Whether you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day with your partner, with your friends or by yourself, these recipes will help make the day special without a full day spent in the kitchen. The best Valentine’s Day recipes are all about indulgence. And while there are few things sexier than a good cheese pull, that doesn’t mean your menu has to be ultra-rich, heavy and time-consuming.
The dishes that we’ve curated don’t require tonnes of ingredients, and most come together in under an hour. Because, after all, love means never having to spend hours cooking a special meal, right?
French Onion Grilled Cheese
Nothing says “I love you” like a grilled cheese sandwich stuffed with melty Gruyère and caramelised onions, so this recipe is a guaranteed home run.
4 tbsp Unsalted Butter
1 pound yellow or Vidalia Onions, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
Kosher Salt and Black Pepper
2 tsp Sherry, Red-wine or White-wine Vinegar (optional)
4 ounces Gruyère Cheese, grated
4 slices Bread, cut no wider than ½-inch thick
1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter.
2. Add the onions and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring once or twice, until the onions are softened, 3 to 5 minutes.
3. Uncover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until deep golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. If the onions look dry or like they might burn, add a few tablespoons of water at a time, scraping up any browned bits that are stuck to the bottom of the skillet.
4. If desired, once the onions are done, deglaze the skillet with vinegar and cook until the liquid has evaporated, about 1 minute.
5. Transfer the onions to a medium bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Wipe out the skillet, or wash it, if necessary.
6. Add the cheese to the onions and stir to combine.
7. Put down two slices of bread, and scoop half of the cheese-onion mixture onto each one. Top with the remaining slices of bread, and press down gently.
8. In the skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat.
9. Add the sandwiches and cook until the bottoms turn golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes, reducing the heat to prevent toast from darkening too quickly, if needed.
10. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, flip the sandwiches, press down and cook until the cheese has fully melted and the bottoms turn golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve immediately.
Vegan Cacio e Pepe
Alexa Weibel’s vegan version of the classic Italian dish only needs pasta cooking water, store-bought cashew butter, nutritional yeast, white miso paste and toasted crushed peppercorns. These ingredients come together to make a creamy, dairy-free sauce that doesn’t feel like a compromise.
⅓ cup Nutritional Yeast
¼ cup Cashew Butter
2 tbsp White Miso Paste
1 tbsp whole Black Peppercorns
16 ounces Dried Spaghetti
¼ cup extra-virgin Olive Oil, plus more for drizzling
½ Lemon, squeezed as needed (optional)
1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high. (Go easy on the salt here, since the miso paste added in Step 4 is high in salt.) Add the nutritional yeast, cashew butter and miso to a small bowl and stir into a thick paste.
2. Crush the peppercorns using the flat side of a knife. (Alternatively, you can roughly chop them, or use a pepper grinder set to a coarse setting.)
3. Add the pasta to the boiling water, reduce the temperature to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes before al dente according to package instructions. Reserve 2½ cups of pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta.
4. Add ¼ cup olive oil to the empty pot and heat over medium. Add about two-thirds of the crushed black peppercorns and toast, stirring frequently, until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.
5. Add the miso mixture, and stir, then whisk in 1¾ cups reserved pasta water until the sauce is smooth.
6. Add the pasta to the sauce and cook over medium-high, tossing it constantly and vigorously with tongs, until the sauce is glossy and the pasta is fully al dente, 1 to 2 minutes. Add an extra splash of reserved pasta water to keep the sauce glossy, if needed.
7. Divide among bowls. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with remaining crushed pepper and serve immediately.
Whether you want to set up a romantic brunch date at home, or you feel like having breakfast food for dinner, or just want to spend a few extra minutes in the morning serving up fluffy, crisp French toast for your special someone, this recipe is your answer.
6 large Eggs
1 1/2 c. Whole Milk
1 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp pure Vanilla Extract
8 1-inch-thick slices Challah Bread
4 tbsp Unsalted Butter
Yoghurt, Berries, and Pure Maple Syrup or Honey, for serving
1. In a large, shallow bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla.
2. Working in batches, place 2 bread slices in egg mixture and let soak for 2 minutes. Flip and soak 1 minute more (both sides of bread should be totally coated in mixture).
3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet on medium-low.
4. Once melted, add soaked bread and cook until golden brown, 1 to 3 minutes per side; transfer to a wire rack. While toast is cooking, soak the next batch of challah slices.
5. Repeat with remaining butter and bread. Serve topped with yoghurt, berries, and syrup or honey if desired.