Delicious Sephardic Date Charoset Recipe for Passover Seder

Close your eyes, and take a moment to picture the musky, warm aroma of cinnamon filling up your kitchen. Imagine the intense sweetness of dried dates melting on your tongue, and the texture of crunchy walnuts mixing with the smoothness of rich red wine. Can you feel it? That’s the magic of Sephardic Date Charoset.

As an Israeli chef, I grew up with this recipe – it comes straight from my grandmother’s kitchen, passed down through generations. It’s an essential part of our holiday tradition; we enjoy it every year during Rosh Hashanah and Passover.

Charoset represents mortar and brick, the building materials the Israelites used to make bricks when they were enslaved in Egypt. The Sephardic style charoset has Mediterranean ingredients such as dried fruits and nuts with a gentle hint of red wine. It’s sweeter and denser than its Ashkenazi counterpart, and it has a more complex flavor profile – perfect for those who appreciate an intricate taste!

My Sephardic Date Charoset recipe is easy to make and packed with flavor that will bring life to your Passover Seder Plate. It’s also versatile – you can use it as a spread on bread or crackers or just eat it by itself! Are you ready to add a touch of Middle Eastern flavor to your table? Let’s get started!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Sephardic Date Charoset
Sephardic Date Charoset

If you’re looking for a recipe that embodies the rich culinary heritage of the Sephardic Jews, this Date Charoset Recipe is a must-try. This dish is not only an essential part of the Rosh Hashanah holiday ritual, but it is also a delicious addition to any meal or celebration.

What sets this charoset apart from other recipes is its use of warm water and cinnamon. The mixture of these ingredients gives the dish a unique savory and warming flavor that is sure to tantalize your taste buds.

Moreover, this recipe puts a refreshing twist on the traditional charoset by using both medjool dates and pitted dates. The result is a harmonious blend of sweet and savory flavors that are guaranteed to satisfy even the pickiest eaters.

But it’s not just about taste – this charoset boasts some impressive nutritional benefits as well. Thanks to the walnuts, dried fruit, and grape juice in the recipe, it’s loaded with healthy fats, vitamins, and antioxidants. Plus, it’s gluten-free and vegan, which means it can accommodate various dietary restrictions.

Whether you’re cooking for yourself or impressing guests, this Sephardic Date Charoset Recipe is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. So don’t hesitate – give it a try today and start experiencing its irresistible flavors firsthand.

Ingredient List

 Sweet and savory come together in this Sephardic Date Charoset.
Sweet and savory come together in this Sephardic Date Charoset.

Ingredients for Sephardic Date Charoset Recipe

  • 1 pound pitted and coarsely chopped dates
  • 3/4 cup raw almonds
  • 2 granny smith apples, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cups raisins
  • 2 cups pitted dates, halved
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots, finely chopped
  • 8 tablespoons red wine or grape juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

This Sephardic-style charoset features a generous amount of dried fruit and plenty of nuts. The recipe typically includes raisins and walnuts, along with some type of sweetener (honey or sugar). My variation is made with dried apricots and grape juice which gives this an extra tangy flavor. The combination of fruits and nuts makes it hearty enough to be considered a side dish.

The Recipe How-To

 Get ready to impress your Seder guests with this flavorful charoset.
Get ready to impress your Seder guests with this flavorful charoset.

Now, it’s time to get cooking! Follow these steps to create a delicious Sephardic Date Charoset recipe that will have everyone at your Rosh Hashanah celebration asking for seconds.

Step 1: Prepare the Dates

The first step in creating our Sephardic style charoset is preparing the main ingredient-date. Take 1 cup of pitted Medjool dates and 1 1/2 cups of pitted regular dates and throw them into a food processor. Add 3 tablespoons of warm water and blend until they become a uniformly smooth paste.

Step 2: Chop the Apples and Walnuts

After completing the first step, it’s time to work on the apples and walnuts. For this recipe you’ll need, 2 Granny Smith apples, and 2 cups of walnuts. Take the produce items one by one, starting with the Granny Smith apples- peel and chop off all sides of the apple.  Once done use a sharp knife that would enable you to make several cuts downwards but not completely through, cut again going crosswise to get tiny uniform pieces.  As for the walnuts, gently chop into small-ish pieces in preparation for mixing.

Step 3: Combine Your Ingredients with Spices

Now let’s spice things up with some essential ingredients, which comprise of wine, aromatics and more flavorsome spices. Gather your remaining items: you will require 1 cup of red wine, 3 tablespoons of good-quality cinnamon (or more if preferred), and also add in 1/4 teaspoon of salt, which enhances flavors; then whisk together until nicely combined.

A great alternative option you can try is using grape juice instead of red wine for those who don’t consume alcohol.

