52 Valentine's Day recipes: best romantic meal ideas
Valentine's Day is much more romantic with a thoughtful meal at home. We've put some menu plans together (starters, main courses, puddings and little extra somethings) for you to choose from – how about oysters, lobster, steak and chocolate truffles?
Looking for Valentine's Day recipes? Want to make a romantic Valentine's meal? Try our menu ideas below, then check out our Valentines Day cocktails, Valentine's Day gift ideas and Valentine's chocolate gifts. For more recipe inspiration, check out our best date night recipes and effortless Valentine's Day menu ideas.
Valentine's Day starter recipes
A special light but flavoursome starter for any romantic Valentine's meal. Salmon roe is available from fishmongers and supermarkets, or look for tobiko (smaller eggs) in Japanese shops or at japancentre.com.
Use the hob to recreate this deliciously garlicky prawns pil pil for two, where plump prawns sit in a spicy oil. Don’t forget the focaccia for mopping up all of those wonderful juices.
Salty feta pairs perfectly with sweet, juicy roasted grapes and makes for a luxurious starter with zero prep time on the day.
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Kickstart your Valentine's meal with deliciously plump prawns in a garlicky, spicy oil. Pair with their favourite wine and don’t forget the crusty bread for mopping up the sauce.
Throw together this impressive-looking starter in just 20 minutes start to finish. Grilling the goat's cheese gives it extra oomph, along with the drizzled hot honey.
These classic manti take quite a bit of work to make but are well worth it for a showstopping Valentine's meal. A great way to start off an indulgent meal.
Ever deep-fried ravioli? It's great date food! A few cheat's ingredients make this impressive starter quick and easy to make, which means more time to spend with your Valentine! It's got to be one of our best ever Valentine's Day recipes for two.
These on-trend oysters are a great way to start your romantic Valentine's meal. They are rich with flavours of garlic and butter. Plus, they look impressive too.
This simple Asian dish is super healthy and an alternative way to start your date night.
These grilled scallops are super easy to make, low in calories and look impressive. Served with a vibrant Vietnamese herb sauce, this recipe is fresh and a great starter for two.
Just three ingredients – anchovies, guindilla peppers and olives – are all you need to make this effortless Spanish-style snack. Serve on a tray as an appetiser while you prepare your main.
For all you goat's cheese lovers out there, this is next-level goodness. The crunchiness of the breadcrumbs works wonders with the melting middle and the sweetness of the chutney to create the perfect flavour combination.
Save time and still impress with this super-simple starter. Ready in 20 minutes, it's perfect for a romantic date this Valentine's Day.
Choose comfort with this cheesy grazing board. To make it suitable for two, choose from one of three baked cheeses: lemony baked goat’s cheese, baked camembert in a cob or baked feta with chipotle. Serve with plenty of crackers, crudités and chutneys.
Three of the most comforting words you'll read: pasta, butter, cheese. This classic Tuscan recipe for pici cacio e pepe comes from Borough Market's Padella.
Valentine's Day main course ideas
Impress your valentine with THE perfect steak. Heres how’s to cook the best steak of your life with the help of olive cookery writer and ex-chef Adam Bush.
The perfect date-night food. Lobster tails are a good-value way to buy lobster, though if you have access to a whole lobster add the claw meat to the recipe as well. What better way to treat your Valentine?
Combine harissa-coated roast chicken, crispy chorizo and caramelised orange to make this impressive one-tin dinner. It's a real centrepiece but cuts corners to speed up the process – perfect for Valentine's!
Cook a special seafood pasta main without the hassle, with the help of potted brown shrimp. Good-quality linguine elevates this dish to new heights, while the fried egg adds extra richness to the sauce.
Wow your date with a soy-steamed sea bass. Serving the whole fish at the table means less prep and it looks really impressive, whilst cooking en papillote means the fish delicately steams to perfection without having to stand over it.
Everyone loves mac ’n’ cheese, but the addition of sweet, rich lobster turns this into a luxurious treat. Make it for the one you love this year.
This simple pasta dish is just posh enough to wow your date without too much effort. The large, juicy prawns and cute pasta shapes create a pretty dish packed with plenty of flavour.
Wow your veggie Valentine with this colourful tomato tart with moreish olive-oil pastry. Olive oil pastry can be a bit crumbly to work with but just patch up any holes with extra pastry. It cooks to a much paler colour than classic butter pastry yet the finished texture is lovely and flaky.
The crunchy, chilli-laced pangrattato adds an extra kick to the salty, gloriously glossy sauce made from emulsified clam juice and extra virgin olive oil.
