Dried fruits can be contentious: Some love them for deep, concentrated fruit flavor. Others find the texture off-putting. But dried fruits, if used correctly, can add a nuanced sweetness to different types of dishes, from savory main courses to desserts.

Below, you’ll find some recipes featuring commonly available dried fruits such as raisins, dates, dried apricots, dried cranberries and figs. While you can definitely get dried fruits of other varieties — think blueberries and cherries — they tend to be harder to find.

Roasted Eggplant With Fresh Mozzarella, Tomatoes, Pickled Raisins and Mint. Raisins, both dark and golden varieties, perhaps get the most hate out of the dried fruits. I get it: I’m not really a fan of them. But when rehydrated, their flavor disperses throughout the dish, and they become plump and pleasant. In this recipe, they’re pickled, which makes them delicious to even notable raisin-hater Joe Yonan.

Want more raisins? Try Oatmeal Raisin Cookies or Picadillo.


Sticky Toffee Pudding. Dates are prized for their chewy, sticky texture and their intense sweetness — if nature made candy, it would be a date. Dates are the foundation for these soft, warm British puddings. Serve with a little vanilla-flavored whipped cream or ice cream.


Apricot and Red Lentil Soup. Golden dried apricots make a great snack and wonderful addition to many other dishes. In this simple, pantry-friendly soup, dried apricots deliver a hint of brightness.


Figs With Goat Cheese, Pistachios and Mint. People wait in anticipation for the fleeting fig season, but dried figs are a treat, too! Stuff with goat cheese, adorn with a pistachio and sprinkle with some mint for this lovely appetizer.


Holiday Granola. Dried cranberries are overlooked! Their raw counterpart may be too sour for many, but dehydrating them mellows out their pucker and makes them a tasty snack. An excellent addition to salads and autumnal grain bowls, they also add a tart touch to this homemade, wintry-themed granola. Their cheery red color, coupled with crystallized ginger, warm spices such as cinnamon, and maple syrup, makes this a tasty morning treat — and a giftable one at that. You could also make granola in cookie form with these Granola Cookies, also featuring dried cranberries.


Fruit and Nut Energy Bars. And, of course, you can mix and match to your heart’s content. These energy bars use a mix of dates, raisins and dried apricots, but you can use what you like and have on hand.

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