Nothing says love quite like a home-cooked meal. A Valentine's Day spent at home gives you the perfect excuse to spoil your loved one with luxurious dishes like lobster, steak, or even duck. Whether you want to make the ultimate steak, homemade pasta, or a decadent seafood dish, here are 33 recipes to help you show your partner how much you love them. Can't find the right one? Head over to our Valentine's Day page to find a whole host of other romantic recipes. And once you've got the menu planned out, it's time to start thinking about a V-Day dessert.
Oysters Rockefeller (Plus a Oaxaca-Inspired Variation)
Whether or not oysters are actually an aphrodisiac, they're a great Valentine's Day appetizer and go perfectly with a glass of crisp white wine. Our take on this classic dish ditches spinach, swapping it out for fresh herbs. And if you're looking for a not-so-classic take on this dish, try your hand at these creamy, spicy Oysters Oaxacafeller.
Baked Brie en Croûte With Thyme and Fig Jam
Baking a round of brie is one of the best ways to elevate your cheese board. In this version, the cheese is topped with fig jam and thyme leaves and wrapped in puff pastry before baking. You can also try wrapping the brie up with apple and pear compote or getting rid of the puff pastry and serving it with honey and pistachios.
Balsamic-Strawberry Baked Goat Cheese Dip
Strawberries and cheese are both romantic foods (I'm not the only one who thinks cheese is romantic, right?), so it's only appropriate to serve them together on Valentine's Day. This tangy dip combines goat cheese with cream cheese and honey. We bake the dip until golden and melty, and top it with a mixture of fresh strawberries, basil, and a balsamic reduction.
Roman-Jewish Fried Artichokes (Carciofi alla Giudia)
Fanned out like flowers, these artichokes are a step above your average fried fare. We double-fry them, so the insides tenderize and the exteriors get crispy. For the most traditional flavor, fry the artichokes in olive oil, but use a neutral oil if you want the flavor of the artichoke to come through more clearly.
Old-Fashioned Artichokes à la Barigoule With Mushrooms
Not interested in double-frying artichokes? These artichokes à la barigoule, one of the most famous dishes from France's Provence region, are a wonderful alternative. The artichokes are stuffed, wrapped in pancetta, and gently braised until tender and succulent.
Creamy Beet Gratin With Pistachio Crumble
This creamy beet gratin is a lovely pinkish-red color, perfect for Valentine's Day. Earthy beets are sliced thinly, layered, and submerged in a chili-spiked cream. The mixture bubbles until the cream has cooked down and the beets are tender. The final dish is topped with a crunchy, salty mixture of pistachios, panko bread crumbs, and a pinch of sugar to balance the chile's slight heat.
Rich and Creamy Lobster Bisque
Lobster bisque isn't an everyday soup, but it's perfect for a romantic dinner for two. The bisque is deeply rich and flavorful, packed with tender chunks of lobster meat. It takes some work to get this on the table, but it's well worth the wait.
Fried Calamari With Red Sauce
This Italian-American finger food is the perfect way to kickstart your meal and impress your partner. As far as fried foods go, calamari is on the easier side. Our secret to squid that’s never soggy or rubbery? Adding cornstarch and baking powder to the dredge. Serve the crispy, succulent dish with a side of red sauce and some lemon wedges.
Sous Vide Rack of Lamb
Rack of lamb is a little pricey, so if I'm going to cook it, I want to cook it right. The easiest way to ensure your lamb is a rosy medium-rare from edge to edge is to cook it sous vide. After the lamb is cooked through, sear it in a blazingly hot cast iron skillet. Make sure to open the windows and turn on the vent—there's going to be some serious smoke.
Braised Chinese-Style Short Ribs With Soy, Orange, and Five-Spice Powder
Don't have the cash for dry-aged steak? Short ribs are an alternative that feel like a treat but aren't quite so hard on your wallet. In this recipe we slowly cook the ribs with a Chinese-inspired mix of soy sauce, orange zest and juice, ginger, and five-spice powder. You can make them in a Dutch oven or a slow-cooker—either way they'll come out amazingly tender.
Red Wine–Braised Beef Shanks
Beef shanks are an even more budget-friendly option for Valentine's Day. Cooked in red wine, this rustic, comforting cut becomes tender and flavorful. Once the shanks are done, you can reduce the braising liquid and aromatics down to a rich sauce. Even better, the bones are filled with buttery marrow.
Easy Pan-Roasted Pork Tenderloin With Bourbon-Soaked Figs
This simple pork tenderloin looks and tastes special, but it only takes 30 minutes to make. The pork is cooked entirely on the stovetop and served with a sauce made with bourbon-soaked figs, whole grain mustard, maple syrup, and gelatin-enriched chicken stock.
The Best Moules Marinières (Sailor-Style Mussels)
Mussels feel like a treat but are remarkably affordable. They're also easy to prepare all sorts of ways. Here, we go with a classic moules marinières, cooking the bivalves in a broth flavored with shallot, leeks, garlic, and white wine (or dry cider). Mix garlicky aioli into the broth to thicken it and make sure you have a crusty baguette on hand to sop it all up.
Beet-Colored Fresh Pasta
You don't need meat or seafood to have a romantic dinner—homemade pasta says "I love you" even better than an expensive steak. For Valentine's Day, make our simple fresh egg pasta and dye it pink with beet purée. The purée is vividly colored but mild enough to work in any recipe—if you really want to taste the beets, roast them before puréeing.
Homemade Mushroom Tortellini
If you're already comfortable with basic pasta-making, you can be a little more ambitious—these homemade tortellini are a manageable next step. They look difficult to make, but all you need are a cookie cutter and some patience. We fill them with a mushroom purée flavored with Parmesan and shallots—you can use something else, but keep the filling pretty dry so that the tortellini don't burst.
