Traditionally, dining out is the thing to do on Valentine’s Day. In fact, according to a January 2020 release from OpenTable, it’s the service’s most popular day for reservations. But, like most things in the last 12 or so months, Valentine’s Day 2021 is bound to look a little different this year.
If you’re looking for quarantine Valentine’s Day ideas, then consider cooking at home instead of heading to a restaurant — whether you want to prepare a nice dinner for someone special or decide to turn the meal prep into a couple’s activity.
Of course, even if you’re staying in this February 14, you’re still going to want a special menu. To help you plan that out, we’ve curated 25 recipes for a romantic dinner at home.
Cupid himself couldn't make a better match than rosé Champagne and Valentine's Day. Add in a splash of gin and some elderflower liqueur, and you have a pretty pink drink that is the perfect Valentine’s Day cocktail.
If you're a tequila fan, this ruby red spritzer is the Valentine's Day cocktail for you. Pomegranate juice, apple cider and a dash of Angostura bitters give this cocktail a fruity flavor without being overly sweet.
Floral and fruity, you can sip on this spritzer all night long. Truly, you can! It's a mocktail, so you don't have to worry about getting tipsy before your appetizers hit the table.
If you’re doing a lot of cooking on Valentine’s Day, a charcuterie board makes for a great appetizer. The effort here all comes in how you shop, so make sure to pick up a wide selection of cheeses, a few different cured meats, high-quality bread or crackers and a little something sweet (like grapes, figs, honey or a jam) to balance it all out.
Oysters are made all the better with a homemade mignonette, made from fresh cranberries and a splash of Champagne. This picturesque dish can really set the stage for your evening — oysters are supposedly an aphrodisiac.
If you’re having a heavier entree, it’s nice to start your meal off with something light, like a caprese salad. This recipe has a bit of a twist, skewering the elements instead of serving them on a plate, so you can eat, talk and cook with your beau at the same time.
Prosciutto-wrapped anything is always going to elevate a meal at home and make it feel like a restaurant experience. This easy appetizer is a great way to get something green on your plate this Valentine’s Day.
If you and your Valentine are seafood lovers, you already know that few dishes can compare to a lobster bisque. We’re not going to lie, this dish takes a lot of effort and time, but the end result is out-of-this-world, thanks to butter-poached lobster. If you’re looking for quarantine Valentine’s Day ideas, consider this an activity and meal all wrapped into one delicious package.
There are plenty of great ways to cook and serve steak, but there’s something a little romantic about spooning a red wine mushroom sauce over your beef.
Cooking scallops on the stove isn’t especially hard, you just need to keep an eye on them. You can simply serve them with a squeeze of lemon and parsley, but this herby, creamy white wine and citrus sauce is great for taking your shellfish to the next level.
Carbone in New York City is notoriously one of the most difficult restaurants to get in to, but you don’t even have to press your luck this Valentine’s Day. You can make a version of their spicy rigatoni at home.
If you're looking for something more special than your everyday roasted chicken, cornish game hens are the way to go. Simply seasoned, this delicate poultry pairs well with just about anything.
With a touch of cream, this mushroom risotto is so rich and luscious, you won’t even believe it’s vegetarian! It’s certainly special enough to serve as a main dish, but it also pairs well with red meat.
A crisp caesar salad with bitter radicchio, homemade croutons and a thyme and lemongrass-infused caesar dressing is the perfect light side for a big dinner.
Let’s be honest, no meal is truly complete without an incredible potato side dish. For Valentine’s Day, you can certainly whip up a pot of garlic mashed potatoes, but these crispy potatoes are a simple, lightly seasoned side that'll please every kind of diner.
These couscous and olive stuffed tomatoes will add a bright pop of color to your plate, and they’ll go especially well with cornish hens or fish.
Who doesn’t love a classic cheesecake? A touch of vanilla makes this dessert just a little extra special. You can top it with cherries, caramel, chocolate shavings or strawberries.
No Valentine’s Day is complete without chocolate, and this ooey, gooey lava cake is the perfect cocoa treat that will transport you back to your favorite restaurant — in spirit, anyway.
If you’re having a heavier meal filled with cream, meat and cheese, then a bright, slightly tart dessert like these strawberry-lemon bars will be the perfect balance.
Special days call for special desserts, like French pastries. With a homemade sweet dough and ganache, this dark chocolate tart is a chocolate lover’s dream come true. It does require some time and care, but hey, so does love. Not a chocolate fan? That’s OK, try to whip up these other impressive desserts for your Valentine.
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