5 Recipes for a Dreamy Valentine’s Date Night

5 Recipes for a Dreamy Valentine’s Date Night

Love is in the air — can you feel it? This romantic holiday arrives every February to give us the chance to appreciate the relationships in our lives: Our communities, families, friends, and partners. It’s a moment in the midst of winter to pause for a hot minute and express gratitude for the love all around us.

Whether you plan to spend V Day cozied up with a new boo, or hosting your crew for a Galentine’s gathering, or setting aside time to connect with your longtime partner, it’s the perfect time to step up your kitchen game. A date night at home is the time to let your culinary prowess shine, with best-quality ingredients and plenty of inspiration to lead the way.

  1. Curate your music playlist. Extra-slow jams, please!
  2. Make sure your pantry is stocked with the essentials, like nutrient-packed ZENB Pasta and ZENB Gourmet Pasta Sauce
  3. Put a bottle of bubbly on ice
  4. Pop on your cutest apron and get cooking!
  5. Make it a night to remember
Here are five decadent — and dare we say sexy? — recipes to try for an at-home Valentine’s Day date night. Each one is bursting with color, flavor, texture, and plenty of plants, because on this lovers’ holiday, only an elevated meal will do!

Spanish Garlic Shrimp Tapas

Shrimp tossed in ZENB Roasted Red Bell Pepper Gourmet Sauce in cast-iron skillet with flat leaf parsley sprinkled on top, plated on wooden plate with toasted rounds of bread.

There’s something so fun about Spanish Tapas: The food is fiery and bold, and the small portions make it great for sharing. These sassy small plates also pair well with wine, of course (Rioja fans, rejoice!), and make a punchy start to any meal.

On their own, shrimp can be a bit subtle, so they are a great vehicle for powerful flavors. After peeling and deveining the shrimp, simmer them in ZENB Roasted Red Bell Pepper Gourmet Pasta Sauce, with the umami volume turned way up, thanks to sautéed onions and garlic. Serve with toasted slices of baguette for dipping.

Mussels Marinara

Mussels in broth made with ZENB Roasted Tomato Gourmet Sauce in cast iron skillet with julienned basil sprinkled on top, sitting on wooden trivet on while marble countertop with toasted crostini.

Shellfish bathed in a luscious broth are practically the definition of a Valentine’s Day dish. You could spend hours working on a broth for those briny bivalves, or you can take a clever shortcut with ZENB Roasted Tomato Gourmet Pasta Sauce and use the time you save to do a charcoal face mask and pick out an extra-dope outfit.

Mussels are commonly served with baguette, making this great to serve alongside the shrimp tapas, or on its own as a light entrée. If you’re the lucky owner of an air fryer, French fries are an indulgent side, changing this dish to moules-frites.


Olive & Goat Cheese Flatbread

Sheet pan with flatbread made with ZENB Roasted Red Bell Pepper Gourmet Sauce, goat cheese, and olives, on wooden cutting board.

You know that cute wine bar that serves orange wine and gourmet flatbreads? You can totally recreate that experience at home for a meal that’s light on its feet with a subtle Mediterranean flair.

Store-bought pizza dough (or a ball of dough purchased from your favorite pizzeria!) creates the foundation for this flatbread, which is topped with ZENB Roasted Red Bell Pepper Gourmet Pasta Sauce, a shower of mozzarella, some tangy goat cheese, and two types of olives. Add a fresh herb salad, and you’ve got a swoon-worthy dinner all ready to go.

Beef Pho at Home

Thinly shaved beef with ZENB Rotini in pho broth and jalapenos in white bowl with bowls of hoisin, Sriracha, cut limes and cilantro next to it all on marble countertop.

If cozy is the vibe you’re after this Valentine’s Day, making homemade pho will give your date all the fuzzy feels. This Vietnamese street food is the best kind of comfort food: It’s got hearty, rustic flavors that warm you to the core without weighing you down. The beef is more of a secondary ingredient than the main dish, so the herbs, aromatics and noodles can really shine.
Using ZENB Rotini Pasta made from 100% yellow peas, this dish is gluten-free, and sneaks in an extra serving of plants into every bowl. (This, FYI, is the only time it’s okay to be sneaky on Valentine's Day!)

Truffle Mushroom Mac & Cheese

Baked Truffle Mac & Cheese in red and white baking dish with spoon next to sage branch and pink cocktail, all on wooden table.
If you’re pulling out all the stops to impress your love, or to show your friends how good you’ve gotten in the kitchen, a cheesy baked mac & cheese, enhanced with umami-rich truffles, is your golden ticket.
Even though this sounds wildly decadent, using some smart ingredients gives it a healthier twist — without sacrificing any flavor at all. Use reduced fat cheese, ZENB Elbows Pasta and ZENB Creamy Mushroom, Cauliflower, and Garlic Gourmet Pasta Sauce, which lends a velvety texture and a complex, savory flavor.

We hope you enjoy a happy, love-filled Valentine’s Day! If you’re looking for more inspo (or ideas for breakfast the next morning 😉), head to our recipe library that features over 100 creative, nutritious dishes. For a daily dose of cooking hacks, recipe tips, and wellness chat, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.


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