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Valentine's Day Menu Ideas

Updated on January 23, 2012
Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet-White is an internationally known food writer, food editor for Texas Living, cookbook author, and food blogger.

It can be difficult coming up with Valentine's Day Menu ideas, especially if you are not an experienced cook. You want to make a special meal but so many of the menus available seem to include difficult recipes or exotic ingredients. Can you create a simple yet romantic Valentine's Day dinner?

Sure you can! Remember that when it comes to a romantic dinner it is more about the presentation than the recipes. Here are some tips to creating the perfect romantic dinner.

Create a Beautiful Table

Use a white table cloth and pink or red napkins. Add some flowers and some special plates and you have the makings of a fabulous meal. Keep the flower arrangement low so that you can see each other over it. Candles are a must.

Create Ambiance

Turn the lights down low if you have a dimmer switch. If you can place your table in front of the fireplace it will do a lot to add that spark of romance you are looking for. Soft saxophone music in the background will create a romantic, intimate ambiance for your Valentine's Day dinner.

Present the Food Well

You can make beautiful grilled cheese sandwiches and have them seen as the most romantic thing ever if you present them right.  Keep your plates simple and don't fill them too full. You want a lot of space on the plate. Here is a blog with nothing but gorgeous pictures of food and plates that can inspire your own creativity. 

A note on this; don't be too cute. Pink mashed potatoes might be great for a kid's party but not so much a romantic dinner for two.

Cook within Your Abilities

If the most complex thing you have ever made is a package of ramen noodles you really don't want to decide on a menu of Chateaubriand with Pommes Anna on the side. It doesn't hurt to learn new techniques but take small steps and keep things do-able.


Valentine's Day Menu Tips and Components

You can make a number of great meals very easily. Your menu should probably be made up of the following:

  • Appetizer
  • Main course and side dish
  • Dessert

If you want to make it more formal or larger you can add a salad course and a bread course. Always consider both your time and your experience when choosing a menu. You may like the idea of serving a hot sourdough baguette with your meal; you may even be proficient in making the perfect sourdough. However, if you have looming deadlines at work it will be better to buy a quality baguette from a bakery than try to make it yourself.

Make as much food ahead as is possible. Some foods don't wait very well and will need to be made just before serving – a soufflé for example. Try to stay away from these.

If you have time to make appetizers then you should do so but a wide variety of unique appetizers can be found at Costco or Sam's. These will allow you to have the pizzazz without the time investment.

One of the most romantic desserts ever is also one of the easiest; a chocolate fountain or fondue. Just put chocolate in the fountain, plug it in and serve strawberries on the side. Perfect with a high quality Moscato.

Valentine's Day Menu Ideas that You Can Do

Here are a few menu ideas and combinations to get you started.

Classic Menu

  • Stuffed mushrooms
  • Chicken with Alfredo Sauce
  • Broccoli
  • Baguette
  • Panna Cotta

Quick and Easy Menu

  • Grilled Steak
  • Salad with Cherry Tomatoes
  • Chocolate Lava Cakes

Lady and the Tramp Pasta Dinner

  • Spaghetti and Meatballs
  • Garlic bread
  • Gelato

More Valentine's Menus

You can find menus for Valentine's Day on the Internet as well. Here are a few to give you even more ideas and inspiration.

Real Simple's Mini Pork Rack

Valentine's Day Kebobs 

Several things to put on your menu for Valentine's Day

And whatever you choose to serve will be even more awesome when you create a printed menu.

Enjoy Yourself

The most important part of this dinner is that you have fun with it. Don't stress out. If you only have time to fix peanut butter and jelly sandwiches cut them in heart shapes! Remember that this is about you and your partner and your commitment to each other, not about your cooking skills!


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    • Hypersapien profile image


      6 years ago

      Great ideas. Thanks for the suggestions.

    • erwin3399 profile image


      7 years ago from Indonesia

      This is Wonderful day and Moment. Thank for sharing

    • almasi profile image


      7 years ago

      Inspiring. Thanks.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      7 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for your wonderful ideas.

    • Mrs asif profile image

      Mrs asif 

      7 years ago

      Nice one ..thanks for sharing


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