Looking for recipe ideas to celebrate Valentine’s Day? From breakfast, appetizers, dinner ideas, to decadent desserts, you’ll find plenty of inspirations to show your love on this special day.
Valentine’s Day is creeping up very soon. Are you planning to cook up something special for your loved ones? Here you’ll find 20 Valentine’s Day recipe ideas that will make the occasion extra special.
There’s fluffy pancakes for breakfast, classic Caesar salad for an appetizer, creamy mushroom & bacon pasta and elegant miso cod for dinner, and decadent chocolate soufflé for dessert. Plus, popover with strawberry cream for the kids! We even included different ideas on how to plan out your menu with the options of western and Japanese recipes. No time for complicated meals? We’ve got you covered too. Feel free to mix things up, of course.
Whether your Valentine’s day involves your significant other, mom and dad, a group of friends, little ones or just yourself, you won’t go wrong with good food. Hope your Valentine’s is filled with lots of love!
20 Valentine’s Day Recipes & Menu Ideas
1. French Toast
You can never go wrong with classic french toast for an indulgence breakfast. This amazing French toast recipe is from the chef’s at Asaya Hotel in Kinugawa Onsen. It’s fluffy and tender on the inside, and golden crisp on the outside. Breakfast or brunch? You decide!
Surprise your special someone first thing in the morning with Japanese Souffle Pancake. Serve the fluffy pancake with fresh berries and a pot of freshly brewed coffee, you’ll have the ideal breakfast in bed! Who doesn’t want to wake up to this?
If you want something unique, we have the Matcha Souffle version too.
This Strawberry Sauce will add extra sparkle to your pancakes, waffles or simple buttery toast. Your little ones will be very happy to make this with you too!
Try Buttermilk Pancake with this strawberry sauce.
Appetizers and Sides
Who could resist warm fluffy popovers slathered with strawberry butter? These amazing buttery delights are inspired by the legendary Neiman Marcus Popovers recipe. Warning: your kids (or spouse) may request this as their Valentine’s Day Tradition.
5. Caesar Salad
Salad, soup, and steak – sometimes an occasion like Valentine’s Day summons just the classic things on the menu. This Homemade Caesar Salad is topped with garlic croutons and a very creamy dressing made with Japanese mayonnaise.
Don’t have the time to prepare an elaborate meal? You can always do a combo of take-out and simple homemade dishes meal at home. As long as you make it interesting and fun, your loved one(s) will appreciate your effort. We suggest picking up some sushi platter from your favorite sushi place and make miso soup and a simple Japanese salad with this wafu dressing.
We love the idea of bringing Izakaya-style (Japanese pub) recipes to Valentine’s dinner, especially if you’re celebrating it with a group of friends! Instead of the usual dinner, you could serve a few small plates of delicious & fun bites like this Japanese Sake-Steamed Clams. It takes only 10 minutes to make and requires just 5 ingredients!
Pasta is a great Valentine’s dinner choice. This Creamy Mushroom Bacon Spaghetti recipe with a Japanese twist will make a coziest and satisfying dinner for two. A dash of soy sauce adds a boost of umami to the creamy sauce. I recommend serving this with Caesar salad, and round it up with chocolate souffle and a glass of red.
This Cioppino is a tomato-based seafood stew inspired by a local San Fransisco famous fish market recipe in Moss Landing. It’s warm, robust and bursting with flavor! Whether you’re making the stew for two or family or a group of friends, it will surely satisfy everyone at the table. Enjoy with some crusty bread and a bottle of white wine!
10. Hamburger Steak
Skip the steakhouse and make your special someone steak at home! Served with a red wine reduction sauce, this homemade Japanese hamburger steak recipe (Hambagu) is simple enough for anyone to tackle. The meat is juicy and literally melts in your mouth.
When your Valentine’s Day involves little ones, you’d want to go with something more casual and crowd-pleasing like this popular Japanese home-cooked pasta dish – Chicken Cacciatore or Chicken Tomato Ni (チキンのトマト煮). It uses simple everyday ingredients from the kitchen, so you don’t have to fuss about the preparation.
If your loved one fancies something bold and lively, this Spicy Shoyu Ramen makes a fun option. Top with soft boiled egg, fish cake, nori and fall-apart tender chashu (or take a shortcut by using Trader Joe’s Pork Belly), this delicious bowl of spicy delight is sexy and romantic. You can start the dinner with edamame and a side of agedashi tofu or Japanese chilled tofu before you serve the ramen, and finish up with some sake for a Japanese-theme dinner.
13. Clam Pasta
For something simple yet special enough for the occasion, this Japanese-Italian clam pasta dish aka Spaghetti alle Vongole, or as we call it “Bongore” (ボンゴレ) is ideal for a cozy night at home. It’s a light yet flavorful pasta infused with garlic, briny clams, white wine, and chili flakes.
Seafood is an elegant choice for Valentine’s Day, especially if you’re serving Black Cod with Miso (or simply Miso Cod 銀だらの西京焼き). Instead of spending a fortune at Nobu, the acclaimed fine Japanese restaurant, you could easily pull off their famous seafood dish at home. The recipe works equally well for other fish like sea bass, halibut or salmon too.
Desserts & Sweets
15. Nama Chocolate
Rich and smooth homemade Nama Chocolate made with chocolate and fresh cream, this ROYCE’s copycat chocolate is a truly special treat. It’s one of the most popular gifts from Japan. Make a double batch and share it with all the people you care.
No one can say no to a warm chocolate souffle, especially when it’s topped with ice cream. Try the Matcha Souffle for a Japanese flavor.
Bring the flavor of Japan to your Valentine’s Day by sharing Strawberry Mochi (Ichigo Daifuku) with your loved ones! Soft and chewy mochi stuffed with fresh juicy strawberry and sweet red bean paste, they make the most unforgettable treat.
Looking for a dreamy dessert to feed a crowd? This Japanese Cheesecake will be a sweet surprise. It’s a melt-in-your-mouth combination of creamy cheesecake and airy soufflé. A second (or more) serving is a guarantee!
If your loved one is gluten-free or vegetarian, this soft silken Tofu Pudding (Blancmange) dessert made with tofu, honey, gelatin, and soy milk will be an excellent choice! Topped with a sweet-tart strawberry sauce, this pudding makes a delightful and impressive dessert for the occasion.
Made of thin layers of green tea crepes stacked together with fresh whipped cream in-between, this elegant and decadent Matcha Mille cake Crepe Cake will wow your loved one(s) when they see the rich green layers! It’s totally acceptable if you decide to serve the crepe cake for breakfast too. It’s Valentine’s Day after all.
Editor’s Note: The post was originally published on February 10, 2016. The contents have been updated with new recipes.