50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (2024)

Staying in on Valentine’s Day? Good call. Celebrating a perfect Valentine's Day dinner at home can be delicious, intimate, and affordable. You get to pick the playlist, the setting, and, most importantly, the menu.

Nothing says “I love you” like a special homemade meal, so we compiled Valentine's Day dinner ideas that are perfect for a home-based celebration. Mix and match V-Day appetizers, entrees, and sides that you and your valentine will fall in love with.

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Fish Antipasto

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (1)

Cheese and charcuterie boards are commonplace, but who would anticipate a fish-forward board? This starter features an easy-to-make (and make-ahead) smoked trout spread next to buttered baguette rounds topped with anchovies. Fill in the rest of the board with crackers, vegetables, and olives for a light bite that sets the table (figuratively, of course) for a special night.

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02of 50

Salmon Nigiri

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (2)

There’s nothing like a homemade sushi date, whether you’re making each piece side-by-side or surprising your sweetheart with a from-scratch sushi platter. For this recipe, you can swap out salmon for another sushi-grade fish, shrimp, or even avocado.

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03of 50

Heart Shaped Pasta

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (3)

This homemade pasta, which may well hold the key to your beloved’s heart, can be served in a variety of pasta dishes. Make a date night out of kneading the dough and cutting out the heart shapes, or simply surprise your date with a plate full of hearts.

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04of 50

Red Cabbage and Beet Borscht

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (4)

Hearty red beets, red cabbage, and vibrant carrots are responsible for the jewel-toned color of this ultra-healthy soup. Finish each bowl with a dollop of sour cream and a sprig of dill. Serve with a spicy red wine and a thick, butter-smeared slice of rye.

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05of 50

Every-Citrus Salad With Almonds and Manchego

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (5)

Celebrate the last throes of the citrus season with this winter-produce salad of oranges, tangerines, and grapefruit with radicchio and parsley. An orange-maple syrup adds sweetness, while shaved Manchego cheese and roasted almonds lend saltiness and crunch.

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06of 50

Beet and Goat Cheese Dip

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (6)

This dip qualifies as Valentine's Day-worthy by its color alone, but there are more reasons to make this sensational starter. It's a creamy, mayo-free starter made from cannellini beans—along with its titular ingredients—and if you buy precooked beets, it whips up in minutes. Serve with your favorite crudités or pita chips.

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07of 50

Bacon Wrapped Dates With Goat Cheese

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (7)

This dinner recipe's title doubles as an ingredient list: It's that simple! Sweet, salty, and creamy, these mouthwatering bites get dinner off to a perfect start. The recipe serves eight but can be easily downsized for a more intimate gathering.

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08of 50

Cheese Fondue

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (8)

If you've squirreled away a fondue set that's eagerly awaiting a special occasion, there's no reason not to start your V-Day meal with a pot of warm, melted cheese. This recipe melds Swiss and Gruyere poised for dippers like apples or pears, steamed or roasted vegetables, or cubes of soft, crusty bread.

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09of 50

Roasted Red Pepper Dip

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (9)

Start your party for two or more with this ultra-creamy, non-dairy dip. Use your food processor to whirl seasoned tomato paste, roasted cashews, and ajar of roasted red bell peppers. The result is a vibrant-colored, umami dip ready for crudités, crackers, or pita chips.

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10of 50

Red Pepper Walnut Knots

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (10)

This recipe starts with two supermarket shortcuts—puff pastry and jarred roasted red peppers—and ends with gorgeous bakery-worthy apps or sides. A topping of sesame seeds, oregano, and flaky sea salt makes them memorable long after V-Day.

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11of 50

Tapenade and Red Onion Pizza

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (11)

Create one of these pizzas to share as an appetizer, or make one for each dinner guest. Either way, it's a quick-and-easy yet sophisticated pizza for grownup tastes and the perfect finger food for romantic movie-watching.

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12of 50

Herby Chicken Salad Tartines

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (12)

Wondering how a chicken sandwich elevates to Valentine's Day-worthy status? Present it open-faced and give it a fancy French name, as this recipe does. Serve as part of an apps-only meal or alongside a sexy soup or salad.

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13of 50

Ceviche

Ceviche (pronounced sah-VEE-chey) is araw seafood dish that"cooks" in citrus juice, vinegar, or other acidic marinade. This make-ahead starter takes just minutes to assemble and can be made from any mild white ocean seafood: shrimp, snapper, sea bass, halibut, calamari, or tilapia. Serve in a stylish glass as an impressive appetizer, with tortilla chips as a dip, or as a no-cook entree with a couple of sides.

