Valentine’s Day is coming soon, and a thoughtful meal is an easy way to make the day extra festive for the whole family! From breakfast to dessert, these Valentine’s Day recipes are a fun way to show your family how much you love them all day long!
Valentine’s Day Recipes: The Inspiration
I grew up in a very holiday-happy home, where we never missed an opportunity to celebrate– and Valentine’s Day was no exception! We’d start the morning with pink milk that my mother had recently dyed, and finish the evening with light and airy frosted sugar cookies. Would we have little Valentine’s Day presents or homemade cards? You bet! Because when it came to Valentine’s Day in the Robertson house, the more the merrier!
When it came to starting our own traditions with my kids, I definitely wanted to carry the festive vibes along. So you’ll probably see some pink and red streamers, the same red heart tablecloth from my childhood, and Valentine’s Day cups and plates from the Dollar Tree adorning my table in the morning.
But I also wanted to implement holiday traditions that were simple, easy, fast, and inexpensive. A lot of the Valentine’s Day experience simply comes from taking your favorite food and adding a heart-shaped spin to it.
We might not always eat these recipes each year on February 14th, but they’re a fun way to bring some Valentine’s Day spirit into our meals. No matter what, we’ll definitely be dining with our cheap paper heart-themed plates and cups so we won’t have to wash a single dish!
Recipes for Valentine’s Day Breakfast
Breakfast at our house happens pretty quickly as we’re all running out the door. But no matter what we’re eating, you’d better believe it will be red, pink, or contain hearts in some way, shape, or form. My heart-shaped cookie cutter will also be getting a pretty great workout all day long!
1. Valentine’s Day Waffles: Heat up frozen waffles (or make them from scratch!) and cut them with a heart-shaped cookie cutter. Top with raspberries, strawberries, whipped cream, and even some pink sprinkles, and breakfast is served!
2. Love Berry Bowl: Top your usual smoothie bowl with red berries and sprinkles for a festive twist. Be sure to incorporate lots of red and pink fruits like strawberries, raspberries, and cherries to bring out the red or pink colors.
3. Valentine’s Day Pancakes: While you can use our trusty cookie cutter to make hearts out of your usual pancakes, add some red food coloring to your batter to make a pink pancake recipe will be a hit with your kids- especially any Pinkalicious-loving girls.
Valentine’s Day Lunch
Lunch on Valentine’s Day can also be really simple. Just add a few garnishes on their favorites, and you’re good to go!
4. Heart Sandwiches: Use the same large heart cookie cutter, and cut bread into a heart shape. This will work with virtually any sandwich, from peanut butter and jelly to grilled cheese, to a fancy deli variety. Bonus: if you have kids who are morally opposed to the crust, the cookie-cutter instantly removes it!
5. Love Berry Smoothie: You can use the same recipe you’d use for the Love Berry Bowl, just use about 1-2 cups of milk (or liquid of your choice) instead of 1/2 cup. Garnish with a fun straw, extra berries, and a dollop of whipped cream.
Valentine Heart-Healthy Snacks
These snacks are a great way to refuel after the kids get home from school, or if you need an edible craft to do with the little guys during the afternoon.
6. Fruit Kebabs: Get some kebab skewers, and have your children create their own fruit kebabs using precut fruit like strawberries, bananas, watermelon, apples, and pineapple. These are healthy and delicious, so it’s a win-win!
7. Valentine’s Day Snack Mix: You can make your own from scratch with any ingredients, or buy a bag of premade Chex mix, add in 1/2 cup Valentine M&MS, and 1/2 dried fruit of choice (we like cherries and strawberries) for a fun and festive snack.
Valentine’s Day Dinner
8. Valentine’s Day Pizza: Roll out pizza dough, but cut it into a large heart shape. Add your favorite toppings of sauce, cheese, vegetables, and meats. You can also make mini-pizzas with our favorite heart-shaped cookie-cutters. This is a great option if you have kids who want to customize their pizzas!
9. Valentine Sliders: Get 1 lb of ground beef, and shape 4 patties into hearts (you can use the cookie cutter as a template). Match patties with bread also cut into the same shape, and enjoy! This will make four large sliders.
10. Steak: You can’t go wrong with a classic! Grill some juicy steaks, serve with baked potatoes and a salad, and you’ve got the perfect Valentine’s Day meal. No extra heart shapes or sprinkles necessary!
