Valentine's Day Dinner Recipes
Stay in to cook a cozy dinner for two (and avoid the restaurant rush) with Valentine's Day recipes that will get you in the lovin' mood.
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Photo By: Armando Rafael Moutela ©2009, Jeremiah Alley
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Lamb Shank Ragu with Cheesy Gnudi
Treat your loved one to a luxurious lamb dinner served over pillowy three-cheese gnudi.
Get the Recipe: Lamb Shank Ragu with Cheesy Gnudi
Seared Steak and Green Beans with Herbed Butter
Take an extra five minutes to whip up a homemade herb compound butter, which melts beautifully atop juicy rib-eye steak and crisp green beans.
Get the Recipe: Seared Steak and Green Beans with Herbed Butter
Three-Cheese Crostini with Honey
Paired with sweet, sticky honey, these three-cheese bites are perfect for amping up your appetite.
Get the Recipe: Three Cheese Crostini with Honey
Nadia G. amplifies this dish's notoriously rich flavor by adding pancetta to the panko-and-Parmesan-encrusted oysters. Top them with the signature buttery spinach sauce to have your date exclaiming "Tsaketa!" in true Nadia G. fashion.
Get the Recipe: Oysters G-feller
Lobster and Grapefruit Salad
Treat your love with a luxurious appetizer or main-dish salad to stage a standout Valentine's Day dinner. Transformable lobster takes on grapefruit's citrus flavor and the sharp bite of green onions, all balanced by creamy, cool avocado.
Get the Recipe: Lobster and Grapefruit Salad
Filet Mignon with Goat Cheese and Pancetta
Is there anything sexier than perfectly cooked filet mignon? Bobby Deen gives his steak the loving treatment by serving the medallions in a red wine-and-pancetta reduction and topping them with a mixture of basil, sun-dried tomato and goat cheese.
Get the Recipe: Filet Mignon Goat Cheese and Pancetta
Roasted Beet Salad
Beautiful roasted beets scream romance with their deep-red hue and natural sweetness. Tossed with lemon juice and topped with pistachios, they become a vibrant, sweet and salty side, perfect for pairing with any main.
Get the Recipe: Roasted Beet Salad
Cherry Tomato Fra Diavolo
The light garlic-and-vermouth-based sauce on this pasta dish allows its star — the seafood — to really shine through. Pick up your S.O.'s favorite seafood, or go with Rachael Ray's suggestion: a mix of shrimp, crabmeat and white fish.
Get the Recipe: Cherry Tomato Fra Diavolo Sauce, Seafood and Pasta
Salmon En Croute
It looks and sounds fancy, but all you need to make Laura Calder's en croute recipe is a salmon fillet, asparagus spears, creme fraiche and some store-bought puff pastry. Go ahead, though, and let your valentine ooh and aah.
Get the Recipe: Salmon en Croute
Sweet Potato Gnocchi
Giada De Laurentiis' sweet, spiced gnocchi melt in your mouth and make a great vegetarian-friendly main.
Get the Recipe: Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Maple Cinnamon Sage Brown Butter
Braised Short Ribs
Get warm and cozy with juicy short ribs braised in a spiced, herb-filled liquid, and then served with velvety mashed potatoes.
Oysters on the Half Shell
Kick off your romantic meal and get in the mood with Laura's fresh, Asian-accented oysters.
Get the Recipe: Ivan's Oysters
Though it's common knowledge that lobsters mate for life, did you know that couples who feed each other lobsters are infinitely happier than those who don't? (OK, perhaps that's not a fact, but this elegant, cognac-spiked stew will definitely get you both in the lovin' mood.)
Get the Recipe: Lobster Stew
Roasted Chicken with Lemon, Garlic, and Thyme
Can't decide what to make your lovebird? Kelsey Nixon's classic roast chicken is insanely moist and full of flavor. You just can't go wrong.
Get the Recipe: Roasted Chicken with Lemon, Garlic, and Thyme
Red Wine Risotto with Peas
Cooking risotto is a lot like being in a new relationship: It requires a lot of care and attention, but if you get things right, the story ends happily ever after. This recipe gains rich flavor and an amorous tint from dry red wine.
Get the Recipe: Red Wine Risotto with Peas
Lasagne Alla Bolognese
As longtime lovebirds Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos demonstrate, sometimes the most-romantic meals are the simple, homemade ones. Their lasagna is filled with a three-meat Bolognese, but it's the rich, nutmeg-scented besciamella sauce that is beyond compare. Now, that's amore.
Get the Recipe: Lasagne Alla Bolognese
Rack of Lamb with Pimenton, Garlic & Olive Oil
Mark Bittman's simple lamb recipe relies on the strong flavors of pimenton (Spanish paprika) and garlic, and even possesses an in-the-holiday-spirit reddish hue. (Don't worry — if you're both having garlic, it won't matter.)
Get the Recipe: Rack of Lamb with Pimenton, Garlic and Olive Oil
Pork Chops with Red Onion Confit
Love and food rely on great pairings for success. Laura's red-onion confit has a strong, tangy flavor that perfectly complements the subtle sweetness of a juicy pork chop.