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14of 50

Lobster Tails With Cilantro Butter

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (14)

Transform Valentine's Day dinner at home into a luxe date with these easy-to-make lobster tails. Prep them at your leisure, and pop them in the oven just before you sit down to dine. For a sensational side, pair them with gnocchi with corn and miso.

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15of 50

Cheesy Potato Frittata

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (15)

Is there a faster way to a loved one's heart than cheesy potatoes? We don't think so. This meatless recipe serves eight so, after starring in an intimate dinner, repurpose leftovers for a quick, satisfying breakfast or a hearty lunch at work.

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16of 50

Neapolitan-Style Margherita Pizza

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (16)

A heart-shaped pizza that comes from the heart inevitably tastes better than delivery. Honor tradition with this classic recipe for a Margherita pie, and purchase pre-made dough to speed up your prep. Alternatively, treat your date to a toppings bar at the most romantic pizzeria in town—your kitchen.

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17of 50

Balsamic Steak With Radicchio and Pears

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (17)

There's something about a perfectly cooked steak that's just so romantic. This Valentine's Day recipe pairs the steak with winter produce—bitter radicchio and sweet pears—for the ultimate balanced, restaurant-style meal.

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18of 50

Spice-Braised Short Ribs

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (18)

Slow-cooked meat that tenderizes all afternoon and fills the house with an incredible aroma amps up the anticipation of a special meal at home. We recommend serving this with our melting potatoes, but risotto or tortillas work, too.

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19of 50

Salmon Fillet With Citrus and Thyme

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (19)

You can easily downsize this eight-serving recipe for a date or double date, and garnish with blood oranges and edible flowers to carry a Valentine’s Day theme. We love serving this with roasted asparagus and baby hasselback potatoes.

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20of 50

Creamy Miso White Bean Soup

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (20)

If you love creamy but not cream, you'll love this creamy soup made from whirled cannellini beans, vegetable broth, and a touch of miso for umami flavor. Finish with olive oil and rosemary leaves, and serve with crusty bread and a spicy, light red wine.

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21of 50

Crunchy Salad With Chicken and Ginger

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (21)

A dinner-perfect salad is a perfect V-Day option that won't weigh you down (and leaves plenty of room for dessert). Half of its tasty orange-soy-ginger mixture marinades chicken breast chunks, and the other half dresses the rest of the salad.

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22of 50

Lemony Lentil Soup

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (22)

Consider this soup recipe as a stunning starter, a soothing side, or a simple supper. Whichever way you serve it, it's lemony, nourishing, and just what you need to brighten up a mid-February celebratory meal.

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23of 50

Red Curry Veggie Stew

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (23)

At just 30 minutes from start to finish, this recipe delivers a comforting veggie-and-rice bowl that warms heart and soul. Whether you add a protein or not, you'll find Thai-inspired flavor in every bite.

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24of 50

Butternut Squash Soup With Parmesan Croutons

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (24)

Warm up your love life with this silky-smooth squash soup. To speed up prep, go with pre-cut, packaged squash from your grocer's. To make it vegan, swap out the chicken broth with vegetable broth and serve with "cheesy" croutons.

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25of 50

Gnocchi Alla Vodka

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (25)

Rich, creamy vodka sauce is always the move. Whether it’s your first Valentine’s Day together or one of many throughout the years, celebrate with this luscious bowl of pasta (store-bought or make your own).

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26of 50

Farro Bowl With Pomegranate Vinaigrette

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (26)

This meatless dish is full of nutritional all-stars—farro, sweet potato, and spinach—united by a sweet-tart pomegranate dressing. It's a hearty vegetarian meal on its own or a great side salad for roasted chicken or fish.

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27of 50

Cacio e Pepe

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (27)

Cacio e pepe is a classic Roman pasta dish that sounds much fancier than its English translation, “cheese and pepper." Its five-ingredient simplicity belies an otherworldly depth of flavor you have to try.

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28of 50

Pappardelle With Shrimp and Asparagus

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (28)

Light, fresh, and flavorful is the ticket for Valentine's Day dinner, and this pasta dish punches it. It features broad, flat ribbons of pasta—pappardelle or fettuccini—in a lemony, buttery sauce with a dash of red pepper flakes just to make it interesting. Best of all, it comes together in just 30 minutes.

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29of 50

Scallops in Parchment

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (29)

The dramatic presentation of revealing a mystery and releasing a pouf of steam is so worth it. Beans and veggies join scallops to make each parchment packet a complete meal. Bonus: You spend a lot less time doing dishes.

