Chocolate lava cake - Valentine's day ideas - Dinner recipes at home
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Valentine’s Day Ideas for Dinner at Home

Nothing says “I love you” quite like a homemade multi-course meal
Chocolate lava cake - Valentine's day ideas - Dinner recipes at home
vm2002/Shutterstock

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.

Love Potion Cocktail

Love Potion Cocktail
Courtesy of Hello Fresh

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.

For the Love Potion Cocktail recipe, click here.

Elderflower Spritz

Elderflower Spritz
Courtesy of Levi Miller

Low-alcohol cocktails are a great way to start out the evening while focusing on the flavor of your drink. This floral, refreshing elderflower spritz is bubbly and pairs well with just about any meal.

For the Elderflower Spritz recipe, click here.

Manhattan

Manhattan
Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

If you’re missing your favorite restaurant this Valentine’s Day, channel a classic steakhouse menu by mixing up a Manhattan.

For the Manhattan recipe, click here.

Ruby Spritzer

Ruby Spritzer
Courtesy of PATRÓN

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.

For the Ruby Spritzer recipe, click here.

Blackberry & Lavender Spritzer

Blackberry & Lavender Spritzer
Courtesy of Catherine Pappas/Living the Gourmet

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.

For the Blackberry & Lavender Spritzer recipe, click here.

Charcuterie Board

Charcuterie Board
JeniFoto/Shutterstock

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.

To learn how to curate the perfect charcuterie board, click here.

Wellfleet Oysters With Cranberry Mignonette

Wellfleet Oysters With Cranberry Mignonette
Courtesy of Ocean Spray

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.

For the Wellfleet Oysters With Cranberry Mignonette recipe, click here.

Caprese Skewers With Pesto

Caprese Skewers With Pesto
SMarina/Shutterstock

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.

For the Caprese Skewers With Pesto recipe, click here.

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus
Magdanatka/Shutterstock

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.

For the Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus recipe, click here.

Lobster Bisque

Lobster Bisque
Foodio/Shutterstock

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.

For the Lobster Bisque recipe, click here.

Steak and Wild Mushrooms in Red Wine Sauce

Steak and Wild Mushrooms in Red Wine Sauce
Courtesy of McCormick

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.

For the Steak and Wild Mushrooms in Red Wine Sauce recipe, click here.

Scallops With Citrus Dill Butter

Scallops With Citrus Dill Butter
Courtesy of McCormick

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.

For the Scallops With Citrus Dill Butter recipe, click here.

Copycat Carbone Spicy Rigatoni Vodka

Copycat Carbone Spicy Rigatoni Vodka
Jacqui Wedewer/The Daily Meal

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.

For the Copycat Carbone Spicy Rigatoni Vodka recipe, click here.

Lemon Basil Cornish Hens

Lemon Basil Cornish Hens
Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

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.

For the Lemon Basil Cornish Hens recipe, click here.

Braised Lamb Shanks

Braised Lamb Shanks
Elena Trukhina/Shutterstock

Braising lamb shanks is a great way to get meat so tender that it falls right off the bone. Use a Dutch oven for this technique, and serve your lamb with polenta or brown butter mashed potatoes.

For the Braised Lamb Shanks recipe, click here.

Creamy Mushroom Risotto

Creamy Mushroom Risotto
Jessica Chou/The Daily Meal

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.

For the Creamy Mushroom Risotto recipe, click here.

Lobster Mac and Cheese

Lobster Mac and Cheese
Courtesy of Chef Lance Knowling

Obviously, lobster is one of the best mix-ins to add to your mac and cheese, and it adds an elegance to this classic comfort food, making it an ideal side for a hearty steak or prime rib.

For the Lobster Mac and Cheese recipe, click here.

Thyme Caesar Salad

Thyme Caesar Salad
Courtesy of Chicago Tribune

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.

For the Thyme Caesar Salad recipe, click here.

Crispy Potatoes

Crispy Potatoes
Courtesy of Jason Goldstein

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.

For the Crispy Potatoes recipe, click here.

Mediterranean Stuffed Tomatoes

Mediterranean Stuffed Tomatoes
Jacqui Wedewer/The Daily Meal

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.

For the Mediterranean Stuffed Tomatoes recipe, click here.

New York Style Vanilla Cheesecake

New York Style Vanilla Cheesecake
Courtesy of McCormick

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.

For the New York Style Vanilla Cheesecake recipe, click here.

Chocolate Lava Cake

Chocolate Lava Cake
vm2002/Shutterstock

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.

For the Chocolate Lava Cake recipe, click here.

Tiramisu

Tiramisu
Courtesy of Carmine's

Tiramisu is a staple dessert at the best Italian restaurants in America. Bring it to your table by making this espresso-soaked sweet at home; it pairs perfectly with a pasta dinner.

For the Tiramisu recipe, click here.

Strawberry-Lemon Cream Cheese Bars

Strawberry-Lemon Cream Cheese Bars
Courtesy of Phil's Cage Free

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.

For the Strawberry-Lemon Cream Cheese Bars recipe, click here.

Dark Chocolate Tart

Dark Chocolate Tart
Jacqui Wedewer/The Daily Meal

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.

For the Dark Chocolate Tart recipe, click here.

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