5-Ingredient Vegan Chocolate Turtles

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Cutting board with homemade vegan turtle candies made with pecans, dates, and dark chocolate

Healthier “candy” for the win! Let us show you how easy it is to make these 5-ingredient Vegan Chocolate Turtles!

Wood cutting board with ingredients for making our Vegan Chocolate Turtle Candies

This easy, 5-ingredient dessert starts by mixing dates and almond meal to form a moldable dough that acts as the turtle base.

Mixing dates and almond meal in a food processor to make homemade Turtle Candies

Next, toast pecans and add four to each turtle to make the “legs.” We could squeal at the cuteness happening right here.

Toasting pecans on a baking sheet to make our Turtle Candies recipe

Last, melt chocolate and coconut oil and top the turtles to make the “shells”!

We know! It’s all very cute! And delicious.

Drizzling melted chocolate onto Vegan Chocolate Turtles made with pecans and dates

We hope you LOVE these turtles! They’re:

Quick & easy to make
Healthier than your average candy
Kind of adorable
& Incredibly delicious!

These would make the perfect healthier treats to give out or enjoy this Halloween! But they also freeze well and are the perfect healthier dessert to have around when sweet cravings strike.

More Easy Desserts

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Cutting board with homemade Chocolate Turtles with one partially eaten

5-Ingredient Vegan Chocolate Turtles

Easy 5-ingredient vegan turtles made with a date-almond base, roasted pecans, and melted vegan dark chocolate. Simple flavors, big luxurious taste.
Author Minimalist Baker
Delicious homemade Vegan Chocolate Turtle Candies on a wood cutting board
5 from 30 votes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 (Turtles)
Course Dessert
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 5-7 Days


  • 1 cup raw pecan halves
  • 1 ½ cups packed large pitted dates (if dry, soak in hot water 10 minutes, then drain // 16 dates yield ~1 ½ cups)
  • 3 Tbsp almond meal (ground from raw almonds)
  • 2/3 cup chopped vegan dark chocolate
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and roast pecans on a bare baking sheet for 10-12 minutes (watch carefully as not to burn). Set aside.
  • In the meantime, add pitted dates to a food processor and pulse/mix until small bits remain or a ball forms. Then add almond meal and pulse again. If dough appears too sticky to handle, add more almond meal and pulse to combine.
  • Using your hands, form the date mixture into 8 small, round discs and place on a parchment-lined pan. Add four toasted pecan halves to 
make the turtle “legs,” then freeze 10 minutes to harden.
  • In the meantime, melt chocolate and coconut oil over a double boiler on the stovetop (a ceramic or glass bowl set over a saucepan with 1 inch simmering water will work) or in the microwave in 30-second increments and set aside.
  • Remove turtles from freezer and top each with a generous spoonful of melted chocolate. Use the spoon to evenly coat the tops of the candies. If you have leftover chocolate, reserve it for another use, like dipping strawberries or bananas.
  • Pop turtles back in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to set. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5-7 days, or the freezer up to 1 month. If frozen, set out for 10 minutes before consuming for best results.



*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.

Nutrition (1 of 8 servings)

Serving: 1 turtles Calories: 300 Carbohydrates: 43.3 g Protein: 3.6 g Fat: 16.1 g Saturated Fat: 4.8 g Sodium: 1 mg Potassium: 404 mg Fiber: 5.7 g Sugar: 36.5 g

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My Rating:

  1. Meg says

    Wow! So easy to make and a true delight! Added some flaky salt on the top to add a salted caramel like taste. Will be making these again and again!

  2. Adriana says

    Love this recipe. the flavors remind so much of a praline but in a healthier way! Can’t wait to make these again! The only thing I would change for next time is to make smaller turtles to have a better patty to pecan ration!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Harlie, unfortunately the flour in this recipe is not baked so you need to use a type of flour that can be eaten raw for food safety. Coconut flour, almond flour, almond meal, or even pecan “meal” would work best. Hope this helps!

  3. Kim says

    Wow, this recipe is amazing! I ended up making smaller turtles and was able to make about 25 little turtles with this recipe! Still large enough to fit 2-4 pecans on each though. I used my vitamix, and the only complaint is cleaning up the dates off the blender afterwards. Looking forward to sharing these with friends & family!