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30of 50

Mushroom Mole Enchiladas

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (30)

The combo of chocolate and Valentine’s Day is a natural pairing, and infusing chocolate in your entree doubles down on that theme. These rich, vegetarian enchiladas are perfect to share, and the mole is finger-licking good.

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31of 50

Parm-Butter Steak and Sweet Potato Fries

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (31)

This dinner recipe delivers the full meal deal—meat, potatoes, and greens—with a special feature that transforms it from everyday to extraordinary. It's Parm-butter: a compound butter infused with garlic, fresh black pepper, and Parmesan that gives pan-seared hanger steak a rich, savory finish.

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32of 50

Grilled Lamb With Plum Mostarda and Blistered Shish*tos

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (32)

It looks like a professionally composed dish, but this Valentine's Day dinner is simple to grill and plate, indoors or out. The heat intensity in each shish*to pepper varies, so pick this recipe if you want to spice things up!

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33of 50

Roasted Tomatoes With Shrimp and Feta

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (33)

This recipe delivers rich, meaty, tomato flavor without the messiness of tomato sauce. It's paired with juicy shrimp in a garlicky olive oil mixture that's topped with crumbled feta. This dish begs for crusty bread, pasta, or rice it sop up its flavorful juices.

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34of 50

Miso Mushroom Ramen With Jammy Eggs

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (34)

A cozy bowl of plant-based ramen can be all you need for a romantic and cozy night in. Share a long noodle à la Lady and the Tramp.

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35of 50

Braised Fish With Spicy Tomato Sauce

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (35)

Spice things up with this saucy fish stew. Start with frozen skinless white fish fillets—cod, sole, flounder, snapper, or wild Alaska pollock—and braise them in a tomato-based sauce spiked with paprika, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne. Add spinach to the mix and serve over fluffy couscous for a meal on the light side that's full of flavor.

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36of 50

Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (36)

This dinner recipe stuffs jumbo shells with a simple, creamy mixture of ricotta, Parmesan, and fresh chopped spinach. It bakes in a pool of jarred marinara for a warm, comforting, meatless entree or a satisfying side.

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37of 50

Slow Cooker Coq au Vin

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (37)

Traditionally, this French chicken and wine dish takes all day to prepare, but the magic of the slow cooker brings it to us with just 30 minutes of hands-on prep followed by 6 hours of doing nothing. At dinnertime, serve with egg noodles, lit candles, and more wine.

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38of 50

Pork Chops With Cherry Sauce

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (38)

Pork chops with applesauce are for every day, but on an extra special day, pair them with cherry sauce. It elevates pan-seared chops with a sweet, tangy flavor and a rich, red hue. Serve it with crispy oven-roasted potatoes.

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39of 50

Hanger Steak With Buttery Mashed Carrots

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (39)

Steak is always a solid choice when it comes to Valentine's Day. While usually paired with potatoes, this recipe calls for soft, sweet carrots mashed into a buttery side. You'll definitely want seconds.

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40of 50

Golden Corn and Tofu Curry

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (40)

This meatless, Thai-inspired dish mixes rice noodles with tender tofu cubes and toasted corn kernels in a coconut curry sauce. Best of all, this one-pot meal comes together in just 30 minutes.

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41of 50

Skillet Gnocchi With Sausage and Broccoli Rabe

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (41)

This fast, easy skillet-ready recipe pairs pillowy gnocchi with broccoli rabe and sausage. White wine, fennel, and a dollop of ricotta finish the dish, but if you're not a fennel fan, onion makes a suitable sub.

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42of 50

Ravioli With Sautéed Zucchini

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (42)

When Valentine's Day falls on a weeknight, you can still make dinner special with this easy pasta recipe. It starts with a store-bought ravioli filled with cheese (or your sweetheart's favorite filling) and then adds sliced zucchini, garlic, and parmesan for a simple, sophisticated meal.

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43of 50

Shrimp, Leek, and Spinach Pasta

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (43)

Juicy shrimp with luscious pasta and fresh spinach in a silky sauce is a delicious way to say "I love you," and a quick one, too. This recipe comes together in just 20 minutes, leaving plenty of time to make a decadent dessert.

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44of 50

Rachael Ray's Skillet Spinach Lasagna

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (44)

If you have your heart set on lasagna for the two of you, but your recipe serves 12, take a look at this four-serving one. It cooks on the stove and finishes with a quick broil in the oven. This romantic dinner option has all the meaty, creamy, familiar flavors and textures you love about lasagna.

