Valentine's Day

Food: A Family-Friendly Valentine’s Day Dinner

Valentine's Day

It’s easy to make a special Valentine’s Day meal for your family.

Cary, NC — When I was a little younger, before the days of dates and boyfriends, my mom would always prepare a special Valentine’s Day dinner for our family–complete with festive pink food. With a little bottle of red food coloring and a lot of love, you can do the same thing.

A Valentine’s Day Dinner for Family

It’s easy to prepare a quick, special dinner for a family Valentine’s Day celebration. I’ve listed some of the simplest recipes I could find below for dinner, drinks, and dessert (all pink!) that even picky kids will love. Make the punch and dessert ahead of time.


Pink Fettuccine Alfredo

  • 24 ounces dry fettuccine pasta
  • 1 cup butter
  • 3/4 pint heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 dash garlic salt
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 3/4 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add fettuccine and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt butter into cream over low heat. Add salt, pepper, and garlic salt.
  3. Add tomato sauce until mixture turns a deep pink.
  4. Stir in cheese over medium heat until melted; this will thicken the sauce.
  5. Add pasta to sauce. Use enough of the pasta so that all of the sauce is used and the pasta is thoroughly coated. Serve immediately.

Pink Garlic Bread

  • 1 loaf french bread
  • Butter, softened
  • Garlic powder to taste
  • Red food coloring


  1. Slice loaf into generous pieces
  2. Add coloring, in drops, to softened butter until spread turns pink
  3. Spread desired amount of butter on each slice of bread
  4. Lightly sprinkle with garlic powder
  5. Bake at 350 degrees until lightly golden


Pink Fruit Salad

  • 1 (21 ounce) can cherry pie filling
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (11 ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can crushed pineapple
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1 (16 ounce) package frozen whipped topping, thawed


  1. Mix together the cherry pie filling, condensed milk, oranges, pineapple, coconut, marshmallows and whipped topping.
  2. Chill for several hours and top with chopped pecans, if desired.


The dinner is festive, so your drinks should be too! Today, my favorite “pink drink” is white zinfandel. But, as kid, this punch recipe was a Valentine’s Day favorite. Hint: Switch out the red Kool-Aid for other flavors to keep holiday color themes going year-round.

Pink Punch

  • 2 packages unsweetened cherry Kool-Aid
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 quart boiling water
  • 1 48 ounce can pineapple juice
  • 1-2 quarts ginger ale


  1. Mix first three ingredients together until sugar and kool-aid are dissolved.
  2. Add pineapple juice and freeze (this can take up to a day–I like to freeze the mixture in multiple shallow containers if I am in a rush).
  3. Take out of the freezer a few hours before serving time.
  4. Put into punch bowl. Pour ginger ale over mixture just before serving.


My family always dined by candlelight on Valentine’s Day. If you’re feeling especially “pink,” you can lay out colored place settings and napkins, too. But don’t over do it–I picked easy (and several do-it-ahead-of-time) recipes so that you can spend your holiday doing what really matters–enjoying time with the ones you love.

Happy Valentine’s Day from CaryCitizen!


Story by Jessica Patrick. Photo by Didriks.

1 reply
  1. Cynthia P. Barnett
    Cynthia P. Barnett says:

    This is a charming idea–I can see it work for other holidays too. Green dinner for St. Paddy’s? Orange and Brownish Black for Halloween? etc. THanks for sharing. I’ve tweeted it.

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