When you snack a lot, you tend to prepare the same things over and over again. Yogurt with nutella, cheese and crackers, a sliced apple with peanut butter, a handful of raw almonds when you’re feeling particularly virtuous. Maybe you wouldn’t exactly call it a snacking rut, but a snacking routine. You’ve got to find those calories to get through the conference calls or grading marathons, so you make the same sensible, reliable decision every time.
But, rut or no rut, sometimes you want to make something a little extra special. You might have guests visiting from out of town, or maybe you just want to treat yourself. Either way, it’s even better if you can make something exciting, healthy, and delicious without a lot of effort. The answer? The stuffed date.
Dates are perfect for stuffing, since they are left with that huge gap after you pit them. Why not replace the thing that’s just waiting there for you to forget it exists so that you end up cracking a tooth and needing emergency dental care, with something edible that perfectly compliments the date’s lovely flavor and texture. The trick is to carefully make an incision in one side, pop the pit out, and open it like a baked potato or one of those rubber coin purses. Then just fill it with whatever you choose! (Just not broccoli-cheddar or nickels and pennies). Experiment with your own fillings, or choose one of the examples below.
Below: rainbow tiramisu date, chocolate-covered pretzel date, Nana’s date, baklawa date
herby cheesy date, salted peanut butter chocolate date, retro 1995 date, dinner date
stuffed dates eight ways
rainbow tiramisu date
Roll the date in Turkish coffee and cocoa powder, fill it with honey-sweetened mascarpone, and top it with some rainbow sprinkles.
chocolate-covered pretzel date
Stuff the date with a pretzel nugget and dip the bottom and sides in chocolate. (vegan)
Stuff the date with a walnut piece and unsweetened coconut flakes, or roll it in sweetened coconut flakes. (vegan)
Stuff the date with a walnut piece and pack a small pinch of cardamom, finely chopped pistachios, and (optional) edible dried rose petals into the rest of the space. (vegan)
herby cheesy date
Stuff the date with a chunk of fontina (or another firm cheese) wrapped in basil, or sprinkled with another herb.
salted chocolate peanut butter date
Stuff the date with smooth peanut butter, top with an almond and some crunchy sea salt, and dip the bottom in chocolate. (vegan)
Stuff the date with a slice of brie and a pecan.
Retro 1995 date
Stuff the date with goat cheese and some sun-dried tomato pieces, and top with basil chiffonade.
Kathryn Pauline Do you have a recipe or suggested ratio for ricotta and cardamom stuffed dates? Would it work to put pepitas with it as my daughter is anaphylactic to ALL nuts and most seeds. Pepitas are ok. She is also allergic to gluten & eggs.
I don’t have a recipe or ratio, but it sounds absolutely lovely, and I’m sure you can’t go wrong! I bet it would be really delicious with toasted pepitas in particular.
I am wondering if you can stuff with a chocolate covered coffee bean, then roll for the outside. I don’t have honey sweetened mascarpone and am not skilled enough to make it. I wonder if there is an equivalent? The baklava dates sound good, but we have people who either don’t like or are allergic to nuts. I’ll have to think on that one.
I wonder if I could just make some stiff cardamom cream to go in the date? The possibilities are endless.
My 10yo son is a party guy. He loves throwing parties and wants to have a cookie party. We encourage everyone to bring snacks, but have decided to maybe make some cookies. I tend to burn things, so thought that stuffed dates and/or the nobake cookie/peanut butter ball type of dessert would be an awesome option. Here are my questions:
1. My dates are not necessarily plump and fresh. I bought them (or my in-laws bought them) quite a long time ago. I’d like to use them because they seem to be quite versatile and I think that people will love them. I am not sure if I will need to rehydrate them, but if so, how can I insure that they do not turn into a sticky mess? Would it just be better to use them as a sugar replacement in cookies or make date balls/bars, etc? They are not dry and brittle, but not fresh and plump, either. How do I know when it is not a good idea to stuff them? The one thing that I love about dates is their versatility. There are kids coming to our party who have various allergies from eggs to nuts to refined sugar. I thought about getting around this with a selection of stuffed dates:
1. dates with cinnamon/vanilla cream cheese rolled in sesame seeds (one recipe says to stuff with honey and cream cheese and cinnamon, but this sounds like a sweet overkill) – 2. peanut butter stuffed dates dipped in chocolate – 3 cardamom cream stuffed dates rolled in coconut. The problem is that I don’t know how to make cardamom cream. And, if I stuff the date with a creamy substance, should it be rolled in sesame seeds or crunchy nuts of some kind to absorb some of the stickiness? But, if I just go for a simple almond stuffed date, is the rolling not necessary? And, does the simple stuffed date with only nuts need to be fresh plump dates?
I’d like to do the first stuffed date on your list, but don’t have the ingredients. I plan to serve them in a container lined with coffee filters which would both separate the different types of dates and hopefully help them hold their consistency or delete any wetness that accumulates.
Thanks for any suggestions.
Hi Jan! Ah a cookie party or stuffed dates party sounds so fun! Here are my responses to your questions:
1) Re. the date quality/texture: I would just try stuffing one and taste it to decide whether you think it’ll go over well. Dates last for a really long time (I bought some medjools last year, and their expiration date isn’t until next year, and they’re still kicking around in my fridge. As long as they don’t smell or look spoiled, as long as they haven’t passed their expiration date, and as long as they taste good to you, you should be all set!)
2) I wouldn’t try rehydrating dates to stuff them—I think you’re right that it’s at risk of turning into a sticky mess. But totally use them for sticky toffee pudding if you decide you need to rehydrate them. Or ma’amoul, or something else where you might use them as a paste.