Crab thermidor is such a beautiful Valentine's Day dish. It takes a little effort, but surely she/he is worth it?
This recipe for chargrilled steak with Tabasco butter and avocado salad is guaranteed to be a new favourite. The Tabasco butter adds a spicy kick and the avocado salad keeps it fresh.
Check out our super vibrant recipe for veggie gnocchi. This flavour packed dish may take a bit of time but you'll be sure to impress your date. You’ll need to start this the day before unless you can source a drier ricotta from a deli – supermarket ricottas are usually packed in a little liquid so need draining overnight. Find more impressive pasta recipes here.
A colourful idea for pan-fried lamb. The light pink buttery radishes make a pretty side for a romantic meal. Perk it up with a little dash of white miso paste.
Check out this impressive homemade ravioli recipe with egg yolk and crispy sage. Putting egg yolks into the middle of the ravioli means that they burst when cut into, mixing with the ’nduja and ricotta to give you a delicious sauce.
Check out our easy roast chicken recipe with crunchy sage and butternut squash. This recipe makes full use of the chicken roasting juices, which are soaked up by the fregola. If you can’t find fregola, substitute with giant couscous or a hearty grain such as pearled spelt or barley.
Dan Doherty's romantic recipe for spiced lamb cutlets with smoked aubergine is the best ever Valentine's recipe for two; as long as you don't mind getting your hands dirty!
Valentine's Day dessert ideas
You wouldn't believe how quick this zingy passion fruit tart takes to make, thanks to a few ready-made ingredients. It's easy to prepare ahead of time too, perfect for whipping out the fridge when the moment is right.
Your dinner date would never guess this elegant strawberry pud takes just five minutes to whip up. If time is of the essence, look not further!
This will be the easiest restaurant-level chocolate dessert you've ever made, ready in under 20 minutes with just three ingredients required.
Made with tart raspberries, rosé wine and creamy mascarpone, this is an elegant dessert to serve on Valentine's – the recipe makes 12 but can easily be scaled down. It might look impressive but you can whip it up in just 15 minutes using easy-to-find ingredients.
Check out this super creamy passion fruit panna cotta. This quick and simple panna cotta recipe can be made easily in advance, plus it looks impressive too.
You can whip up a soufflé in no time, if you follow our recipe carefully. Serve with boozy Armagnac custard for extra brownie points.
Rhubarb and rosemary work wonders together, especially in Eton mess. A sweet, pink and playful dessert to finish off a romantic evening.
These olive oil chocolate pots with orange and sea salt are seriously creamy and indulgent. They're super simple to make and are an indulgent way to end your date night.
Impress your loved ones with these light-as-air pistachio and white chocolate soufflés for a showstopping Valentine's Day dessert.
Check out this impressive looking caramel tart from Edd Kimber. This decadent dessert recipe with nuts, chocolate ganache and coffee is the perfect way to finish off your Valentines meal.
Ground almonds make our caprese cake deliciously smooth. And who can resists chocolate on Valentine's Day?
Nothing says 'I love you' more than a chocolate fondant and we've made it even better by adding salted caramel.
Something for afters...
Make pistachio-studded chocolate truffles to really impress your sweetheart. Try adding Baileys, dark rum or orange essence for an extra kick. Deceptively easy to make - promise!
A foolproof traditional brownie recipe topped with indulgent peanut butter fudge. These easy decadent brownies are the ideal dinner party treat to serve with coffee, or an indulgent afternoon snack.
Show some love this Valentine's Day with these Valentine's lemon meringue cupcakes - easy to make and perfect for sharing.
Barazek cookies or biscuits are thin, crispy and usually come with sesame and pistachios. They're easy-to-make and are traditionally served as sweet treats in Syrian bakeries.
We've taken the classic British combination, strawberries and cream and transformed it into a doughnut. These doughnuts are not only incredibly moreish and easy to make, they're a picture-perfect Valentine's treat.
Valentine's Day cocktail ideas
We’ve given a classic ramos gin fizz an update for Valentine’s Day, swapping the usual orange blossom water for rose water and adding a touch of homemade rhubarb syrup to give it a blush of pink. It’s delicate in flavour and creamy enough to replace dessert, and is bound to impress.
These homemade grenadine and champagne cocktails are an easy way to impress your Valentine... after all, it wouldn't be Valentine's Day without bubbles!
With hints of lavender, rose and ripe citrus, this refreshing floral cocktail is a super easy drink to make for Valentine's Day.
For Valentine's Day, why not swap gin for prosecco? This makes a lighter negroni and softens the bitterness, an ideal aperitif for those who find a classic negroni a bit much.