Holli-Dates Appetizer

Holli-Dates Appetizer

Holli-Dates Appetizer


Holli-Dates Appetizer

Holli-Dates Appetizer


Happy Meatless Monday! Thank you for joining my co-host Deborah and I for hopefully an inspiring link up!

It’s the holiday season and with that comes lots of gatherings, get togethers, parties, whatever you want to call them. A few friends over for drinks and appetizers, big family dinners, it seems like there are so many things going on this month. So many that require bringing a dish to share. I have a great one for you today that I think you’re going to love, a Holli-Dates Appetizer! So many reasons to love these delicious bites! They are packed with flavor, made with whole foods, they are gluten free, dairy free, vegan, and best of all they are easy to make! No baking, just chopping up a couple ingredients, stirring them into the cheese, filling the dates, and drizzling a little balsamic vinegar on them just before serving. If you have kids they can even help remove the pits from the dates and fill them. S helped me whip out 48 of these in no time a few weeks ago to take to an early Thanksgiving family gathering. You can easily make a half of a batch for a small gathering like a book club or if you’re just having a few friend over for a glass of wine.


Holli-Dates Appetizer

Holli-Dates Appetizer


Holli-Dates Appetizer

Holli-Dates Appetizer, close up before balsamic vinegar drizzle


So simply delicious and everyone who tried them loved them, even the big traditional “cheese lovers”. I love these because with all the different dietary types, allergies, and restrictions this works for so many (other than those with a nut allergy as I used a nut based cheese). If you don’t have anyone with a dairy allergy, or any vegan or paleo friends and family joining you this is easy to make with traditional ricotta cheese. It’s just so simple, versatile, and delicious. The only thing I didn’t love about this recipe was trying to come up with a fitting name. So when my husband suggested Holli-Dates Appetizer and the girls agreed I was like well ok than. Only at first I called them Holla-Dates. Haha! Ok maybe writing up the post too because it was another one that was just so simple what do you say. So delicious I had to share it. One that I was just hoping I could photograph and get reflect how “simply delicious” they are that the photos speak for themselves. I’m a foodie and I love playing in the kitchen, I’m not a writer.

The holiday season is upon us and even for those of us who love to spend time in the kitchen make sure you take time to spend it with friends and family and cherish all the moments!


Holli-Dates Appetizer

Holli-Dates Appetizer, before  balsamic vinegar added


Holli-Dates Appetizer
Makes 48 filled dates
8oz ricotta cheese (Kite Hill Ricotta Cheese, vegan and soy free)
1 TBSP chopped, fresh rosemary
2 TBSP chopped dried cranberries, Craisins
pinch of sea salt, to taste
48 Medjool Dates
drizzle balsamic vinegar


Cut a slit in your dates lengthwise, to remove pit and creating a pocket for stuffing. You can squeeze the ends together towards the center to open them up a little. In a bowl mix together the ricotta cheese, chopped rosemary and dried cranberries. Add a pinch of salt to taste and stir in. Using a spoon and or your hands fill the dates with a little cheese, roughly about a tablespoon per date but no measuring required. Place on a platter. Store stuffed dates covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator until ready to serve/set out. When serving drizzle a little balsamic vinegar over the top. Enjoy!


Need an appetizer for your next holiday gathering? Check out these Holli-Dates! #vegan #glutenfree #howiholiday Click To Tweet


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Sharing the Meatless Monday love I’m also linking up with with Running on Happy and The Fit Foodie Mama for Meatless Monday!

74 Responses to Holli-Dates Appetizer

  1. Courtney says:

    These sound wonderful– such a lovely mix of savory and sweet!
    Thank you for hosting! 🙂
    Courtney recently posted…Spinach Ranch PizzaMy Profile

  2. Annmarie says:

    Holli-Dates! So cute, I love it!!! These look delish 🙂
    Annmarie recently posted…Dairy Free Chocolate Peppermint SmoothieMy Profile

  3. What a great idea for a holiday party! I love ricotta cheese. Have a happy Meatless Monday and a wonderful week
    Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner recently posted…Vegan Winter Minestrone -Soup ClubMy Profile

  4. This looks amazing Sarah! Love the cheese (or vegan cheese) and date combo! Never would have thought of this!
    Julie @ Running in a Skirt recently posted…7 Ways to Reduce Holiday Stress and Actually Enjoy the Season! {Giveaway!}My Profile

    • awhiskandtwowands says:

      Thank you Julie! It’s such a great combo (with either and for a dairy cheese goat cheese is also a great option).

