Perfect for the holidays, my pomegranate dark chocolate holiday bark is made with slivered almonds and sea salt. The perfect simple dessert!
I love a quick and easy dessert recipe for the holidays. While I have big baking days I also love having a quick go-to, easy, crowd-pleasing treat I can make in a pinch. This holiday bark does all of that!
Honestly, I can eat chocolate bark just by itself but sprinkle with almonds, sweet pomegranate arils and just a pinch of finishing salt– you have something that's beautiful, delicious and easy to make.
You can make this bark in the morning and have it set and ready to go by the afternoon or evening. No fuss kind of dessert! It does have fresh fruit (pomegranate arils) so you want to eat within a few days. If you want something that lasts longer you can omit the pomegranate (although it is such an amazing flavor with the chocolate) and use chopped dried cranberries.
To add even more holiday colors you can swap the almonds with pistachios which will taste just as good, possibly better depending on how much you love pistachios. 😉
Pomegranate Chocolate Bark
- 1/2 cup pomegranate arils
- 16 oz dark chocolate chips or discs
- parchment paper
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- Remove arils from pomegranate if necessary.
- In a double boiler melt chocolate, stirring frequently, until smooth (be careful not to burn the chocolate). Option to melt chocolate in microwave stirring every 30 seconds until melted.
- Line a sheet pan w/ parchment paper. Pour chocolate onto sheet pan.
- Sprinkle evenly w/ pomegranate arils, sliced almonds and sea salt.
- Place sheet pan in refrigerator until bark is solid (~1 hour).
- Once solid, loosely break into ~2x2” pieces.
- Store in refrigerator in small container or resealable bag.
What is the nutrition like in this holiday bark?
This holiday bark is clearly a treat and there's nothing wrong with consuming a holiday treat or two without giving a single thought to the nutrition.
But, since this is a healthier dessert made with relatively clean ingredients, I'd like to highlight the nutritional benefits provided by a few of the ingredients:
Pomegranate Arils (Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate, Potassium, Antioxidants)
In addition to vitamin C and vitamin K, pomegranates are rich in a powerful antioxidant called punicalagins and another highly beneficial plant compound known as punicic acid. Pomegranates are highly anti-inflammatory and may help fight cancer, lower blood pressure and even improve athletic performance.
Dark Chocolate (Antioxidants)
Full of antioxidants, dark chocolate is good for your heart and may even help lower blood pressure. Interestingly, consuming chocolate alongside milk may make it harder for your body to use the antioxidants found in chocolate so consider choosing dairy free chocolate!
Almonds (Magnesium, Vitamin E, Potassium)
Almonds are good for your heart and also help lower LDL cholesterol. Furthermore, one serving of almonds also has as much calcium as 1/4 cup of milk!
Is this a good make ahead Christmas dessert?
Yes! Pomegranate bark is perfect for the holidays and, like all Prep Dish recipes, designed to prep ahead. To make the holiday bark even more festive, try using chopped pistachios or pepitas in place of slivered almonds for a red and green twist.
If you want to enjoy within the week, make the bark and store in the fridge. If you'd like to make the bark a few weeks ahead, store in the freezer! Transfer the bark to the fridge a couple of days before you plan to serve. I love having a few holiday recipes ready to go in the freezer to make the holiday season that much easier.
Want more prep-ahead holiday recipes? Check out my holiday e-cookbook for 24 prep-ahead gluten free recipes, perfect for the holidays!
What are some variations on this gluten free chocolate dessert?
My chocolate pomegranate bark really lends itself to experimentation. Your imagination is the limit when choosing toppings to sprinkle on. Here are a few topping combinations I think would be particularly delicious:
- Peppermint extract & cacao nibs – Nothing is more festive during the holiday season than the combination of chocolate and peppermint! Add half a teaspoon of peppermint extract to the chocolate mixture. Top with cacao nibs for a bit of crunch. You could also add some crushed candy canes on top if you like!
- Chopped dried pineapple & coconut – Try a tropical twist! This would be a fun variation if you're making the chocolate bark in the summer. Chopped macadamia nuts would be a tasty addition to this variation as well.
- Chopped peanuts: Keep it simple with chopped peanuts OR use peanuts and dried cherries for a pb&j vibe. (If you love the combination of chocolate & peanuts, check out my homemade peanut butter cups recipe too!)
- Chopped dried ginger: Chewy, spicy dried ginger perfectly offsets the sweetness of the chocolate!
- Instant Coffee: I'm personally pretty sensitive to caffein but if you're a coffee-lover, try adding a teaspoon or so of instant coffee or espresso powder to the chocolate mixture. This would be so good with chopped hazelnuts on top!
For all of these versions, I recommend adding a few sprinkles of flaky sea salt on top, unless you're using salted nuts. A bit of salt really elevates the flavor!
More Recipes Using Pomegranate
As I mentioned above, pomegranate really is a superstar ingredient, nutritionally speaking. It's also beautiful, festive and quite delicious. Not sure what to do with the lovely little arils? Here are a few of my favorite recipes using pomegranate, all perfect for the holidays or any time.
I'm mostly a wine drinker but when I do want something a little extra special, especially around the holidays, this is one of my go-to cocktail recipes.
With only 5 ingredients, it's quite simple but has plenty of flavor from the fresh rosemary. You can also make a big batch of it so it's perfect for holiday parties!
This just might be the simplest recipe on the blog. Just two ingredients!
In my book, that makes it perfect for the holiday season when things are super hectic and there's more cooking and meal prep to do than ever.
This lovely little fruit salad makes a beautiful accompaniment for a holiday breakfast or brunch. Or, serve as a lighter dessert option! Who says simple can't be festive?
Lastly, pomegranate arils are the perfect addition to a fall or winter salad. The pop of juicy flavor makes even a simple lunch salad feel a little bit special. My harvest kale salad also makes a perfect addition to a holiday feast. Kale salads really lend themselves to meal prep as the kale leaves don't wilt like other types of salad greens.