Valentine's Day

64 Romantic Dinner Ideas to Make for Someone You Love (Including Yourself)

updated May 16, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Individual beef wellington sliced open on plate. Served with side salad.
Credit: Photo: Yunhee Kim; Food Stylist: Jessie YuChen

During Valentine’s Day, there’s no better way to show appreciation for your lover – whether that’s your spouse, significant other, best friend, or even (especially) yourself – than to spend quality time with them over a special at-home dinner. You don’t have to spend all day to cook a romantic dinner. It’s possible to keep it simple and uncomplicated, but still opt for something outside your regular meal rotation that feels a bit more indulgent and luxurious.

Steak is a classic, but you also can’t go wrong with a bowl of heartwarming pasta, tender braised lamb shanks, roast chicken, or even a home-cooked pizza. Whatever you choose, just don’t forget dessert. Here are over 60 romantic dinner ideas to inspire your Valentine’s Day menu.

Romantic Vegetarian Dinner Ideas

These are some of the most impressive plant-based meals we know.

1 / 15
Skillet Gnocchi with Sage Brown Butter Mushrooms
Skip the boiling and pan-fry gnocchi instead for an even more streamlined, and arguably more tasty, dinner.
Go to Recipe
2 / 15
Creamed Kale Tart with Goat Cheese and Crispy Capers

A luxurious, 5-ingredient tart that hinges on a Trader Joe's staple.

Go to Recipe
3 / 15
Caramelized Tomato Paste Pasta

The big flavor of this delectable dinner comes from just a whole can of tomato paste.

Go to Recipe
4 / 15
Salt and Vinegar Potato Soup

This vegan and budget-friendly dinner soup pulls inspiration from a bag of salt and vinegar potato chips. If you and your partner love crunchy bits on top of soup, don't worry this recipe comes garnished with a crispy potato skin topping.

Go to Recipe
5 / 15
Spinach Pizza
All the best parts of spinach artichoke dip on a crispy crusted pizza pie.
Go to Recipe
6 / 15
Brussels Sprout Melts
If you think the magic of the patty melt feels out of reach for vegetarians, this gooey Brussels sprouts sandwich will make you reconsider.
Go to Recipe
7 / 15
French Onion Galette
This rustic savory pie features an easy homemade crust and is filled to the brim with deeply caramelized onions and melty Gruyère cheese.
Go to Recipe
8 / 15
Harissa Olive Oil-Braised Chickpeas and Fennel
This simple recipe transforms a couple of cans of chickpeas into a warm, saucy, and flavor-packed dinner.
Go to Recipe
9 / 15
Garlicky Mushroom Bolognese
It’s everything you love about a classic, slow-cooked Bolognese — without the meat (and in a little less time, too).
Go to Recipe
10 / 15
Stuffed Eggplant Parm
Everything you love about classic eggplant Parm, stuffed into a hollowed-out eggplant shell and topped with melted mozzarella.
Go to Recipe
11 / 15
Tuscan Bread & Tomato Soup (Ribollita Soup)
If cozy comfort food is the way to your heart, consider this hearty meal a must.
Go to Recipe
12 / 15
Onion and Mushroom Tart
This vegetarian tart has vinegar-roasted onions, mushrooms, and ricotta cheese, making it a great appetizer for a group, or a dinner for two when served with a side salad.
Go to Recipe
13 / 15
Truffled Potato & Goat Cheese Flatbread
The potato, goat cheese, and truffle oil topping is the perfect way to turn a simple flatbread into an elegant meal.
Go to Recipe
14 / 15
Herbed Couscous & Goat Cheese Stuffed Tomatoes
The tomatoes in this dish release their tangy juices into the couscous salad. The olives provide a salty, umami hit, and the light sprinkle of panko crumbs over top adds texture to this dish.
Go to Recipe
15 / 15
Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
If you don't have sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers make a nice swap here.
Go to Recipe

Romantic Chicken Dinner Ideas

Sure chicken is a weeknight staple, but there’s also quick a few ways to jazz it up for a special dinner.

1 / 14
One-Pan Miso Butter Chicken and Cabbage

What it lacks in dirty dishes, this chicken and cabbage dinner makes up for with its overload of umami.

Go to Recipe
2 / 14
Strawberry Balsamic Chicken Thighs
The key to burnished, golden chicken thighs? Strawberry jam.
Go to Recipe
3 / 14
Cream Cheese Chicken
This recipe turns rich cream cheese into a savory sauce.
Go to Recipe
4 / 14
Chicken Adobo

The quinessential Filipino dish of chicken and stewed with vinegar has so much heart.

