Easy Stuffed Dates

Here’s an easy finger food recipe: goat cheese stuffed dates! They’re quick to make, and the sweet and savory combo keeps everyone coming back for more.

Stuffed dates

Want our new favorite trick for entertaining? Goat cheese stuffed dates! Yes, these beauties are incredibly easy to make, and the flavor of this simple pairing is outrageous. There’s the sweet caramel chewiness of Medjool dates. Pair that with tangy, fluffy goat cheese, and the sweet-savory combo is out of this world. To them with a dusting of pistachios and a sprinkle of smoked paprika, and wowza! It also works as a quick snack or “side” for a healthy lunch, and involves no cooking at all.

Easy stuffed dates

What you need to make stuffed dates

These stuffed dates are so easy to make, they’re perfect as a finger food for a party or a no-think snack when you’re hangry. Honestly, Alex and I love these so much: and our 3-year-old Larson does too! Our favorite recipes are quick and simple pairings like this one, that taste way greater than the sum of their parts. Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe:

  • Medjool dates: These dates are very large and have a sweet caramely flavor. They’ve become very popular because they’re used in energy bars like Larabars (here’s our homemade version) and other no-bake treats.
  • Goat cheese: Use your favorite soft goat cheese for this recipe.
  • Pistachios: Pistachios crushed into a dust are used for the topping here
  • Smoked paprika: Spanish smoked paprika or pimentón brings a smoky savoriness: don’t even think about omitting it! You can find it in the spice aisle at your local grocery.
  • Salt & pepper: Flaky sea salt and fresh ground pepper round out the toppings.
Making stuffed dates

Topping stuffed dates: a few tips!

All you have to do for this recipe is pit the dates, then spoon in a little fluffy goat cheese. Here are a couple simple tips to think about as you make these goat cheese stuffed dates:

  • Use room temp goat cheese, or soften it up with your hands. It’s easiest to work with the goat cheese when it’s at room temperature and not cold right out of the refrigerator. If you don’t have time to let it sit on the counter for a few minutes, you can just use your hands to massage it right in the package. This softens it up and makes it easier to get spoonfuls!
  • If you eat vegan or plant based, try nut butter. If you’re looking for a plant based option, stuff with peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, or homemade nut butter! Sunflower butter works for nut allergies.
  • A little smoked paprika goes a long way! When you add the smoked paprika, a little goes a long way. You can use the tiniest sprinkle, and still taste the delicious smokiness. We did this to simulate the flavor of bacon, which is often used in combination with dates.
Drizzling honey

Enhance the flavor with honey (optional)

If you want to take these stuffed dates to the next level: top with a very tiny drizzle of honey! Now, this is totally optional. When we tried this, Alex didn’t like the honey version as much as I did. So try it and see what fits your personal tastes! To me, it elevated the flavor and enhanced everything, much like salt would to a savory dish.

Again, be careful: you only need the smallest drizzle of honey! Too much and the honey overwhelms the flavor.

Goat cheese stuffed dates recipe

When to serve stuffed dates

There are so many occasions when you could serve these goat cheese stuffed dates! Here are some ideas:

Medjool date recipes

Fun fact: Medjool dates are fresh fruits!

Here’s a fun thing we learned about Medjool dates when making this stuffed dates recipe. Contrary to what you might think, they’re not a dried fruit! Medjool dates are actually fresh fruits. They’re harvested from the date palm tree and then packaged immediately. There’s no processing, so they’re not dried at all!

Where to buy Medjool dates?

Looking for Medjool dates? They’ve become quite popular lately, and you can find them at most mainstream grocery stores in the US. Look in your grocery in the produce aisle (many times next to the bananas), or near the dried fruits. You can also order them online.

How to store Medjool dates? Store them at room temperature for 1 to 2 months, in the refrigerator for up to 6 months, and about 1 year frozen. (Source) You may notice that some dates will develop a white powder on the outside. It’s perfectly normal, not mold! It’s just the natural sugars in the date rising to the skin.

Goat cheese stuffed dates

More recipes with Medjool dates

Outside of these stuffed dates, what else can you make with Medjool dates? So many things! Here are some of our favorites:

This easy stuffed dates recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free. For vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, use peanut butter or almond butter.

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Stuffed dates

Easy Stuffed Dates


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 24 1x

Description

Here’s an easy finger food recipe: goat cheese stuffed dates! They’re quick to make, and the sweet and savory combo keeps everyone coming back for more.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 24 Medjool dates
  • 4 ounces soft goat cheese (helpful if it’s come to room temperature*) or nut butter** for vegan
  • 3 tablespoons pistachios
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • Smoked paprika
  • Optional: honey

Instructions

  1. Use a knife to make a lengthwise slit into the dates, then remove the pits. Use a spoon to fill them with goat cheese.
  2. Crush the pistachios with a rolling pin.
  3. Top each with a tiny sprinkle of black pepper, sea salt and the tiniest bit of smoked paprika (just a tiny sprinkle has big flavor). Sprinkle on pistachio dust. If desired, add the tiniest drizzle of honey (again, use a small amount to heighten the flavor; too much and it overwhelms).

Notes

*The goat cheese is easier to work with at room temperature. If you don’t have time to set it out, just use your hands to mash it around in the package a little bit so it becomes softer.

**For vegan, plant-based and dairy-free diets, try any type of nut butter: nut butter, peanut butter, almond butter, or cashew butter.

 

  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Keywords: Stuffed Dates, Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates, Medjool Dates

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

3 Comments

  • Reply
    Brittany
    January 21, 2020 at 9:51 am

    Yes! My mom used to make me dates stuffed with peanut butter for a snack as a child. I loved them and now make them for my son. We sprinkle sesame seeds on top for a bit of fun. It is such a great snack.

  • Reply
    Amy Sigmon
    February 1, 2020 at 10:40 am

    I made these last night for our cooking club appetizer. So good!

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      February 1, 2020 at 1:36 pm

      So glad you enjoyed!

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