  5. Kat says:

    OMG I would eat this entire tray by myself NO PROBLEM. I’m a total date addict [Im actually making a recipe using them now!] but stuffing them with cheese and herbs? YES! I wonder if my family would eat these, though I’d probably be happier if they didn’t. More for me! 😉
    Kat recently posted…Peppermint Mocha Bread [ Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free]My Profile

    • awhiskandtwowands says:

      Haha I ate enough but not a whole tray so I can relate. I love dates, cashew butter and dates is one of my favs! If your family does dairy goat cheese is another great option! 😉

  6. This looks like a fantastic holiday appetizer! I’m always looking for new treats that don’t require heating or bowls! Thanks for the recipe.
    Elizabeth DiBurro recently posted…Dairy Free Chocolate Pudding PieMy Profile

  7. I LOVE LOVE LOVE STUFFED DATES….wait maybe I just like all date things 🙂

  8. Haha, no way, great minds 😉
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine recently posted…Gluten-Free Stuffed Shells with Vegan Almond RicottaMy Profile

  9. OMG YUM!!! I make stuffed dates with goat cheese but never have with ricotta. SUCH a yummy recipe and perfect for holiday parties!
    Chrissa – Physical Kitchness recently posted…Paleo Maple Cinnamon Sweet Potato Breakfast BakeMy Profile

    • awhiskandtwowands says:

      Goat cheese is a great option and what I would have gone with if there were a dairy free one I could find but this is a nice creamy almond milk cheese that pairs well.

  10. What a perfect bite, and even better holiday recipe. Everyone loves dates!
    Kelly @ TastingPage recently posted…Salmon Cucumber Roll Ups {Gluten Free, Dairy Free}My Profile

    • awhiskandtwowands says:

      Thank you, yes and they give you a little extra energy to keep you dancing and partying all night long! 😉

  11. Emily Kyle says:

    This looks amazing, perfect for any holiday party! I love the combination of rosemary and cranberries in the filling!

  12. Laura says:

    What a perfect appetizer for any holiday party! Love that vegan ricotta!
    Laura recently posted…Pomegranate VinaigretteMy Profile

  13. Those are so cute and festive! What a perfect party idea!
    Liz @ I Heart Vegetables recently posted…New On The Go Meal OptionsMy Profile

  14. These would be a hit with EVERYONE! And your hubby totally nailed the name- very cute!
    Sonali- The Foodie Physician recently posted…2016 Holiday Gift GuideMy Profile

    • awhiskandtwowands says:

      Thank you, they have been so far! Even the cheese lovers at the gathering loved them. Haha shh don’t tell him that! 😉

  15. The balsamic drizzle on here looks so delicious! I am doing that this season- 100%!

  16. Rachel says:

    I love this recipe. I have a holiday party coming up on the 20th. I think I’ll make these! Thank you!
    Rachel recently posted…Homemade French Onion SoupMy Profile

  17. Wow, it doesn’t get much easier than this! Going to have to give this one a trial soon.
    Alisa Fleming recently posted…Basic Dairy-Free Parmesan (Just 3 Ingredients!)My Profile

    • awhiskandtwowands says:

      It really doesn’t! My oldest who (13) made most of them for our early Thanksgiving get together. Let me know what you think if you do!

  18. “Holla-Dates” lol – love this! And love this appetizer! Wish I could reach through this screen and sample a few!
    Lindsay Cotter recently posted…Easy Chocolate Christmas Cake {Vegan, Paleo}My Profile

    • awhiskandtwowands says:

      Shh don’t tell my hubby, oh wait you mean you love them not the name. Haha! 😉 Come over and I’ll have a plate and some wine waiting for you!

