Red Meals You Can Serve For Valentine's Day! (WITHOUT the Food Coloring!)

There’s many ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day, and sometimes, simple is best! When we think of Valentine’s meals, we tend to think of fancy dishes like lobster and steak, served with a side of roasted asparagus and potatoes, topped off with something gourmet and decadent such as creme brulee. However, I know if I served that kind of meal at my house, everyone would have something to complain about (the asparagus, the steak, even the creme brulee! We have quite the variety of taste buds at my house ;) ). Which is why I tend to think a different way when it comes to food for Valentine’s Day!

I like to think red!

There are such a variety of red foods you can serve that will help your meal feel festive- and you don’t need to add a bunch of food coloring to make it happen!

  • Pizza is such an easy one- red sauce and pepperoni- and you can make the pizza (or the pepperoni) in the shape of a heart! You could also serve a margherita style pizza and add plenty of beautiful, ripe tomatoes!
  • Spaghetti. If you love marinara but want to avoid the pizza route, spaghetti is another easy meal that’s full of beautiful red color! Try using different noodles for a fancier look!
  • Fajitas- And again, instead of using a variety of peppers, just stick with red! You could add some red onions for extra flavor and color dimension.
  • Red velvet pancakes are perfect for breakfast food lovers! And they’re definitely the perfect Valentine’s meal with their deep, rich red color! I love to make cream cheese frosting (with extra milk to water it down) to go on top in lieu of maple syrup! You could also just make regular pancakes (or waffles) and make a berry sauce to top them off! (And bacon is red too, right? The perfect side!)
  • A berry salad- your meal definitely doesn’t need to be all red! A berry salad topped with plenty of strawberries and raspberries will still feel festive, and will be a fresh, delicious addition to the table!
  • Sliced strawberries on cereal. Breakfast can be festive too! Cheerios or Frosted Flakes are delicious with some sliced strawberries!
  • Enchiladas with red sauce. If you like it red and spicy, red enchilada sauce is another beautiful red that is also super delicious!
  • Tomato Soup. A simple but classic meal- and definitely a nice red color! This would definitely be a great cozy meal for two.
  • Stuffed roasted red peppers- there’s all kinds of different fillings you could use to complete this meal, but all will give you a cheery red, tasty, and healthy meal!
  • Tomato and basil grilled cheese sandwiches- not completely red, but completely delicious! And super easy as well!
  • Cajun Chicken Pasta- with lots of red peppers! Usually when I make this particular pasta, I use red and green peppers, but if you’re going for color over taste, you could easily substitute the green peppers for more red! This is also such a tasty meal- it’s definitely worth making- even if it’s not all red ;).

    Cajun Chicken Pasta

    Serving size: 8
    Calories per serving: 244

    2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    3 teaspoons cajun seasoning
    2 tablespoons butter
    2 red bell peppers, diced
    1 green bell pepper, diced
    4 large fresh sliced mushrooms (or 8 oz canned)
    2 cups heavy cream
    1/2 teaspoon dried basil
    1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
    1/4 teaspoon pepper
    4 ounces linguini (I like to add a little more)

    Place chicken in Cajun seasoning and toss. Saute chicken until almost done, 5 to 9 minutes. Add peppers, mushrooms, and onions. Cook and stir; reduce heat. Add cream and seasonings; heat through. Add linguine and toss. Heat through. Sprinkle with parmesan. Makes a lot and is very rich!

    *Can thicken with a tablespoon of flour- mix with with part of the cream then add towards the end

    Recipe formatted with the Cook'n Recipe Software from DVO Enterprises.

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If you were to serve a red meal on Valentine’s Day, what would you serve? I’d love to hear your ideas!


    Camille Hoffmann
    Monthly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
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