How To Plan A Last Minute Dinner Date Idea

How To Plan A Last Minute Dinner Date Idea

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Are you scrambling to put together a last-minute date night idea? Here’s a simple and easy way to plan a last-minute dinner date night idea in under an hour!

Are you a last minute planner? Here's an easy way to plan a last minute Valentine's Day date night, anniversary dinner or date night dinner. Read How To Plan A Last Minute Dinner Date Idea and be sure to pin to your board for future reference!

How To Plan A Last Minute Dinner Date Idea

It’s the day before Valentine’s Day. 

Once again, this Hallmark holiday snuck up on you. It’s like you knew it was coming, but man where did the time go? You would love to pull off the perfect romantic date night with your significant other, but you have a few problems:

  • No babysitter (this is what happens when you don’t plan ahead, and your babysitter isn’t available!)
  • You’re low on funds (the extra money isn’t in the budget)
  • All the nice restaurants are booked (again, last-minute planning snafu!)

How can you pull off a last-minute Valentine’s Date night (or anniversary dinner or special date night) at the last-minute?

There’s two things you need to do. One, don’t worry. And two, whatever you do don’t freak out! Tat (that’s moi) is here to save your Valentine’s Day.

I am the QUEEN of procrastination and waiting until the last minute, so I completely get it. Thankfully, I have a few tricks and tips to help you pull together a fabulous date idea in under an hour.

First, take five minutes to grab the good china, the delicate wine glasses and the forks, spoons, and knives you seldom use. Make sure everything is gleaming and spot free. Also, grab a few candles and other items you want to use for your table setting.

Second, put together a menu of his or her favorite foods.

‘But Tat,” you say, “I don’t have the time to pull this off, particularly at the last minute.”

No worries. Haven’t you heard? The most romantic dinner idea is spaghetti and meatballs (from the Disney’s classic, Lady & the Tramp). I mean, you can’t beat staring into your lover’s eyes, slurping up the same strand of pasta, bringing you closer and closer while Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” is softly crooning in the background. Right? Right!

How To Plan A Last Minute Dinner Date Idea-1

But here’s one better, instead of spending time cooking a meal, head to your local Kroger and pick up a selection from Bertolli’s new line of frozen meals. I grabbed the Bertolli Lasagna, it’s family size because everyone knows that romance happens on a full stomach.  I also grabbed fresh strawberries, grapes, a loaf of French bread and a variety of fancy cheeses from the deli. Thankfully, I had several selections of wine to choose from at home. However, you can grab her or his favorite bottle of wine or sparkling juice at Kroger too! Don’t worry, they got you covered.

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When you get home, follow the directions on the Bertolli package and place it in the oven. While the lasagna is warming up, you are going to put together a quick table setting.

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First, place a beautiful tablecloth or wrapping paper (yes, wrapping paper is the next best thing to a fancy tablecloth or runner). Place the wine in an ice bucket and place it on the table. This is also a good time to line up your choice of music for the evening.

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Pull out your fancy tableware and set the table for two. If you do not have the good china, use whatever you have on hand or make a mental note to add paper plates to your Kroger grocery run.

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Remember those candles I told you to look for? Arrange those around the table. Don’t forget to add your silverware and wine glasses. If you have Valentine’s Day related decor, you can add a few pieces for extra pizazz. I added a set of V-Day coffee mugs, matching tray and coffee pot. Relaxing with a hot cup of coffee, hot chocolate, etc. is an excellent way to end the night (among other things).

How To Plan A Last Minute Dinner Date Idea

Now, let’s head back to the kitchen. While you’re waiting for the lasagna to finish, arrange the cheese tray with fresh fruit, slices of French bread and of course, the cheese selections you picked up.

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If you don’t have time to make a dessert, then be sure to add that to your grocery list. You can grab a basket of fresh strawberries, mini cupcakes, ice cream or other frozen desserts if you’re short on time.

Easy Valentine's Day Dessert to make- Strawberry Nutella Tart Bites

I made Strawberry Nutella Tart Bites. I was going to make a bigger tart, but quickly found out I had no tart pan. So I improvised and used a mini cupcake pan to make the bites. You can grab the recipe here if you want to try your hand at making these yummy dessert. It was easy, and they were done in under 30 minutes!

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Once you finish making your dessert, arranging the cheese plate, and bread, the lasagna should be done. Take it out of the oven and allow it to cool for about five minutes.

Light the candles and call your love downstairs to the table.

If the look on their face is “WOW, I’m impressed,” mannnnn I think you’re in for a good night!

“Mangia” (meaning let’s eat in Italian!)

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And that’s it. You pulled off a last-minute Valentine’s Day dinner idea. Not only did you save money on eating out, babysitter fees, etc., but you also saved yourself time (and possibly a trip to the doghouse).

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And don’t think I’m talking just to the guys, right? Nope, I’m the queen of forgetting important dates like Valentine’s Day, our anniversary, etc., so this is for me and everyone else that likes to wait until the last minute.

