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This is the one tool you need to make a fancy Valentine's Day dinner

Treat your sweetie to a four-course meal without leaving the house.

An Instant Pot is the only cooking tool you need for the perfect Valentine's Day dinner at home Credit: Getty Images / Tempura

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Whether you’re in a long-term relationship or you’re seeing someone new, taking a DIY approach to Valentine's Day can be a fun (and affordable!) way to spend the holiday. And if you and your loved one are opting for an at-home celebration this year, look no further than the Instant Pot to help you make this V-day the most memorable and tasty yet.

Why do you need an Instant Pot?

An Instant Pot is the only cooking gadget you need for Valentine's Day dinner.
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

You may benefit from an Instant Pot if you're celebrating Valentine's Day at home.

Branded as the do-it-all device that can sear, slow cook, sauté, and bake, the Instant Pot is the one tool that can whip up a variety of dishes without dirtying up extra pans, which is ideal for a mess-free date night. Many users also rave about how user-friendly Instant Pots are; upon receiving her first Instant Pot, our managing editor managed to cook a whole week's worth of meals without repeating any dishes.

An Instant Pot can easily cook for two, making it a great gadget for romantic occasions. Already an Instant Pot user? Read on for some of my favorite menu ideas for a romantic date night.

Instant Pot recipes to make on Valentine's Day

Appetizers that look and taste amazing

This cheddar bacon ale dip is the best appetizer for a cold winter night.
Credit: Happy Life Blogspot

This rich, creamy dip is the perfect appetizer for Valentine's Day dinner.

To make your dinner special, you may consider adding a couple of Valentine’s Day-themed appetizers. I personally like the idea of serving chips with an interesting dip because you can easily make the dip beforehand. This pressure cooker cheddar bacon ale dip caught my eye because of how straightforward the recipe is. With the “pressure cook” setting on the Instant Pot, you can make this dish in under 10 minutes from start to finish. It’s rich, creamy, and savory, which is perfect for a chilly night.

Side dishes that don’t disappoint

roasted sweet potatoes and tortilla-less chicken soup
Credit: Parker Feierbach / 40 Aprons

These Instant Pot side dishes are just as impressive as the main course.

When we plan fancy meals, it’s easy to neglect the the sides. If you’re a big rice fan, this simple 15-minute risotto recipe that we used to test multi-cookers may be a good choice. With a dash of saffron, this dish can easily brighten up your dinner table.

We also find these Instant Pot roasted sweet potatoes a perfect no-fuss side dish for any dinner. If you’re looking for something light on carbs, this Whole30-approved chicken tortilla-less soup is full of flavor and easy to make.

The star of the show—the mains

Creamy pasta and roasted duck breast are two good options for a fancy dinner at home for Valentine's Day.
Credit: A couple Cooks / Crunchy Creamy Sweet

For the main course, creamy pasta and roasted duck breast are both good options.

Once you’ve made decisions on the apps and sides, you can focus on a main course that will make your date night memorable. If you and your partner are meat-eaters, you may want to try recipes like old-fashioned pot roast, succulent duck breast, or flavorful beef bourguignon. All dishes require relatively short cooking time, and you can set them and forget them in advance.

But if you’re sticking to a particular diet or staying away from red meat, we can also recommend some brilliant vegetarian recipes that will make your date night special and romantic, including this pad thai stir fry. As pad thai is one of my favorite take-out foods, I was shocked to find out how quickly it can be made in an Instant Pot. If you want to play it safe with your date, you can’t go wrong with a creamy pasta dish.

Desserts to end the night on a sweet note

For dessert, you can make this delicious peach crisp or this oreo cheesecake in an Instant Pot.
Credit: Paint the Kitchen Red / My Baking Addiction

These delicious dessert recipes don't require too much baking knowledge to make.

Not everyone associates their Instant Pot with dessert, but these wildly popular gadgets can bake cakes and more. This Instant Pot Oreo cheesecake recipe from is easy to follow, but you’ll need to buy a 7-inch springform pan if your Instant Pot is 6-quart or smaller. If your Instant Pot is 8-quart, you should use an 8-inch springform pan.

If you don’t want to order a new springform pan to crowd your pantry, you may want to try this classic peach crisp—our editor loves it.

Don't forget the best wine subscriptions to complement the food

Our editors love discovering new wines through Winc.
Credit: Winc

Our editors love discovering new wines through Winc.

Lastly, you might want to pair your homemade dishes with some expert-picked wines that can help set the mood. We’ve done the hard work of testing the best wine subscriptions so you can figure out which one is right for you. Although we didn’t love everything about each subscription, most of these services are generally flexible with customization so that customers can tailor their boxes to their individual tastes.

Which Instant Pot should you buy?

If you’re intrigued by the cooking possibilities of an Instant Pot but don’t know which one to get, you can check out all the latest Instant Pot models that we’ve compared. If you have an Instant Pot but it's been collecting dust in your basement, you may also benefit from this Instant Pot refresher course.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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