  4. Miriam Miller says

    These look delicious. Due to allergies, I was wondering if almond meal can be substituted for flour? Also, can I use a different type of oil?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Miriam, we’d suggest oat flour. We wouldn’t suggest another oil for coconut oil, but you could leave it out.

  5. Abigail Jacob says

    OMG I discovered these 2 weeks ago and I’m making them today for the 3rd time. They are so yummy and the perfect little treat. Easy to store and eat directly from the freezer. I have such a sweet tooth so am always looking for alternates to sugar. This treat really ticks all the boxes!! Another hit!! Thanks

  6. abi says

    I found these tonight and made them so quickly. they really satisfied my craving for something sweet. i love how the dates and chocolate really combine well to mimic the turtles. Thanks for another great recipe! So quick and easy to follow. Brilliant!

  7. Cheryl Mandell says

    Thanks so much! So simple – so delicious. Made them for a lunch at our place and 2 people asked for the recipe. They couldn’t believe how easy they were to make. Still have a few in my freezer….I’m sure my grandson will love them too!

  8. Nicole says

    These are an absolute dream. A wee bit labor intensive but very worth it. Topped mine with a little bit of sea salt.

  9. Charlene says

    Delicious and ingenious! My store didn’t have dates in the bulk section, which I like to buy from to eliminate packaging waste, but had other fruits so I used dried cherries instead. I love how simple to make and delicious these were. Thank you!

  10. Ana says

    I made this with oat flour because I didn’t have almonds and replaced the chocolate with self made chocolate from coconut oil, cacao powder and maple sirop.
    It was so delicious!
    Thank you!

  11. Morgan says

    Sooo yummy! I got a little “maximal” when making these.

    To the dates, I added 2 tsp of white miso paste, 1 tsp vanilla extract, and a little coconut flour because my date paste ended up being a little wet.

    After I covered and dipped them in chocolate, I gave them a sprinkle of salt.

    Simply amazing! Thanks for the inspo!

  12. April says

    Made these several times…..so good! I also add a little vanilla and cinnamon to the date/almond mix. Also have topped with white chocolate, which is also really good.
    Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoy them, April! And love your additions! Thanks for sharing!

  13. Vicky says

    These turtles are magical! I’ve been wanting to make these as soon as they where posted but I always kept forgetting or didn’t have enough time ( I have a very demanding toddler who doesn’t like me to be busy in the kitchen much). I finally made them last night and WOW I can’t believe how delicious they are! I guess I’m surprised! The flavors and textures go so well together it’s amazing! So delicious! Thank you for exceeding my expectations one more time!

  14. Nancy R. says

    Hello! I am going to make these for a party I am going to with a vegan family. I’m so excited to make these turtles, but I don’t care for dark chocolate. I hope there is a vegan milk chocolate! Is that a possibility or do you have any suggestions? Thanks!!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Nancy, we haven’t tried it with a vegan milk chocolate, but you may we able to find some at the store!

  15. Sylvie says

    So quick and easy! I had coconut flour on hand (instead of almond) and they turned out amazing! I also added a pinch of salt and cinnamon to the date mixture and voila! Amazing turnout!

  16. Ellie says

    I made these a second time today in preparation for my vegan sister and her family coming into town tomorrow, and I messed up a bit; I got cocky because I had made them before, so I didn’t read the recipe carefully this time and I ended up blending the dates along with the almond meal all at once, instead of blending the dates first and then adding the meal. So the texture wasn’t quite as creamy, so I decided to add a few tablespoons of boiling water to make it blend more easily. It worked, but then I had to add a lot more of the almond meal to make it firm enough to handle without collapsing and sticking. I ended up adding almost 1/2 of a cup of extra almond meal, but it was still delicious, and I ended up with enough for 14 good-sized turtles! It was less sweet this time due to the dilution of the date to almond ratio, but I actually think some people might prefer that! I added a few punches of salt to the date caramel as well as a scraped vanilla pod. Super yummy! It got the thumbs up of approval from my non-vegan 8-year old nephew (although I didn’t tell him it had dates in it, so he thought it was just regular caramel). I will let you know what my sister’s kids think!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Great problem solving! We’re so glad you enjoy this recipe and that your nephew enjoyed as well =) Thanks for sharing!