Step 4: Mix It All Up

It’s time to combine all the different ingredients prepared now – take your huge bowl or vessel, pour in your date paste concoction followed by ground cinnamon and salt mix. Stir in chopped walnut halves, diced apple bits one after another taking care not to leave any settling at the bottom then add in all red wine stirring continuously so that everything mixes as desired.

When thoroughly mixed pour into serving dish or jar then refrigerate till chilled before enjoying its goodness!

That’s it! There you have it- an amazing Sephardic Date Charoset recipe that everyone will want to tryout. And who knew dates could taste so scrumptious?

Substitutions and Variations

 The combination of dates, nuts and spices creates a rich and aromatic sensation.
The combination of dates, nuts and spices creates a rich and aromatic sensation.

As much as I love this sephardic date charoset recipe, there are always a few modifications you can make based on your taste preference and availability of ingredients. Substitutions are effortless to switch up the flavor profile, and variations can make this recipe more versatile for future feasts.

If you have any nut allergies, walnuts can be substituted with almonds or pecans for added crunch. If you prefer less sweetness in your charoset, mix in some tart apples like Honeycrisp or Granny Smith apples.

For those who cannot consume red wine during Rosh Hashanah, use grape juice instead. This substitution will maintain the same taste profile without alcohol content.

If medjool dates are not available at the store, try using pitted Deglet Noor dates. While they do not have the same chewiness and caramel-like flavor as medjool dates, they work perfectly fine in this recipe.

To switch up the tangy element of this dish, substitute cinnamon with freshly ground nutmeg or cardamom for a slightly spicy touch. You could also add 1/4 teaspoon of allspice or cloves to give it a more complex spiced flavor.

If you are entertaining kids or someone who does not enjoy the texture of dried fruits, skip the dried apricots and raisins and double up pitted dates. The mixture will be smoother with an intense date flavor that is highly desirable for date lovers.

And if you are feeling adventurous with variations to serve at various occasions throughout Passover consider rolling the charoset mixture into small balls to make charoset truffles. By adding cocoa powder and chili powder to the base mixture, it creates a unique fusion of flavors that will delight your guests’ taste buds. Additionally, by pairing these truffles with green apple slices or crackers, it transforms into an exceptional Passover hors d’oeuvre.

All these substitutions and variations may feel like a deviation from the sephardic style charoset recipe. However, they provide new opportunities for you to elevate this traditional Seder Plate item into something completely innovative and delicious.

Serving and Pairing

 The sticky consistency of the charoset will make the matzah taste like a treat.
The sticky consistency of the charoset will make the matzah taste like a treat.

Now that you have prepared your exquisite Sephardic date charoset, it is time to savor its delightful flavors. This savory mixture of pitted dates, walnuts, and red wine perfectly complements the traditional Passover seder plate.

To serve your Sephardic style charoset, simply scoop it up into a serving bowl and place it in the center of your seder table. You can also make charoset truffles by rolling the mixture into small balls and coating them with shredded coconut or cocoa powder.

This charoset pairs well with crisp apple slices or matzah crackers. You can also spread some on a slice of toast for a scrumptious breakfast treat.

For the perfect pairing, serve this date charoset recipe alongside roasted lamb or beef brisket. The sweet and tangy flavors of the charoset are an excellent complement to savory meat dishes.

Now that you have completed your Rosh Hashanah meal, sit back and enjoy the delicious food that you have prepared. The Sephardic date charoset will add a touch of sweetness to your holiday celebration, leaving you feeling satisfied and content.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The sweet and nutty mix will make your taste buds dance with joy.
The sweet and nutty mix will make your taste buds dance with joy.

The beauty of this Sephardic date charoset recipe is that it can be made ahead of time and stored for a few days in the refrigerator. In fact, I recommend preparing it a day or two in advance so that the flavors have ample time to meld together. The result is a rich, delicious, and nuanced dish that will surely be a hit on your Passover Seder plate.

To store the charoset, simply transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use. When you’re ready to serve, give it a quick stir to fluff up any settled solids and adjust seasoning if needed. If you find that the charoset has become too thick after storing, thin it out with a little bit of warm water or red wine until it reaches your desired consistency.

If you have leftovers, don’t worry! The charoset will keep for several days in the refrigerator without sacrificing its delectable taste or texture. In fact, some people argue that it even improves with age as the flavors continue to develop over time.

When reheating this dish, I recommend doing so slowly over low heat to prevent scorching. You can reheat it on the stove in a small saucepan or in the microwave by heating for about 30 seconds at a time until warmed through.

Overall, this Sephardic date charoset recipe is incredibly versatile and can easily fit into any Passover menu. It’s easy to prepare ahead of time and store for later use, making meal planning and prep work even more manageable during the hectic holiday season. So go ahead, give it a try and surprise your guests with this deliciously refreshing twist on traditional charoset!

