Vegan Turtles

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These vegan turtles have wow’d those who had no clue the recipe is vegan. Still, I’m sure anyone who is dairy-free, but has at one point enjoyed the taste of a good turtle or caramel, will be even more blown away!
Vegan Chocolate Covered Caramel

Vegan Turtles As Holiday Treats or Pre-Workout Fuel

These vegan turtles are the perfect holiday gift for your friends, family, and neighbors. Just grab some holiday goodie bags and ribbon to package them with once they cool, and you’ll have an effortless homemade treat to share. They’re also great for Valentine’s day, and can be made just as chocolate caramels if you’re concerned with nut allergies in your kids’ classes or anyone else you plan to share with. What’s really cool is that ingredient and nutrient wise, they are really similar to energy bites {or these truffles} so you can even enjoy them for pre-workout fuel!
vegan turtles no sugar added

Vegan Turtle Ingredients

This 4-ingredient recipe couldn’t be simpler — all you need is dates, dark chocolate, salt, and nuts. The dates provide the perfect amount of sweetness and that chewy caramel-y texture you crave. Be sure to choose a dairy-free chocolate chip brand such as Enjoy Life to keep these vegan.  As far as nuts go, you can use any type, but I recommend walnut or pecan halves (or you can leave the nuts out altogether if allergies are a concern, as mentioned above). These vegan turtles are gluten-free too, making them great for a wide variety of dietary needs.

Recipe Notes

I love a little hit of spice in foods and desserts, but the cayenne addition is totally optional. If you do leave it out, consider swapping in cinnamon or other spices you enjoy with chocolate. You can even add in dried cranberries or pomegranate seeds for fruity vegan turtles.
Grab your food processor or high-speed blender!

vegan turtle

Vegan Turtles

These 4-ingredient vegan turtles couldn't be simpler to make and are perfect for a holiday treat or pre-workout snack.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Cooling Time 30 minutes
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American


  • Food processor or high-speed blender.


  • 1 lb soft medjool dates pitted
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 12-16 pecan or walnut halves
  • 2/3 cup dairy-free 85% dark (or similar) chocolate chips
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)


  • Pulse dates in a food processor or high-quality blender for 20-40 seconds, until it begins to develop a ball.
  • Scrape sides with a rubber spatula and let cool in refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.
  • Create a double boiler on your stove to melt the chocolate.
  • Once melted, scoop 1/2-1 tbsp worth of dates to form somewhat of a ball and press one walnut into the top.
  • Place wax paper over a small cookie sheet or plate.
  • Dip into chocolate and with a small rubber spatula or spoon, ensure chocolate coats the entire date mixture.
  • Place each on wax paper and once all are coated in chocolate, let sit in refrigerator for 5-10 minutes before serving.
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  1. Oh WOW, I haven’t eaten turtles in such a long time! and I don’t think I’ve ever made them with walnuts… that’s a great heart-healthy twist! I need to make these for sure! 🙂