Our 15 Best Recipes with Dates

updated May 7, 2021
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While dates are not used quite as commonly in the United States as they are elsewhere in the world, like the Middle East and North Africa, they are a beautiful stone fruit with so much potential. They can be enjoyed fresh, but are most commonly eaten in their dried form, and while there are over 200 varieties here in the states you’ll see Medjool dates most often.

For the longest time, I’d walk past the bags of dates at the grocery store and never take a second glance. It’s not that I never liked them — I just never was quite sure what to do with them besides snack on them straight. Little did I know, there are plenty of ways to enjoy them! Once I finally gave them a chance, I realized that the possibilities were nearly endless. From blending them into a morning smoothie, to chopping them up for a salad topping, to tucking them into dessert, here are our 15 most favorite recipes that feature the sweet dried fruit.

1 / 15
Banana-Date Smoothie
Both bananas and dates have enough sweetness tucked inside of them that this cardamom-spiced smoothie doesn't need any added sweeteners. Plus adding chia seeds to the mix gives it a protein boost to power your morning.
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2 / 15
Baked Fig and Date Oatmeal with Pecan Streusel
This hearty breakfast is between a cakey treat and a wholesome porridge, making it a welcome addition to your morning table. The dates dot the oatmeal with chewy caramel flavor without making it too sweet.
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3 / 15
Tahini-Date Salted Caramels
These decadent, dairy-free caramels couldn't be easier to make. Just blend tahini, dates, and coconut oil together; transfer the mixture to a pan; let it firm up in the freezer; and then cut it into bite-sized squares.
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4 / 15
Kale & Quinoa Salad with Dates, Almonds & Citrus Dressing
Chopped dates add surprising sweetness and chewy texture to this wholesome and satisfying salad. The best part is it keeps very well, so assemble it Sunday (dressing and all) and pack up portions for lunch throughout the week.
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5 / 15
Kumquat Tarts with Almond-Date Crust
If you can't find tart kumquats or prefer a fruit that's a bit sweeter and juicier, try using thinly sliced Mandarin oranges instead.
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6 / 15
Bacon Date Paleo Bites
You don't have to be following a Paleo diet to enjoy this snack. These bite-sized squares are sweet, salty, and savory all at once and provide an instant boost of energy whenever you might need it.
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7 / 15
Orange, Almond & Date Salad
This colorful fruit salad is the ideal option when you're in the mood for something that's light and bright, but still satisfies your sweet craving. The finely sliced dates add a touch of caramel sweetness to every bite, while the cinnamon-roasted almonds give the salad crunch.
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8 / 15
Vegan Chocolate-Date Smoothie
You can definitely have chocolate for breakfast when it's boosted with fiber-rich dates, frozen bananas, and protein-packed almond butter.
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9 / 15
Perfect Date Caramels
Turn dates into a chewy, salty-sweet caramel without heating up the stove.
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10 / 15
Allergy-Friendly Fruit Crumble with Oats & Dates
Fruit crumble makes for a crowd-pleasing dessert, but it doesn't always fit the bill for those with dietary restrictions. This one does, however, as it's vegan, nut-free, and gluten-free. It's also infinitely adaptable, so you can use just about any fruit you like.
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11 / 15
Bacon-Wrapped Dates
If you've never wrapped a date in bacon, you don't know what you're missing. This irresistible appetizer is sure to win over even those who say they don't like the dried fruit. The dates are stuffed with cheese, wrapped in bacon, baked, and served warm.
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12 / 15
Creamy Orange Date Smoothie
While some smoothies can leave you hungry in an hour, this one is sure to keep you full until lunch. Dates and cooked sweet potato bulk up the mix with fiber and provide natural sweetness, while tahini and coconut milk add protein.
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13 / 15
Date Syrup
This alternative sweetener can be used wherever you might use maple syrup or honey: Try baking with it or drizzling it on biscuits, oatmeal, and pancakes. It's also awesome stirred into your morning mug of coffee.
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14 / 15
Sticky Date and Halva Puddings with Tahini Caramel
These little puddings—our take on sticky toffee pudding—are a knockout, best eaten warm with a spoon of crème fraîche, yogurt, or sour cream alongside.
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15 / 15
How To Make Old-Fashioned Date Bars
Biting into these bars is the most delicious adventure in contrasting textures. The top is crisp and buttery with oat crumble, while the date filling is sweet as caramel and just as lush.
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