See these easy Valentines Day Dinner Ideas for a special dinner at home. No need to join the crowds on one of the busiest days of the year to dine out!
For many of us, Valentine's Day will be different than the usual restaurant plans, movie, or heading out on the town. If your Valentine's Day doesn't normally include dinner at home, here are three full menu plans plus recipes you can use to make your day special!
Valentines Day Dinner Meal Plans:
Our first meal plan includes:
- 7 Up Marinated Grilled Steaks
- Bulgur Wheat Salad
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Upside Down German Chocolate Cake
A lot of us opt for steak for special occasion dinners. If it's warm enough (and not too windy), you can easily grill some steaks on your own at home. With all of the social distancing protocols in place, we are eating at home more often. It's surprising how good you can make steaks right on the grill on the back porch! And the nice thing is, you don't have a hefty restaurant bill at the end of your dinner. 🙂
Keep in mind you can also grill steaks indoors using a few appliances. If you have an indoor Grill like the Ninja Grill or another brand, or are even used to skillet steaks, go for it!
I am usually happy to hand off cooking the steaks to our grill master– my husband! Get your 7UP Marinated Steak Recipe here!
I added Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes to this lineup since it's basically the easiest mashed potato recipe you'll find! Best part is, the Instant Pot keeps it warm till you're ready to eat! Just add a couple squares of butter!
Although this Bulgur Wheat Salad may not be what you're expecting, I love that the salad has a hearty base. It's a great salad idea if you're needing something else “filling” to add to the meal, to balance out your protein. The tomatoes bring fresh garden flavors to this meal!
Finally, try this Upside Down German Chocolate Cake for a sweet ending to this delicious dinner. This easy spin on a cake mix can be made ahead even up to a full day. No worries about finishing up a dessert while you're trying to enjoy dinner with your sweetheart in the dining room!
3 Course Seafood Meal at Home:
Our second meal plan is seafood! This has to be my top choice for any special occasion dinner!
The Seafood Valentine's Day DInner Plan Includes:
- Be Mine Berry Salad
- Alaska Cod with Shrimp and Tomatoes
- Homemade Crusty French Bread
- Coffee Brownies
This Alaska Cod recipe calls for good quality, seafood counter fish and shrimp. If your budget allows, Alaska Cod is amazing as a main dish! We save it for special occasions.
This recipe is surprisingly easy, and the lemon and tomatoes add all the flavor needed. Print the Alaska Cod with Alaska Shrimp and Tomatoes recipe here!
I love this Be Mine Berry Salad since it's so bright and festive! It's just perfect for Valentine's Day with all of the red strawberries. The dry ramen noodles give it a fun crunch, and it's hearty enough for a solid first dinner course!
This one is totally optional –for those non-bakers out there! Just throw in a good quality French Bread loaf into the shopping cart if you want. LOL.
If you're up to baking your own bread, this a Homemade Bread Loaf can be made ahead of time. Just pop it in the oven to heat up for about 5-10 minutes on about 300 degrees. Serve alongside a knife on a breadboard for a restaurant style presentation!
With this amazing dinner, dessert can be simple! We added our favorite Coffee Brownies to this meal plan. Start with your favorite brownie mix, and add a few ingredients to make this easy dessert. Serve with ice cream, optionally.
Italian Dinner with Sides and Dessert:
Finally, a lot of us love pasta for a restaurant-style dinner at home. If you're unsure about cooking steak or seafood, pasta is definitely an easier cooking option!
Shrimp Scampi can be made right at home in the kitchen with the right ingredients. See your recipe here. If you're not a fan of shrimp, or you have allergies, you can substitute with cooked chicken. Use Tyson Grilled and Ready Fully Cooked Chicken Strips in your frozen section to skip the cooking step!
Italian Dinner Meal Plan:
- Pasta Fagioli Soup Cup – from Dry Soup Mix
- Shrimp or Chicken Scampi
- Roasted Broccoli
- 3 Ingredient Greek Yogurt Strawberry Cake
You may be thinking, this is too much! I can't make a soup while I'm busy cooking a pasta dinner!! But stick with me!
This Pasta Fagioli Soup only calls for a prepared dry soup mix and seasoning packet. This is something you can put together days– or weeks– in advance of a dinner and have on the stove ready to go!
This soup is ideal for larger dinner groups, since each person can have their own soup cup. As a side dish it should serve a large group.
The actual soup cooks for 2 hours on the stove, or about 30-40 minutes in the Instant Pot on high pressure. So, it can be cooking while your attention is on the rest of the meal!
You can do your own thing for a vegetable side, but this Roasted Broccoli is an easy and colorful addition to your meal. I add at least as much seasoning as it calls for!
Keep in mind, cook the broccoli just before you're ready to serve. It does cool off quickly and is best served immediately. Serve with your Shrimp or Chicken Scampi as the main dish!
To finish off this meal plan, I wanted to include a dessert that was more Valentine's Day themed, and of course– as easy as possible!! So this 3 Ingredient Strawberry Cake fit the bill! It' SO easy, you won't feel overwhelmed with multiple recipe plans. Just toss a strawberry cake mix and a couple other ingredients into the shopping cart, and put them together!
This dessert is also great made ahead at least a few hours. I would not recommend letting it sit overnight or longer with the toppings on. You can bake your cake ahead and refrigerate, and add toppings 1-2 hours prior to serving if needed. Serve cold.
Mexican Meal Dinner Plan
If you're thinking along the lines of Mexican cuisine at home, try out this meal plan below! No need to go out for fajitas or enchiladas with the rest of the crowd!
- Instant Pot Fajitas for Two
- Cilantro Lime Rice
- Instant Pot Black Beans or No Lard refried Beans
- Homemade Restaurant Salsa
- Chocolate Cookie Dough Cheesecake
This show stopping Chocolate Cookie Dough Cheesecake is one of my favorites to share for Valentine's Day! Make ahead and have it ready to go for dinner!
Substitute a Side Dish:
- Instant Pot Candied Carrots
- Loaded Mashed Cauliflower
- Roasted Veggies
- Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
- Tomato Basil Soup
- Lemon Pasta Salad
- Orzo Salad
- Cowboy Caviar
- Cilantro Lime Quinoa
You can also swap out any of these side dish ideas with plenty of options right here on Consumer Queen. See low carb options and more!
More Valentines Day Dessert Ideas:
- Mini Chocolate Pie
- Chocolate Chunk Cheesecake Spread
- Low Carb Chocolate Peanut Butter Bark
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
- Chocolate Eclair Cake
- Mini Lemon Cheesecake
- Grasshopper Fudge Cupcake