Photo: Caitlin Bensel

Whether you're planning an all-out feast or a budget-friendly dinner, these perfectly-portioned Valentine's Day recipes are sure to impress.

Elizabeth Laseter
February 07, 2018

Cooking Valentine’s Day dinner at home this year? Choosing the perfect recipe can be a tough task. We’ve taken the guesswork out of planning for you, and rounded up five romantic recipes to make your meal the most memorable one yet.  

Whether you’re cooking on a budget or want to pull out all the stops, our delicious recipes have you covered for any circumstance. We’ve also offered up ideas for delicious sides, and the sweetest part of any meal—dessert. All recipes easily serve two and make tasty leftovers too.

Simple and Stunning: Steak Diane

Photo: Jennifer Causey

If you need a show-stopping dish, but you’re short on time, Steak Diane is a guaranteed hit. Here, we’ve riffed the classic recipe into a decadent dinner for two that’s ready in just 25 minutes. A cast-iron skillet creates perfectly-seared, melt-in-your mouth steak, while the creamy pan sauce gets a boost from smoky-sweet Brandy. Serve the steak with Sautéed Haricots Verts with Red Bell Pepper and Lemon and crisp, garlicky crostini.

Get the Recipe: Steak Diane

Comfort Food: Slow-Roasted Chicken

Photo: Greg Dupree

A roasted whole chicken is serious stick-to-your-bones comfort food—and there’s nothing better than a house filled with its craveworthy aroma. Our easy recipe serves four, so save the rest for leftovers. We also make use of a fabulous technique—spatchcocking—that yields an evenly-cooked, ultra tender, and perfectly crisp bird. (This handy primer will teach you how to get the job done.) Round out the meal with Braised Fingerling Potatoes with Oregano and Thyme and simple sautéed spinach or Swiss chard.

Get the Recipe: Slow-Roasted Chicken

Show-stopper: Simple Lobster Risotto

Photo: John Autry; Styling: Cindy Barr

Looking to impress your dinner date? Creamy risotto and splurge-worthy lobster tails will do the trick. Five ingredients make for quick shopping, but the recipe itself requires a bit of technique. Give the risotto your full attention, as it can quickly thicken to a starchy mess if you’re not careful. On the side, keep things simple with crusty, herby garlic bread.

If you have leftovers, spin them into tasty risotto cakes for an easy dinner. To make, scoop up ¼ cup chilled leftover risotto per cake, and flatten into a crab cake--shaped patty. Dredge cakes in panko. Pan-fry in a little olive or canola oil 3 minutes on each side or until golden-brown.

Get the Recipe: Simple Lobster Risotto

Budget-Friendly: Mussels with Buttery Turmeric Broth

Photo: Caitlin Bensel

Mussels feel like a special occasion dish for two, but they offer incredible value. In many grocery stores, you can find them for around $6 per pound. (If you’re new to these tasty mollusks, here’s an easy primer from Real Simple.) Our delicious mussels recipe builds bold flavors using simple ingredients such as turmeric and fresh parsley. Pair with a crisp white wine and a crusty baguette or our Grilled Garlic Toast for soaking up the aromatic broth.

Get the Recipe: Mussels with Buttery Turmeric Broth

Sweet Ending: Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirls

These perfectly-portioned, bite-sized treats make for the ultimate decadent dessert after a special meal. The combination of dark chocolate and peanut butter is simply divine. With 100 calories per cup, you won’t have to feel too guilty about a second helping. Freeze the extras and keep them on hand for a sweet fix when chocolate cravings hit.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirls

Looking for more serves-two Valentine's Day recipes? These Healthy and Romantic Dinner Recipes are sure to please you and your special guest.