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45of 50

Cheesy Chicken Nachos

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (45)

You don't need a football game and a house full of fans to enjoy a plate of nachos at home. It can be a one-pan, highly customizable, and fun meal for just the two of you, too. Using this recipe's shortcuts—rotisserie chicken, jarred salsa, and store-bought chips—also makes this a quick and easy choice.

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46of 50

Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (46)

Avoid spending time at the stove and on cleanup afterward with this sheet-pan idea. Fajita ingredients—seasoned shrimp, onions, and peppers—roast in the oven and then get a quick broil for a nice char. Soft tortillas get warm and pliable in the oven, too, Make your own tacos right from the pan and top with the usual suspects for a fun, unusual date night meal.

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47of 50

Sheet Pan Fish and Chips

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (47)

You can skip the deep fryer and still present this British favorite to your valentine. Panko-coated cod fillets roast in the same pan as seasoned potato wedges, making cleanup as easy as prep. Serve with malt vinegar and peas for the full pub experience.

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48of 50

Moroccan Spiced Fish

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (48)

The title of this recipe is misleading because—in addition to cod fillets dusted in cumin, coriander, and allspice—there are carrots and potatoes, too. It's a full Valentine's Day meal that roasts on a single baking pan, is ready in 35 minutes, and cleans up in a breeze.

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49of 50

Slow Cooker Soy-Braised Chicken

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (49)

Inspired by chicken adobo—a Filipino chicken-and-rice favorite—this recipe is slow-cooker easy. With no browning required, just toss skinless, bone-in chicken thighs in the slow cooker with apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, and brown sugar, which combine for a tangy sauce that flavors fluffy white rice.

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50of 50

Chicken and Potatoes With Brown Butter Sauce

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This recipe gives you that roasted-whole-chicken hominess without having to wrestle with a carcass after a long cooking time. It features juicy bone-in thighs that cook up with crispy-skin goodness alongside tender whole-roasted fingerlings. But the real star is its lemony brown butter sauce that coats everything in lusciousness.

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Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts

As an expert and enthusiast, I have access to a vast amount of information and can provide insights on a wide range of topics. While I have personal experiences or emotions like a human, I can provide factual information and answer questions based on available data.

Now, let's dive into the concepts mentioned in this article.

Valentine's Day Dinner Ideas at Home

Valentine's Day is a special occasion to celebrate love and affection. Many people choose to stay in and have a romantic dinner at home. It can be a delightful and intimate experience, allowing you to create a personalized atmosphere and menu for you and your loved one.

The article suggests various Valentine's Day dinner ideas that are perfect for a home-based celebration. It includes appetizers, entrees, and sides that you can mix and match to create a memorable meal. Some of the ideas mentioned in the article are:

  1. Fish Antipasto: This starter features a fish-forward board with an easy-to-make smoked trout spread and buttered baguette rounds topped with anchovies. It can be complemented with crackers, vegetables, and olives [[1]].

  2. Salmon Nigiri: This recipe allows you to make homemade sushi with salmon or other sushi-grade fish, shrimp, or avocado [[2]].

  3. Heart Shaped Pasta: Homemade heart-shaped pasta can be served in various pasta dishes, making it a romantic and personalized option [[3]].

  4. Red Cabbage and Beet Borscht: This hearty soup features red beets, red cabbage, and vibrant carrots, finished with a dollop of sour cream and a sprig of dill. It can be served with a spicy red wine and a slice of rye bread [[4]].

  5. Every-Citrus Salad With Almonds and Manchego: This winter-produce salad combines oranges, tangerines, and grapefruit with radicchio and parsley. It is topped with shaved Manchego cheese and roasted almonds, creating a balance of sweetness, saltiness, and crunch [[5]].

  6. Beet and Goat Cheese Dip: This creamy, mayo-free dip is made from cannellini beans, beets, and goat cheese. It can be served with crudités or pita chips [[6]].

  7. Bacon Wrapped Dates With Goat Cheese: These mouthwatering bites are sweet, salty, and creamy. The recipe serves eight but can be easily downsized for a more intimate gathering [[7]].

  8. Cheese Fondue: If you have a fondue set, you can start your Valentine's Day meal with a pot of warm, melted cheese. This recipe combines Swiss and Gruyere cheese, perfect for dipping apples, pears, vegetables, or crusty bread [[8]].

These are just a few examples from the article. It provides a total of 50 Valentine's Day dinner ideas that you can explore and choose from to create a special and memorable meal for you and your valentine.

Please note that the information provided above is based on this article, and the recipes and ideas mentioned are not verified by me personally.

50 Recipes for Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Dinner Menu (2024)

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