5 Ways to Eat Chocolate for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner on Valentine's Day

Have an outside-the-candy-box Valentine's Day by incorporating chocolate into your breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Food Stylist: Stephana Bottom 
Prop Stylist: Loren Simons


Food Stylist: Stephana Bottom Prop Stylist: Loren Simons

Photo by: Kang Kim

Kang Kim

Valentine’s Day is on a Saturday this year — which means if you haven’t made a dinner reservation by now, you’re pretty much screwed. But fret not: A homemade candlelit meal is always more intimate than the prix-fixe menus and forced romance served at neighborhood restaurants. And since it’s a weekend day, you’ll have plenty of time to prep, whether it be for breakfast in bed, a lingering brunch or a multicourse dinner extravaganza.

Chocolate shares equal billing on Valentine’s Day with red roses, but most often rolled into truffles or tucked into assorted boxes of candy. But why wait till dessert (or, err, whatever time of day you happen to open your gifted sweets) to indulge in the heavenly ingredient? Incorporate chocolate into your celebratory meal — breakfast, lunch or dinner — to infuse your dishes with either sweetness or bitterness, complexity and subtle spice.

Kick-start your day with endorphin-boosting Chocolate Waffles (shown above). Mixing chocolate syrup into the waffle batter ensures consistent cocoa flavor without compromising the texture of the breakfast treats. Top them with additional chocolate syrup and red berries to give them that Valentine’s vibe.

For a light midday meal (those Chocolate Waffles are filling, after all), top a refreshing salad with a chocolate-infused dressing. In this Crunchy Salad with Cocoa Vinaigrette, the cocoa powder adds subtle depth to the dressing that nicely complements the peppery arugula and slices of Parmesan.

Food Styling - Jamie Kimm
Prop Styling - Marcus Hay


Food Styling - Jamie Kimm Prop Styling - Marcus Hay

Dinner presents multiple chocolate-spiked options, including a classic mole dish. In true Mexican tradition, this Chicken Mole begins with two types of chile peppers, is enhanced by a bevy of fragrant spices and is then finished with Mexican chocolate, which melts into the dish as the sauce is reduced, adding mildly bitter flavor that counteracts the spice.


Photo by: Anna Williams Prop Stylist: Marina Malchin 917 751 2855

Anna Williams Prop Stylist: Marina Malchin 917 751 2855

Cocoa is often paired with steak for the same reason it’s used in mole: It complements the rich flavor of the fatty meat with its mildly bitter notes. This Cocoa-Rubbed Steak with Bacon-Whiskey Gravy packs a little heat, too, thanks to cayenne pepper in the rub.

Photo by: Kathryn Cooper

Kathryn Cooper

While this last dish might technically be considered dessert, it’s pasta ( Chocolate Pasta, that is) — so we won’t tell if you eat it for dinner. Add both cocoa powder and chocolate syrup to a homemade pasta dough to create these ribbons of chocolate noodles. Toss the pasta with a chocolate-hazelnut sauce, add berries and a dollop of creme fraiche for tart contrast, and grate white chocolate over the top for a final flurry of sweetness.

Next Up

5 Valentine’s Day Recipes That Fit Every Celebration

Say "I love you" with an extra-special homemade treat.

57 Best Valentine's Day Gifts for Chocolate Lovers

Set the bar high this Valentine's Day with handcrafted truffles, breakable hearts, molten lava cakes and other indulgent gift ideas.

What's Not to Love? 6 Heart-Shaped Foods for Valentine's Day

These seriously adorable treats make the case for dining in this year.

Make the Food Network Kitchen App Your Go-To Valentine's Day Gift This Year

It's the perfect present for absolutely everyone you love.

10 Valentine’s Day Food Bouquets That Are Way Better Than Flowers

After all, the way to the heart is through the stomach!

These Desserts Show Dark Chocolate the Love It Deserves

If your love is a dark chocolate fan, make one of these sinfully delicious dark chocolate desserts for Valentine's Day.

Food Network Magazine: January/Feburary 2010 Recipe Index

For a Super Bowl party or a romantic Valentines meal for two, find recipes for appetizers, snacks, easy dinners, desserts and drinks from Food Network Magazine.

6 Healthy Chocolate Recipes for Valentine’s Day

Because a date is optional, but dessert is a must.

16 Best Chocolate Boxes to Buy for Valentine's Day

Find a chocolatey gift for everyone on your list including besties, kids, sweethearts and more.