Valentine’s Day Menus & Recipe Ideas

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Make a delicious Valentine’s Day meal from home in your Instant Pot for a fraction of the cost of going out. With these AMAZING Valentine’s Day menus, I’ve done all the planning to help you make a fancy Valentine’s Day dinner in less time than it’d take you to get a table at your favorite restaurant.

collage of Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Valentine\'s Day Recipes

Since I’m in the kitchen all the time, I love to go out to a favorite local restaurant to celebrate Valentine’s Day. However, my husband hates the crowds and loves my cooking—all he ever wants is a cozy dinner at home. (Awww!)

If you’re planning to stay in this Valentine’s Day, I’ve put together different options to help you make an easy Valentine’s Day meal at home.

Whether you’re planning a romantic date night with your sweetheart, a quick after work celebration, or a Valentine’s Day family meal with kids, use one of these Instant Pot Valentine’s Day menus to make it a night to remember.

How to Cook Your Valentine’s Day Dinner in the Instant Pot

Sometimes the hardest part of meal planning is figuring what flavors go well together and when to start everything.

In these sample menus, I’ve done the work for you. Each plan includes a menu and a timeline of when to start everything. No matter what your situation is this Valentine’s Day, I hope one of these works for you! 

Make-Ahead Fancy Night In

Menu: Instant Pot Bone-In Beef Short Ribs (page 209), Creamy Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Green Beans with Toasted Almonds (page 273), and Heart-Shaped Mini Cheesecakes.

Since February 14th falls on a Wednesday this year, many of us will be celebrating after work. This Instant Pot Valentine’s Day menu is fancy but still fits well with busy schedules since most of the prep work is done a night or two before.

collage of short ribs, mashed potatoes, mini cheesecakes

My Bone-In Beef Short Ribs feature a red wine sauce and are perfect for a fancy Valentine’s dinner. Drizzle extra sauce over the top of mashed potatoes, with a side of almond-dressed beans. Finish the night with mini cheesecakes made in their own little pans and topped with a decadent berry topping.

The night before, I’d make the cheesecakes (30 minute prep/cook time), rinse the cooking pot, then start the short ribs (90 minutes prep/cook time). While the ribs are cooking, prepare the fruit topping for the cheesecake. Once the ribs are finished cooking, place them in a separate bowl to cool to room temperature and refrigerate overnight.

On Valentine’s Day, prepare the mashed potatoes (10 minutes prep/cook time), then transfer to a slow cooker on low. (Check them occasionally and add milk as needed.) Skim the fat off of the refrigerated short ribs and reheat on the stove or in your pressure cooker, whatever works best for you. Prepare the green beans (10 minutes prep/cook time) about 15 minutes before you think the short ribs will be warmed through.

Quick & Easy Romantic Dinner

Menu: Chicken Lazone with steamed broccoli and The Best Pressure Cooker Rice Pudding.

Real life doesn’t stop—not even for Valentine’s Day! This menu will have you covered when traffic has you running late or when you just want to focus on having fun outside of the kitchen.

collage chicken lazone, rice pudding, and broccoli

This is a creamy, full-flavor Italian meal is easy to prepare and comes together really quickly since it starts with chicken tenders. It pairs well with simple vegetables, pasta, and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. The creamy, old-fashioned rice pudding is the perfect sweet finish. In about 30 minutes, you’ll have a meal to sweep your sweetheart off their feet!

On Valentine’s Day, before you start pressure cooking, heat your water for cooking the pasta. The chicken lazone cooks so quickly (15 minute prep/cook time), you’ll want to start your pasta around the time you start the High Pressure cook time for the lazone.

While the chicken is coming to pressure, chop the broccoli and get it ready to steam. (If you want, you can steam your broccoli in your Instant Pot—pour in 1 cup water, place the chopped broccoli on a steamer basket, set the cook time for 0 minutes, then use a quick pressure release.)

After dinner, start the rice pudding about 30 minutes before you want to eat dessert. (Or, for further time-savings, you can prep the rice pudding the night before. Since the rice pudding thickens when chilled, check the texture just prior to serving and add a little more liquid if needed.)

Family Valentine’s Dinner & Dessert

Menu: Fork-Tender Instant Pot Beef Brisket (page 207), Macaroni and Cheese (or Grown-Up Mac & Cheese on page 268), and Chocolate-Dipped Cheesecake Pops.

When finding a sitter costs as much as a nice night out, sometimes you share your Valentine’s meal with the kids. This menu has something to keep everyone happy!

collage of cheesecake pops, brisket, mac and cheese

The brisket and macaroni & cheese are the perfect pair of comfort foods. And kids and grown-ups alike will enjoy these fun cheesecake pops! The brisket has a long cook time, which is perfect for dipping and decorating the cheesecake pops as a family while you wait.

The day before, cook the cheesecake and chill overnight.

The night beforedon’t forget to get the brisket marinating!

On Valentine’s Day, start the brisket well before you want to eat (90+ minute prep/cook time). While the brisket cooks, melt the chocolate, grab the sprinkles, and decorate your cheesecake pops. Return to the fridge until ready to serve. Once the brisket is cooked, remove to a platter and cover with foil and a little of the cooking liquid. Clean the cooking pot, then start the mac and cheese (10 minutes prep/cook time).

Instant Pot Coq a Vin ready to serve over noodles

More Instant Pot Valentine’s Day Dinner Recipes

Want more ideas for what to make for Valentine’s Day? Try one of these fancy pressure cooker / Instant Pot dinner recipes:

Some of my favorite fancy Valentine’s Day recipes are included in my cookbook, The Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook.

  • Creamy Swiss Onion Soup (page 95)
  • Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo (page 195)
  • Beef Bourguignon (page 214)
  • Fork-Tender Pork Chops in Mushroom Gravy (page 226)
  • Three-Cheese Lasagna (page 240)
Overhead picture of chocolate dipped strawberries using the Instant Pot double boiler method, drizzled with white chocolate and fresh strawberries in the background.

More Instant Pot Valentine’s Day Dessert Recipes

Want more sweet treat ideas for Valentine’s Day? Check out my dessert archives. Some of my favorite Valentine’s Day desserts include:

If you want more sweets, my cookbook Instantly Sweethas a huge variety of pressure cooker desserts. Some of my favorites include:

  • Pressure Cooker Chocolate Raspberry Cake for Two (page 80)
  • Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Lava Cake (page 62)
  • Instant Pot Japanese Cheesecake (page 54) with Chocolate Ganache (page 139) and fresh strawberries
  • Pressure Cooker Red Velvet Cheesecake (page 48) with White Chocolate Ganache (page 42)
  • Triple Berry Crisp (page 115)
Strawberry Cheesecake with diced strawberries garnished on top.

Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope it’s filled with love and good food, whether with your sweetheart, your family, or some good friends.

Do you exchange Valentine’s Day gifts with your sweetheart? If you are looking for a gift or need to “suggest” a gift to your sweetheart, you can always check out my Amazon shop for recommendations on pressure cookers, accessories, and cookbooks.

Leave me a comment and let me know—are you making a meal from home or are you going out this Valentine’s Day! How do you like to celebrate?

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Collage of Easy Instant Pot Valentine\'s Day Dinner Ideas
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originally published February 2, 2019 — last updated February 3, 2024
Categories: Roundups