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Top 10 Valentine’s Day Dinner Ideas That Feel Fancy (but Not Cheesy)

If you and your Valentine decided to avoid the crowds and celebrate at home this year and you need a recipe that feels a little bit special…without feeling like a walking romcom cliché. Lucky for you, Cupid’s got you covered.  Whether you’re loving yourself or someone else this year we’ve rounded up 10 of the best Valentine’s Day dinner ideas that are sure to make you swoon — from pan-seared steak to our favorite Italian pasta, these dishes are simple to pull off, and super delicious.  Save room for dessert, because we’ve got a few of those too♡!

1. Diver Scallops Au Gratin (Capesante Gratinate)

The fresh flavor of Sweet Diver Sea Scallops is front and center in this dish and it’s practically impossible to mess up, so if you’re a little bit nervous about cooking for your sweetheart, this is the perfect dish to make. And it only takes 8 minutes under the broiler for these little gems to cook which means more cuddle time on the couch. 



2. Easy St. Louis-Style Heart-Shaped Pizza

Ok — I know we mentioned no cheesy Rom-Com stuff, but this super easy 20-minute heart-shaped pizza is just SO adorable! And because it’s also incredibly delicious, we think you can definitely pull it off (while still being the coolest Queen of Hearts). 



3. Five-Minute Pan-Seared Flank Steak For Two (or a Crowd)

If your Valentine loves meaty meals, this pan-seared flank steak is not only easy and quick (do you see a trend here?), but it’s delicious and economical too. There’s no need to break the bank in order to make a tasty Valentine’s Day dinner and this less-expensive cut of meat is sure to please any real beef-lover. Tack on the shrimp recipe just below and make it a surf and turf meal. 



4. Four-Minute Perfect Pan-Seared Shrimp

This is one of our favorite pan-seared shrimp recipes because Argentinian red shrimp are incredibly sweet and perfectly tender (probably just like your Valentine♡). These healthy, garlicky shrimp are ready to eat in just 4 minutes (and if you plan on smoochin’ it up after dinner, you can always leave out the garlic). 



5. Shrimp Fettuccini Alfredo Pasta (w/Parmigiano Cream Sauce)

You may be thinking that an Alfredo pasta of any kind is a really bad idea on Valentine’s Day — not this one! Not only does this pasta come together in just 20 minutes, but it’s also lighter and way more delicious than other recipes. And it’ll still leave you with plenty of room for feeling frisky after dinner. Scout’s honor. Sautéed garlic shrimp, Parmigiano-Reggiano cream sauce, chewy ribbons of Italian egg pasta — really what else says I love you more than this?



6. Pasta all’Amatriciana (Spaghetti w/Smokey Pancetta,Tomato + Pecorino)

This classic Italian pasta is delicious (with a capital D). Sweet red tomatoes, smokey, porky pancetta, a little white wine, and a dash of red pepper spice up any Valentine’s Day dinner. A great recipe for you and your sweetheart to make together while you’re sipping on the opened bottle of wine. Feel free to eat this pasta  Lady and the Tramp-style (no-one’s judging).



7. Delicious Shrimp Scampi for Two

This is the best shrimp scampi recipe ever and it’s fool-proof and ready in just under 15 minutes! Tender sweet shrimp covered in a buttery, garlicky blanket of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, scallions, parsley, and a hint of red pepper flakes — your Valentine will defintely feel the true love in this dish. This is also a great dish to pair for a surf and turf Valentine’s Day Dinner.



8. Lasagna Bolognese (the real deal)

Nothing says “I love you” like a true Italian slow-simmered pasta sauce — except when you take that sauce and use it to make the best lasagna of your life! Fair warning, it’ll be hard to limit yourselves to just one piece. The great news — you can keep your Valentine’s Day love going all weekend long because these leftovers are AMAZING. 



9. Guazzetto di Cozze (Mussels in Tomato + White Wine Garlic Sauce)

Delicious, plump black mussels are not only super delicious but take just 15 minutes to pull off (and cost way less than dinner for two at your fancy local bistro). All you need is a crusty baguette of bread or crispy homemade french fries to dip in the tasty tomato, white wine, garlic, mussel sauce. 



