The Perfect Holiday Appetizer
Who’s in charge of holiday appetizers this year? Whether for Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, Christmas or New Year’s these dates stuffed with cream cheese are sure to please. The best part is that they require only a few simple ingredients and can be made ahead of time. These are perfect for your vegetarian guests and can easily be made vegan by replacing or omitting the honey (replace with a touch of maple syrup). They are sweet and savory and pair well with a glass of wine.
Cream cheese – I choose chive because of the savory aspect that it adds. Kite Hill is my go-to in this recipe and it’s dairy free.
Walnuts – The perfect topping for this appetizer and it adds a little crunch.
Honey – The sweetness pairs so well in this appetizer. Omit if you are vegan or add a touch of maple syrup.
Rosemary- Fresh rosemary is best. Not only is it fragrant, but it makes this appetizer so festive.
How to make dates stuffed with cream cheese
Like I’ve said before, this appetizer really couldn’t be any easier. It uses what I like to call a no-recipe recipe. I’ve added measurements and steps to assemble these in the recipe card below, but have fun making these. It doesn’t require that you follow the recipe to a t. Eyeball it as you go. Have a young cook in the kitchen? Let them play and help with these. My kids love easy recipes like this one.
The first step is to make a slit lengthwise along the top of the dates and remove the pit.
Second, fill the date with the cream cheese.
Next, drizzle the cream cheese with honey.
Then top the date stuffed with cream cheese and honey with the walnut or walnut pieces.
Finally garnish the date with the fresh rosemary.
Repeat with all of the dates.
Stuffed dates variations
Dates are such an excellent vehicle for fillings and toppings. If you want to change this recipe up one option is to replace the cream cheese with goat’s cheese and top with bacon if you don’t follow a vegan diet. But definitely keep the honey and rosemary!
Another variation is to stuff the date with cheese of choice, whether it be vegan cream cheese as in this recipe or goat’s cheese, and then top with chopped cranberries and pistachios or pecans. Or another topping alternative to the date and cheese combo is sundried tomato and basil. Honestly the ideas for stuffing and topping dates is endless.
Don’t get me started on the sweet, dessert options for stuffed dates. I’ll save those for another post.
Dates Stuffed with Cream Cheese
- 14 medjool dates pitted
- 8 oz chive cream cheese Kite Hill dairy free
- ½ cup walnut halves or pieces
- 2 tbsp + 1 tsp honey
- Fresh rosemary for topping
- Slit the top of each date lengthwise and remove the pit. This creates the opening for the cream cheese.
- Fill each date with a tablespoon cream cheese.
- Top each date with the walnuts.
- Drizzle with about 1/2 a teaspoon of honey.
- Finish with fresh rosemary.
Use a touch of maple syrup instead of honey to make it vegan.