Get the Recipe: Pork Chops with Red Onion Confit
Grilled Rib Eyes with Sauteed Broccoli and Oysters
Grilled rib-eye steak becomes a sensual main dish when topped with a creamy oyster sauce and served with a side of ginger-garlic broccoli and oysters.
Get the Recipe: Grilled Rib Eyes with Sauteed Broccoli and Oysters
Pan-Seared Pork Tenderloin
Kelsey turns pork tenderloin into a special-occasion entree by topping it with a lively pan sauce made with rosemary, balsamic and orange zest.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Honey & Cinnamon
Sweet potatoes get even sweeter when roasted with honey. Throw cinnamon into the mix and they practically taste like candy.
Get the Recipe: Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Honey and Cinnamon
Sausage and Radicchio Orechiette
A rich, seductive sausage pasta from Extra Virgin's husband-and-wife duo, Debi and Gabriele, allows you to hunker down with your honey.
Get the Recipe: Sausage and Radicchio Orecchiette
Filet Mignon with a Maple Balsamic Reduction
Simply sear this rich cut of beef and drizzle with a sweet balsamic syrup for just a hint of flavor. Take this meal to over-the-top status by serving Nadia's Parmesan croquettes — essentially mashed-potato mozzarella sticks — alongside the main.
Scampi on Couscous
For her take on shrimp scampi, Giada uses couscous instead of the traditional rice. It cooks twice as fast as rice, retains the sauce's flavor and has a great, thick texture.
Get the Recipe: Scampi on Couscous
Roasted Beetroot with Sauteed Greens
If you have a vegetarian valentine, then do a sweet thing and serve him or her some of these deliciously sweet — and beautifully red — roasted beets.
Get the Recipe: Roasted Beetroot with Sauteed Greens
Heart-Shaped Chocolate Raspberry Cakes
Roses are red, chocolate is divine and hearts are pure romance. This Valentine's Day devil's food cake, filled with raspberry cream and covered in chocolate ganache, has all the essentials rolled into one.
Get the Recipe: Heart-Shaped Chocolate Raspberry Cakes
Honey-Glazed Apple-Pear Tart
A sticky-sweet honey apple-pear tart is the perfect ending to your meal if you don't love chocolate. Prefer sticking to the traditional chocolate? Check out our gallery of 50 chocolate dessert recipes.
Get the Recipe: Honey-Glazed Apple Pear Tart
Red Velvet Cupcakes
Instead of using a cream cheese icing, Chuck Hughes tops his red velvet cupcakes with a mixture of mascarpone and whipped cream, which is rich and tangy but a lot lighter.
Get the Recipe: Red Velvet Cupcakes
Slow-Baked Honey Wine Pears
Baking pears in a wine-and-honey sauce infuses the juicy fruit with rich, sweet flavor and transforms it into a perfectly red Valentine's Day dessert.
Get the Recipe: Slow-Baked Honey Wine Pears
For a double dose of Valentine's Day chocolate, make like the French and fill a chocolate crepe with a silky dark chocolate sauce and your choice of fruits, like sliced strawberries and bananas. Cinnamon-flecked whipped cream adds the perfect finishing touch.
Get the Recipe: Chocolate Crepes
Savory-Sweet Puff Pastry Tarts
We all know it is what's inside that counts — especially when it comes to pastries. Nadia G. fills puff pastry with incredibly rich St. André cheese and tops each mound with strawberries, toasted walnuts and a maple-aged balsamic vinegar sauce.
Berry Gratin with Champagne Sabayon
Whether you're enjoying a romantic date or having a night out with friends, everyone should be poppin' bottles on Valentine's Day. Pour some bubbly into a creamy custard for a simple sabayon that has a playful effervescence.
Get the Recipe: Berry Gratin with Champagne Sabayon
Chocolate Banana Bread Pudding
Get cozy with bread pudding made out of freshly baked banana bread and a velvety chocolate ganache. Top with a spoon of creme fraiche or a scoop of chocolate ice cream for an elegant twist on comfort food.
Get the Recipe: Chocolate Banana Bread Pudding
Tres leches Bread Pudding
Spice things up this Valentine's Day with a (dessert) threesome. This Latin-inspired bread pudding has three different kinds of milk and a generous number of egg yolks, which give it custard-like richness.
Get the Recipe: Tres Leches Bread Pudding
Chocolate Hazelnut Espresso Mousse
Michael Symon's rich hazelnut-espresso mousse will spark love at first bite (and some caffeinated energy for an amorous evening).
Get the Recipe: Chocolate-Hazelnut-Espresso Mousse
Dipped Chocolate Anything
Mark Bittman's recipe couldn't be simpler and allows plenty of room for sweet expression. Try a classic — chocolate-covered strawberries — or dip pretzels or chips in bittersweet chocolate for a salty-sweet combo.
Get the Recipe: Dipped Chocolate Anything