Quick, simple, yet elegant, these cream cheese stuffed dates with walnuts are highly customizable and are the perfect addition to your holiday appetizer lineup.
Looking for something simple, yet elegant that you can whip up at the last minute and still impress your guests?
Aren't we all?
Today I'm going to help you out with a great holiday appetizer that seriously is all of that. I have served them many times by now when I have guests to dinner, and usually get lots of compliments.
While I'd like to say that I'm sharing my “recipe,” basically, all you have to do is spread some cream cheese into the center of a pitted date, press a walnut half into the cheese, and set the finished appetizer on the plate. It doesn't get much quicker or easier than that! Right?
Watch how to make cream cheese and walnut stuffed dates
Which dates should you use?
Medjool dates are especially soft, sweet and tasty, so those are a great option. They add an extra level of classiness to the recipe. Any dates work really well here, though.
I'd also like to mention something that I think is important: This is one of those cases that I really prefer to use organic dates if I can find them. Here in Spain, a plague of the red palm weevil is killing off many different types of palm trees, especially the date palm and Canary Island date palm. To try to save the trees, they are constantly being sprayed with high doses of pesticides. We actually had two Canary Island date palms and lost them both to the beetles. As sad as I was to lose my only palm trees, I was relieved to not have them because by law we had to keep spraying them while they were in our garden. I no longer have to use any sort of pesticides or chemical fertilizers anywhere in my garden!
The red palm weevil is highly invasive and affects the date palms of many regions now. I can only imagine that most date trees, at least in my area, are highly sprayed as a result. That's why I prefer to use organic dates if I can find them, just to be safe.
Customizing the stuffed dates with other cheeses and nuts
Another thing that I love about this appetizer is that it is very easy to customize to suit your taste and the taste of your guests.
Which cream cheese should you use?
Before making these, I wasn't aware of how many types of cream cheese are available for sale! It's amazing the variety of cream cheeses that are available.
This recipe is highly customizable and adapts well to any type of cream cheese. I have tried this with many types of cream cheese, and they have all worked perfectly, each giving the stuffed dates a new twist.
If you're dairy free, I've even tried these with a good vegan cream cheese, one that was made with coconut oil and tapioca starch, and they were delicious!
Here are some types of cream cheese that you can try:
- Basic cream cheeses
- Goat cheese (creamy versions)
- Blue cheese cream cheese
- Vegan cream cheese alternatives
Which nuts should you stuff the dates with?
I originally used walnuts because that's what's commonly found here in Spain. It's also how I saw these appetizers made for the first time. I have to admit, though, they are quite tasty with pecans. When I first published this recipe, it was impossible for me to find pecans here. Now that I can finally buy them here, I may have to use them for the stuffed dates I make this Christmas Eve.
Here are some great options for nuts for your cheese stuffed dates:
Cream Cheese Stuffed Dates with Walnuts
- Open up the pitted dates, and fill them with a cream cheese of your choice.
- Press a walnut half into the cheese filled dates.
- Repeat with the rest of your dates.
Experiment away and show off this tasty new appetizer when your guests come to dinner. It's perfect for the holidays, and couldn't be easier to make! I'd love to hear what combinations you try, and which you find the best.