Forget champagne and oysters – we've learned what our users really like to eat and drink for a romantic night in. Read on to find out which Valentine's day dishes and drinks were most popular on 14 February last year.


For more inspiration, see our Valentine’s Day menu ideas and best ever Valentine’s recipes.

1. Steak with peppercorn sauce

Smoky steak with Cajun potatoes & spicy slaw on a white dinner plate with cutlery

Every Valentine’s Day, steak is the overwhelming favourite of Good Food users. Thousands of you want to know how to cook the perfect steak (top tip: the secret is quick cooking and constant attention). Browse our best steak recipes and Valentine's Day steak recipes for ideas using all cuts including sirloin and rib-eye, plus get ideas for leaner suppers and steak salads.

The recipe pictured above is our smoky steak with Cajun potatoes & spicy slaw. For a classic steak & chip combo, see our recipe for rib-eye steak with red wine & pastrami sauce, while our bavette steak with chips, tarragon & mushroom sauce & watercress salad makes a budget-friendly steak supper.

And let’s not forget about the steak sauces and sides. Peppercorn sauce is your favourite accompaniment, closely followed by bistro classic, shallot & red wine sauce. Our guide to side dishes is packed with inspiration for more sauces, potatoes and other accompaniments (mac ‘n’ cheese, anyone?).

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2. Dauphinoise potatoes

Dauphinoise potatoes

If you’re going attempt to make a spud romantic, giving it the French treatment isn’t a bad idea. It seems plenty of you take that route as this creamy gratin is the most popular side dish on Valentine’s Day.

Take it up a notch with our next level dauphinoise potatoes recipe, or work it into a main course in its own right, by using it to top a lamb hotpot, or adding smoked salmon and celeriac.

3. Spaghetti carbonara

A plate of spaghetti carbonara with a sprinkling of cheese

Another rich and creamy dish that our users can’t get enough of on Valentine’s Day is carbonara. With its heady mix of cheese, eggs and crispy pancetta, plus the fact that it only takes about half an hour to cook from start to finish, it’s hardly surprising.

If you’re looking for a fail-safe option that’s sure to impress, check out our five star-rated classic carbonara. For an even more indulgent spin, add a few drops of truffle oil or swap for smoked salmon.

4. Cupcakes

A batch of chocolate cupcakes with white and milk chocolate frosting

Instead of buying chocolates, some of you choose to make your own edible gifts. Last year, thousands of you said ‘I love you’ with cupcakes. Your favourites were our easy vanilla buttercream cupcakes, followed by chocolate and carrot & soft cheese cupcakes.

Get more Valentine’s ideas for sweet treats you can make yourself. See our top 10 Valentine's cupcakes and all our best Valentine's baking recipes.

5. Quick & easy cocktails

Two champagne flutes of red cocktail

Lots of you were looking for cocktail inspiration last year – our guide on 10 quick and easy Valentine’s Day cocktails notched up thousands of views.

See our Valentine's Day cocktail for a romantic ruby-red tipple, or discover more Valentine's Day cocktail recipes.

And our users seem particularly partial to a martini, with recipes for passionfruit martini and espresso martini among our most popular all year round. Browse our best cocktail recipes for more ideas. We’ve also got lots of mocktail recipes including gin-free G&T, faux fizz and a mock mojito.

6. Pork chops

Plate of sliced pork chops with mustard butter beans and spinach

Serve up a simple dinner with a difference with these easy pork chops, served with mustardy butter beans and spinach. It's a flavour-packed dish which also delivers three of your five-a-day, leaving you with room to indulge on dessert.

For more quick and easy Valentine's meal ideas, see our quick and easy Valentine's Day menu, as well as our budget Valentine's Day ideas for pocket-friendly recipes. Short on time but want to impress your sweetheart? Check out our last-minute Valentine's Day menu.

7. Tomato & mascarpone risotto

Pot of risotto with tomato, mascarpone and basil leaves on top next to bowl of parmesan

A comforting risotto for two is perfect for a Valentine's evening wind-down. You can easily double the quantities, giving you leftovers for the days that follow, plus you could throw some sun dried tomatoes in for a richer, decadent flavour.

Veggie and vegan recipes have become increasingly popular on the site over the past couple of years, and Valentine’s Day is no exception. Last year, you loved our easy veggie Valentine’s Day menu, with dish suggestions including courgette carpaccio to start, hazelnut & oregano pasta for main and a boozy chocolate fondue for pud.

See our vegetarian and vegan recipe ideas for Valentine’s Day.

8. Strawberry cheesecake

A pair of hands holding out a plate of strawberry cheesecake, topped with sliced strawberries and drizzled in strawberry purée

Strawberries might not be in season in February but that doesn’t stop you craving our no-bake cheesecake topped with strawberry purée. For a more seasonal alternative, try this fresh and citrusy lemon cheesecake or our rich chocolate hazelnut cheesecake.

Cheesecake requires a bit of forward planning – many recipes need you to prepare it the night before to give it plenty of time to set. But for the organised among you, the results are worth it.

9. Seafood

Traybake with two salmon fillets, new potatoes and leeks

Not all of you plump for a meat-heavy main. Our users are venturing into seafood dishes for two, whether it's a creamy salmon, leek & potato traybake or spicy prawn & harissa spaghetti.

Sea bass searches have been steadily growing over the years and on 14 February it seems our users love scanning our sea bass recipe collection to find something different for their Valentine’s spread. Try it Italian-style, en papillote, steamed with Asian flavours or baked with a lemon caper dressing.

For more impressive seafood recipes, from pastas and paellas to creamy chowders and curries, see our comprehensive seafood recipe collection.

10. Valentine's biscuits

A batch of cookies decorated with fondant icing in a heart-shaped ladybird pattern

After cupcakes, biscuits are your favourite Valentine’s Day bake. There are so many different decorations to choose from, including these jammy heart drops and caption cookies, but our slice and bake biscuits were your top choice last year. Check out our best Valentine’s Day biscuit recipes for more inspiration.


What do you rustle up for your loved one on Valentine’s Day? Leave a comment below...

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