Valentine’s Day 2021: Top 8 Recipes for a Cozy and Romantic Night
Top 8 recipes for a cozy and romantic Valentine's Day. Photo: Good Housekeeping

Whether you're a fan of Valentine's Day or consider it to be an over-commercialized holiday in which candy companies make out like bandits, there's no denying the necessity and power of telling someone that you love them. And whether you're celebrating the beginnings of a new relationship or you're spending the day with your longtime sweetheart, sharing a meal together can be a great way to show that love in action. And given that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will likely leave in-person dining off the proverbial table, these delicious Valentine's Day recipes will help you create the perfect romantic meal from the comfort of your home.

The following easy-to-follow Valentine's Day recipes include options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. So if you're looking for an elaborate dinner idea or plan on making multiple meals to share with your beloved, you'll be able to whip up something delicious. In typical Valentine's Day fashion, focusing on a fancy dessert could be a great place to start. If your special someone is a kid a heart, try a strawberry pizza or ice cream waffle-wich. If they have a sweet tooth, consider the double chocolate mocha mousse or chewy chocolate cookies. Whatever you decide to make, just make sure you make it with love, since that's what Valentine's Day is all about. And if you want a little something extra, try one of these Valentine's Day cocktails to complete the meal, or perhaps Valentine's Day movies to play in the background. Happy Valentine's Day!

#RECIPE 1: Pasta With Vodka Sauce

You can't go wrong with a classic, especially when it calls for heavy cream, grated Parmesan, and a splash of vodka.

Valentine’s Day 2021: Top 8 Recipes for a Cozy and Romantic Night
Photo: Delish

Ingredients

Directions

1 lb. rigatoni

2 tbsp. olive oil

3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 shallots, finely chopped

6 oz. can tomato paste

1/4 c. vodka

1 c. heavy cream

Pinch of red pepper flakes

Kosher salt and pepper

1/4 c. finely grated Parmesan, plus more for serving

Basil, for serving

1. Cook rigatoni per package directions.

2. Heat olive oil, garlic, and shallots in a Dutch oven on medium. Cook, stirring, until tender, 4 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring until deep red and beginning to caramelize about 5 minutes.

3. Stir in vodka; cook until nearly evaporated, about 2 minutes. Scoop 1/2 cup pasta cooking water into a measuring cup (even if pasta is not done), then add heavy cream. Add to Dutch oven along with red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring until smooth.

4. Reserve 1 cup pasta water, then transfer cooked pasta to Dutch oven. Add 1/2 cup reserved pasta water; cook on low, stirring constantly, until pasta is coated, adding more liquid as needed. Fold in 1/4 cup Parmesan. Serve topped with additional Parmesan and basil.

#RECIPE 2: Strawberry Pizza

This perfectly pink recipe combines two favorites: pizza and dessert.

Valentine’s Day 2021: Top 8 Recipes for a Cozy and Romantic Night
Photo: Grateful

Ingredients

Directions

MACERATED STRAWBERRIES

2 tbsp. strawberry preserves

1/4 c. sugar

1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

2 lb. strawberries, hulled and halved (or quartered if large)

STRAWBERRY PIZZA

1 lb. pizza dough, quartered

2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 tbsp. granulated sugar

3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

4 oz. strawberries, hulled

1 8-oz pkg. cream cheese softened

1/2 c. confectioners’ sugar

1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1/8 tsp. kosher salt

3/4 c. heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

Caramel sauce, for serving

MACERATED STRAWBERRIES

1. In a large bowl, microwave preserves in 10-second increments until runny. Stir in sugar and lemon juice. Add strawberries and toss to coat.

2. Let sit, tossing occasionally, until berries release their juices, at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.

STRAWBERRY PIZZA

1. Position racks in the center and bottom of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Shape each quarter of dough into a 7-in. round. Place 2 rounds on each prepared pan. Brush tops with melted butter. Mix granulated sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and sprinkle over top.

2. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through until bottoms are brown and crisp and the dough is cooked through 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely on the pans.

3. Meanwhile, pulse strawberries in a food processor until smooth. Add cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt. Pulse until smooth. If the mixture is runny, refrigerate until firm enough to spread.

4. Divide strawberry cream cheese mixture among the cooled pie crusts. Top with macerated strawberries and whipped cream. Serve immediately, drizzled with caramel sauce if desired.

#RECIPE 3: Beef Tenderloin with Roasted Cauliflower-Pomegranate Salad

This juicy beef tenderloin will taste just like it came from a fancy restaurant, but you'll be the only one who knows it took less than half an hour to prep. Serve with a simple pomegranate salad to incorporate one of Valentine's Day's main colors.

Valentine’s Day 2021: Top 8 Recipes for a Cozy and Romantic Night
Photo: EatingWell

Ingredients

Directions

1 whole filet of beef

6 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. Freshly ground pepper

1 head cauliflower

5 large shallots

2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

2 tsp. whole-grain Dijon mustard

1 package baby kale

1/2 c. pomegranate seeds

1. Heat oven to 475 degrees F. Place the beef on a large rimmed baking sheet. Rub with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake at 475 degrees F for 12 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, toss 2 tablespoons of oil with cauliflower and shallots; season with additional salt and pepper. Quickly scatter vegetables around beef in the pan and continue to bake, stirring vegetables once, 18 more minutes (for medium-rare) or until meat reached the desired degree of doneness.

3. Remove beef from pan and cover with foil; let stand for 15 minutes. Whisk together the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil, lemon juice, and mustard; season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir kale into a hot pan with vegetables. Drizzle with olive oil mixture and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds. Slice beef and serve with cauliflower pomegranate salad.

#RECIPE 4: Roast Turkey Breast

Turkey isn't exclusive to Thanksgiving. Serve up this turkey breast along with a medley of roasted potatoes, parsnips, and carrots to make it more suitable for two.

Valentine’s Day 2021: Top 8 Recipes for a Cozy and Romantic Night
Photo: Whole Foods Market

Ingredients

Directions

1 lemon

6 tbsp. butter, at room temp.

4 cloves garlic, crushed with press

2 tbsp. Dijon mustard

2 (2-lb.) turkey-breast halves, deboned

1 lb. medium shallots, halved lengthwise (left in their skins)

1 tsp. olive oil

1 lb. small purple potatoes (about 8), scrubbed and halved lengthwise

12 oz. small parsnips (about 4), trimmed, scrubbed and halved lengthwise

1 lb. small thin carrots (about 12), trimmed and scrubbed

1. Heat oven to 425°F. With a vegetable peeler, remove 6 strips of lemon zest, avoiding the white pith; thinly slice crosswise. In a small bowl, combine butter, garlic, mustard, lemon zest and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper; set aside.

2. Remove skin from turkey-breast halves and set aside. Rub the butter mixture all over turkey breasts. Place one breast half on top of the other, arranging so 1 thick side and 1 thin side are sandwiched together. Wrap breasts in the skin and tie with butcher's twine to form a log shape.

3. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss shallots with oil and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Arrange them in the center of the sheet and place turkey on top. Roast 60 minutes.

4. Remove from oven and transfer turkey to cutting board. Add potatoes, carrots, and parsnips to a baking sheet and toss with shallots and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper; arrange in an even layer. Place turkey on top of vegetables and roast until turkey registers 160°F on instant-read thermometer and vegetables are golden brown and tender, 35 to 45 minutes more (remove vegetables that are done before turkey).

5. Transfer turkey to clean cutting board and let rest at least 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with pan juices and vegetables.

#RECIPE 5: Everything Bagel Salmon

A homemade blend of poppy seeds, toasted sesame seeds, dried garlic, dried onion, and salt adds bold flavor to an otherwise classic entrée.

