Our Valentines Day dinner recipes for romantic dinners at home – because nothing says “I Love You” like a home cooked meal – include recipes for pre-dinner nibbles with glasses of sparkling, appetizers and mains. No dessert recipes. We recommend a decadent cheese plate or opening a box of chocolates and another bottle of bubbly.
If you’re one of the countless people around the world in a self-imposed lockdown of sorts due to Omicron concerns, and are still avoiding restaurants, then why not browse our Valentines Day dinner recipes and enjoy dinner in this year?
Because, let’s face it, anybody can pay for a restaurant meal, but nothing says “I Love You” like taking out the time and care to prepare a beautiful home cooked meal – whether it’s a favourite dish cooked to perfection with a decent bottle of wine, or a three-course meal with pre-dinner nibbles, starter and main.
Because who really needs dessert on Valentine’s Day… you don’t want to get too full. We recommend a decadent cheese plate with slices of one or two great quality French cheeses or a box of handcrafted chocolates, and dessert wine, or opening another bottle of bubbly.
Update: following a reader’s request, we’ve also compiled a collection of Valentine’s Day breakfast recipes.
Before I share our suggestions for what to cook your loved-one for dinner on Valentine’s Day, I have a favour to ask. Grantourismo is reader-supported. If you’ve enjoyed our recipes, please consider supporting Grantourismo and what we do here by buying us a coffee (we’ll use our coffee money to buy cooking ingredients for recipe testing) or making a donation to our epic, original Cambodian cookbook and culinary history on Patreon.
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Now here are our best Valentines Day dinner recipes – our suggestions for what to cook your loved-one if you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day at home this year.
Valentines Day Dinner Recipes for Romantic Dinners at Home Because Nothing Says I Love You Like Home Cooked Meals
Valentines Day dinner recipes for romantic dinners at home.
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 recipes. 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 or nibbles, 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.
Devilled Eggs with Smoked Salmon and Caviar Recipe
Our devilled eggs with smoked salmon and caviar recipe makes the ultimate elegant cocktail party canapés or a luxurious treat to savour with Champagne and it’s another of our top Valentines Day dinner recipes. Traditionally served as part of a festive Russian zakuski spread, you could save these retro hors d’oeuvres for special occasions but why not indulge yourself from time to time? This devilled eggs with smoked salmon and caviar recipe makes a particularly luxurious take on my zesty Russian devilled eggs recipe. Devilled eggs were traditionally served as part of a spread of zakuski or appetisers that were the prelude to a lavish family feast, but they also make a perfect Valentines Day starter. And once again, there are few better pairings than bubbly.
Traditional Khmer Raw Fish Salad Recipe for the Cambodian Style Ceviche
This traditional Khmer raw fish salad recipe for phlea trei makes a wonderful, light, refreshing, and fragrant fish dish that is Cambodia’s ceviche. It’s one of my favourite Cambodian recipes, one of our top salmon recipes, and one of the best Valentines Day dinner recipes you can make for you loved-one. The Khmer word trei, also written as trey, means fish, and phlea – also written as phlear, plear, ph’lea, and plea – is a type of raw salad where the fish or meat is generally ‘cooked’ in citrus juice. It’s usually made with a local firm white fish ‘cooked’ in citrus juice, but we use salmon for this dish and it’s sublime.
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 recipes as far as I’m concerned. 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 Pasta Recipe
This smoked salmon pasta recipe makes spaghetti with smoked salmon, dill pickles, capers, and fresh dill. 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, the colcannon (an Irish mash potato) was creamy and rich, and while the red wine sauce seemed an unusual choice, its acidity worked well with a mouthful of the other ingredients. It’s another of my picks of the best Valentines Day dinner recipes. 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. At a dinner party where two guests didn’t eat fish and one wanted red meat, Terence mated the colcannon and red wine sauce with a couple of cuts of decent sirloin. Perfect.
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 recipes in the comments below as we’d love to hear how our recipes turned out for you.