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Skip the Restaurant This Valentine’s Day and Turn Up the Heat at Home!

A man using a pepper grinder on food cooking in a skillet while a woman sits on the kitchen counter drinking a glass of wine.
VGstockstudio/Shutterstock

Going out to dinner with your loved one on Valentine’s Day can be romantic. Waiting hours for a table and your food, though, can quickly shift the ambiance. Why not stay in this year and sizzle up one of these fancy meals instead?

Taking the time to craft a beautiful meal yourself is a great way to show someone how much you care. We’ve found recipes to create the perfect three-course meal—some are simple, and others are gourmet. All, however, should be made with love!

Fancy Hors D’oeuvres

A creamy rich bowl of lobster bisque topped with freshly cooked lobster meat.
Immaculate Bites

You can start your evening off slow with something simple, like crostini, or, perhaps, something a bit more sophisticated, like a lovely bisque.

Any of the following would make a lovely starter:

  • Grilled Avocado Caprese Crostini: Crostini are the perfect first course of any meal because they only take a bit of prep work. These Caprese crostini offer complementing textures and flavors sure to make your loved one smile. Thinly sliced avocado, ripe cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil, all topped with a balsamic glaze drizzle. They aren’t too filling but still make an impression.

Get the Recipe: Cafe Delites

  • Lobster Bisque: If you want to take things up a notch and create a lovely starter that screams, “I love you!” attempt this lobster bisque recipe. Traditional lobster bisque is a silky smooth, mouthwatering soup. Filled with garlic, onion, fresh herbs, and lobster, each bite is packed with intense flavor. This recipe teaches you how to take this cream soup to the perfect consistency with a little help from a blender. Don’t skip this step if you want to accomplish an excellent mouthfeel!

Get the Recipe: Immaculate Bites

  • Cheese Fondue: Imagine dipping focaccia or ciabatta bread cubes into a bubbly hot bowl of cheese fondue. Take that affection to the next level and feed your loved one each rich, flavorful bite. This cheese fondue is made with a classic swiss and gruyère combination and provides an exceptionally creamy texture. You won’t want to stop eating!

Get the Recipe: Food and Wine

Entrées Full of Love

Filet Mignon smothered in a rich mushroom sauce with a side of fluffy mashed potatoes topped with thyme.
Natasha’s Kitchen

Your main course should knock your lover’s socks off, and show her you’ve worked hard to astonish her. Try any of these fancy meals, and you’ll be sure to wow your partner:

  • Filet Mignon with Mushroom Sauce: The tenderest cut of beef available can make quite an impression, but filet mignon can lack a bit of flavor. But have no fear! You can efficiently resolve this issue with a creamy mushroom sauce. Packed with complementary ingredients, this sauce reminds you why you should never eat a filet any other way. You can serve this meal with fingerling potatoes and asparagus and pair it with a glass of merlot or cabernet sauvignon.

Get the Recipe: Natasha’s Kitchen

  • Spicy Lobster Pasta: If meat and potatoes aren’t your thing, but you’ll eat a heaping plate of pasta any time, this recipe has your name all over it! This simple, yet filling meal, provides a kick with pepper flakes, the subtle sweetness of fresh lobster, and a zesty lemon tang. Each ingredient effortlessly enhances the others. You can serve this dish with a side salad and garlic bread, and it would pair perfectly with an oaky or fruit-forward glass of Chardonnay.

Get the Recipe: Epicurious

  • Baked Ratatouille (vegetarian): If you’d prefer a fancy, plant-based dish filled with vibrant, colorful ingredients, add this recipe to your three-course meal. You’ll learn how to layer your vegetable slices in an intriguing pattern to create a gorgeous presentation. Enjoy this with some warm, crusty bread. If you’re looking for a wine to pair with this deeply flavored dish, a bottle of full-bodied French Shiraz will do the trick!

Get the Recipe: Plant-Based on a Budget

Decadent Desserts

Two stemless wine glasses filled half-way with Panna Cotta and topped with fresh berry coulis and a mint leaf.
Natasha’s Kitchen

Valentine’s Day is known for boxes of chocolates and heavenly sweet desserts at the end of a lovely meal. Any of these delectable delights will have your sweetie savoring every bite:

  • Chocolate Truffles: If you’re preparing a dessert for a chocolate-lover, this simple, creamy dessert is perfect. The recipe provides the ideal chocolate-to-cream ratio, and the method could not be easier to follow. Be sure to check out the written tips and tricks—they will undoubtedly make your truffle-making adventures more successful.  

Get the Recipe: Sally’s Baking Addiction

  • Panna Cotta with Berry Sauce: This creamy, smooth Italian dessert sounds so elegant, and provides a vibrant, tangy taste in every mouthful. Don’t let the fancy title steer you away; this dessert is effortless to put together. Plus, you can prepare it a day or two in advance!

Get the Recipe: Natasha’s Kitchen

  • Chocolate Mousse: Chocolate mousse is another super-simple, yet stately dessert that you can make in no time! This fluffy, soft treat also looks fantastic served in a fancy martini glass and garnished with whipped cream. For some extra romantic flair, add a few chocolate-dipped strawberries on top!

Get the Recipe: Tasty

  • Easy Crème Brûlée: This is another dessert people are often scared to try, but the steps in this recipe are easy to follow (we promise!). With only five humble ingredients, you’ll wonder how this delicacy is so sophisticated with flavor. Superior to many, this dessert provides a heartfelt ending to a lovely meal.

Get the Recipe: Live Well Bake Often

Emilee Unterkoefler Emilee Unterkoefler
Emilee Unterkoefler is a freelance food writer, hiking enthusiast, and mama with over ten years of experience working in the food industry. Read Full Bio »

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