IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Set the mood on Valentine's Day with advice from Trisha Yearwood, Katie Lee and more

Martha Stewart, Katie Lee, Ben Higgins and Trisha Yearwood dish on what foods makes their hearts tick.
Getty Images, FilmMagic
/ Source: TODAY

The right Valentine's Day dish might just be the ticket to lifelong love affair.

If the rumors are true that Ina Garten's favorite roast chicken recipe, dubbed "Engagement Chicken" by Glamour Magazine decades ago, played a role in helping Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, become royalty, then it probably wouldn't hurt to brush up on your roasting skills. Various celebrities, food experts and editors have their own spin on what type of recipe really works best to set the mood.


Not everyone relies on the power of chicken to seal the deal, but it's hard to deny the role food plays in stirring the senses. To help set the mood on Valentine's Day, several celebs told TODAY Food what recipes makes them (or their loved ones) swoon with delight on Feb. 14.

Surprisingly, none of them are chicken.

Katie Lee

Katie Lee dishes on what she makes her husband on Valentine's Day.Rebecca Ou / Rebecca Ou

When it comes to cooking for new hubby Ryan Biegel, cookbook author and frequent TODAY guest Katie Lee certainly knows what he likes best. This year will mark the duo's first Valentine's Day together as a married couple, so she'll definitely be whipping up some of his favorites.

"My husband and I usually keep it pretty simple on Valentine’s Day and I like to make him either a big bowl of pasta or a steak ... and were big pasta fans," Lee told TODAY at a Cointreau event at the New York Edition in New York City.

Since Biegel enjoys short pasta noodles, Lee often cooks up a big pot of penne or rigatoni with an olive oil-based sauce that includes something hearty like sausage and broccoli rabe.

In addition to shopping for pasta, Lee will also be making a visit to the butcher shop.

"I like on Valentine’s Day to do a filet," Lee told TODAY. "It’s a nice cut that you don’t buy every day and it’s a leaner cut as well."

Ben Higgins

The star of the 20th season of "The Bachelor," Ben Higgins, says he thinks there's something inherently sexy about eating with one's hands.

His idea of a romantic evening involves two people sharing a Mediterranean spread of warm pita bread and hummus (garlic is optional if you're just getting to know each other, of course), and an array of other finger foods.

"I love to cook ... and I love to cook for [my valentine] because going out is a mess right?" Higgins told TODAY.

During his run on "The Bachelor," Higgins got to show off his talents during an episode in Mexico City where the remaining 11 bachelorettes participated in a cooking challenge.

Aside from a hearty starter, Higgins also said he opts for a light protein. "Typically I would do fish. My family owned a fish fry business, so fish has a special place in my heart," he continued. So, after devouring a mezze platter sans utensils, Higgins' ideal meal is a white fish like cod or sea bass.

"I'd probably do a salt bath to start it. What I would serve it with, I love more like the fetas and cherry tomatoes, really healthy greens — your kales and spinach. I'd do a slow cooked farro with the white fish and all the ingredients, kind of like a salad," Higgins told TODAY. "And I don’t think you can get through Valentine's Day without chocolate covered strawberries. Right?"

Higgins, who disclosed that he does have a Valentine this year but wouldn't say who, will spend Feb. 14 in Honduras sourcing local coffee beans for his company Generous Coffee. Higgins also just launched his first restaurant venture, Ash'Kara, which serves"unorthodox" Middle Eastern cuisine in Denver.

So to spice things up on Thursday, take a nod from Higgins, ditch the forks and knives, sit on floor pillows and have some extra napkins handy.

You and your special someone will be like two peas in a pita pocket.

Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart's favorite Valentine's Day tradition involves her grandchildren, Truman and Jude.marthastewart48/Instagram

Martha Stewart's new Valentine's Day tradition involves two very important people (and no, unfortunately one of them isn't her "Potluck Dinner Party" co-host Snoop Dogg): it's her grandchildren.

Stewart told TODAY that she makes giant heart-shaped cookies from "The Martha Stewart Cookbook: Collected Recipes for Every Day" and decorates them for her daughter Alexis' kids, Jude and Truman.

Creating the perfect Valentine's Day dessert, just like Stewart, might sound difficult but it's a meaningful way to show that you truly care, especially when each cookie or cake can be decorated with personalized messages.

Trisha Yearwood

Country singers Trisha Yearwood and husband Garth Brooks know how to sing their way into each other's hearts and have been doing it through 14 years of marriage. Every year on Valentine's Day, they stick an adorable tradition.

In addition to performing, Yearwood is also fabulous cook so, naturally, their date night involves food. "I usually make him fettuccine Alfredo for Valentine’s Day. And I go simple, but he goes all out …flowers, candy … the whole thing. He’s the romantic," Yearwood told TODAY.

The reason Yearwood makes Alfredo is because it was the first ting she ever cooked her superstar hubby on one of their first "official dates."

So this Valentine's Day, take a tip from these celebrities who know how to navigate a kitchen.

There's no need to spend hours putting together a DIY date night at home. Keep it simple, make what your valentine loves and don't be afraid to use your hands — before and during dinner!