Go to Recipe
5 / 14
Crispy Lemon Chicken with Potatoes, Oregano, and Capers
In this trouble-free sheet pan dinner, potatoes get a head start in the oven while chicken drumsticks and thighs marinate, absorbing the flavors of lemon zest, garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes.
Go to Recipe
6 / 14
Chicken Vesuvio
Braised chicken and bursting-with-flavor potatoes are the stars of this impossibly easy and delicious recipe.
Go to Recipe
7 / 14
Tuscan Chicken Pasta
Bursting with flavor, this oh-so-creamy pasta dish is an easy weeknight meal.
Go to Recipe
8 / 14
Zuni Roast Chicken
There may be a million ways to roast a chicken, but there is one in particular that truly stands head and shoulders above the rest: the Zuni chicken.
Go to Recipe
9 / 14
Gnocchi Skillet with Chicken Sausage & Tomatoes
Gnocchi, blistered cherry tomatoes, chicken sausage, and a handful of basil — look, we’ve told you the whole ingredient list already.
Go to Recipe
10 / 14
Weeknight Coq au Vin
This version of Coq au Vin takes a whole lot of the legwork out of the equation and transforms it into a weeknight dinner that couldn’t be easier to pull off
Go to Recipe
11 / 14
Chicken Tagine with Apricots, Almonds & Chickpeas
The dish has so much going on—the fragrant and heavily-spiced sauce, the jammy apricots, the crunchy almonds—and yet it totally works. There’s good reason why this Moroccan dish is a classic.
Go to Recipe
12 / 14
Roasted Lemon-Rosemary Chicken and Winter Green Stems
Throw your kale or collard green stems on a baking sheet or roasting pan, then top with bone-in chicken pieces that have been tossed with olive oil, rosemary, garlic, and lemon zest.
Go to Recipe
13 / 14
Skillet Creamy French Mustard Chicken
A mix of shallots, white wine, and two kinds of mustard turn basic chicken thighs into a French-inspired dinner that's easy enough to pull off any night of the week and feels fancy.
Go to Recipe
14 / 14
Creamy Chicken with Potatoes, Chorizo, and Leeks
We love the classic combination of chorizo and potatoes. But when paired with cream, wine, leeks, and chicken — now that's taking things to a whole new level.
Go to Recipe

Romantic Seafood Dinner Ideas

You definitely can’t go wrong with a special seafood spread on the table.

1 / 17
Lobster Ravioli

Forget the dinner reservations and make this restaurant-quality lobster ravioli at home instead.

Go to Recipe
2 / 17
Baked Lobster Tail
Baking lobster tails in the oven is a smart and easy way to cook them without any fuss or mess.
Go to Recipe
3 / 17
Garlicky White Wine Spaghetti with Mussels and Clams

This dish boasts garlicky, buttery spaghetti and easy-to-cook clams and mussels. It looks intimidating and tastes luxurious, but absolutely anyone can pull it off.

Go to Recipe
4 / 17
Slow-Roasted Caponata Fish
This is a one-pan meal where slow-roasted white fish gets jazzed up with the ingredients and vibrant flavors from classic caponata.
Go to Recipe
5 / 17
Mahi-Mahi Tacos

Tacos for Valentine's Day? Yes please! Here, mild mahi-mahi are stuffed into warm tortillas with a creamy avocado and crisp red cabbage slaw.

Go to Recipe
6 / 17
Cioppino (Seafood Stew)
A seafood stew of briny abundance, Cioppino is a large bowl filled with a wide assortment of seafood swimming in hot broth, ideally shared among a crowd of people who love seafood.
Go to Recipe
7 / 17
Clams with ‘Nduja, Corn and Fennel

Fennel pieces add a fresh crunch to balance all the deep savory flavors in this marvelously lovely clam dish.

Go to Recipe
8 / 17
One Pan Steelhead Trout with Lemon Garlic Angel Hair Pasta
A one-pan fish and pasta meal that's easy on the wallet and stuns on the table to boot.
Go to Recipe
9 / 17
Lobster Risotto
A classic stovetop method for a creamy, rich, and decadent lobster risotto.
Go to Recipe
10 / 17
Skillet Cod with Lemon and Capers
This recipe delivers on ease and flavor, serving up golden-brown fillets of cod with a buttery, briney pan sauce.
Go to Recipe
11 / 17
Parmesan Risotto with Roasted Shrimp
Stirred meditatively, cooked slowly, with a glass of wine in one hand and the music turned up, this risotto is as enjoyable to make as it is to eat.
Go to Recipe
12 / 17
Smoked Salmon Potato Cakes with Herb Crème Fraîche
In this recipe, smoked salmon slices flavor a soft potato cake that is dredged in panko and cooked until crisp, then drizzled with an herbed crème fraîche. Bacon who?
Go to Recipe
13 / 17
Classic Steamed Mussels
Whether we're talking about a dinner party or a quick weeknight meal, it doesn't get much better than a giant bowl of steamed mussels.
Go to Recipe
14 / 17
Grilled Oysters at Home
A quick shuck, a little dab of chili-butter, and a brief spell in the sauna of the grill. Smoky, tender, and a little spicy: they’re perfect every time.
Go to Recipe
15 / 17
Shrimp Pasta with White Wine Sauce
Succulent shrimp and linguini are tossed with a super-quick tomato cream sauce — one that’s fragrant with aromatic garlic, shallots, and white wine.
Go to Recipe
16 / 17
Artichoke Risotto with Seared Scallops
This recipe is the perfect blueprint for switching up the ingredients. Try swapping the artichokes with peas or the scallops with seared shrimp.
Go to Recipe
17 / 17
Nobu's Miso-Marinated Black Cod
This cod recipe makes a very light yet filling meal that is elegant and looks like it took a lot of work, but it really doesn’t. The miso marinade adds a sweetness to the silky and buttery black cod.
Go to Recipe

