6 budget-friendly Galentine’s Day recipes to show your friends some love

By Lesego Madisa, 9 February 2024

Don’t have a Valentine this year? No problem, celebrate friendship instead! Invite your single friends to catch up over a cheeseboard, crispy rice bites, a signature cocktail and dessert. Who said love should just be romantic?

If you're not sure what Galentine's Day is, let's catch you up: if Valentine's Day is for the lovers, Galentine's Day is all about friendship. This year, Valentine's and Galentine's Day fall on a Wednesday, so after a busy day at work or school, you'll need a game plan to host a small crowd. We've rounded up simple recipes that can be made a day ahead or in a flash. Don't be put off by the speed, these recipes will easily impress your friends.

1. Welcome bites: pull-apart buns with baked cheese dip

We get that it's the middle of the month, so a decked-out cheese or charcuterie platter may be out of your budget. This baked cheese dip is the perfect alternative. Bake the pull-apart buns a day before the festivities or cut corners with store-bought rolls. Before serving, place the cheese under the grill or in the air-fryer to get gooey and melted, top with crispy herbs and sweeten the deal with a drizzle of honey.

Pull-apart buns with baked cheese dipGet the recipe for pull-apart buns with baked cheese dip here. 

2. No need for takeaways: crispy rice bites

Don't want to break the bank with huge trays of take-out sushi? These crispy rice bites are a cheat's way of enjoying all the flavours you love about sushi without having to flex any knife or rolling skills.  We've used pickled cucumbers and Woolies' ready-to-eat garlic and chilli prawns, but you can swap the toppings for pickled carrots, tuna or smoked salmon. You can also fry the crispy rice triangles before the guests arrive and arrange all the toppings on a platter so they can mix and match their favourite flavours.

Get the recipe for crispy rice bites here. 

3. A toast to friendship: rosé Champagne float

This is the adult version of soda floats. A scoop of berry sorbet is topped with sparkling rosé to make a sherbet-like cocktail everyone can toast with. If some friends are driving home, they can swap the sparkling wine for the non-alcoholic variety or soda. Use your best glassware to make the occasion extra special.

Rose-champagne floatGet the recipe for rosé Champagne float here

ALSO READ: 5 Valentine’s Day recipes for every situation

4. No-bake dessert: two-ingredient strawberry wafers

There's no time to bake when you have a menu to tackle after a long day. Luckily, Abi's two-ingredient wafers need zero oven time.

Two-ingredient strawberry wafersGet the recipe for two-ingredient strawberry wafers here. 

5. Rom-com time: LemonGold®️ butter popcorn

To wind down the night, grab a few blankets (or switch on the aircon) and pass around bowls of this lemony popcorn. Pick a classic romantic comedy to stream or go old school with a DVD – put it to a vote if everyone can't decide on a flick.  Get the recipe for LemonGold®️ butter popcorn here. 

6. Box of chocolates: no-bake chocolate tarts

The day isn't complete without chocolate. You can purchase a box of chocolates and pass it around, but these no-bake chocolate tarts are a more special touch. You need just 7 ingredients to make them. This recipe calls for pistachio nuts, but if money's tight, swap them for affordable almonds or peanuts.  No-bake chocolate tartsGet the recipe for no-bake chocolate tarts here. 


Lesego Madisa

Article by Lesego Madisa

TASTE's commercial content producer loves thrifty recipes, fridge foraging and never says "no" to cake. When she's not flipping through the pages of food mags and cookbooks, she's happily baking and knitting in her tiny apartment.
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