Our Valentines Day dinner ideas for menus for romantic meals at home cover every kind of food lover – seafood lovers, French food lovers, Mediterranean food lovers, and more – because as far as we’re concerned nothing says “I Love You” more than a home cooked Valentines Day meal. We recommend cooking two or three courses and buying cheese or chocolates for dessert.
If you’re planning on making a home cooked meal for your loved-one tonight, then browse our Valentines Day dinner ideas, which include menus for all kinds of food lovers – whether your beloved is a seafood lover, French food lover or Mediterranean food lover, we’ve got suggestions for easy recipes you can whip up tonight.
We recommend cooking two courses or three courses tops and buying a good quality cheese or chocolates, or picking up a cake from the local bakery for dessert. A bottle of bubbles, a decent bottle of wine, and a bunch of flowers and you’re set. Perfect.
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Valentines Day Dinner Ideas for Every Kind of Food Lover Because to Cook for Someone is to Love Someone
Valentines Day dinner ideas for menus for romantic meals at home for every kind of food lover.
Valentines Day Dinner Ideas for Seafood Lovers
Valentines Day dinner ideas for menus for seafood lovers.
Classic Prawn Cocktail Recipe
This classic prawn cocktail recipe makes my take on the retro appetiser popularised in the 1970s that will never go out of style and it’s another of the best Valentines Day dinner ideas for seafood lovers.
Tiger prawns boiled quickly in their shells so they’re just done are peeled, tossed in a creamy tangy ‘seafood sauce’, and served on a bed of lettuce salad, dressed with the same sauce. Divine.
While so many fashionable dishes from the 1970s have made a comeback – those devilled eggs, beef Stroganoff and chicken Kiev to name a few (oddly enough, all Russian dishes, and I’ve no idea what that’s about) – prawn cocktails have never gone out of style for me.
Aside from their nostalgic retro appeal, they’re delicious and come together quickly and easily. You’ll want to pair a nice crisp glass of white with these although sparkling will still work if you have some left by this stage.
Smoked Salmon Carpaccio Recipe
Our smoked salmon carpaccio recipe makes an easy elegant appetiser that’s made in minutes and it’s another of our best Valentines Day dinner ideas for seafood lovers.
You can make the dish ahead by assembling the salmon, capers and pickled onions, and refrigerating it, then pouring on the dressing just before serving.
You can serve it sharing style and lay it out on a table with a few other dishes, and allow your loved-one to help themselves.
I recommend providing a basket of toasted baguette slices and dishes with additional capers, pickled shallots and fresh dill, and small jugs of dressing to customise the carpaccio.
Smoked Salmon Pasta Recipe
This smoked salmon pasta recipe makes spaghetti with smoked salmon, dill pickles, capers, and fresh dill, and it’s another of the best Valentines Day dinner ideas for seafood lovers.
Sour cream and lemon juice make this a pasta that’s quintessentially Russian flavoured, and it’s versatile too – you could add more sour cream for a creamier texture or a dollop of caviar for a special occasion, such as Valentine’s Day.
Bonus: it comes together quickly, in less than half an hour.
Salmon Fillet with Colcannon Recipe
This salmon fillet with colcannon recipe has been a favourite since we first tasted the dish at restaurant Banc in Sydney many years ago. The crispy skinned salmon fillet was cooked to perfection and the colcannon (an Irish mash potato) was creamy and rich.
This is another of our best Valentines Day dinner ideas for seafood lovers. One of the things we love about this salmon fillet with colcannon is that you can prep everything beforehand and disappear into the kitchen for only 10 minutes to finish it if you’ve done your mis-en-place.
Reheat the mash and add some butter to the sauce while you cook the salmon. So simple. Another point in this recipe’s favour is that it can be adapted for non-pescatarians without deeply affecting the flavour profile of the dish. Perfect.
Valentines Day Dinner Ideas for French Food Lovers
Valentines Day dinner ideas for menus for French food lovers.
Traditional French Tapenade Recipe from Provence
This easy olive tapenade recipe tops our list of Valentines Day dinner ideas for menus for French food lovers. It’s based on the traditional French tapenade recipe from Provence in southern France and it’s a cinch to make.
There are only four ingredients – black olives, capers, anchovies, and olive oil – although I also add a little red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar although that’s not strictly traditional.
You could also add a little garlic, along with Mediterranean herbs and spices, although then it’s not strictly tapenade, according to the French. Whatever you do, don’t add salt, as there’s enough salt from the anchovies and capers.
