22 Delicious Dishes & Cocktails to Make this Valentine’s Day


This year, rather than fighting the crowds and crappy reservation times, why not cook Valentine’s Day dinner at home? You’ll avoid the overpriced pre-fix menus, overzealous fellow diners and wait staff, and overpaying for a mediocre bottle of wine you’d just as soon enjoy at home. I’ve compiled some recipe ideas to pick from, depending on the type of dinner you’re looking to cook. Above all, don’t let planning a dinner fluster you. Shop and plan early, stock up on your favorite wine or cocktail ingredients, and don’t take your evening too seriously.

To start off your night, a decked out cheese plate is a natural choice. Or break out the caviar for my smoked salmon crisps if you’re feeling fancy.

How to Trick out Your Cheese Plate

Smoked Salmon Crisps

If you want to cook with your dinner date, these interactive recipes allow you both to participate in the dinner. They’re fun and pretty straightforward to make.

Quinoa Sushi with Sweet Potato & Avocado {vegan}

Shrimp & Scallion Steam Fried Dumplings

Nori Sushi Burrito Rolls {vegan}

If your Valentine is a steak lover, look no further than these recipes. Serve it with your favorite mashed potatoes, or a green salad if you want to keep things light.

Argentine Grilled Steak with Spicy Chimichurri Sauce 

How to Grill the Ultimate Steak

If you’re looking to keep dinner on the lighter side, these healthy recipes don’t skimp on flavor or satisfaction, but won’t leave you feeling stuffed and reaching for your stretchy pants.

Provencal Scallops with Dijon Lentil Kale & Tomato Salad 

Costa Rican Ceviche

Norwegian Roasted Salmon with Hasselbeck Potatoes & Dill Sour Cream Sauce 

Zucchini Noodle Vegetable Lo Mein {vegan}

Oysters are a natural starter for your Valentine’s Day dinner. If your dinner date likes them, here are some recipes and tips for serving them at home.

How to Eat Oysters on the Half Shell

Oysters on the Half Shell with Pink Grapefruit Sriracha Mignonette 

If you’re looking to cook something rich, over the top, and decadent, these recipes definitely fit the bill.

Beef Bourguignon {in 30 minutes}

Pappardelle Pasta with Lamb Ragu 

For cocktails, a classic gin & tonic always hits the spot, or try a fizzy and celebratory champagne cocktail brightened up with the delicate elderflower flavors of St. Germain. Or make it a party with a fun twist on the classic margarita.

A Revamped Classic: The Gin & Tonic

St. Germain Cocktail Recipes 

Meyer Lemon & Thyme Gimlet

Strawberry Jalapeño Margarita 

You have to end your meal with a little sweetness. Chocolate Guinness is the way to any man’s heart, and homemade chocolate covered salted caramels feel infinitely more special than the store-bought variety.

Chocolate Guinness Cake 

Chocolate Covered Salted Caramels 

Smokey Mesquite Chocolate Bark

If a date night isn’t in your plans for Valentine’s Day, invite your friends over and cook up these insanely delicious build your own vegan taco salad bowls with smokey cashew cream. They’re the perfect meal to share with a group, and everyone can make their bowl exactly how they like it. Its feel good food that won’t leave you with a bellyache after dinner.

Vegan Taco Salad Bowls with Smokey Cashew Cream 

Photo Credit: Lauren Conrad.

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