An easy, three-ingredient appetizer that is perfect for all your football watch parties and upcoming holiday gatherings! These bacon wrapped dates with goat cheese are the idea combination of sweet, salty, and creamy. I promise, they’re impossible to resist.
Stuffed dates are like little chewy bites of heaven. If you’ve never had a stuffed date before, you’re in for a real treat! Fresh Medjool dates (like the kind of you find in the refrigerated produce section) are truly one of my favorite snacks.
I typically make stuffed dates on the sweeter side. Think.. dates stuffed with peanut butter and chocolate for dessert. But, this time I decided to put a savory spin on the recipe and add goat cheese and bacon for the perfect appetizer. If you’re looking for other appetizer ideas, you should check out my buffalo chicken meatballs or my healthy seven layer dip.
I used ButcherBox bacon when making this recipe. If you have been following me awhile, you know I love buying ButcherBox for all my meat. All the beef is 100% grass-fed & grass-finished and pasture raised, and the pork and chicken are fed a 100% vegetarian diet. I know when I’m buying from ButcherBox, the animals were raised humanely, and I am getting high quality, antibiotic/hormone free meat.
This recipe is perfect because it requires just three ingredients and is ready in about 30 minutes, most of which is hands-off cook time in the oven. Tom and I loved these as an afternoon snack while watching football, but they would even pack well for lunch. No sad desk lunches here!
The combination of the sweetness from the dates, saltiness from the bacon, and creaminess from the goat cheese is irresistible. Add these to your Thanksgiving appetizer rotation. I promise you won’t be disappointed!
All about dates
Where are all my fellow date lovers at!? I feel like dates often get a bad rap because they are high in (natural) sugar. But in reality, dates are actually a very healthy snack.
There are thousands of varieties of dates, but the most popular are Medjool and Deglet Noor. Despite being lumped in with all other dried fruits, dates are actually a fresh fruit! They grow on top of tall date palms and are picked fresh.
Unlike typical dried fruits, dates do not undergo any physical drying. That’s why you’ll find them in the refrigerated produce section at the grocery store. That’s also why they are also so healthy – there are no added sugars or oils since they are not processed. Just be careful of the chopped dates you may find in the baking isle. They may be processed/coated to keep them from sticking together!
Medjool dates are my favorite to buy. They are typically larger and sweeter than Deglet Noor and have a chewier texture.
While dates are high in sugar, it is all natural sugar. They are also high in fiber, which will keep your blood sugar from spiking. Dates are also very high in potassium – more potassium by weight than bananas!
Variations of bacon wrapped dates
This recipe is incredible versatile. I used goat cheese and pork bacon, but do not feel limited by that.
This recipe would be great with blue cheese in place of goat cheese. Or if you’re feeling fancy, you could use an herbed goat cheese.
Don’t eat pork? Feel free to substitute turkey bacon in place! I also think this would be great with proscuitto in place of bacon. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time down, since proscuitto is much thinner than bacon.
A drizzle of honey or maple syrup after cooking would also be delicious if you want some extra sweetness. Be sure to let me know if you get creative. I love seeing what you all come up with!
How to make bacon wrapped dates with goat cheese
One of the best parts of this recipe is how easy these are to make. There are already a million and one things to do around the holidays. No fuss appetizers are 1000000% necessary.
You could even assemble these ahead of time and pop them in the oven right before your guests arrive!
To make these bacon wrapped dates with goat cheese, you’ll need 12 pitted dates. I used the Medjool variety. Make sure they’re pitted! You can always pit them yourself, it will just be a bit more work. You’ll also need 3 oz of goat cheese and 6 large strips of bacon.
To assemble, cut slits in each of your dates and fill with 1-2 tsp of goat cheese, depending on the size of the dates.
Then, roll the stuffed state in bacon. You’ll use 1/2 slice of bacon for each date. Just make sure that the bacon wraps around the date 1.5 times. Stick a toothpick in the middle to hold together.
Lay each date on a parchment covered baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 375F. Flip the dates on their side and bake for another 10 minutes to ensure crispiness.
If bacon is not cooked through after 20 minutes, bake for another 5-10 minutes. Total cook time will depend on the thickness of the bacon. My ButcherBox bacon took about 25 minutes total.
If you liked this recipe, you’ll want to try these!
If you make this recipe, be sure to comment below and let me know how it was! Also tag @erinliveswhole on Instagram and use the hashtag #erinliveswhole so I can see it and feature you!
- 12 pitted dates
- 3 oz goat cheese
- 6 large strips of bacon (I used ButcherBox)
- Preheat oven to 375F and line baking sheet with parchment paper
- Cut slits in dates and fill with 1-2 tsp of goat cheese, depending on size of date
- Roll bacon around stuffed date 1.5 times and stick a toothpick through the middle to hold together
- Lay on baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes
- After 10 minutes, flip dates by laying on their side to ensure crispiness throughout and bake for another 10 minutes
- If bacon still isn’t cooked, let cook for another 5-10 minutes. This will depend on the thickness of the bacon. My ButcherBox bacon took about 25 minutes.
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