If you’ve been working on your cooking skills and want to impress someone special, there’s nothing like a homemade meal that doesn’t feel quite homemade to do the job. Expand your culinary experience and read our 5 romantic dinner ideas - perfect for Valentine’s Day. Create the perfect, romantic night with your partner with these easy recipes designed for the beginner chef (or the expert chef, they’re that good).
The Perfect Chicken Dish
Chicken is a crowd-pleaser and perfectly paired with a nice glass of white wine. Follow this easy-to-make recipe to surprise your partner. And what goes better with chicken than pasta?
200g broccoli, chopped
350g boneless and skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
175g mushrooms, quartered
80g soft cheese
284ml carton single cream
350g pasta of your choice (shells work best)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Ingredients for topping:
Spring onions, thinly sliced
85g grated mature cheddar
1 clove of garlic, minced
50g flaked almonds
Preheat the oven to 190℃ and bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add your pasta and stir well. Once returned to the boiling point, cook for 6 minutes before adding in the broccoli and cook for another 5 to 6 minutes until the pasta is just about cooked (not fully cooked). Drain and return to the pot.
Heat the oil in a large pan, add in the chicken and fry until lightly browned. Add the mushrooms and cook for one minute. Stir in the tomato paste, soft cheese, and single cream. Allow simmering while stirring until the mixture has created a thickened sauce. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder mixture.
Pour the freshly made sauce over your pasta and broccoli and stir until coated. Pour into an oven-proof dish of about 1.7 litres and even out the top. Mix all of your ingredients for the topping, sprinkle evenly over the pasta. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.
Salmon and Tomato
If you’ve never cooked salmon before, it would be the perfect Valentine’s Day gift of surprise.
2 skinless salmon fillets
2 tablespoons fat-free yoghurt
1 red onion, sliced
200g cherry tomatoes
3 tablespoons mild curry paste
400g can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 small pieces of naan bread
Preheat your oven to 200℃. Toss the onion, tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of curry paste, chickpeas, and 200ml water into a deep roasting tin and roast for 15 minutes until the onions are soft. Stir and season. Brush the salmon fillets with the remaining curry paste and season. Place the salmon fillets in the centre of the roasting tin with the vegetables and roast for another 8-10 minutes.
While that’s roasting, warm the naan breads by placing them directly on the rack below the roasting tin. Once everything is cooked, cut the naan bread into wedges, and swirl the yoghurt into the vegetables in the tin. On your serving table, place the roasting tin and the bowls you’ll be serving the food in. The best part? Dipping the naan bread!
Prawns and Spaghetti
While on the fish topic, why not some prawns and pasta? Show your loved one how well your gastronomy is with this delectable dish.
150g raw king prawns
100g long-stemmed broccoli, cut into thirds
1 lightly bashed garlic clove
150g cherry tomatoes, halved
180g dry spaghetti
1 heaped tablespoon rose harissa paste
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 finely zested lemon
Boil a pan of lightly salted water and add in the broccoli. Boil for 1 minute 30 seconds, or until soft. Drain and set aside before cooking your pasta as usual. Once cooked, set aside a ladle of pasta water, and drain the rest. Heat oil in a large pan, add in the garlic clove and fry for 2 minutes over low heat. Remove and discard, leaving the garlic-flavoured oil.
Add the cherry tomatoes to the pan at medium heat and fry for 5 minutes until they’re soft. Throw in the prawns and cook until they turn pink (around 2 minutes). Add in the harissa paste and lemon zest and stir to coat the food. Toss in the cooked spaghetti, ladle of pasta water, and broccoli. Stir and serve.
Your Ideal Chorizo Dish
Feeling Spanish? Here’s a delicious bake that will scream Happy Valentine’s Day to your date night with the perfect combination of chorizo and gnocchi.
120g diced chorizo
2 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon caster sugar
600g fresh gnocchi
1 onion, finely chopped
125g mozzarella ball, cut into chunks
Small bunch of basil, torn
1 tablespoon olive oil
Heat the olive oil in a medium pan, over medium heat. Add in the onion and garlic and cook for 8-10 minutes until soft before adding the chorizo and frying for an additional 5 minutes. Put in the tomatoes, sugar, and seasoning. Simmer and add the gnocchi, cooking for 8 minutes while stirring, until soft.
Heat your grill to high heat. Stir in three-quarters of the mozzarella and most of the basil through the gnocchi. Pour the mixture into a large baking dish before topping with the remaining mozzarella and grilling for 3 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining basil over and serve.
Easiest Stuffed Peppers
There’s nothing easier than a beautiful plate of stuffed peppers.
4 red peppers
2 pouches of cooked tomato rice
200g sliced goat’s cheese
2 tablespoons of pesto (who doesn’t love pesto?)
A handful of chopped pitted black olives
Cut the top off of the red peppers before scooping out the seeds with a spoon. Place the peppers on a plate (cut side up) and microwave on high for 5-6 minutes until softened. While they cook, mix your two pouches of cooked tomato rice with your pesto, black olives, and 140g of your goat’s cheese.
Once your peppers are cooked, scoop your mixture into the peppers, top with the leftover goat’s cheese and cook again for 8-10 minutes. Serve.
Create the Perfect Romantic Night
Sometimes you don’t want a getaway where you have to pack your life up, just to go read a book somewhere else. With this easy to make menu, you can impress your partner with meals straight from a chef’s kitchen, and create the perfect romantic night for your Valentine with an exquisite dining experience.