11. Chocolate Fondue: Take the fruit kebabs you’ve used at lunch, and dip them in chocolate. Experiment with ruby chocolate for pink chocolate fondue, white chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate . . . or mix a few together. Dip in sprinkles for an extra treat!
12. Sugar Cookies: These recipes for sugar cookies and the icing is perfect for enjoying as a family, or sharing with friends and neighbors. Don’t forget to put the conversation heart toppers or your favorite Valentine’s Day candy on top!
If you’d rather have a creamier vanilla buttercream frosting instead, try out this recipe. It’s a little softer and not as sticky, so it might work better for little hands. This frosting variation works really well on different cookies, cakes, or cupcakes.
The Perfect Rolled Sugar Cookie (with Glossy Icing)
- baking sheets
- mixing bowl
- parchment paper (optional, but helpful)
- 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature (2 sticks)
- 1 cup confectioner's sugar regular granulated sugar is also okay, but confectioner's sugar gives cookies a creamier texture
- 3/4 tsp almond extract or use extra vanilla if you don't have almond extract.
- 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- Combine butter and sugar in standing mixer or mixing bowl, and beat until they're creamy, light, and well-combined.
- Add in egg and vanilla (and almond) extract until well-combined.
- Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
- Mix dry ingredients into the wet mixture and combine.
- Divide dough into two balls and wrap with plastic wrap.
- Chill for two hours or longer. You can also freeze dough if desired.
- After dough has chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or grease baking pans.
- Generously dust a clean surface with flour and deposit one chilled cookie dough ball onto the surface. Lightly flour the dough and roll out to 1/8" (for thinner, crispier cookies) or 1/4" (for thicker, softer cookies). Continue to add flour as needed both on top of and beneath the dough so that it doesn't stick.
- Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes and use a spatula to transfer shapes to prepared baking sheet.
- Bake at 350F for 9-10 minutes, or until edges just begin to turn lightly golden brown.
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve as-is, or wait until cool to frost.
The Perfect Glossy Icing
- 3 cups powdered sugar (AKA confectioners' sugar) sifted
- 3-4 Tbsp milk
- 2 Tbsp light corn syrup
- food coloring optional
- sprinkles or candy of choice optional
- Combine sugar, 2 Tablespoons of milk, corn syrup, and vanilla extract (and/or almond extract) in a medium-sized bowl and stir until combined. Add in more milk If frosting is too thick, starting with a teaspoon at a time. You want the icing to be thick enough to put in your frosting bag, but thin enough to spread over cookies. If you accidentally add too much milk, add powdered sugar until desired texture is reached. Unlike baking where measurement precision matters, you can gradually add things in with this recipe.
- If you're coloring the icing, divide into bowls and dye. You can use gel food coloring or more traditional colors. Remember, a drop or two might be all you need!
- OPTION 1: Transfer icing to a piping bag with a piping tip (like Wilton 5), or place in a Ziploc bag and snip a small piece of the corner off (this strategy works well if you don't have an icing bag). It's not as neat, but it gets the job done!
- OPTION 2: If you're working with kids, give each one a plate to decorate and decorate with a knife or spreader.
- OPTION 3: Dip the cookies into the bowl of icing. It's quick and easy if you have little hands that want to "help", and they can focus on adding sprinkles, etc. instead of decorating them with a knife.
- Decorate cookies or pastry of choice with candy and sprinkles as desired while icing is still wet.
- Allow time for icing to dry before eating. This could be several hours, so be patient!
- Store finished cookies at room temperature in sealed container.
Favorite Valentine’s Day Recipes
February 14 is a really fun time to show your family how much you love them, and food is a wonderful way to demonstrate that. These ideas are just a starting point, and there are countless variations.
Choose your family’s favorite recipes, and add your own twist. Use tomato-based pasta noodles with a marinara sauce for a pink spaghetti dinner. If cookies aren’t your thing, whip up a decadent cake or delicious cupcakes.
Incorporating one or two of these ideas into your holiday might only take a few minutes (or longer if you’re brave enough to bake and decorate those sugar cookies!), but it establishes fun traditions they’ll remember for years. It also makes Valentine’s Day less about romantic love and more about recognizing the love and appreciation for family.
What are your favorite recipe ideas for Valentine’s Day? Let us know in the comments!