Recipes with Dates

10 sweet and savory ideas for the sticky-sweet fruit

Once reserved for royalty, dates come in countless varieties, from rich, sugary Medjool to nutty, drier Thoory. And their uses are equally varied: Fill them with cheese, mash them into a paste to sweeten baked goods, or fold them into a savory quiche—however you choose to incorporate the “fruit of life” into your food, that dish will be a bit more luxurious for it.

The edible fruit of the date palm tree, dates have been cultivated since around 6,000 B.C., making them one of the world’s oldest fruits; so, we’ve had quite a bit of time to figure out what to do with them. Sticky and sweet, they make an obvious appearance in many desserts (and are an excellent way to sweeten foods naturally), but they also pair well with savory foods, such as spiced rice and fried potatoes. Roast them, stuff them into buttery shortbread, blend them with vanilla ice cream, or wrap them in bacon—whatever you do, just remember to remove the pit.

Honey-Grilled Chicken with Citrus Salad

Honey-Grilled Chicken with Citrus Salad

Date, Parsley, and Sumac Quiche with Crushed Almonds

Date, Parsley, and Sumac Quiche with Crushed Almonds

Lebanese Date Shortbread (Ma’amoul)

These Lebanese shortbread cookies feature a buttery pastry scented with rose and orange blossom waters wrapped around a cinnamon and nutmeg–spiced date filling.

Peach Date Bars

Chewy dates and chunky peach preserves form the filling for these cake-like bars. Make these ahead of your trip for a quick breakfast or, obviously, save them for dessert. Get the recipe for Peach Date Bars »

Roasted Dates with Sherry and Spices

Sweet dates are roasted in a cinnamon-spiced sherry syrup.

Bacon Wrapped Dates with Almonds

At the Red Cat in New York City, these are a popular choice on the bar menu.

English Sticky Toffee Pudding

In this version of the classic English dessert, adapted from one in Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Rose’s Heavenly Cakes (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009), dates are soaked in stout beer and then pureed, resulting in a super-moist crumb.

Ka’ak bil Ma’amoul (Date-Stuffed Ring Cookies)

These holiday cookies are flavored with orange blossom water and stuffed with a sweet date filling.

Pohp Batalu Jo Pulao (Spiced Rice with Dates and Fried Potatoes)

The recipe for this festive rice dish garnished with dates, potatoes, and onions is from Sindhi cook Kamla Sabhani.

Date Shake

Supposedly invented in the 1930s by a California date farmer, date shakes are a popular drink at roadside stands in the Coachella Valley. This recipe is from Oasis Date Gardens, which serves up to 300 shakes a day.