While hailing from Southern France, olive tapenade is quintessentially Mediterranean so I use the juiciest olives from Kalamata, briny capers from Pantelleria, Ortiz salted anchovies from Spain, and grassy extra virgin olive oil from Valencia. I serve it with homemade cheese straws.
French Onion Soup Recipe
This fragrant French onion soup recipe makes a classic French onion soup (which I gave a subtle Southeast Asian twist) and it’s another of my best Valentines Day dinner ideas for menus for French food lovers.
Inspired by French chef Raymond Blanc’s vegetarian French onion soup recipe, which uses toasted flour to add a nuttiness to the broth, I added a little fish sauce for umami and star anise for aroma and flavour to create a deeply-flavoured onion soup.
When I developed this recipe, I’d been a lifelong French onion soup lover but not a maker. Terence has long been the cook of the French onion soups in our household. The hearty French onion broth that he’s made for decades was based on Julia Child’s classic French onion soup recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
Cote de Boeuf Recipe Courtesy of Chef Pierre Gagnaire in Paris
This Cote de Boeuf recipe – or more correctly, côte de bœuf recipe – from superstar French Chef Pierre Gagnaire, became one of our most memorable souvenirs of our stay in Paris way back in the spring of 2010.
It’s another of my best Valentines Day dinner ideas for French food lovers. We recommend a cast iron Dutch Oven for cooking your cote de boeuf and you’ll also need a meat thermometer. You don’t want to get this wrong! Bon appétit!
Valentines Day Dinner Ideas for Mediterranean Food Lovers
Valentines Day dinner ideas for menus for Mediterranean food lovers.
Taramosalata Recipe for a Tarama Dip Made with Red Caviar or Fish Roe
We recommend kicking off your Valentines Day dinner at home with pre-dinner nibbles in the kitchen with a bottle of sparkling. Few foods say “I love you” than luxuriant caviar although it doesn’t have to be the expensive stuff.
This homemade taramosalata recipe makes a Greek style tarama dip topped with a generous dollop of red caviar or fish roe that not only tastes sublime, but it’s quick and easy to prepare, making it one of our best Valentines Day dinner ideas for menus for Mediterranean food lovers.
We’ve used an affordable red lumpfish roe but you could use a more expensive red caviar or red salmon roe, or cod roe for the creamy colour of the more traditional Greek meze dish.
I’d suggest sticking to one quality home-made dip, but if you want to prepare a couple, browse our recipes for cheese straws, smoked salmon dip, olive tapenade, and French onion dip made from scratch.
Braised Chicken with Olives and Capers Recipe for Juicy Mediterranean Style Chicken
This braised chicken with olives and capers recipe makes incredibly succulent chicken legs in a Mediterranean style with a couple of surprising Asian ingredients.
It’s easily another of our top picks for Valentines Day dinner ideas for menus for Mediterranean food lovers to make a loved-one at home.
Adapted from a recipe by Australian chef Martin Benn, it’s one of our best chicken recipes, a foolproof set-and-forget chicken dish that no matter how long you leave it or reheat it the chicken remains juicy.
We love to serve it with a chicken jus and crunchy Hassleback potatoes or creamy potato mash and this radish cucumber salad with feta, rucola and fresh herbs.
Valentines Day Dinner Ideas for Pork Lovers
Valentines Day dinner ideas for menus for pork lovers.
Pork Stroganoff Recipe for Tender Pork Made with the Chinese Velveting Technique
If you’ve cooked and enjoyed my traditional beef Stroganoff or richly spiced chicken Stroganoff recipes and you’re a lover of Chinese cuisines and dishes made with the Chinese velveting technique, then you’re going to love my pork Stroganoff recipe.
You’ll still want a fresh garden salad but you can serve that at the centre of the table. And if you’re looking for a vegetarian main course for your Valentines Day dinner, then I also have a mushroom Stroganoff recipe.
Pan-Roasted Brined and Marinated Pork Chops Recipe
Too much seafood? Then what about this pan-roasted, brined and marinated pork chops recipe? It’s a dish that defies the notion that pork chops are generally dry and bland.
Using a simple brining technique combined with a spicy marinade, the bland pork chop is transformed into a succulent and zesty main course.
Brining the pork keeps the meat moist and marinating adds flavour. A basic brine is a salt-water solution, but Terence always adds an equal amount of sugar to match the salt. That extra sweetness works well for the pork.
The marinade gives the meat extra flavour, particularly when using Asian-based spices, which are more bold than European flavours. We love these with a side of creamy mashed potatoes. A light red wine sauce rounds out the flavours.
Please do let us know if you make any of our Valentines Day dinner ideas in the comments below as we’d love to hear how our recipes turned out for you.