Last-minute Valentine's Day menu

Short on time but want to cook for your loved one? Our three romantic menus are ready in an hour or less – perfect for some after-work wooing.

Oysters filled with Asian-style pickles on a tray

Perhaps Valentine's Day has caught you off guard and left you feeling more frantic than flirtatious? Worry not. We have three simple, speedy yet spectacular menus to sweep your loved one off their feet. Whether you're looking for a classic combination of flavours, a veggie feast or something overtly seductive, we've got you covered from sharing starters through to indulgent desserts. 

1. Classic Valentine's menu 

If your beau is the traditional type, this menu will wow without keeping you in the kitchen all night. Just add fizz.

Starter: Oysters with oriental dressing
Ready in: 15 minutes

Buy your oysters pre-shucked and (lovingly) throw together this sophisticated starter. After all, you know what they say about oysters...

Oysters with oriental dressing

Main: Rump steak with quick mushroom & red wine sauce
Ready in: 15 minutes

Rump steak and chips on a plate

Pan-frying seasoned steaks is a quick-win whatever the time of year, accompanied by crispy golden chips and punchy mustard for a winning combo. Cook the steak exactly how your lover likes it and it'll win you points for special effort.

Rump steak

Dessert: Sweetheart choc & hazelnut sandwiches
Ready in: 10 minutes

Heart-shaped chocolate & hazelnut sandwich on a plate with raspberries and ice cream

Arm yourself with a large, heart-shaped cutter and your romantic potential goes through the roof. These brioche beauties look impressive but are ready in no time at all.

Sweetheart choc & hazelnut sandwiches

Total time: 40 minutes

2. Vegetarian Valentines' menu

If you're creating a veggie supper for the one you love, pull together a sharing starter, creamy main and zingy pudding for meat-free magic.

Starter: Triple cheese & tarragon-stuffed mushrooms
Ready in: 15 minutes

Two Portobello mushrooms topped with cheese, served with salad leaves on a plate

This indulgent yet light treat is a perfect way to kick off your romantic menu. Fill juicy Portobello mushrooms with the cheesy, herby sauce and pop them under the grill until bubbling and oozy. 

Triple-cheese stuffed mushrooms

Main: Mushroom & thyme risotto
Ready in: 30 minutes

Mushroom risotto topped with rocket salad

Minimal chopping makes this creamy risotto the dish of choice for time-poor chefs – a mix of risotto rice and quinoa adds texture and a nutty flavour.

Mushroom & thyme risotto

Dessert: Quick mango pudding
Ready in: 5 minutes

Bowl of mango pudding topped with passion fruit seeds

Serve your better half this tropical treat, complete with generous helpings of creamy dairy and fresh, sweet fruit.  

Quick mango pudding

Total time: 50 minutes

3. Romantic Valentines' menu

If you're a believer in the seductive power of certain foods, then pull together our menu of aphrodisiac dishes.

Starter: Figs with prosciutto
Ready in 5 minutes

Tray of figs wrapped in prosciutto with cheese shavings

Let's get figgy! Get this speedy canapé-style starter on the table with just five ingredients in five minutes – a tempting blend of salt and sweet.

Figs with prosciutto

Main: Lobster with Thermidor butter
Ready in 30 minutes

Lobster Thermidor with potatoes and salad on a plate

Shellfish have long-been considered to have aphrodisiac properties, the lobster above all – it's a crustacean synonymous with decadent dining. Buy yours ready-cooked and serve topped with homemade Thermidor butter.

Lobster with Thermidor butter

Dessert: Chocolate & berry mousse
Ready in 20 minutes

Three glass pots of berries topped with chocolate mousse

Whether or not it has special powers, chocolate is traditionally given as a token of love. Serve this fuss-free pud with raspberries, or sliced strawberries for a heart-shaped burst of romantic red.

Chocolate & berry mousse pots

Total time: 55 minutes

Get more Valentines' menu inspiration...

How to create a classic Valentine's menu
How to create a quick & easy Valentine's Day menu
10 super speedy yet special dishes
Top tips for a successful Valentine's Day
How to prepare a successful Valentine's Day meal
10 most popular Valentine's Day recipes

What will be cooking in your kitchen this Valentine's Day? Share the love below...

Comments, questions and tips

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li_sa_84
11th Feb, 2015
why are the vegetarian party main recipes always risotto?? Sureley by now food writers must be able to come up with something more fun, no? I look forward to the day where a vegetarian recipe will take the meats place in a menu, there is so many amazing thing one can cook with no meat. from a meat eater that loves vegetables too!
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