Healthy Valentine’s Day Menu Ideas

Last Update: August 31, 2023

The most romantic day of the year is coming up, so it’s time to start thinking about healthy Valentine’s Day menu ideas ASAP. Whether you’re celebrating with a significant other or a group of girlfriends, or making it a family affair with the kids, there are plenty of ways to indulge (without all the calories). So skip the prix fixe dinner menus and tough-to-get reservations and book a date night in. Here’s everything you need to prep your special evening.

Romantic Valentine’s Day Dinner Tips

Before you plan the menu, here are some tips for how to make a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner at home.

  • Cook together. Make dinner prep part of the fun. Tie those aprons, set up cutting boards, and turn on some tunes while you get your mise en place in order.
  • Uncork clean wine. Speaking of getting the party started, pour yourself a glass of wine from Thrive Market while you work. A master sommelier hand-picked each bottle to pair with your favorite dishes.
  • Create a signature drink. If a cocktail is more your speed, shake up something to sip. We love this pink pomegranate martini.
    Set the mood. Light candles in the kitchen and dining room, or diffuse essential

21 Valentine’s Day Recipes

Let’s get to it: chocolate is definitely on the menu. But before you dive into dessert, there are elegant appetizers and fancy (yet easy!) entrées to enjoy.

The Best Valentine’s Day Appetizer Recipes

We’re partial to no-cook (aka no fuss) app recipes, especially when you’re working on the main dish simultaneously.

Vegan Pimento Cheese

Add a little Southern love to your V-Day spread with this vegan cheese dip. Instead of grated cheddar and mayo, this dairy-free recipe uses soaked cashews and nutritional yeast. Serve with your favorite crudités!

Lemon Sardine Pate

You’ll never know there’s canned fish in this easy app. The thyme and lemon, plus oil-packed sardines add a rich flavor to the spread. You can make it a few hours ahead so it’s ready for snacking.

Dairy-Free Chevre Log

Impress your vegan date with a dairy-free cheese log made with cashews, probiotic powder, and lemon juice. Make it a few days ahead of time, and your app for the big night is done!

Rosemary and Lemon Spiced Nuts

Here’s a sweet and savory snack that uses cayenne, ginger, and rosemary (plus a light dusting of brown sugar) to jazz up basic nuts.

Cheesy Mushroom Toast

We’re awarding outstanding dinner party app to these cheesy mushroom toasts. The crusty bread, creamy mozzarella, and roasted veggies make a great platter to share.

mushroom toast

Marinated Green Olives

This no-cook app uses pantry staples like EVOO, cumin, and coriander to infuse flavor into briny green olives.

Marinated olives

Healthy Valentine’s Day Dinner Ideas

From a classic steak dinner to comforting chili, there are plenty of healthy main courses to choose.

Whole30 Carnitas

If you happen to be doing Whole30 this month, no problem! Just whip up a pot of these Instant Pot carnitas. Wrap them in butter lettuce instead of tortillas for a taco feel without the grains.

Whole30 White Chicken Chili

Is there anything cozier than a bowl of chili? On this winter night, curl up with a light, Whole30-compliant recipe you can make right in the Instant Pot.

Vegan Mushroom Bolognese

Thanks to chopped mushrooms, this vegan bolognese takes Italian night to new heights. The rich tomato sauce made with veggie stock, garlic, and fresh rosemary is delish.

Rib Eye With Cherry Steak Sauce

The cherry steak sauce really steals the show here. Its natural sweetness is balanced with apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, and red wine.

Steak With Pine Nut Chimichurri

If a fruit-based steak sauce isn’t your jam, turn to fresh herbs paired with garlic and pine nuts. It’s a topping that works beautifully on both grilled meats or veggies.

Steak with chimichurri sauce

Pork Chops With Walnut Romesco Sauce

This elegant dish takes its cue from Spanish cuisine. The roasted red pepper sauce is extra flavorful thanks to rich tomato paste and earthy walnuts.

Pork chops with walnut romesco sauce

Seared Pork Chops With Sage Butter

These chops are basted with sage butter (need we say more?) and cook up quickly on the stovetop. Make it a meal with a side of green beans, mashed potatoes, or a hearty grain like barley or farro.

Pork With Sage Butter

Red Curry Salmon Bowl

Curry in a hurry? This one’s ready in under 30 minutes and uses kelp noodles instead of rice so you can enjoy all the rich, spicy flavor of curry minus the heavy carbs.

Thai red curry salmon bowl

Easy Valentine’s Day Desserts

If you scrolled to the dessert section first, we get it. This course is extra important this holiday, so we’re pulling out all the stops. Healthy is relative here—everything in moderation, right? And if you don’t have time to make dessert from scratch, just pick up truffles instead.

Cacao Chip N’Ice Cream

Not your average ice cream, our lighter take uses a coconut cream base, avocados, and natural sweeteners. You’ll love digging into the resulting rich custard—bowls optional.

Vegan PB & Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

These vegan cheesecake treats are made with a crumbled protein bar for extra nutrition, then layered with a creamy filling made from soaked cashews instead of cream cheese. Add a chocolate drizzle for a craveworthy post-dinner delight.

Vegan Chocolate Cake With Avocado Frosting

Perfect for a party, but totally worth it if you’re going all out for an intimate at-home date, this vegan chocolate cake will impress any guest. The frosting—made with whipped avocado, maple syrup, vanilla, and cacao—is extra luscious yet dairy-free.

Paleo-Friendly Fudge

Our five-ingredient fudge recipe practically makes itself. You combine coconut oil, cacao powder, almond butter, honey, and vanilla extract, then chill and slice it. Easiest dessert ever!

Rosemary Dark Chocolate Tart

Make all your chocolate dreams come true with this stunning tart infused with woody rosemary. It takes about an hour and a half to make, so get started early with your sweetie.

Granita Affogato

Granita is an Italian shaved iced and when it’s flavored with cold brew and drizzled with creamer, it’s the perfect (slightly caffeinated) ending to any meal.

Quinoa Crunch Bars

Puffed quinoa adds serious crunch to these delicate morsels that beat store-bought treats any day of of the week.

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Nicole Gulotta

Nicole Gulotta is a writer, author, and tea enthusiast.

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