Valentine's Day dinner and dessert at home with easy recipes for 2 (2024)

Roses are red, violets are blue, if you're pressed for time, this Valentine's Day menu is perfect for you.

With one more sleep until Valentine's Day, it's time to set any last-minute menu plans and prep ahead to swap out anxiety for enthusiasm on the romance-filled holiday.

Valentine's Day dinner and dessert at home with easy recipes for 2 (1)

Culinary content creator Karen Rosenbloom has shared her food knowledge across social media for three years, so she shared some tips and recipes with "Good Morning America" just in time for home cooks to whip up an easy, mouthwatering meal for two.

Social media pastry sensation Sarah Fennel of Broma Bakery fame shared a few easy individual serving desserts that are perfectly portioned for two.

Last-minute Valentine's Day recipe ideas and tips

"My advice for cooking the perfect Valentine's Day meal is to prep ahead," Rosenbloom suggested. "Things like making dessert, measuring out ingredients, or setting the table can be done in advance to make your meal efficient and enjoyable -- the more that is done in advance, the less stressful dinner will be."

When it's time for date night, Rosenbloom recommends "making a recipe that utilizes few ingredients but delivers an impressive outcome. You can't go wrong with a classic pasta dish like penne alla vodka or my cherry tomato and white wine bucatini. If you're looking for something more decadent, I suggest a traditional steak au poivre, all that's missing is a glass of wine."

Valentine's Day Pasta Recipes

Penne alla vodka

Valentine's Day dinner and dessert at home with easy recipes for 2 (2)

"This dish is a crowd favorite, and perfect to make for a date night at home," Rosenbloom said of her recipe that takes just about an hour to make.


1 pound dried Penne Rigate, or small tube pasta of choice

1 28-ounce can of peeled San Marzano tomatoes

2 shallots, finely chopped

3/4 cup Vodka

4 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 fresh garlic cloves finely chopped, (remove center if small green sprout inside)

Pinch of red pepper flakes

Salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons cold butter

3/4 cup heavy cream

I cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for plating


To begin, heat a pan with the Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Add in the minced garlic and shallots, sauté until lightly golden on medium heat.

Lower the heat, and carefully pour in vodka.

Simmer on low heat to cook off the alcohol content. This mixture should be reduced by half.

Add in the San Marzano peeled tomatoes. Don't throw away the can, use it and fill it with about 2 cups of water in order to retrieve every last drop of tomato sauce. Add that to the pan.

While simmering, use the back of a wooden spoon to crush the tomatoes. Cook for about ten minutes.

Turn off the heat, and blend your sauce into a smooth puree. I prefer using an *immersion blender.*Note: If you do not have one you can use a regular blender or food processor. If you do not have those, the recipe will still work, your sauce will just be more textured than smooth.

At this point, Boil a pot of water, salt generously, and add your pasta.

Cook pasta until Al dente, usually about 8 to 10 minutes, or according to package instructions, less if using fresh pasta. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water.

Take the blended sauce in a pan OFF of the HEAT, add in the cream.

Season your sauce generously with salt, some fresh cracked black pepper, and a small pinch of red pepper flakes.

Combine the drained, Al dente pasta with the creamy sauce.

Fold together the pasta+sauce, add in the butter, and reserved pasta water. Mix vigorously in order to emulsify the sauce and have it stick well to the pasta.

Turn off the heat, and at the very end incorporate about a cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese for a sharp finish.

Chef's notes

If you do not have shallots, using one small yellow onion is fine.

Do not be skimp on salt. Season generously with salt, season your pasta water as well.

You can add-in any protein or veggies of choice such as salmon, shrimp, chicken, fresh tomatoes, and more.

Silky Cherry Tomato and White Wine Pasta

Rosenbloom called this minimal ingredient dish that uses spaghetti or bucatini, cherry tomatoes, garlic, white wine, butter, and cheese, "an easy but luxurious pasta recipe" that "comes together in less than 25 minutes."

