These vegan turtles are easy to make with just 3 simple ingredients! All you need to make them is dates, chocolate and pecans. They’re perfect for the holidays!

Homemade chocolate vegan turtles on a plate.

These wonderful, 3-ingredient vegan turtles are so easy to make you’ll love making them all holiday season! These sweet little treats make a great gift, are easy to make in large batches and can be stored in the freezer if you need to make them in advance.

This recipe is vegan, gluten-free, oil-free and if you use good dark chocolate, they’re refined sugar-free.


Ingredients Notes

  1. Dates. You’ll need some soft, moist dates for this recipe. Medjool, sayer or deglect noor work the best. If your dates are dry, you’ll need to soak them in hot water for 15 minutes then drain before using.
  2. Dairy-free chocolate. I used Enjoy Life Dairy-Free Chocolate Chips but you can use any dairy-free chocolate chips or dark chocolate.
  3. Pecans. You’ll need about 3/4 cup of raw pecans halves for this recipe.
Pitted dates packed into a measuring cup.

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1. Make the “caramel”

To make the “caramel” part of the turtles, blend the dates into a thick, doughy paste. I would recommend using a food processor for this.

I also like to add a generous pinch of sea salt. Once you’ve blended them up, roll the dough into 16 balls and place on a baking tray.

Pitted dates in a food processor with sea salt.
Blended dates in a food processor.

Step 2. Prepare the turtles

The pecans will form the head and legs of the little turtles. I used 3 pecans per turtle but you could just do 2, or use 4 or 5 and make them a little bigger.

Date balls topped with 3 pecans each on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.

Step 3. Add the chocolate

Finally, melt the chocolate in 15-second increments in the microwave or stovetop using a double boiler. Melt until it’s completely smooth and creamy then cover each turtle until no chocolate remains.

You can use your favourite dairy-free chocolate chips or if you prefer, some good dark chocolate.

Melted chocolate in a white bowl.
Dates and pecans covered in melted chocolate on a baking tray.
Dates and pecans covered in melted chocolate on a baking tray.

Step 4. Refrigerate and enjoy!

Place the turtles in the fridge until the chocolate has hardened. They’re now ready to enjoy! The turtles can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Homemade chocolate vegan turtles on a plate.
Homemade chocolate vegan turtles on a plate.

More Holiday Treats

Here are some more yummy Christmas treats you’ll love:

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Homemade chocolate vegan turtles on a plate.

Easy Vegan Turtles

  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 15 mins
  • Yield: 16 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: Vegan

These delicious 3-ingredient, homemade vegan turtles are always a hit during the holidays! All you need to make them is dates, chocolate and pecans!


Scale

Ingredients


Instructions

  1. Add the dates and sea salt to a food processor and process for about 20-30 seconds until they form a one, big ball of dough. If your dates are dry, you may need to add a little warm water to get them to blend. Add 1 tsp of water at at time and process until they form a thick doughy ball.
  2. Roll the dough into 16 ball and place on a baking tray lined with wax paper or parchment paper.
  3. Flatten each ball slightly then press 3 pecan halves onto each disc so that most of each pecan is on the dough but some of each one sticks off the edge. The pecans will touch in the middle and form a little triangle on the outside. Think of one pecan as the head and the other two as the legs.
  4. Place the chocolate in a bowl and melt in 15-second increments in the microwave, stirring every 15-seconds until smooth and creamy or use a melt stovetop using a double boiler stovetop. 
  5. Add a spoonful of melted chocolate to each turtle until you use up all the chocolate. Smooth the chocolate with the back of a spoon so it covers most of the pecans and all of the date dough. A little bit of each pecan should be left sticking out.
  6. Place the entire baking tray in the fridge or freezer until the chocolate has hardened. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or freezer for up to 2 months.

Notes

You can either put the pecans on the bottom or in the middle for this recipe. I prefer them with the “caramel” on the bottom and the pecans in the middle. To try them with the pecans on the bottom and caramel in the middle like a more traditional turtle, simply flip them over after sticking the pecans in and then add the melted chocolate over the date mixture. Just make sure you get some chocolate on the pecans so it helps hold it all together.

Keywords: easy, 3-ingredient, Christmas, gift, homemade