Uovo in Raviolo (Runny Egg Yolk Ravioli)
Your date will be plenty impressed by tortellini, but uovo in raviolo—big ravioli filled with a soft egg yolk cradled in a ring of ricotta—is an absolute showstopper. They look like something you'd only find in a high-end restaurant, but if you take it nice and slow, you'll be able to make them just fine.
Savory Cheese Soufflé
This savory cheese soufflé isn't nearly as daunting as you might imagine. Yes, you can open the oven door; no, you don't need to tiptoe around your kitchen while it's baking. Beaten egg whites meet Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese in a pillowy, salty soufflé perfect for your romantic dinner.
Duck à l'Orange
This classic French dish is sure to impress your special someone. The recipe calls for a whole duck, so you'll also have plenty of decadent duck a'lorange leftovers. The glossy, rich sauce is balanced by a combination of orange and lemon juice, and it cuts through the rich duck meat.
Pan-Roasted Quail With Plum Pan Sauce
This pan-roasted quail dish is an elegant, impressive answer to a romantic dinner. The quail cook very quickly, and a simple plum sauce finished with butter and honey ties the dish together.
Broiled Strip Steak With Mushrooms and Chive Sour Cream
Valentine's Day should be all about your romantic dinner—not sweating over pots and pans in the kitchen. This broiled steak with mushrooms and chive sour cream comes together in a single skillet. What looks and tastes like a labor-intensive dinner will be ready in a snap.
Broiled Whole Porgy With Blistered Shishito and Tomato
The key to elegant (and easy) roast fish is keeping things simple. Here, we use the broiler to blister and crisp the outside of a whole porgy, while leaving the flesh tender and sweet. There's almost no prep work, and that means this fancy-looking dinner requires very little clean-up.
Pan-Seared Flank Steak With Peaches and Dandelion Greens
This dish matches moist, juicy steak with peach wedges and wilted dandelion greens. Instead of wasting all of the flavorful fond that builds up in the pan while the steak is cooking, we scrape it up to coat the peaches and greens. The best part? This easy, colorful dinner will be on the table in 15 minutes.
Italian Roast Chicken Under a Brick (Pollo al Mattone)
Served with a few simple, delicious sides, a roast chicken with perfectly crisp skin is about as romantic as it gets. Cooking the chicken under a heavy object (whatever oven-safe weight you have on hand) means it will cook more quickly, with more surface area getting browned and crispy.
Classic Steak au Poivre
Steak au poivre is one of those classic bistro dishes we usually leave to restaurant chefs. But our in-house pro (thanks, Daniel Gritzer) assured us this dish isn't as complicated as we'd thought. The peppercorn-crusted steak is served in a flavorful, tangy, slightly creamy pan sauce.
Pasta With Butternut Squash and Sage Brown Butter
This comforting pasta is about as simple as it gets. Cooked pasta gets tossed with brown butter, sage, and butternut squash, before it's taken off the heat and finished with a generous amount of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
Pasta alla Gricia
When it comes to easy-as-can-be pastas, this Roman classic is not to be ignored. Pasta alla Gricia features rigatoni dressed in an emulsion of rich guanciale fat and starchy pasta water, along with a generous helping of Pecorino Romano. That's it.
Crispy Koji Duck Confit With Garlicky Duck-Fat Rice and Umeboshi
A homemade Valentine's Day dinner should show just how much you care, but that doesn't mean you need to spend the whole day in the kitchen. To make this dish, you prepare the duck confit weeks in advance, so all you have to do to get dinner on the table is sear the duck and prepare the duck-fat rice. The fatty meat and rich rice is balanced by the tart punch of umeboshi—fermented Japanese plums—and fresh cilantro.
Sheet-Pan Salmon With Tomato-Eggplant Compote
Sure, sheet-pan dinners don't exactly scream romance. But in this recipe, beautifully cooked, flaky salmon and a jammy, sweet and tart tomato-eggplant compote comes together on just one pan. That means you'll have a perfectly balanced dinner with almost no cleaning up to do.
Red Wine–Braised Beef Short Ribs
This recipe renders the sort of fork-tender, lovingly glazed beef short ribs you'll likely find on Valentine's Day menus all over town. We even have a pressure cooker version to save you time in the kitchen. Serve these with mashed potatoes, polenta, or some good crusty bread.
Stovetop Paella Mixta for Two With Chicken and Shrimp
Paella is often cooked in enormous pans, making enough rice, meat, and seafood to feed a small town. That's a wonderful and impressive feat, but you can also make a small paella, perfect for two people. That's exactly what we do here, using a small pan to make a paella rich with juicy chicken, plump shrimp, and perfectly cooked grains of rice infused with the flavor of saffron, long-cooked onions, and peppers.
Creamy Sea Urchin (Uni) Pasta
Few ingredients are more luxurious than rich, briny sea urchin, or uni, and very few dishes are a better fit for Valentine's Day dinner than this creamy uni pasta. Pair the creamy pasta with a glass of Champagne—or two.
Creamy Orecchiette With Spring Onions, Fennel, and Bacon
While we're talking pasta, we'd be remiss not to mention this creamy orecchiette with spring onions, fennel, and bacon. The pasta sauce is a glorious shade of green and clings perfectly to each shell of pasta. The salty, fatty bacon brings a burst of flavor to every bite, and plenty of cracked black pepper cuts through all the richness.
Classic Italian-American Spaghetti With Meatballs
To achieve the perfect union of pasta and sauce, we took this Italian-American classic a step further and incorporated some of the meat mixture into the sauce itself. That means guaranteed meatball flavor in every bite. Best of all, serving this dish on Valentine’s Day presents a prime opportunity to recreate that iconic spaghetti-slurping scene from Lady and the Tramp—no pressure, just putting that out there.