Tips for Perfect Results

 The richness of the flavors will transport you to the Mediterranean.
The richness of the flavors will transport you to the Mediterranean.

When making Sephardic Date Charoset Recipe, there are few tips that can make the outcome even better. First and foremost, make sure you use fresh ingredients. The flavor of this charoset is based on the sweetness of dates, the crunch of the walnuts, and the spiciness of cinnamon blended with red wine. So, you don’t want any of these elements to diminish in quality.

Another important tip is to chop your ingredients finely. A perfectly balanced Sephardic Date Charoset Recipe has the right blend of flavors and textures. Chopping your dates into small pieces allows them to better integrate into the charoset mix, while keeping a little bit more texture than if simply blended.

It’s crucial to use warm water when rehydrating dried fruit or nuts, as doing so aid in blending and give you an easier time processing them in the food processor, this will prevent clogging or overheating the motor of your appliance.

Lastly, if you prefer a smoother Sephardic Style Charoset recipe without any chunks, you can blend it for a longer period by adding more liquid ingredients such as wine or grape juice. Adjust the balance whilst blending; add a small amount at a time until you get your desired smoothness.

Incorporate these tips into making this traditional yet scrumptious Sephardic Date Charoset Recipe for Rosh Hashanah or Passover Seder plate, and not only will it look good but also taste amazing!


As one cooks, it’s natural to have questions or doubts regarding the recipe or ingredients. In this section, we’ll try to answer the most common queries about the Sephardic Date Charoset recipe, from its origin to substitutions and storing tips. Trust me when I say that there’s nothing wrong with asking questions – it’s all part of being a good cook! So without further ado, let’s dive into the FAQs about Sephardic-style charoset.

What is the difference between Sephardic and Ashkenazi charoset?

When it comes to preparing charoset, there are distinguishable differences between the Ashkenazi and Sephardic versions. Typically, Ashkenazi charoset consists of a mixture of apples, walnuts, sweet wine, and a generous amount of cinnamon. On the other hand, Sephardic charoset leans towards a blend of dried fruit, a balanced combination of spices, and an array of nuts.

How long does charoset last in the fridge?

To ensure your charoset stays fresh and flavorful, it’s best to store any remaining portions in a sealed container in the refrigerator. This will allow you to enjoy the delicious flavors for up to a week. As this recipe yields about 3.5 cups, those cooking for smaller households may consider adjusting the ingredients in half.

What is the shelf life of charoset?

Preparing charoset ahead of time is convenient as it can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours before serving. Simply ensure that it is covered properly to avoid contamination.

Is charoset for Passover or Rosh Hashanah?

While charoset is commonly associated with the Passover Seder, it can also be enjoyed as a tasty addition to a Rosh Hashanah meal.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Sephardic Date Charoset recipe is a fantastic addition to any meal, especially during the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah or Passover. The combination of dates, walnuts, cinnamon and red wine makes for a delicious and memorable dish.

Not only is this charoset recipe packed with flavor, but it’s also incredibly versatile. You can easily customize it to your liking by adding or substituting ingredients. And don’t be afraid to get creative with how you use it. It’s not only a delicious condiment but can be used in recipes for charoset truffles or apple charoset.

So next time you’re looking for an impressive dish to bring to your Passover Seder or Rosh Hashanah dinner table, consider making this Sephardic Date Charoset recipe. Your guests will thank you and will likely ask for the recipe so they can recreate it on their own. I hope you enjoy making and eating this delightful dish as much as I do.

Sephardic Date Charoset

Sephardic Date Charoset Recipe

This is a close approximation of my grandmother's recipe. She used (and I prefer) red wine instead of grape juice, but the option for no alcohol is there for you.
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Prep Time 1 hr 15 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Course Appetizer/Dessert
Cuisine Fusion
Calories 294 kcal


  • 1 lb pitted dates
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 8 tablespoons sweet kosher red wine or 8 tablespoons grape juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts


  • Soak dates in saucepan in water for an hour. Then bring to a boil and simmer for about 45 minutes till they are nice and soft and breaking down.
  • Drain any excess water.
  • Put dates in food processor with cinnamon, slowly adding wine as needed to form a semi-smooth puree.
  • Pulse or stir in walnuts.
  • Adjust ingredients to taste.
  • Serve on matzah.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 164gCalories: 294kcalCarbohydrates: 58.8gProtein: 3.4gFat: 6.7gSaturated Fat: 0.6gSodium: 3.7mgFiber: 6.8gSugar: 48.3g
Keyword < 4 Hours, European, Fruit, Healthy, Kosher, Low Cholesterol, Low Protein, Spreads, Vegan
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