10. Cajun Style Royal Red Shrimp Pasta for One (or two)

Not everyone celebrates Valentine’s Day. Not everyone who celebrates Valentine’s Day is in a relationship. Some people like to celebrate self-love. No matter which of these camps you fall into, this is a pasta that anyone can love. It’s shrimpy, spicy, cajun inspired and it only takes 15 minutes to make. Not only that, cleanup is a breeze, leaving you more time to stream your favorite show, call your Mama to tell her you love her, eat some of that dessert in your fridge, or make out with that special someone on the couch. 


Looking for Something Sweet To Eat on Valentine’s Day? Here are a Few Valentine’s Desserts That’ll Knock Anyone’s Socks off 

Let’s get started!

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Luv Ya Heart - NYC Gallery

Top 10 Valentine’s Day Dinner Ideas That Feel Fancy (but Not Cheesy)

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  • Author: Kelly
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 1 Happy Relationship for a Weekend or a Lifetime 1x
  • Diet: Low Calorie


A super easy recipe that will keep your love true and sweet for a weekend, a month, or for an entire lifetime. Feel free to add a little more heat if you like it just a bit spicier.


Units Scale
  • 5 cups of loving yourself first (1,134g)
  • 3 1/2 cups patience (448g)
  • 2 pounds of respect (1kg)
  • 1 1/4 cups of doing nice things out of the blue (160g)
  • 4 cups of looking the other way (512g)
  • 10 cups of pure joy (basically you need a lot)
  • 12 ounces of self-reflection (340g)
  • 1/2 pound of empathy (226g)
  • a pinch of creativity
  • eye-rolling (optional, but recommended) (64g)


  1. Love yourself from the inside out. Do the work. If you don’t love and accept yourself first (inside and out), no one is ever going to love you the way you deserve to be loved (not ever).
  2. Be Patient. A little goes a long way and can make all the difference in this recipe. And although this amount may seem like a lot, trust us, you’ll need more than you think.
  3. Blue kindness. You know that feeling when your partner made the bed without asking, loaded the dishwasher, took the smelly recycling down 3 flights of stairs, or came home with your favorite takeout? Well, return the favor…just because. Doing good begets more GOOD. Unless the person you’re with is lazy and never does anything that doesn’t benefit them. In which case, see ya.
  4. Respect yourself and your partner. Miss Franklin said it best, respect yourself. And don’t forget to give this same respect to your partner. But don’t be a doormat. If your partner isn’t showing you mutual respect, they really don’t deserve you.
  5. Just look the other way for goodness sake. Sometimes no matter how much you want to say “I told you so”, just remember it could be you. And probably will be you at some point in the future. Treat your partner how you’d want to be treated if the tables were turned (at least some of the time).
  6. Pure joy can be hard to find. Occasionally this ingredient (especially in its purest form) can be hard to find. It seems like everyone but you has a whole bottle full. Believe us when we tell you, this is an ingredient that seems too often in short supply, but we need it. In fact, I’d say, you can never add too much of it. If you can’t find this ingredient where you live, you can always substitute it with helping someone out (maybe even someone less fortunate than you). Not only does this lift your spirit, but you may even notice that you probably actually do have a little joy hiding somewhere in the back of your spice cabinet.  Even if it’s expired, it’ll work. Pull it out and pour.
  7. Look in the mirror. Self-reflection is mandatory! We can all be a little devil sometimes. And that’s ok as long as we learn how to recognize it, think about it, maybe apologize for it, and think about how we can avoid repeating the same behavior. We’re all human. We all make mistakes. Just be open to admitting yours and still loving yourself.
  8. Empathize even when it might feel really difficult. Sometimes no matter how much you want to say “I told you so”, just remember it could be you. And probably will be you at some point in the future. Treat your partner how you’d want to be treated if the tables were turned (at least some of the time).
  9. Creativity is the soul of any well-lived life. Sometimes you need to shake things up. Creativity is a great way to have a little fun and stave off boredom and bad routines.
  10. Use eye-rolling as needed, but sparingly. Sometimes there is no other option than rolling your eyes at the idiotic thing your favorite person said. Occasionally, it’s because it was super funny, but more often than not, it’s because you’re thinking “what an idiot”.  Just remember, the other person feels this exact same way. So, curb your sass (when it’s not 100% necessary).


  • This is a great make-ahead and freeze recipe. You can pull it out of thin air anytime your relationship needs a little extra love and understanding.
  • If you want to make this recipe a little spicier, just be sure the other person is into it and can tolerate the additional spice. You can always add more, but you can never take it away.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 Minutes
  • Category: LOVE
  • Method: Sharing
  • Cuisine: Universal


  • Serving Size: 1/2
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