Planning to cook an intimate Valentine’s Day meal for your date? For some, the stakes can feel high. For others, it’s a fun way to celebrate the day with your partner!

Don’t worry. Whether you’ve been with your Valentine for two months or twenty years, many of us fall into the same meal planning pitfalls. Want to avoid some of the most common ones? Keep reading to get our top tips!

Man cooking a Valentine's Day meal

1. KISS (Keep It Simple, Silly!)

While it can be tempting to go big, maybe February 14 isn’t the best time to make sushi from scratch? Or, use the “sous-vide” cooking method for the first time? 

You can still pull out all the stops using simple ingredients from your local grocery store and basic cooking tools. 

Usually, creating an overly ambitious menu can just add unwanted stress to the day. Unless you’re a professional chef or enjoy the prospect of a culinary challenge!

Honestly, nothing tops a dish made with love and simple, high-quality ingredients. For example, tomato bruschetta is tasty, simple, and a quick starter. We love this recipe because it’s easy and flexible with lots of shortcuts!

What do we mean? You can chop up the tomatoes before your guest arrives. Then all you need to do is add your shredded basil leaves, olive oil, and seasoning before serving it! You can even make good use of your toaster. Want to add an extra cute Valentine’s Day detail? Cut your bread into heart shapes!

2. Envision Your Future

Take a step back. We’re not talking about planning your wedding or buying a new house together. Just don’t leave your grocery shopping to the last minute! And know exactly what you’d like to make.

Rest assured. You’ll feel much better if you break away from the regular, last-minute shopper crowd! None of us want to be that person who is running around buying last-minute gifts and groceries.

So, what’s the best way to stay on top of Valentine’s Day grocery shopping? 

As we’ve hinted above, menu planning is key. Know exactly what you need to buy before hitting the shops. You can even use Samsung Food’s handy Shopping List feature to get an idea of what you need. 

Of course, if you’re cooking super perishable items like seafood or meat, it’s probably best to buy these as close to Valentine’s Day as possible. Even better? See if you can order these ingredients in advance and pick them up on the day.

Finally, all you have to do is store your ingredients properly and keep them fresh for the big day.

Don’t grab your shopping bag just yet! There are a couple more things you’ll need to think about first.

Valentines's Day meal shopping

3. Learn Their Tastes Before Cooking a Valentine’s Day Meal

Nothing says “I love you” like knowing your partner’s favorite foods! Whether you’re at this stage in your relationship or not, it’s a great way to start your date off on the right foot …

Don’t have a clue what they like to eat? Now is the perfect time to ask them about their likes, dislikes, diet, and intolerances. Trust us. They’ll appreciate the extra effort! 

For instance, if your Valentine is vegetarian, it’s probably best to avoid cooking them an expensive Wagyu steak. 

Feel like you know your partner inside out? Cook them something new! It’s a great occasion to splurge on special ingredients you wouldn’t normally cook at home. For example, scallops or steaks are relatively easy to cook, and they’ll add an extra layer of luxury to your night. A bottle of bubbles like Prosecco or Champagne won’t hurt either! 

Cooking for a vegetarian or vegan? Surprise them a meal made of unexpected ingredients. Aubergine with miso paste is a simple yet sophisticated, umami rich dish that’ll impress anyone.

Couple discussing their Valentine's Day meal.

4. Create a Romantic Valentine’s Day Meal Ambiance 

One last thing. Take a few moments to think about how you’re going to create a cozy and romantic ambiance. It’ll take your Valentine’s Day meal from good to unforgettable! 

First, think about your table setting. Use your best cutlery, glassware, and a clean tablecloth.

Why not pick up a simple bouquet of flowers to add a vibrant touch to your table setting? Roses are ideal. But go with what your heart tells you! 

Dim your lights (if you can) and light some candles to create a soft, romantic atmosphere.

Last but not least, make or select a playlist that matches the vibe. The more love songs, the better!

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Ultimately, a successful Valentine’s Day meal is all about paying attention to small details, and making your date feel special. Don’t stress too much about making the perfect meal. At the end of the day, it’s the thought that counts!