Valentine’s Day 2021: Top 8 Recipes for a Cozy and Romantic Night
Photo: Platings + Pairings

Ingredients

Directions

1 1/2 lb. skin-on salmon fillet

2 tbsp. olive oil, divided

Kosher salt and pepper

2 tbsp. everything spice blend

1 lemon

1 small bulb fennel, cored and very thinly sliced, plus 1/2 cup fennel fronds

3 scallions, thinly sliced

1/2 c. flat-leaf parsley leaves

1/2 c. cilantro leaves

1. Heat oven to 425°F. Place salmon, skin side down, on the rimmed baking sheet and rub with 1 tablespoon oil, then sprinkle ¼ teaspoon pepper and all of the everything spice on top. Thinly slice half of the lemon and arrange around salmon. Bake until salmon is barely opaque throughout, 18 to 22 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, squeeze juice from the remaining lemon half (about 1½ tablespoons) into a medium bowl. Add fennel, remaining tablespoon oil, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper and toss to coat.

3. Just before serving, toss fennel with scallions, parsley, cilantro, and fennel fronds. Serve with salmon and lemon slices.

#RECIPE 6: Strawberry and Snickers Sticks

This recipe is perfect for people who might not feel that comfortable in the kitchen. With minimal effort (we're talking cutting up some berries and candy bars) you can make a tasty, customizable dessert.

Valentine’s Day 2021: Top 8 Recipes for a Cozy and Romantic Night
Photo: Woman's Day

Ingredients

Directions

16 small strawberries or 8 large (halved if large)

6 fun-size Snickers bars, halved

Dulce de leche (or other caramel sauce), for serving

Coarse sea salt, for serving

4 Bamboo skewers

1. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Thread the strawberries onto bamboo skewers, alternating with the Snickers pieces. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.

3. When ready to serve, transfer the frozen fruit kebabs to a serving platter, drizzle with the dulce de leche, and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.

#RECIPE 7: Shrimp Curry and Rice

For a dish that's just as colorful and complex as your love story, go for this one-pot dinner flavored with ginger, garlic, and curry powder.

Valentine’s Day 2021: Top 8 Recipes for a Cozy and Romantic Night
Photo: Life As A Strawberry

Ingredients

Direcitons

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

Kosher salt and pepper

1 1/2 tbsp. grated peeled fresh ginger

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tbsp. curry powder

1 c. long-grain white rice

1 lb. medium peeled and deveined shrimp

1 c. frozen peas, thawed

1 c. fresh cilantro, chopped

Lemon wedges, for serving

1. Heat oil in a large skillet on medium. Add onion, season with 1⁄4 teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add curry powder and cook, stirring, 1 minute.

2. Add rice and stir to coat in onion mixture. Stir in 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 15 minutes.

3. Fold shrimp and peas into rice and cook, covered, until shrimp are opaque throughout and rice is tender, 4 to 5 minutes more.

4. Remove from heat and fold in cilantro. Serve with lemon wedges if desired.

#RECIPE 8: New York Strip Steak

Everyone loves steak and potatoes, but your valentine will be even more impressed when you serve a juicy steak alongside Hasselback potatoes and garlicky spinach.

Valentine’s Day 2021: Top 8 Recipes for a Cozy and Romantic Night
Photo: The Honest Bison

Ingredients

Directions

1 1/2-inch strip steak (about 3/4 pound)

Kosher salt and pepper

2 tsp. olive oil

4 cloves garlic, in skins

1 sprig of fresh rosemary

1. Heat oven to 425°F. Heat medium cast-iron skillet on medium-high. Season steak with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Add oil to skillet, then add steak, garlic, and rosemary and cook until steak is browned, about 3 minutes per side.

2. Transfer skillet to oven and roast until steak is at desired doneness, 3 to 6 minutes for medium. Transfer steak to cutting board and let rest at least 5 minutes before slicing.

For a romantic Valentine's Day 2021, please check out our KnowInsiders!

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