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Valentine's Day Recipe Ideas & Tips

Loved ones often dine out on Valentine’s Day but making a home-cooked meal together builds lasting memories. Use these Valentine’s Day food ideas for a night you will never forget!

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February 14th. A day loved ones celebrate one another often with wining and dining.

Food truly is an unspoken love language, as loved ones across the world share meals together. But couples take over popular restaurants on Valentine's Day, which may seem more chaotic than romantic.

However, a home-cooked meal can be just as, if not more, special as dining out. The memories made cooking together are sure ones you will never forget!

Spark love in the comfort of your quiet kitchen and build memories with these simple Valentine's dinner ideas.

Simple, Easy & Romantic Dinner Ideas at Home

From starting appetizers to ending desserts, fill your hearts by creating a healthy Valentine's Day dinner!

First Course

From a side salad to bruschetta, these first course ideas are light in nature but packed with flavor.

• Side salads: Side salads are a common starter before the main course. However, they have much more to offer than shredded lettuce! Go beyond the standard side salad and truly impress your loved one with unique salad toppings. Ideas include crunchy whole grains, sweet fruits, meat lovers proteins, and plant-based protein sources.

• Bruschetta: Mushrooms, caramelized onions, and goat cheese coincide in this divine bruschetta recipe! Feel free to quarter the recipe to downsize the yield or use leftover goat cheese for the cucumber cups detailed below.

• Cucumber cups: Cucumber cups with roasted garlic hummus are packed with nutrients and flavor. Garnish with vibrant cherry tomatoes for a more Valentine’s Day finesse!

Main Course

The main course is the star of the meal and these ideas are sure to shine this Valentine's Day!

• Herb beef sirloin skewers: While steak and potatoes can fit into a well-balanced diet, overdoing it with a large meat slab and heaping potato mound is fairly common. But with these juicy and beef tenderloin skewers, portions are moderated without falling short of satisfaction. Serve with healthy, homemade sweet potato fries.

• Eggplant pizzas: Rather than calling out for pizza delivery, create a healthy alternative at home! These eggplant pizzas are low in carb without being limited in flavor. Along with the variations described with the recipe, build a pizza topping bar for a fun Valentine's food idea! Set out various toppings, including pepperoni, shredded chicken, peppers, onions, and mushrooms.

• Greek stuffed peppers: Let the ruby red color of bell peppers transcend into a healthy Valentine's Day dinner! These Greek stuffed peppers are a vegetarian and protein-packed meal option. Fresh herbs and feta cheese are ready to harmonize into one flavorful bite!

Romantic Desserts

Do not the stress "being healthy" interfere with a joyous occasion! Use these ideas and tips to guiltlessly indulge in treats with your loved one. (Because romantic desserts may arguably be the true stars of Valentine's Day!)

• Chocolate drizzled strawberries: Chocolate covered strawberries are a hallmark of Valentine's Day. Instead of completely dousing in chocolate, give them a light drizzle with dark, milk, or white chocolate. This way, you get a hint of chocolate while still enjoying the natural sweetness from the strawberry.

• Strawberry shortcake: Continuing the strawberry theme linked to Valentine's Day, create healthier-for-you strawberry shortcakes! For these healthy-inspired treats, alternate fresh strawberries and small pound cake cubes on a skewer. Drizzle the kabobs with low-fat whipped cream.

• Heart-shaped melons: Whip out your cookie cutter for a healthier alternative to the sugar-filled dough! Cutout favorite melons (honeydew, cantaloupe, watermelon, etc.) with a mini heart-shaped cookie cutter and slide onto a popsicle stick. Pair with a protein-rich dip by mixing one cup plain Greek yogurt, one tablespoon of honey, and one teaspoon each of vanilla extract and cinnamon.

• Honey drizzled broiled grapefruit: The caramelized crust on these honey drizzled grapefruits are truly a romantic touch to your Valentine's Day. Enjoy on its own or pair with light Greek yogurt and an extra dash of cinnamon!

• Avocado ice cream: Mix up this nutrient-rich avocado ice cream and embrace the flavor variations as preferred. Also create an ice cream topping station, filled with all you and your loved one's favorites such as chocolate chips and fresh berries.

Romantic Dinner Ideas for Two at Home

Looking for simple Valentine's dinner ideas? Here are three themed Valentine's Day dinners to enjoy comfortably at home!

1. Italian Fine Dining

Is there any other cuisine that screams love than Italian fare? Instead of relying on carb-rich noodles drenched in a heavy cream sauce, fine dine with a lightened up spaghetti and meatballs.

These easy-to-make chicken and feta meatballs will take you on a romantic trip to Italy without the need to pack your bags! Top meatballs onto spaghetti squash and dress with favorite pasta sauce. Serve with a side salad or steamed veggies.

Light a candle at the dinner table and pour red wine or white wine as desired.

2. Asian Takeout

Hang up the phone… We have just the healthy Valentine's Day food idea for you and your loved one!

This beef and broccoli stir-fry recipe is a healthy and homemade version of an Asian takeout favorite. Serve in takeout boxes and have fun eating with chopsticks.

Make the night extra special by creating custom love notes and serving with dessert as a play on fortune cookies!

3. Picnic & a Movie

Do you and your loved one enjoy the cozier things in life over fine dining? Pack a picnic and cozy up to a movie!

Pack a picnic basket with some wraps, sliced veggies, and Valentine's treats. Lay a blanket down in the living room and cozy up to a movie. Include freshly popped popcorn for good measure!

4. Breakfast in Bed

Who says breakfast is designated for the morning hours? And who says dinner must be served at the dinner table? Really, you do not want to sleep on this fun simple Valentine's dinner idea!

Surprise your loved one with breakfast in bed! Prepare their favorite breakfast foods, including scrambled eggs, cinnamon apple pancakes, and fresh fruit. Serve on a tray with a sweet love note and treat.

Written By Sydney Lappe, MS, RDN. Published on February 13, 2020. Updated on February 13, 2020.

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