Bertrolli Entrees at Kroger

I mentioned earlier I stopped by my Kroger store to pick up the supplies and my Bertolli Lasagna frozen entree. I was able to find it in the frozen food section, aisle 20.“Find Bertolli items at some of the lowest prices of the year in a Kroger or Kroger banner store near you. Kroger banners include Fred Meyer, Smiths, Frys, Dillions, King Soopers, City Market, and QFC. Find a store near you:

So, what’s your idea of the perfect dinner date? A romantic evening, anniversary dinner or just a night spent with the one you love? Share your thoughts with me below! I would love to hear from you!

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  1. That’s a great idea. I’d much rather let Bertoli do all the hard work for dinner and just heat that sucker up!

  2. Robin (Masshole Mommy)
    February 10, 2016

    When we do date nights at home, we order out. I cook all week so when I have a date night the last thing I want to do is cook 🙂

  3. February 10, 2016

    I am very good at procrastination. I am going to take these ideas and run with them. I think we probably will order a pizza since I am that much of a procrastinator.

  4. February 10, 2016

    This is great for last minute dates. Sometimes the best dates I have with the hubby are just us at home after the kids have gone to bed, spending time together.

  5. February 10, 2016

    Amazing how you were able to put all that together in the least amount of time. I could surprise my hubby too with something like this. No special occasion needed. Just a spur of the moment surprise. 🙂

    • February 14, 2016

      I agree Annemarie, spur of the moment or just because can lead to some very unforgettable memories!

  6. February 10, 2016

    These are such cute ideas!! Coming up with last minute ideas are often the best ones! 🙂

  7. victoria
    February 11, 2016

    What a cute ideas. This is a great way to celebrate Valentines day.

  8. February 11, 2016

    What a great idea. I always make lasagna from scratch. This will be nice for a change.

    • February 14, 2016

      I hear ya’! Scratch smatch. Save all of that extra energy for snuggling!

  9. February 11, 2016

    Awww this is super cute. Think I will be surprising my gf with a little dinner date hehe

    • February 14, 2016

      Stephen, see why can’t all men be like you? Nothing turns a girl’s head like a nice romantic dinner. It’s the gift that keeps on giving didn’t you know? Good luck!

  10. February 11, 2016

    We usually go out for dinner on Valentine’s Day but I think we’re going to skip it this year. Long story. 🙂 Thanks for this great idea. I think this is exactly what I’m going to do!

  11. February 11, 2016

    Great ideas! I am currently trying to pull this off as I just realized that Sunday is Valentine’s! How did it get here so fast!?

  12. February 11, 2016

    What a romatic setting. I love the heart shaped plate! My husband would like that, he is s a big sucker for lasgana.

    • February 14, 2016

      Thank you Chubskulit! Yes, the way to a man’s heart tis’ through his stomach. So, go ahead and feed him this delicious Bertolli’s lasagna and reap the benefits!

  13. Such a wonderful idea when you are strapped for time and unable to afford the 5 star restaurant! Such an intimate setting and beautiful display! The strawberries & Nutella look delicious!

  14. February 11, 2016

    I love frozen lasagna!! It’s a great last minute dinner idea that doesn’t taste last minute!

  15. February 11, 2016

    I love all of these fun ideas for an easy romantic dinner! I always get stuck in the kitchen cooking and cleaning the whole time, but I love the idea of the Bertolli meal for a great yummy shortcut! #client

  16. February 11, 2016

    This table looks fantastic. These are great ideas for a last minute dinner date. I would love to try the Strawberry Nutella Tart Bites.

    • February 14, 2016

      Ann those Strawberry Nutella Bites disappeared faster than an ice cube in the hot Texas sun on blacktop! The loved ’em and those snuck a few too and approved of mom’s lil’ last minute creation.

  17. February 11, 2016

    The Strawberry Nutella Tart Bites look amazing. I will have to try making these on the weekend. I love the heart shaped plates.

  18. CourtneyLynne
    February 11, 2016

    Omg these are some fabulous tips!!!! Hubby and I are all about date nights in. And we also love all things Italian!

  19. February 11, 2016

    I think we can all relate to procrastinating in moments like this! This is a wonderful idea for making the most out of such a short time frame!

    • February 14, 2016

      Crystal, girl I am the poster girl of procrastination and if I can pull this off then I am certain anybody can!

  20. February 11, 2016

    Love the look of your beautiful table setting.

    We have been buying fresh premade Lasagna at Costco lately and it makes a nice quick meal.

  21. Bonnie @wemake7
    February 11, 2016

    Thanks so much for this. I have been trying to figure out what to do this weekend for Valentine’s Day.

  22. February 12, 2016


  23. February 13, 2016

    I love having fancy dinners at home for special occasions. It’s so much more relaxing than going out to a fancy restaurant and spending a ton of money.

  24. February 14, 2016

    Thanks for the the wonderful ideas! My husband and I are planning a at-home anniversary dinner soon.

  25. Krystal
    February 15, 2016

    Your table decor is just AMAZING! Looks like a sweet night and a great pairing with dinner and a sweet treat! #client

  26. February 16, 2016

    this is so great! thanks so much for sharing at #merrymonday !

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