Every year we call up that expensive restaurant to make a reservation on Valentine’s Day and listen to what the restaurant is offering for the night. We get there all dressed up, wait with other couples in line and sit down to the most expensive food you will buy all year.

Photo courtesy of funniestmemes.com

Bros let me clue you in on a little known secret, chicks dig a dude that can cook. This Valentine’s Day, I encourage all guys to cook for their significant other and ditch the restaurant.  You do not need to make anything fancy or special. Let me repeat that you do not need to cook surf and turf; use the acronym KISS, Keep It Simple Stupid.

The Appetizers

Let’s talk what you guys will graze on first. The major thing you have to ask yourself is whether you’re going to sit down for this or eat it on the fly while you’re still cooking dinner. I tend to like eating appetizers while still cooking dinner and talking to the girl I’m with but you guys figure that out.

1. Pizza Pigs in a Blanket


Photo courtesy of Food Network Kitchen

We’ve all had pigs in a blanket at some point in our lives. What a lot of people don’t understand is exactly how easy it is to make these little guys. I had this exact recipe at a Superbowl party and man were they good. They’re perfect for eating on the fly or with something else while sitting down.

2. Guacamole

Guacamole is easy to make and jazzes up the traditional chips and salsa. Not to mention avocados are an aphrodisiac (wink wink) and Guacamole just tastes straight up good.

3. Cheese Fondue


Photo courtesy of Trestle on Tenth

Check out this recipe for cheese fondue. Fondue is one of the easiest appetizers around; you melt cheese in a pot and stick your food in it. Plus you can eat it while making dinner or sit down and eat it, either way works.

4. Pot Stickers 

Photo courtesy of Pintrest

Another opportunity to have some fun with that special someone. Making pot stickers sounds hard but from personal experience it’s honestly easy and delicious. I made this very recipe last year and they came out awesome.

5. Arugula Parmesan Salad

Photo courtesy of mindovermeals.com

For those who like a little lighter appetizer, why not go with a salad that has the colors of Valentine’s Day in it? This arugula parmesan salad even comes with a dressing recipe with the whole salad being done in 10 minutes flat. I would add strawberries over the tomatoes that are in the recipe for Valentine’s Day.

 The Main Dish

Time to focus on dinner; you definitely want to impress whomever you’re cooking for but may not have the cooking skills to make a giant spread. Have no fear, all these recipes can be made with minimal skill.

6. Chicken Cacciatore 

Photo courtesy of McCormick

This italian staple has always been at the forefront for my Valentine’s Day dinners. It’s easy to make and easy to clean up. Who doesn’t love a little italian food to get the two of you in the mood?

7. Chicken Scampi 

Photo courtesy of copykat.com

Speaking of italian, this recipe straight from copykat.com mimics the chicken scampi from Olive Garden. Making this dish looked like a bear but it’s honestly super simple. If you’ve never had Olive Garden’s chicken scampi than go out and try it one time, you won’t regret it.

8. Steak and garlic mashed


Photo by Spoon University

Everyone loves a good steak however many of us don’t know how to cook a great steak. Check out this guide to cooking the ideal steak this Valentine’s Day.  For the garlic mashed, you have so many options from using roasted garlic to straight up cloves.

9. Baked Lemon Salmon


Photo by Sarah Munger

For the non-red meat eaters, there’s fish to the rescue. Fish will take any dinner up a notch, especially if you make some rice with it.

10. Braised Short Ribs

Photo courtesy of thegourmandmom.com

If you’ve got some time on your hands, why not let a slow cooker do all the work? Short ribs in a slow cooker make the bomb-est meal, and you literally just set it and forget it. Pair it with those garlic mashed potatoes from the steak recipe and maybe some spinach or asparagus.

11. Vegetable Bolognese

Photo courtesy of acozykitchen.com

The vegetarians out there sometimes miss out on traditionally meat centered recipes. Case in point, bolognese sauce which generally has 2-3 different types of meat in it. Try out this healthy and great adaptation of traditional bolognese with all vegetables.


Ah yes, the dessert: quite possibly the most important part of any Valentine’s Day. Gone are the days of strictly heart shaped boxed chocolates and chocolate dipped strawberries. Dessert on Valentine’s Day should be like none other and leave a lasting impression.

12. Chocolate Trifle

Photo courtesy of recipegreat.com

Trifle’s are one of those things that there’s no one recipe or specific way to do it. The recipe posted is a good base and could have more added. If you like butterfingers, layer some of it in there with the pudding. I’ve also made it by soaking the cake in Kahlua (21+).

13. Brigadeiros 

Photo by Ben Fink

Growing up on Cape Cod you would think I’d know a lot about seafood, beaches, and traffic. Though all of those are correct, I’ve also learned a lot about different ethnic foods. Throughout high school a fair amount of my friends were Brazilians and introduced this to me. Basically when fudge meets a truffle, brigadeiros are definitely something to make. Super simple to make and so good it’s hard not to try it out.

14. Chocolate Cheesecake

Photo courtesy of verybestbaking.com

If this doesn’t close out the night with a bang (pun intended) I don’t know what will. It’s chocolate cheesecake with a chocolate chip cookie crust. The recipe is basically like cooking a giant cookie and adding the cheesecake batter to it. Serve it cold out of the fridge or maybe warm it up a little bit and drizzle some chocolate/peanut butter sauce on top.

15. S’mores Crêpes

Photo courtesy of freespiriteater.com

The crêpe is one of the best food delivery apparatuses ever. Basically a watered down pancake batter, these will instantly make anything better. A common thing to do with crepes is put nutella in them, but since it’s Valentine’s Day why not up the ante? If I were you, get some store bought crêpes. I’ve used them before and work great; it’s kind of a pain to actually make them.

16. Angel Food Cake with Strawberry Fruit Glaze

Photo courtesy of dishmaps.com

Sometimes something light is good after a large meal. This angel food cake recipe is great way to accomplish that. With the strawberry glaze, it’ll make anything you put it on that much better. A suggestion would be putting a little chocolate sauce drizzled on top.

Still looking for some V-Day ideas?