My husband Aaron and I typically stay in on February 14th rather than going out. I prefer to avoid heading to restaurants on Valentine’s Day to avoid overpriced set menus and tables squeezed together. Don’t get me wrong – I love dining out just about any other day of the year. To make this night at home a little more special than all the other nights we’ve spent at home this past year, I’m pulling out all the stops.
Instead of sitting in front of the tv all night long and eating dinner on the couch in our sweats, we will be making a romantic dinner together. We’re choosing to eat by candlelight with cocktails in hand and a romantic soundtrack playing. Of course immediately after dinner, I’ll be changing back into my sweatpants (I’m not that crazy). Pair with a nice bottle of champagne or wine for a perfect night in. It was a great option in 2021 and we’re rolling the tradition over to 2022!
I’ve included 5 separate menus for your Valentine’s Day dinner at home ideas. Each menu has an appetizer, side, entree and dessert with a cohesive theme for each. This year I’d encourage you to branch out and choose your own adventure. Whether you choose to make your own sushi, my favorite spicy rigatoni, a classic steak au poivre or a luxurious creamy lobster pasta, you can’t go wrong!
Get the recipe for every menu item below!
Because it is a dish with few ingredients it makes it that much more important to patiently balance the ingredients and season everything carefully. The soup can easily be made ahead of time (either on the stove, in an instant pot or in a slow cooker) and broiled with the cheese just before serving.
This side dish recipe brings out the flavors of the broccolini while the acidity of the red wine vinegar works to offset its bitterness.
I love making comfort foods for Valentine’s day. Come mid-February I want creamy, rich meals. Crispy seared chicken thighs are served in a white wine cream sauce with bacon, mushrooms and onions. Serve with plenty of extra bread for dipping! If you want a less creamy option try this roast chicken recipe here. While this dish can be made with chicken breasts I prefer the bone in, skin on chicken thighs – it adds great flavor to the dish.
The crème brûlée has a layer of chocolate ganache on the bottom. And then a layer of vanilla custard followed by caramelized sugar.
Yellowtail is paired with Serrano and yuzu kosho for a little spice and with cilantro and ponzu for an extremely flavorful, yet light dish. When buying yellowtail for this dish be sure to get high-quality sushi-grade fish.
The pods are glazed in soy sauce and garlic with just a hint of spice from the cayenne and whole peppers.
The custard has a rich velvety texture similar to crème brûlée and the flavor is a light butterscotch that borders on caramel.
In this recipe, yellowtail crudo is marinated with olive oil, mandarin orange juice, shallots and topped with chives, cape gooseberries, edible flowers and micro-greens (mostly added for garnish).
I make a butter compound with the garlic and parsley so that the butter is much easier to spread and the garlic more evenly mixed. Try prepping the butter and bread ahead of time. That was you can pop it in the oven just before serving!
Rigatoni pasta is served tossed in a spicy, creamy sauce with onion soubise, tomatoes, cream and a touch of Calabrian chilies for just the right spice. This recipe is similar to Carbone’s famous pasta dish and is perfect for a special occasion.
The iconic Sicilian dessert is one of my favorites because it isn’t overly sweet – it’s flakey shell and ricotta and mascarpone filling with chocolate chips are the perfect mixture of crispy and creamy to end (or start if you’re like me) any meal.
I’m always looking for new and interesting ways to serve vegetables, and this one is anything but boring. These can also easily be made in an air fryer for a quick side dish.
While a classic filet mignon is a great option for a special occasion I love this steak and sauce pairing. My spin on the classic French dish consists of steak coated in freshly cracked peppercorns, pan seared in a screaming hot cast iron pan and basted in butter to create a flavorful golden-brown crust on the outside of the steak.
I love how the fudgy chocolate brownies mix and compliment the “cakey” and not overly sweet cream cheese topping. This ranks high on my list of Valentine day desserts. The raspberry adds the perfect hint of pink!
The base of this dish is Greek yogurt which is whipped together with a bit of olive oil and freshly grated Pecorino Romano, providing a light and airy cheese dip.
The endive provides an extra crunch and the candied pine nuts add a subtle sweetness to offset the bitterness of the arugula.
The sauce for the pasta dish is similar to lobster bisque, a creamy smooth sauce flavored with seafood stock and aromatics served over bucatini.
They are such a lavish treat that I couldn’t believe they came together with so few ingredients, just give yourself plenty of time for the chocolate ganache to set.
If you enjoy these Valentine Day dinner ideas, I recommend checking out some of these additional recipes:
Try pairing these pork chops with classic mashed potatoes for a great comfort food combination.
While these short ribs can be made in a slow cooker I prefer making them on the stove. Try serving over caramelized onion and black pepper mashed potatoes in the recipe. You can also opt for a baked potato for a rich and delicious pairing.
This is one of my favorite dishes to make for a romantic dinner. The fish keeps it lighter while the beurre blanc adds a richness to this dish.
These cream cheese based cookies are laced with flavorful freeze dried strawberries for a festive Valentines’ Day cookie.