Valentine's Day dinner and dessert at home with easy recipes for 2 (3)

While the pasta of your choice boils in salted water, her recipe begins with lightly cooking a few cloves of freshly sliced garlic in a skillet of good olive oil over low heat before adding two pints of fresh cherry tomatoes that cook down over medium heat and slowly burst open to become the star of the sauce and reduce down in a cup of Chardonnay.

Once that part simmers together, she implements a French culinary technique called monter au beurre -- adding cold butter to a sauce off the heat to create an emulsification and add structure and shine to the sauce. With the two tablespoons combined, she adds the cooked pasta and pasta water as needed.

Rosenbloom also opts for a dollop of fresh mascarpone cheese for added richness at the end before plating and finishing with fresh minced parsley.

"I have already had a few people in my DM's saying they will be making this recipe for a loved one on Valentine's Day," Rosenbloom told "GMA."

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Valentine's Day dinner recipe for Steak au Poivre

Valentine's Day dinner and dessert at home with easy recipes for 2 (7)

Rosenbloom believes that sometimes the perfect date night consists of steak and red wine, so she shared this recipe for a steak with creamy peppercorn sauce, which she said "is absolutely delicious."

Check out her full recipe and watch the tutorial on her TikTok here.

Sommelier and Food Network "Master of Cue" champion Erica Blaire Roby suggests pairing this Cognac cream sauce and steak dish with a French varietal from Bordeaux.

"Carmenere’s peppery, yet velvet notes align nicely with the pepper-crusted steak, creating a harmonious blend of flavors," she said. Her second recommendation is a Pinotage from South Africa, "known for its unique flavor profile of both earthy and fruity notes with a hint of smokiness" which she said is "also a great option.”

Easy no-bake Valentine's Day dessert recipes to make ahead

"Desserts like my Ferrero Rocher Tiramisu or Strawberry Trifle can be prepared even the day before and stored in the fridge," she suggested of the two recipes below.

Ferrero Rocher Tiramisu

Valentine's Day dinner and dessert at home with easy recipes for 2 (8)

"This dessert is not only easy to make but perfect for a date night," she said. "Luscious mascarpone cream layered with espresso and rum-soaked lady fingers with bits of crushed hazelnut chocolate."

Makes 4 Servings

6 ounces heavy whipping cream
8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 Ferrero Rocher chocolates
1 package of ladyfingers
8 ounces strong, dark coffee
1 oz Amaretto liquor or dark rum
1 Tbsp cocoa powder

In a bowl, whip the heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form.
Gradually fold in the mascarpone, sugar, salt, and vanilla into the cream until hom*ogenous.
In a separate bowl, add the Amaretto liquor to the strongly brewed coffee.
Reserve 4 Ferrero Rochers for garnish, take the other 4, and chop into fine pieces.
Create an assembly line with the mascarpone cream, coffee mixture, chopped Ferrero Rochers, and ladyfingers.
Lightly dip each ladyfinger into the coffee mixture, layer into the glass with the mascarpone cream and Ferrero Rocher pieces.
Continue layering the dipped ladyfingers, mascarpone cream, and Ferrero Rocher pieces until the glass is filled.
Garnish with cocoa powder and a whole Ferrero Rocher.
Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving and enjoy!

Strawberry Trifle

"This is an easy date night dessert that comes together in less than 5 minutes. It is a simple vanilla pound cake layered with whipped cream, strawberry preserves and fresh strawberries," Rosenbloom said.

Broma Bakery's Valentine's Day desserts at home for two

The popular pastry blogger and content creator shared three desserts below for every palate in single-serving form. But don't worry, each recipe is built for two so you and a loved one can both enjoy a sweet treat at home this Valentine's Day.

The sweetest part? The soon-to-be published cookbook author of "Sweet Tooth" said these recipes are doable for everyone -- from the most novice baker to the baking connoisseur.

Single Serve Double Chocolate Cookies

This decadent cookie is perfect for those who want an all chocolate indulgence at the end of the evening. Check out Fennel's full recipe here.