  17. Sorcia says

    Oh! I forgot to rate this recipe with my last comment, so here is my 5 stars ⭐️
    I also want to add that every time I follow an internet recipe, I am usually disappointed. So you get an extra star from me ?

  18. Sorcia says

    LOVE Love Love this recipe. Super simple, so delicious! I don’t even miss the caramel. (Yay!!!!!!!)

    My one caveat would be that the turtles work better smaller for me. Like two bites worth, with the date/almond meal disks being about the size of a Canadian loonie. Otherwise the date mix seems a bit intense.
    Thanks for sharing! ?

  19. Marissa says

    My daughter and I just made these to have as an additional Thanksgiving dessert tomorrow. We doubled the batch and made about 20 turtles. They are absolutely delicious. We used Theo’s 70% dark chocolate baking bars. My mother-in-law said she enjoyed them more than regular store bought turtles. Thank you for a wonderful and easy recipe. I will definitely be making these again before Christmas and giving them as gifts.

  20. Babs says

    Wow, so good. You’ve done it again Dana. I decided to make them smaller as they are quite rich. Left over chocolate, haha! I just piled it on. So yummy. Thank you creative one!

  21. Shannon Brady says

    I kept seeing these on instagram, and after a few days they looked so good I had to make them. They were fantastic and SO EASY! It barely took me 15 to throw them together and they were delicious. The only “meal” I had on hand was flaxseed meal. This left a slightly strange after taste but after firming up in the fridge they tasted great! However, next time I will use the recommended almond meal.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed them, Shannon! Thanks for sharing! Definitely try with almond meal next time =)

  22. Ellie says

    These are so good! I added some kosher salt flakes to the tops of about 2/3 of these, which I thought made them taste even better! I will make these again for my sister’s vegan family when they come into town for the holidays.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed them, Ellie! What a great sister =) Thanks so much for the lovely review!

  23. Jo says

    These were so delish. I just made each “turtle” smaller. So I made about 12. Definitely making again. Thanks for sharing.

  24. Laurence says

    Turtles were my favorite chocolates before I turned vegan and this recipe is very close to the real thing (and even better because I know exactly what’s in it)! I decided to put chocolate on both sides and it was a very good idea. Next time I will do smaller turtles to have the impression I have more!

  25. Karisa Yoder says

    Amazing! Decadent and dreamy! I saw them on Instagram and made them the next day! They were simple to make, and I didn’t even need to use oil for the chocolate (Trader Joe’s Chocolate chips). I’m keeping a batch in the freezer to keep as a treat!

  26. Chantal says

    I just made these and my oh my they are yummy. I used regular chocolate as I didn’t have any vegan chocolate to hand. These are definitely a winner. Thank you!

  27. Lauren says

    After hauling home 7 lbs of Halloween candy, my kids put up a resistance to our “mommy and daddy tax!” Seeing this recipe on Insta, I had to make them for hubby and me…. for after the kids are in bed, because now I’m I the one who’s not sharing! Yummy!!

  28. patricia says

    Allergic to all raw nuts and some roasted – is there another flour that can be substituted for the almond or perhaps use roasted almonds instead?

  29. Amanda says

    Super easy to make and oh so satisfying! I made these as a gift for a family member and I can’t wait for them to try these! Now I’m going to have to make a batch for myself!

  30. Maureen says

    I LOVE turtles but haven’t made them in so long due to the unhealthy ingredients so I’m VERY happy to see this recipe! Can’t wait to make them for Christmas Eve!

    Thanks Dana!

  31. Oce W says

    I just saw these on Instagram, and happened to have all the ingredients therefore I had to make them! They are delicious! I followed recipe exactly. I only was able to bake pecans for 7/8min after burning the first batch, however I used a breville toaster oven, so perhaps that was my problem. Also, I made 16 from the recipe, which were nice bite size! Delicious! Thanks!