You've probably eaten dried figs at some point (y’know, in a trail mix, on a cheese platter, as part of a granola bar), but there’s really nothing like the taste of juicy, ripe, fresh figs. In season during the first weeks of summer through early fall, they aren’t just incredibly tasty (and lower in sugar than their dried counterparts); they’re also high sources of fiber and calcium. Delicious in sweet or savory dishes, perfect with chocolate or with chicken, these candy-like fruits are seriously underrated. It’s about time we took a minute to give them the appreciation they deserve.

Breakfast

Photo: Recipe Runner

You’ll find fresh, figgy flavor both inside the oatmeal mixture and on top of it in this recipe, which is a delicious departure from the more common banana or blueberry add-ins. The sweet fruit pairs well with crunchy pistachios, and warm vanilla adds flavor to the hearty grains. It’s a delicious way to stay full for hours.

Photo: The Almond Eater

“Fig compote” may sound complicated, but with this recipe, it takes a speedy 10 minutes to make. Tuck it between the stack of eggy French toast and soft layers of ricotta, and there’s a good chance you won’t want to eat anything else for breakfast ever again.

Photo: Green & Gin

Figs may be a topping for this pudding, but they’re so much more than just a pretty garnish. Providing extra sweetness and a bit of a crunch against the chewier chia seeds, they’re easy on the eyes and on the taste buds.

Photo: Sweet C's Designs

This is no regular fruit salad, but it’s also far from difficult to make. Dress up figs with some goat cheese, honey, and pine nuts, and you’ve got a two-minute breakfast that still manages to provide protein, healthy fat, and fiber.

Photo: The Roasted Root

Don’t want to put effort into making a homemade fig jam? Roast the fruit instead—it’s a much easier way to get it ooey gooey and even sweeter than usual. In this pretty parfait, it works perfectly with the bitterness of the walnuts and the tartness of the Greek yogurt.

Photo: My New Roots

If you can’t find carob, cocoa powder should work fine for the chocolaty flavor in these muffins. Smartly sweetened with coconut sugar, applesauce, and figs, they’re a much healthier breakfast option than your average bakery muffin.

Appetizers and Salads

Photo: Cali Girl Cooking

Creamy burrata oozes over the arugula, figs, and hazelnuts in this simple but satisfying salad. It looks totally gourmet but hardly takes any time to put together—and requires only four main ingredients.

Photo: Aberdeen's Kitchen

Why mess with a classic combo? With slices of gorgonzola melted onto crusty bread and topped with figs, fresh herbs, and honey, this appetizer is a guaranteed hit.

Photo: Flavour and Savour

Dried fruit can sneakily add more sugar to a salad than you probably want. An easy fix? Use fresh instead. This salad calls for figs and blackberries, which add plenty of natural sweetness to balance out the savory goat cheese and walnuts.

Photo: Foraged Dish

The sautéed, garlicky butternut squash and caramelized figs give this wilted spinach salad so much flavor, it doesn’t even need dressing, making your life a lot easier. Plus, unlike most fig salads, which almost always call for some kind of cheese, this one is suitable for dairy-free and Paleo eaters.

Photo: Every Last Bite

Fire up your grill (or just heat up the indoor one) for this fun version of food-on-a-stick. We’re putting it in the appetizer section, but these tender steak and fig skewers are just as delicious as a main meal or on top of a salad.

Main Dishes

Photo: How Sweet Eats

The produce this recipe calls for is best in the summer, but you can really make this recipe any time of year—and trust us, you’ll want to. Ingredients such as cherry tomatoes, figs, basil, and white wine don’t usually find their way into one dish, but when they’re stirred into a risotto and topped with Parmesan, the creative combination just works.

Photo: Spoon Fork Bacon

With pancetta and Parmesan, this recipe might sound like a carbonara, but a closer look reveals it’s much lighter than the traditionally heavy pasta. Instead of egg yolks, figs and arugula lift up the dish with their fresh flavors, while red pepper flakes add a kick and lemon brightens everything up.

Photo: Little Broken

A low-maintenance version of a pizza, this one goes for ready-made flatbread and forgoes the sauce in favor of a caramelized onion and crumbled feta topping. Fresh figs placed on top are a gorgeous finish and give the dish that ideal balance of sweet with the savory.

Photo: Karmelowy

If you’re wary about pairing chicken with fruit, this dish might convince you that it works well. The baked figs add just enough fruity flavor, but the zingy, herby Dijon and garlic glaze ensures things don’t get overly sweet (scroll down for the English version of the recipe!).

Photo: To Her Core

Socca (basically a crispy chickpea pancake) is the perfect base for a topping of fresh figs and Parmesan cheese. Call this the perfect gluten-free alternative to pizza or just a delicious, simple meal in its own right.

Photo: The Homemade Haus

The fig-prosciutto-goat cheese trifecta is often spotted on appetizer platters, but this recipe nestles it between slices of crusty bread, making the ingredients main-meal worthy. Forget the BLTs and the grilled cheeses—this sweet, savory, melty, cheesy panini is in a league of its own.

Desserts

Photo: Sybille Pouzet

No need to fuss with whipping up a custard for these no-bake tarts. A simple homemade vanilla syrup mixed with fresh fruit is a much easier and much lighter filling—and goes perfectly with the nut-based crusts.

Photo: Wife Mama Foodie

Almond butter and coconut milk make these popsicles super decadent but not too sweet, so the fresh fig chunks are a great way to cut the richer flavors and add some natural sugar. Also, look how pretty!

Photo: Real and Vibrant

Any fruit dipped in chocolate is amazing, so expect nothing less from this dessert, where fig halves are dipped in melted dark chocolate chips and chilled until that “magic shell" forms. For extra wow factor, sprinkle almonds over top.

Photo: The Endless Meal

Making the fig jam here requires 10 minutes or so of stirring, but it’s so worth it. And it’s lower in sugar than a store-bought version. Slather between two crumbly, coconutty layers for a rustic sweet treat you can enjoy with your morning coffee, your afternoon snack, your post-dinner dessert… basically whenever.

Photo: Knead to Cook

Fig Newtons seem healthy, but they’re surprisingly full of not-so-nutritious ingredients such as enriched wheat flour, high-fructose corn syrup, and partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil. Revisit the childhood favorite in healthier way with this recipe, which involves a dough of gluten-free oats and walnuts and a figgy filling made even more chewy with heart-healthy chia seeds.

Photo: The Alimental Sage

Sure, there’s a generous amount of butter in this recipe, but for good reason: gooey, fudgy, chewy results. The recipe also calls for coconut sugar, oat flour instead of white, dark chocolate, and fresh figs baked right into the batter, so there are still plenty of ingredients to keep this in the “healthier desserts” category.

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