Cupid’s favorite holiday is right around the corner, and despite the fact that a fancy restaurant is some people’s go-to on Valentine’s Day, enjoying a cozy evening at home can be just as romantic. In addition to turning up the romance, cooking at home is a great way to save some money. On top of that, there’s no denying that a home-cooked meal is a sure-fire way to steal someone’s heart. All you need to do is pull together a tasty menu filled with a few aphrodisiacs, set the table with some candles and dim the lights. That said, get ready to pull out the red roses and pop some bubbly! We’ve rounded up ten of the best recipes for a romantic Valentine’s Day at home.
1. Bacon-Wrapped Dates with Goat Cheese from Pinch of Yum
Bacon-wrapped dates are a finger-food favorite that are both savory and sweet. If you’re looking for a decadent yet simple appetizer to kick off your multi-course meal, this is a solid starter. Since bacon-wrapped dates are on the richer side, you can also serve them on top of a bed of arugula for a bit of balance.
2. Vegan French Onion Soup from Vegan Richa
Catering to a plant-based diet? French onion soup is a cozy classic that boasts bold flavors and a cheesy texture. Though this French dish is traditionally made with beef broth, this recipe from Vegan Richa shows how to make some simple switches for a fully vegan first course.
3. Garlic Butter Clams from Damn Delicious
If you’re looking to elevate a simple pasta dish, clams are a tasty and stunning addition to any Valentine’s Day meal. Though they may seem difficult to make, clams are actually incredibly easy to prepare. You and your loved one will feel as though you are enjoying linguine alle vongole on the coast of Italy. All you need is a crisp glass of Sauvignon Blanc to pair with your seafood.
4. Chargrilled Oysters from Closet Cooking
Oysters are known as the ultimate aphrodisiac. However, raw oysters aren’t for everyone, and they’re usually best enjoyed at a restaurant where they are shucked properly and paired with a house-made mignonette. That said, chargrilled oysters are much more doable and easily enjoyed at home. Simple stuff them with all of the fixings and pop them on the grill for a decadent aphrodisiac appetizer.
5. Pasta Puttanesca from Smitten Kitchen
Pasta puttanesca is another Italian favorite that screams amore. This vegetarian-friendly dish works as a simple yet irresistible entree that can be enjoyed with freshly grilled bread and red wine. You can even recreate your own iconic “Lady and the Tramp” moment by adding some meatballs to the mix.
6. Tomato Galette from Love & Lemons
A tomato galette is a light and refreshing dish that’s a bit more elevated than a standard pizza. If you’re making your own dough from scratch, you can even try your hand at shaping the galette like a heart for a Cupid-worthy creation.
7. Seared Scallops with Leek Risotto from Serious Eats
If your lover is a seafood lover, set the scene with these seared scallops and creamy leek risotto. This rich dish acts as the ideal main course for a seafood-forward Valentine’s Day meal. You could also take decadence to the next level by creating a surf-and-turf situation and grilling up a nice filet mignon to pair with your scallops.
8. Chocolate-Covered Strawberries from Chocolate Covered Katie
No Valentine’s Day spread would be complete without some themed desserts, and it doesn’t get more on-brand than chocolate-covered strawberries. Simple and sweet, chocolate-covered strawberries never get old, and they pair wonderfully with Champagne for a romantic end to the evening. While some prefer to keep the strawberries simple and dipped in only one kind of chocolate, a white chocolate drizzle adds to both the flavor and presentation of these beloved treats.
9. Vegan Chocolate Lava Cakes from the Minimalist Baker
Lava cakes are gooey, creamy and dreamy, but if you’re looking to make a vegan alternative, this recipe from the Minimalist Baker has you covered. Pair these decadent cakes with your favorite dairy-free vanilla ice cream and some fresh-cut strawberries for an indulgent plant-based dessert.
10. Flourless Chocolate Cake by Two Peas & Their Pod
This flourless chocolate cake is topped with a silky smooth chocolate ganache that makes you completely forget that it’s gluten-free. Given its rich nature, just a few bites are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. That said, since this dessert is so dense and decadent, you can top your cake with some raspberries for a refreshing and balancing touch.