3) Such a great idea to use dates for a party where lots of kids have allergies (I’d just watch out for cross-contamination—I’ve got a peanut allergy, and I’m sure it’s even trickier when it’s kids with allergies! Good on you for being so conscientious of that!)
4) love all your ideas! I would go with a cardamom ricotta or mascarpone or something similar—less mess, and way more stability than whipped cream.
5) Oh fun! The sprinkles will be such a hit. Love the idea of using coffee filters to separate the dates. I feel like that will work well. I’d just make sure you separate any strong flavors in separate containers.
Best of luck and hope you all have a ton of fun!
Connie G Savois
I remember my Mom stuffing the dates with Marshmallow Crème and putting a half of pecan on top and then roll them in sugar. I’m going to try it this way for Christmas.
It’s Connie again, Just wondering if you have heard of fixing them this way? The only thing I can’t remember is if she put them in the oven or not.
I haven’t, but that sounds delicious either way!
No! no oven. Dates stuffed with a quarter of a walnut and rolled in powdered sugar or white sugar. I grew up on them. Sort of a candy treat.
That sounds like sugar on top of sugar. Did you try it? Did people like it? I wonder if we replaced the inside cream with an equal mixture of coconut milk and cream cheese and rolled in coconut if it would be similar.
I am always looking for desserts and snacks that have no added sugars, are low carb, and bite-sized (limiting, I know!). These are all perfect! The tiramisu dates have become one of my favorite dessert. FANTASTIC! Thanks for these great recipes!
Aw this makes me so happy!! (Also, this comment 100% found me eating ricotta by the spoonful as a snack, and now I’m craving a tiramisu stuffed date! haha)
I want to thank you for your delicious stuffed date recipes. I have 2 canning jars full of dates and stored in the refrigerator. They’ve been there for months and didn’t know what to do with them until I found your recipes. I chose the one with pistachio, walnut, rose petals and cardamom. When I first tried to stuff the dates they were a bit rigid and dry and weren’t going to cooperate with stuffing; they wanted to split in half. So, I soaked them in a jar with brandy for 2 days. They rehydrated and I was able to stuff them. I added a spoon of cream cheese to each of them before the nuts and remainder of the ingredients. I’ve eaten four of them in the last half hour. I put another dozen in a jar and they are rehydrating as I am writing this. Ooooooooooo… they’re gunna be good!
Oh I’m so glad you’re enjoying them! 😀
My autistic son loves the peanut butter dates, great ideas, thank you.
aw that’s awesome, I’m so glad he is enjoying those!
The best date recipe on the internet. They’re all ridiculously good, but the herby cheese date is my all time favorite!
Aw shucks! Thanks Rebecca! 🤩
These recipe options are so good! The retro 1995 was my favorite because I’m a sucker for goat cheese. Love all the different flavor combinations!
Aw thanks Heather! <3 I'm so glad you're enjoying them!
Hi, came here by chance and decided to write down my option of stuffed dates. Horserdish sauce, made with sour cream. Little spicy, cream smoothes out, and swetness from dates.
oh my gosh, that sounds like something my husband would absolutely love. He’s a big horseradish/wasabi/mustard fan! (and we obviously both love sweet and savory). Will for sure be trying this! Thank you!
Hi! I would like to make these ahead and take to a family gathering. How should they be stored? Thank you!
Oh good question! It depends on which ones you choose. If you go with one that has cheese or another perishable ingredient, be sure to refrigerate them. Otherwise, they can be left at cool room temperature. Feel free to stuff them and then pack them into a food storage container—try to find one with a snug fit so they still look cute when they arrive at their destination.
I fill the dates with walnuts and cream cheese.It tastes delicious.
yum, that sounds great!
These sound delicious. Looking forward tp using a few on the 4th..
Aw that’s awesome! Hope you enjoyed!
Love these ideas. Eating the stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in bacon with balsamic on top is good too.
Yum, sounds divine!
I stuff dates with chorizo sausage then wrap bacon around the date and either fry or bake them. Delicious with the sweet and spicy tastes.
On yum!! 😀
Dates are so good! And the more ways they can be served, the better. I will try these for my next gathering of family, if not for just my husband and me! Delicious!
Totally agreed, yay dates! 🙂 Hope you and your family enjoy these combinations!
I just found this, and totally love the ideas. Thanks for sharing;)
Aw you’re so welcome, and I’m so glad you’re enjoying them! 🙂
Clever, I’m inspired for my birthday afternoon tea. Love dates and pretty food 🙂
I’m so glad you liked the stuffed date ideas and I’m so happy to hear you’ll be making some of them for your birthday tea. Happy birthday to you! 🙂
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Thank you so much for the very kind words. Your website looks phenomenal! The food all looks absolutely delicious and that’s so cool that you’re working in both Urdu and English! Feel free to email me at [email protected] if you want to talk more. Hope to hear from you!
I’ve never been a date fan but these recipes have changed me! My favorites are the Herby Cheesy and the Retro 1995. Thanks!!
I’m so glad you like them! 🙂
Ah-MA-zing! Your blog is the first professional Assyrian one i’ve seen. Your photographs are just brilliant and inspiring. I’m not a fan of dates, but that latest recipe you shared, I can’t wait to try 🙂
Aw thanks so much for the kind words! If you’re looking for more good stuff online, Assyrian Kitchen is really fantastic, as well as Boushala (a Chaldean food blog). And there are so many great Middle Eastern food blogs/series out there (Saffron Tales, Maureen Abood, Lara Ariss, Add A Little Lemon, Almond and Fig, Abeer’s Day Off). I’m probably leaving out a ton! Hope you keep enjoying the recipes and photos. Happy cooking and naneelokh! 🙂
Can I just say how much I love your blog and how awesome these recipes are? You.are.wonderful!
Thank you so much Jacqueline! I’m really glad you’re enjoying the recipes. Thanks again for the very kind words.