occasion, so whether it’s for Valentine’s Day, or cooking for your family and friends, these recipes are sure to impress.

Why Cooking At Home Is Better Than Eating Out
(especially on Valentine’s Day!) 

Here’s why I’d suggest spending the night in for a cooking date night rather than going out to a restaurant for Valentine’s Day:

  • Avoid the Valentine’s mark-up on prix fixe menus.
  • Cooking for yourself is bound to be healthier.
  • The menu is 100% customizable to your tastes and dietary needs.

Pull out the candles and cue that romantic playlist on Spotify – it’s time to make dinner plans!

#1 Instant Pot Pork Ragu Polenta Board


Choose this pork ragu with polenta when you want an interactive dinner with an intimate sharing experience. This is truly a romantic dinner recipe for two as it’s served on a board tableside for you both to eat from. 

#2 Prime Steak with Mac, Blistered Shishitos, and Roasted Tomatoes

The Classic. Nothing is as easy AND impressive as a perfectly executed romantic steak dinner. Serve it with blistered shishitos, roasted tomatoes, and mac-n-cheese to put a fun spin on steakhouse sides. 

#3 Pastitsio


If you love to cook with wine, and cook while drinking wine, this dish is for you. I recommend popping open a bottle to share as you cook – don’t drink it all though! Make sure to set aside enough to put in the dish. This classy baked pasta dish can be made with either ground lamb or ground beef. 

#4 Peruvian Spatchcock Chicken


This is the easiest recipe with the least amount of effort required – click through to see why I call this my Little Black Dress recipe. Wear a little black dress while eating this no-fuss dish- or not. (Another benefit of cooking at home – wear what you want!) 

#5 Instant Pot Beef Short Ribs with Polenta


These short ribs are rich and hearty. If you’re the type who always goes for the short rib entree in a restaurant, this dish is for you. An Instant Pot or pressure cooker makes this recipe really hands off and easy to execute. 

#6 Bolognese with Pasta


Nothing says “I care for you” like Bolognese, a dish synonymous with care and attention. Choose this option when you have a few hours to let the flavors meld in a slow simmer, which gives you time to dress up and decorate before your big date! 

#7 Chinese Whole Roast Duck

For something truly exotic, try to get your hands on a whole duck. This recipe is not for the novice, but if you love the rich taste of duck meat, the crisp of roasted duck skin, and the mouth-watering juiciness of duck fat…you’ve got to try this whole roast duck recipe. 

#8 Instant Pot Osso Buco with Polenta


Time, heat, and pressure transforms this inexpensive and tough beef shank into a beautifully rich, melt-in-your-mouth experience. I serve this osso buco with polenta for a cheesy creamy pairing that goes well with a glass of wine. 

#9 Homemade Pizza

If you’re looking for a meal that’s also a fun and creative activity, look no further than homemade pizza! You can completely customize the toppings, and build them together as part of your romantic date night. This is also a great Valentine’s dinner idea for family, too. 

#10 Sheet Pan Breakfast Hash


True, this isn’t a dinner recipe, but sometimes you gotta brunch it instead! When Valentine’s day falls on a Sunday (like this year!) or if you just want a more laid-back date that starts early in the day, this breakfast hash recipe is for you. Serve this easy breakfast hash with mimosas for a truly fun and relaxed day.  

Hope you enjoy these recipes, from my heart! ♥

Please leave a comment or tag me @letsmakedinnerplans on Instagram
when you make one of my recipes; I’d love to see it!

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