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).
59 Valentine’s Day Dinner Ideas That Feel Fancy (but Not Cheesy)
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.)
4. Mac And Cheese With Crispy Parmesan-phyllo Crust
Pop quiz: A bouquet of phyllo dough rosettes or a bouquet of long-stem roses? (FYI, there’s a right answer.)
6. Pan-seared Scallops With Citrusy Corn Succotash
8. Sweet Potato Gnocchi In Herbed White Wine Sauce
The key to our heart is homemade gnocchi. Luckily, the pasta in this dish only needs five ingredients and nine minutes to come together.
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.
13. Dorie Greenspan’s Sheet Pan Balsamic Chicken With Baby Potatoes And Mushrooms
When you pull this beautifully burnished chicken out of the oven, you won’t be able to stop yourself from swooning.
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.
38. Pistachio-crusted Pork Tenderloin With Apple And Escarole Salad
Chalk the crunchy, flavorful breading up to pistachios, garlic, rosemary and cayenne.
40. One-pan Roasted Salmon With Potatoes And Romaine
We've never met a sheet pan recipe we didn't like love. This one cooks your protein (read: flaky, tender salmon) and sides in one shot.
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.
43. Pork Scallopini With Lemon, Capers And Radicchio
A 20-minute dinner = more time for watching romantic movies with your S.O.
45. Vegetable Wellington With Mushrooms And Spinach
How do we love thee, frozen puff pastry? Let us count the ways.
46. White Wine Braised Short Ribs With Buttered Mushroom Cream Sauce
Nothing says "I love you" like fall-apart-tender beef over herbed mashed potatoes.
50. Easy Skillet Linguine With Trumpet Mushroom ‘scallops’
Trumpet mushrooms are affordable, easy to prepare and an uncanny vegetarian substitute for scallops.
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.