This stuffed dates recipe is easy to make and a delightfully sweet treat you can make for celebrations or snacks. Date appetizers are perfect party foods for people with allergies because they’re naturally gluten-free, and these are even dairy-free as well!
If you love easy vegan party food, be sure to try our vegan cheese ball recipe. Serve it with crackers and wait for the fun to begin!
I don’t think I would have ever considered this recipe on my own, but my lovely cousin Margie was hosting a family dinner and she introduced us to it. How perfect!
She’s one of my cousins with that Martha Stewart gene. She has such a flair for serving unique and delicious dishes on beautiful platters.
It’s hard to feel comfortable naming any recipe “stuffed” something or other. But honestly, there is no better way to describe this recipe. It uses delicate and delicious Medjool dates filled to the brim (i.e., stuffed) with vegan cream cheese, chopped pecans, and even some fresh basil leaves if you have them handy.
Of course, I wanted to make my stuffed dates vegan. That was pretty easy to do by using vegan cream cheese for the filling.
Why This Recipe is a Winner
- Using vegan cream cheese means these appetizers are perfect for everyone, even those who don’t eat dairy
- Medjool dates are bigger than most dates, allowing plenty of room for flavorful fillings
- Adding toppings like chopped pecans and fresh basil, tips this flavor profile into something spectacular!
What You Need
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
- Lemon — We’ll use both the zest and the juice of the lemon.
- Oats — I used rolled oats for this recipe, but you can substitute instant oats.
- Chia — We’ll add some ground chia seeds to create a thicker texture. You can use whole chia seeds; I just prefer ground because it creates a smoother finished texture.
- Syrup — I used maple syrup, but you can substitute agave nectar.
- Milk — We’ll use almond milk for the best overnight oats! Substitute your favorite plant-based milk.
- Yogurt — I love adding some plant-based yogurt (plain, unsweetened) for an even more tangy flavor.
- Protein Powder — I add some vanilla protein powder for increased flavor and nutrients. If your protein powder is not sweetened, you may want to add an extra teaspoon or two of sweetener.
- Cornstarch — We’ll use cornstarch to thicken the lemon curd topping.
- Turmeric — A pinch of turmeric makes that lemon curd sunny yellow.
- Medjool Dates — Look in the produce aisle of most grocery stores. I buy a lot of vegan products at Costco, including dates. You can also find them at Sprouts, Natural Grocers, or most health food stores.
- Vegan Cream Cheese — I buy this in the health food section of my grocery store, or health food stores. I like Daiya, Tofutti, or Miyoko. Or you can make your own homemade vegan cream cheese.
- Toppings — I used chopped pecans and fresh basil leaves, but you can also add chopped pistachios, walnuts, and more.
Which Dates are Best for Stuffed Dates?
Medjool dates are the best dates for stuffing because they have a rich, caramel-like flavor. Compared to regular dates that are smaller and firmer, Medjool dates are larger and have a soft and chewy texture. Native to Morocco, Medjool dates may appear to be a dried fruit like raisins, but they are actually a fresh fruit. Removing the pit is easy once you cut it in half. You can find Medjool dates at a number of stores like Sprouts, health food stores, and even Costco.
A low-maintenance, delicious appetizer with lots of plate appeal? Now we’re talking my kind of dish!
How to Make Stuffed Dates
You’ll be happy to know that these cream cheese stuffed dates are so easy to make!
- Prepare Dates: cut the dates in half and remove the pit
- Vegan Cream Cheese Filling: Stir the cream cheese so it’s soft and spreadable
- How to Stuff Dates: Use a spoon to fill the dates with the cream cheese
- Topping: Add finely chopped pecans (or your favorite nuts) and bits of fresh basil leaves.
Dates are Fruit
It’s easy to think that medjool dates are dried, like raisins, because of the wrinkly skin. However, dates are actually fresh fruit. They’re naturally sweet and so fun to use in place of refined sugars in your diet.
How to Store Dates
Once you get your dates home, you can store them at room temperature for up to a month, however, they will begin to dry out. Be sure to keep them in an airtight container. Dates are actually best stored in the fridge. (Source).
No matter how you store them, they can get dry and lose their tenderness when stored too long. You can let dry dates sit in hot water for a few minutes to soften them or even microwave them for a few seconds. Be careful when handling hot dates!
Cream Cheese Filling Flavor Variations
You can stuff your dates with plain cream cheese, or you add some flavor and color to it. Add any of these to your vegan cream cheese and stir well:
- Lavender Filling — Combine the cream cheese with the lavender and stir well
- Strawberry Filling — Add a chopped, mashed strawberry to the cream cheese
- Blueberry Filling — Mash a few fresh or thawed frozen blueberries
- Chocolate Filling — Add a tablespoon or two of melted dairy-free chocolate chips.
In addition, you can roll dates in sugar for a beautiful final touch. Simply pour 2–4 tablespoons of sugar on a plate and roll the stuffed Medjool dates in the sugar until adequately covered.
Place the dates on a serving dish. Garnish with basil leaves and lavender flowers if you have them handy. Enjoy!
There are so many great opportunities to serve stuffed dates:
- Healthy Snack
- Paired with a Vegan Sandwich for lunch
- Appetizer for a healthy meal
- Vegan Party Food
More Medjool Date Recipes
If you love these vegan stuffed dates, you’ll want to try these other recipes using dates:
- 12 medjool dates
- ½ cup vegan cream cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
- 2 – 3 fresh basil leaves
- Cut the dates in half. Remove and discard pits.
- Stir the cream cheese to soften it. Use a spoon to fill the dates with the cream cheese mixture.
- Top stuffed dates with chopped pecans and chopped fresh basil leaves.
- Place the dates on a serving dish. Garnish with basil leaves.
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The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.