Valentine’s Day is upon us. You might be tempted to make last-minute reservations at some restaurant with menu items you’ve never heard of, or you’re giving up entirely and just plan on ordering your date a heart-shaped pizza. Don't worry — there's still time for you to plan an awesome meal and impress your date at the same time just by firing up your stove. Here are seven relatively simple but extremely delicious meals to impress your date with on Wednesday.
Nothing says “I love you” like lasagna. This recipe from Bon Appetit is a sophisticated twist on the classic dish that includes an elevated bolognese and bechamel sauce. Don’t fret though — the recipe may look intimidating, but it’s really simple. Going the extra mile will show that special someone you really care, and you will probably have leftovers to look forward to the rest of the week.
2. Steak and potatoes
If you want to go the classic date night route, you can’t go wrong with buying a couple of T-bones. This recipe from Food and Wine couldn’t be simpler, and it includes a tasty smokey spiced sugar rub. Throw a couple baked potatoes in the oven, and you’ll have dinner done in less than an hour.
3. One-pan salmon dinner
Another simple dinner option is this one-pan salmon dinner for two from Tasty that includes asparagus and potatoes. It’s a classic date night meal that won’t leave you or your date bloated. Plus, because it requires only one pan, you can spend time cuddling on the couch with your partner and less time scrubbing dishes.
4. Sesame shrimp with ginger broccoli
A great and easy option for a V-day meal is this sesame shrimp with ginger broccoli recipe from Cooking Light. You can’t really go wrong with slathering your shrimp with panko bread crumbs and calling it a night. Plus, you and your date will have more room for dessert.
5. Sweet and sour pork
You might be tempted to take it easy this Feb. 14 and opt for some takeout, but show your date you care and make your own at home. Check out this recipe from Saveur for sweet and sour pork. Buy some white rice from a local Chinese restaurant and fry it up with some eggs, soy sauce and whatever vegetables you want to make a simple fried rice for the side. If you and your partner are homebodies who love to order in, this extra effort will really woo them.
6. Personal pot pies
It's winter and everyone just wants comfort food all the time to warm their frigid bones. Treat your date (and yourself) to these chicken thigh pot pies from Garden and Gun. They're extremely tasty to eat while cuddling up on the couch and watching Netflix.
7. Lemony pasta with cauliflower, chickpeas and arugula
If you and your date would prefer a vegetarian-friendly option, check out this awesome pasta dish from Epicurious. It’s fresh and flavorful, and everyone (probably) loves pasta.
Bonus — Dessert round
What is Valentine’s Day without dessert? You could opt for these mouthwatering brownie sundaes from Real Simple, this envious chocolate dutch baby from Bon Appetit, these mini cheesecakes from Food Network or keep it easy and dip some strawberries in melted chocolate. No matter what you decide to make, your date is sure to love it.