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 10 Valentine’s day dishes and drinks were most popular on 14 February last year.
For more inspiration, see our guide to 10 Valentine’s Day dishes you can make in minutes and best ever Valentine’s recipes.
1. Steak with peppercorn sauce
Every Valentine’s Day, steak is the overwhelming firm 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 for ideas using all cuts including sirloin and rib-eye, plus get ideas for leaner suppers and steak salads.
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?).
2. 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
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.
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 & cream 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
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.
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. Beef Wellington
This luxurious beef parcel is often the reserve of special occasions and Valentine’s Day is no exception. Most of our beef Wellington recipes serve six to eight people, suggesting either that the Valentine’s Day dinner party is a popular entity or you just like taunting your workmates with leftovers the next day.
For an intimate meal for two, these individual braised ox cheek Wellingtons are guaranteed to impress. Our video guide will help you achieve perfect meat and pastry and we have a few suggestions for a spin on the classic recipe, including versions with spinach, turkey or beef mince.
7. Vegetarian Valentine’s meals
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
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 citrussy lemon cheesecake or our rich chocolate hazelnut cheesecake.
Cheesecake requires a bit of forward planning – many recipes require 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. Sea bass
Not all of you plump for a meat-heavy main. 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.
10. Valentine’s biscuits
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…