59 Valentine’s Day Dinner Ideas That Feel Fancy (but Not Cheesy)
You and your valentine decided to stay in this year to celebrate, so you want to whip up a recipe that feels special…without feeling corny. (Naked angels and conversation hearts? Pass.) Luckily, Cupid is on your side: We’ve rounded up the 59 best Valentine’s Day dinner ideas—from roasted chicken to homemade pasta—that are fancy and a breeze to pull off. We promise there’s no cheesiness in sight (well, unless you count actual cheese).
1. Antoni Porowski’s Lazy Pierogi with Wild Mushrooms, Cabbage and Prunes
Homemade dumplings in 35 minutes? Consider your date wooed. (Feel free to make extra to sprinkle with breadcrumbs and sugar.)
7. Cheater’s White Wine Coq au Vin
Don’t tell Julia Child, but we took some shortcuts with this elegant dish to make it doable in under an hour. We think she’d give us a pass for Valentine’s Day.
9. Alison Roman’s Swordfish with Crushed Olives and Oregano
It tastes like chicken and is just as easy to make, but also has a certain je ne sais quoi that’s ideal for a cozy night in with bae.
10. Lobster Risotto
Fact: There's no more surefire way to impress your dinner date than with lobster.
14. Greek Chicken and Rice Skillet
Easy? Check. Gorgeous? Double check. And don’t even get us started on how it tastes.
21. Pan-Fried Cod with Orange and Swiss Chard
The whole thing goes from fridge to plate in less time than you would have to wait for a table at your favorite restaurant.
25. One-Pot Tomato Basil Pasta
The best part (beyond having just one pot to clean)? Once you’ve mastered this version, you can customize the recipe to your heart’s content.
26. One-Pan Steak with Beets and Crispy Kale
Because a no-fuss, no-mess dinner is exactly what a romantic night in calls for.
27. Spaghetti with Avocado Pasta Sauce
This recipe is rich but totally virtuous, and the whole meal takes just 30 minutes to prepare. (Cue the singing angels.)
29. Skillet Gnocchi with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe
This hearty and delicious dish is super simple, but tastes like you spent all day making it.
33. Mini Peach Tarts with Goat Cheese and Honey
You might want to make a second batch…they’re that good.
34. New Caprese Salad
Few things are more satisfying than a plateful of ripe tomatoes and fresh mozzarella cheese.
37. Lemon and Herb Roast Chicken
You only need five ingredients and 80 minutes to pull this stunner off. Color your beau impressed.
38. Pistachio-Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Apple and Escarole Salad
Chalk the crunchy, flavorful breading up to pistachios, garlic, rosemary and cayenne.
39. Slow Cooker Chicken Piccata
Throwing everything in the Crockpot and calling it a day is almost as convenient (and way less expensive) than having a private chef cook your dinner.
42. Seared Scallops with Green Peas, Mint and Shallots
Make sure you thoroughly dry the scallops before searing them in the skillet to ensure a gorgeous outer crust.
44. Baked Ginger and Lemon Chicken
Warming ginger, zingy lemon and sweet honey make for the most delectable sticky marinade of all time.
45. Vegetable Wellington with Mushrooms and Spinach
How do we love thee, frozen puff pastry? Let us count the ways.
47. Vegan Avocado Caesar Salad
Capers, green peppercorns and Dijon mustard give the dressing all the umami of traditional anchovies.
52. Cheater’s Sicilian-Style Pizza with Jalapeños and Honey
The key to this ingenious hack is using a large store-bought focaccia for the base.
54. Antoni Porowski’s Strip Steak with Harissa Butter and Parsley Salad
Believe it or not, this restaurant-caliber meal only requires ten minutes of prep and ten minutes of cooking. (Oh, and the side salad will change your opinion of parsley forever.)
58. Salmon with Pesto and Blistered Tomatoes
Fancy enough for date night, simple enough to add to your weekly rotation. Serve it with a side of rice or atop a bed of pasta.
59. Camarones al Mojo de Ajo (Shrimp in Garlic Sauce)
If you always keep V-Day casual (like, order in a pizza casual), this 15-minute gem is right up your alley. Have dinner rolls on hand to soak up all the leftover lemon-garlic butter.
For even more great recipes, check out our first cookbook, Only the Good Stuff.