  19. ooooo yummy yummy!! I need to try that ricotta!
    Nicole @ Fitful Focus recently posted…Delicious Gluten Free BreakfastsMy Profile

  20. glenneth says:

    those sound fantastic and look easy enough to make! always need appetizer ideas!
    glenneth recently posted…Dear Coach: Volume 10 (The Finale, For Now)My Profile

  21. Chrissy says:

    If I made these and they actually looked like your photos 🙂 everyone would ask where I bought them! These look incredible.
    Chrissy recently posted…5 QUICK PROTEIN SOURCES FOR EASY MEAL PREPMy Profile

  22. Cricket says:

    I don’t think I could make these for a holiday party because I would eat them all before the guests arrive! Looks incredible!
    Cricket recently posted…Healthy Eggnog Rice Pudding #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • awhiskandtwowands says:

      Oh trust me there is no way you could eat 48, but snacking on a few while making them is totally acceptable. 😉

  23. abbey sharp says:

    So simple, but so satisfying!!! NEED to try these.
    abbey sharp recently posted…High Protein Healthy Party Mix 3 Ways! | Gluten Free Popcorn & Jerky Snack MixesMy Profile

  24. The flavour combo sounds delicious! This is such a pretty appetiser to have this holiday season.
    Kortney // Allergy Girl Eats recently posted…Bacon Fried RiceMy Profile

  25. this is such a festive appetizer! i was so curious as to what you used for vegan stuffing…love this.
    dixya @food, pleasure, and health recently posted…Homemade MuesliMy Profile

    • awhiskandtwowands says:

      Thank you it’s such an easy appetizer! I was going to attempt homemade almond milk cheese but I decided to just keep it simple.

  26. What a great party appetizer! Love that they’re so easy!
    Jessica @ Nutritioulicious recently posted…By: Chicken Myths & Truths – Food DialoguesMy Profile

  27. I love how easy these are to make! Such a fun and simple appetizer for the holidays.
    Chrystal @ Gluten-Free Palate recently posted…Gluten-Free Chai DonutsMy Profile

  28. These look lovely! I just bought a big thing of dates at the store the other day, so I will definitely be giving this recipe a try soon!

  29. Angela @marathonsandmotivation.com says:

    These look amazing! I love dates, can’t wait to try this…Pinned 🙂

  30. jill conyers says:

    Ricotta. I was trying to figure out what the stuffing is before i read the recipe.
    jill conyers recently posted…The Ultimate Healthy Living Gift Guide ResourceMy Profile

  31. Esther says:

    YES! I will def need to make these for my next party! Maybe for new years 🙂

  32. This is such a great idea. Wish I thought of something so easy and delicious as this is!
    Sharon @What The Fork recently posted…1-Minute Gluten Free Funfetti Mug CakeMy Profile

  33. Taylor Kiser says:

    What an easy and gorgeous appetizer for the holidays! These will be a big hit I’m sure! Just have to be sure not to devour them all before the guests arrive! lol
    Taylor Kiser recently posted…Skillet Peppermint Vegan BrownieMy Profile

    • awhiskandtwowands says:

      Thank you Taylor! The whole family, even the cheese lovers loved them. Oh we snacked on a few making them, just to give us energy to make more and the other appetizers. 😉 Next time I will probably make a half batch of goat cheese ones as well.

  34. Maria says:

    I’ve had a lot of stuffed dates in my life, but not this combination!
    Maria recently posted…Holiday Gift Guide For the Healthy FoodieMy Profile

  35. Amber says:

    These sound fantastic! Trader Joe’s has an orange baked ricotta cheese right now; bet that would be fantastic in here!
    Amber recently posted…Greek Yogurt Salmon SpreadMy Profile

  36. Amber says:

    Oh and I shared this fantastic recipe on my blogs FB page, hungrymountaineer.com
    Amber recently posted…Greek Yogurt Salmon SpreadMy Profile

  37. I am dairy, soy, gluten free. This would be perfect for me! Thank you so much! I think these will be made in Christmas Eve. I wasn’t aware of this cheese alternative brand.

  38. These are so pretty! What a beautiful appetizer
    Amanda Kanashiro recently posted…Know Allergies Bars- The Perfect Snack for SantaMy Profile

  39. Pingback: 44 Gluten Free Recipes Perfect for New Year's Eve

  40. I love Dates! I know it’s 2017 already, but I can still prepare this for Valentines! <3 The combination of sweets, cheese, and the balsamic vinegar, is YUM! Do you have any Gluten Free Recipe suggestion, that's perfect for Valentines Day? I would love to know, please share it with us! Thanks so much!
    Julie@Consumerion recently posted…Best Video Editing Monitors 2017 – Buyer’s GuideMy Profile

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