Other Easy Romantic Dinner Ideas

You don’t think we’d forget the steak, do you? Here’s a few of our favorites, along with other great options, like a fancy ravioli skillet, lamb shanks, and pork chops.

1 / 18
Steak au Poivre
Steak au poivre has become a bistro mainstay for good reason. Lean, mild-flavored filet mignon might appear to be center stage, but make no mistake: This dish is all about the peppercorns and Cognac cream pan sauce.
Go to Recipe
2 / 18
London Broil
This steak dish is prepared by marinating and then broiling flank or top round.
Go to Recipe
3 / 18
Individual Beef Wellingtons

Single servings of the traditional English meat dish starring tender filet mignon perched on a blanket of prosciutto and mushrooms, all wrapped neatly together in buttery, golden brown puff pastry like the perfect romantic gesture.

Go to Recipe
4 / 18
Sheet Pan Mozzarella-Topped Chicken Cutlets
Chicken breasts are sliced into cutlets — chicken parmesan-style — then cooked alongside creamy white beans, silky red onions, juicy tomatoes, and garlic.
Go to Recipe
5 / 18
Creamy Gnocchi with Kale and Sausage
As opposed to making a béchamel or Mornay, the creamy cheese in this recipe acts as the sauce, melting into the sausage and kale, ringing out punchy flavors from the garlic and spotlighting the delicate notes from the herbs.
Go to Recipe
6 / 18
Hamburger Steak Recipe
Similar to Salisbury steak, this recipe shapes ground beef into steak-like patties blanketed in rich mushroom gravy.
Go to Recipe
7 / 18
Sausage Ragù over Creamy Polenta
This ultra-comforting weeknight dinner skips the pasta in favor of a cheesy, creamy bowl of polenta as the base for a blanket of hearty sausage ragù.
Go to Recipe
8 / 18
Curried Schnitzel and Mango Chutney Coleslaw
Crispy chicken cutlets marinated with a curry spice blend pairs exceptionally well with mango chutney coleslaw.
Go to Recipe
9 / 18
One-Pot Cacio e Pepe
Skip the cheese wheel and grab a pot to make the quickest and most delicious rendition of Cacio e Pepe.
Go to Recipe
10 / 18
Slow-Cooked Boeuf Bourguignon

Boeuf bourguignon is so much more than just another beef stew. This classic French dish, made so popular by a certain Ms. Julia Child, is the kind of stew that moves you from one level of home cooking to the next.

Go to Recipe
11 / 18
Duck Breast with Pomegranate Citrus Glaze
Crispy duck breast brushed with a mix of intensely tangy pomegranate molasses, fresh citrus, and spices.
Go to Recipe
12 / 18
Pork Chops in Port Wine Sauce
Warning: You’re going to want to drink this sauce. Instead, serve the pork over rice or quick-cooking polenta to soak up every last drop of the sauce.
Go to Recipe
13 / 18
Veal Meatballs in Red Wine Sauce
A recipe for tender, velvety meatballs that are guaranteed to make whoever you cook them for feel extra special, yourself included.
Go to Recipe
14 / 18
Prosciutto and Arugula Pizza
Topped with a layer of chewy, crisp-edged prosciutto and finished with a couple of handfuls of fresh, peppery arugula, this pizza comes together in a flash — no chopping or precooking necessary.
Go to Recipe
15 / 18
Steak with Drunken Mushrooms, Caramelized Onions & Roasted Blue Cheese Potatoes
The lure of steak is simply irresistible. Add in beer-soaked mushrooms, caramelized onions, and some fingerling potatoes roasted with blue cheese, and you've got a real winner.
Go to Recipe
16 / 18
Balsamic and Citrus-Braised Lamb Shanks with Whipped Parsnip Purée
The nutty-sweet aroma of the parsnips pairs perfectly with rich and meaty lamb shanks in this luxurious dinner for two.
Go to Recipe
17 / 18
Caramelized Figs and Ravioli with Rosemary Brown Butter & Crispy Prosciutto
Caramelize some figs in brown butter, crisp up some prosciutto, and toss the pasta in the whole delicious mix and you’ve got something seriously fancy and impressive.
Go to Recipe
18 / 18
Orecchiette with Caramelized Fennel and Spicy Sausage
The caramelized fennel lends a not-too-sweet complexity that balances the richness of sausage. These flavors pool in the wells of the orecchiette, so you get a tangle of all these in every bite.
Go to Recipe