What to cook for Valentine's Day

Cooking dinner for your date for the first time this Valentine's Day? See our guide on cooking safely, plus easy recipes and romantic dinner ideas.

Steak on white plate

Whether you're pulling out all the stops this Valentine's Day or keeping things casually cool, we have all the tips you need to impress your guest and show them what you've got in the kitchen.

Easiest ever recipes

Your date wants to see you and not a fired-up Michelin-starred chef, right? As Bridget Jones's Diary proved, you can dish up blue soup and marmalade and still win hearts all over town – the main thing is to keep your cool even if things don’t go your way. If you don’t feel confident showing off your skills, then stick to something special but simple, like this really easy cheese fondue.

We have plenty more easy Valentine’s recipes so you don't have to get up at the crack of dawn to wow them. You can thank us later.

Romantic drinks 

Martini with passionfruit
Take the time to find out your date’s favourite drink, then give a classic a special twist. From beautiful beer cocktails (and we don’t mean a pint of snakebite) to 10 gin and tonics with a difference, we have everything you’ll need in our cocktails and drinks section. Want to keep things classic? Try your hand at a cool cosmopolitan, crisp martini or a vodka-based flirtini – you’ll be flaring like a young Tom Cruise in no time.

See more luxe drinks with our 10 quick and easy Valentine’s Day cocktails guide.

How to flambé

There’s nothing like a (safe) flash of fire to impress your beau. Make sure you stick to the booze specified in the recipe and stand at a safe distance. Try a simple starter of vodka-flamed chorizo followed by flambéed chicken with asparagus and a beautifully golden pear tarte tatin. We have lots of recipes for you to test your skills on.

Read more with out food safety myths guide

Expert knife skills 

Knife on cutting board
Practice your knife skills with our expert video guide and you could be pulling off that casually dangerous look in no time. Position your chopping board well within your date's eyeline so your hard work doesn’t go unnoticed. That said, there’s nothing sexy about a trip to A&E, so make sure you stay within your limitations.

Keep your knives sharp with our knife sharpeners review.

Stop the snaps

No one loves a foodie Instagram snap more than us, but watching you play with the lighting and frantically search for an oyster emoji is going to be more than a tad tiresome for your date. We say keep the phones off!

Choose your ingredients carefully

When it comes to potent breath, it’s not just garlic you need to worry about. Nothing will turn you a shade of Valentine's red faster than a piece of spinach caught between the teeth – it's safest to avoid that sticky ingredient at all costs on date night. Oysters are a classic, but make sure your date is a shellfish fan, otherwise they could be in for a long night. In summary, make sure you do your research. 

Enjoyed these cooking tips? See more Valentine's Day recipes

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Budget Valentine's Day recipes
Top tips for a successful Valentine's Day
The best boozy gifts for Valentine's Day

Have you got any tips for a top Valentine's night? Or maybe a disaster story to share? Leave a comment below...

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