Easy 3-Course Valentine’s Day Dinner

35-Minute, Three-Course Dinner For Your Valentine

Valentine’s Day falls on Friday this week, which means I’m likely going to be ready to relax after a full week of work instead of spending 2 hours in the kitchen cooking a romantic dinner. I doubt my husband wants to either. The other option is an overpriced pre-fixe dinner out in a crowded restaurant– a recipe for disappointment. I decided to look through my favorite recipes and put together an easy dinner that I can prep ahead in just a few minutes.


Starting with a crunchy, sweet and crisp chopped salad, followed by creamy, cheesy cacio e pepe, and ending with a refreshing and delicious mango sorbet, this meal is full of indulgent flavor.

Meal Prep Valentine’s Dinner

I learned a long time ago that meal prep can be romantic. Yes, I said it. Heck, cooking is romantic. But mostly when it’s stress-free and feels more like date than a chore that leaves you exhausted. Want to impress your significant other? Let them see you in the kitchen, throwing fresh, delicious ingredients together like a pro.

Move over Victoria. Meal prep is the real secret to a great Valentine’s Day. (That was supposed to make you laugh!)

Easy 3-Course Dinner Prep Plan & Recipes

So, here is the plan and the three recipes that’ll make their hearts melt! It’s Wednesday, so I’m making my sorbet tonight!

Wednesday: Blend up your dessert Mango Sorbet and freeze. (5 minutes)

Thursday: Chop ingredients for Vegan Chopped Salad. (10 minutes)

Friday: Prepare Cacio e Pepe. Make salad dressing and mix with chopped ingredients. (20 minutes)

If you make these recipes for your Valentine, we’d love to see them on Instagram! Just use the hashtag #THEFRESH20 so we can see what’s cooking in your kitchen.


Vegan Chopped Salad

  • Author: The Fresh 20
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Total Time: 15


Hearty vegan chopped salad of super food vegetables, crunchy sunflower seeds and sweet raisins, topped with ginger avocado vinaigrette.




  • 1 head cauliflower, finely chopped (use food processor for best results)
  • 1/2 head of red cabbage, finely chopped (use food processor for best results)
  • 1 bunch kale, finely chopped to yield about 2 cups
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro or parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup raisins, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds


  • 1 avocado, mashed
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • black pepper to taste


  1. Chop cauliflower, cabbage, carrots and onion in food processor or finely by hand.
  2. In a large serving bowl, combine all salad ingredients.
  3. Whisk all the dressing ingredients until well blended.
  4. Stir dressing into salad and chill until serving.


  • Serving Size: 4



Cacio e Pepe

  • Author: The Fresh 20
  • Prep Time: 2
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 12 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


Tender pasta in a creamy, cheesy and peppery sauce.



  • 1 pound bucatini
  • 1½ cups pecorino cheese
  • ½ cup grated parmesan reggiano
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • Reserved water from pasta boiling


  1. Boil pasta in water that is salty like the sea.
  2. Cook until just before al dente (according to package), then use tongs to quickly transfer it to the bowl, reserving a cup or so of the cooking water.
  3. Add half cup of cooking water to pasta and ¼ of cheese.
  4. Flip pasta around til cheese is combined.
  5. Add another quarter of cheese and repeat.
  6. If needed, add more reserve cooking water.
  7. Keep adding cheese and flipping to coat. The sauce will build to a creamy texture and cling to the pasta. It should not be watery.


Mango Sorbet

  • Author: The Blender Girl For The Fresh 20
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x


Aromatic, refreshing no added sugar mango sorbet



  • 3/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed pitted dates
  • 4 cups frozen mango
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary


  1. Blast on high for 60 seconds
  2. Serve immediately in small bowls, or freeze until ready to use.

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