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My Favorite Pre-Run Snack: Tahini Stuffed Dates (Trader Joe’s wins again)


I remember the first time I heard about tahini. I was recently graduated from college and working at Goldman Sachs, and one of my coworkers suggested we go to nearby restaurant that had the most amazing hummus, explaining that it was amazing because of the tahini they used. I had absolutely no idea what tahini was, but after trying the most amazing hummus, I needed to figure it out.

So, I googled homemade hummus and learned that tahini is a key ingredient. And tahini is simply a sesame seed butter – similar to peanut butter or almond butter, but made with sesame seeds.

I used to make my own hummus a lot and then tired of that. (Hey, I’m lazy and store bought stuff is good! Especially Roots Hummus!) I tried eating tahini on its own, but I really didn’t like it. But, I still had tahini in my fridge and I didn’t want to just throw it away. So, when I ran out of almond butter and peanut butter a while ago, which I often stuff into a date for a pre-run snack, I turned to the jar of tahini. And, all of a sudden, I liked it. Like, a LOT. I liked it on its own, but I found it also pairs perfectly with dates.

Since dates are super sweet, the somewhat savory tahini pairs perfectly with them. And the combo is a great vehicle for toppings like cocoa, coconut flakes and cacao nibs.

tahini stuffed dates

Dates stuffed with tahini

Dates stuffed with tahini are also a great pre-run or pre-workout snack (or a “how is it only 3:00 snack”). And I find the combo really easy to stomach before and after workouts, which is key. (You can see more of my pre-workout snack ideas here!)

Since I’ve been increasing my mileage while training for the Boston Marathon, I find that I need snacks a lot more often (40+ mile weeks make me hungry!). I also need an easy-to-digest option before a run and a quick way to get in some carbs post-run to replenish my glycogen stores. Dates stuffed with tahini have really hit the spot lately. I don’t often make them in advance, but you certainly can. I usually just grab a couple dates, the jar of tahini and a spoon and start popping out the pit and replacing it with tahini. And sometimes I’ll actually sit down to eat. 😉

Tahini (at least the Trader Joe’s brand) is pretty runny, so I suggest keeping it in the fridge. And if you make these in advance and want to take them with you, wrap them individually in plastic wrap and keep them frozen until you’re ready to take them with you. That will help prevent a runny tahini mess.

Hope you love them! Click here to pin this recipe for later.


Tahini Stuffed Dates

Print Recipe
Cooking Time: 15


  • 1 package of medjool dates
  • 1 jar tahini, stirred well and refrigerated
  • Optional toppings: cacao nibs, cinnamon, coconut, sea salt



Using a knife, slice open the dates (don't cut all the way through) and remove the pit.


Using a small spoon, stuff about a teaspoon of tahini into the date. It's important that your tahini is cold or else it'll be too runny!


Once stuffed, you can top your dates with your choice of cinnamon, cacao nibs, or shredded coconut.


Place in a tupperware, with parchment paper between each layer. Keep in the fridge or freezer.


You can also wrap them individually in plastic wrap for a grab & go snack. I'd suggest freezing them if you go that route. I find the cheapest dates at Trader Joe's - they're in the produce section.

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  • Hillary

    Yum! I love big juicy dates with nut butter!

  • Jessica

    Ooooh, I hadn’t thought of dates as a post/pre-run snack. Such a great idea!

  • Kristen

    Those look good! Whenever I think stuffed dates I think of my mom’s which are stuffed with vanilla frosting, which is such a sugary sweet combo I’ve never liked at all! (sorry mom) I think it’s one of those crazy old school cookbook things like jello salads.

    • Teri [a foodie stays fit]

      oh gosh! ha! That is SO much sweetness!!! And yeah, old school recipes are kind of amazing and hilarious.