Single Serve Vanilla Cupcake

Get her full recipe here that makes two perfect cupcakes with just 15 minutes of prep.

Single Serve Peanut Butter Cookie

Total time: 16 minutes
Yield: 2 cookies

1 Tablespoon Countryside Creamery Unsalted Butter, room temperature
3 Tablespoon Peanut Delight No Stir Creamy Peanut Butter*
4 Tablespoons Baker’s Corner Brown Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Stonemill Pure Vanilla Extract
1 egg yolk
3 Tablespoons Baker’s Corner All Purpose Flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
Granulated sugar, optional

Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine the room temperature butter, peanut butter, and brown sugar in a small bowl. Use a fork to mix together until smooth.
Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract and mix well.
Add the flour, salt, and baking soda and use a rubber spatula to fold everything together until smooth and no streaks of flour remain.
Use a 1.5-ounce cookie scoop to scoop out two large cookies. If desired, roll in some granulated sugar.
Place on the prepared cookie sheet two inches apart.
Bake for 11 minutes or until the cookies have puffed up and are set on the edges but are still slightly gooey in the middle.
Allow to cool completely before eating! Enjoy!

Valentine's Day dinner and dessert at home with easy recipes for 2 (2024)


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Feb 13, 2024

What is the most popular food for Valentine's Day? ›

Chocolate: Perhaps the most classic Valentine's Day treat, chocolates come in various forms, from heart-shaped boxes filled with assorted chocolates to gourmet chocolate bars and Bakingo chocolate cakes. Chocolate is often considered an aphrodisiac and symbolizes love and affection.

What to eat for Valentine's Day dinner for kids? ›

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How do you celebrate Valentine's Day at home? ›

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Jan 6, 2024

How do you celebrate simple Valentine's Day? ›

Prepare popcorn, create some savory snacks, illuminate the atmosphere with a mood-setting candle, uncork a bottle of wine, and enjoy a Valentine's Day film while cozied up under a blanket at home. To add an extra touch of charm, adorn your space with a paper heart wreath, an origami bouquet, and a love letter banner.

How can I celebrate Valentine's Day alone at home? ›

Create an evening focused on self care this Valentine's Day. Soak in the tub with a luxurious bath bomb. Open a bottle of your favorite wine. Paint your nails or put on a face mask, and light a scented candle for a spa-like Valentine's.

How to make a romantic dinner? ›

When planning a romantic dinner you should consider several factors: lighting, music, decor, and of course, the food and drinks. Candles and soft music are a great way to set the mood for romance. Select unscented candles or neutral-scented candles that won't interfere with the flavors of the food you intend to serve.

What should I cook my girlfriend for dinner? ›

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Jan 10, 2024

What is traditional for Valentines Day? ›

In the United States and many other Western countries, Valentine's Day is traditionally celebrated with couples exchanging gifts, such as chocolates, flowers, or jewelry, and going out for romantic dinners or events.

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For reference, here are some ideas that you can consider:
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Feb 5, 2024

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Should I cook on Valentine's Day? ›

The simple act of cooking for someone is much more important than whether you splash out on caviar and lobster or a fancy bottle of Champagne. If that's your thing, go right ahead, but you need not blow your budget to cook a romantic dinner for two.

Who should pay for Valentine's Day dinner? ›

Most agree men should pay on the first date in hetero relationships. So who's paying for the Valentine's Day date and beyond? It depends on whom you ask. Most Americans (72%) agree that in a heterosexual couple, the man should pay on the first date.

How do you plan a romantic Valentine's Day evening at home? ›

For reference, here are some ideas that you can consider:
  1. 1.Hold a Cosplay Night. ...
  2. Organize Fun Photoshoots and Video Taking. ...
  3. Plan a Romantic Movie Night. ...
  4. Dance the Day Away. ...
  5. 1.Enjoy a Fondue for Two. ...
  6. Cook a New Dish Together. ...
  7. Challenge Each Other to a Cook-Off. ...
  8. 1.Create an At-Home Spa.
Jan 18, 2024


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