You’re just three ingredients away from making these crowd-pleasing Bacon Wrapped Dates with Cheese. Filled with savoury, creamy cheese these salty/sweet appetizers are always a guaranteed hit at any party.
To my dear readers: This post was photographed and written before many areas in the world were hit hard with yet another covid variant, including ours. In our home, there will be no parties or big celebrations but I will still be serving these festive, much-loved little bites for our tiny gathering. If you need a little seasonal cheer, these bacon wrapped dates with cheese will help.
As always, thank you for being here and I wish you very safe and happy holiday. And if you are celebrating, have a very Merry Christmas.
Here is a last minute, three ingredient, finger food that is easy to prep and perhaps the hugest crowd-pleaser of all time. Also known as Devils on Horseback, bacon wrapped dates are as retro as a finger food can get, but so addictive and tasty they have never gone out of style. Sweet, salty, and crispy, they’re the perfect finger food for a cocktail party or for a New Year’s Eve gathering. Make plenty because they go like hot cakes.
Bacon Wrapped Dates With Cheese Recipe
Mejdool dates wrapped in salty, smoky bacon and baked until gooey soft on the inside and crispy on the outside, are insanely delicious without needing to fill the dates with anything. However, fill those sweet dates with a creamy, savoury cheese, and/or crunchy nuts, and you can bet there is no other hors d’oeuvres that will be consumed faster.
Because it’s the holidays, I thought it would be fun to fill the dates with three types of cheeses. Goat cheese is the creamiest which makes it easy to fill the date. But I also love the intense flavour of blue cheese and the salty feta contrasting with the sweet dates. Use just one cheese, if that’s easier – you can’t go wrong either way.
For maximum deliciousness, always serve them warm.
How To Make Bacon Wrapped Dates With Cheese
With only 3 ingredients, these delightful little bites are fun to serve and couldn’t be easier to make.
Here is the step-by-step:
- Cut a shallow slit on the dates lengthwise, pry open with your fingers and remove the pits.
- With a spoon or small knife, fill some of the dates with the goat cheese. If also using feta and blue cheese, which are a little crumbly, I find it easier if you use your fingers to fill the dates. Don’t overfill them; you want to be able to gently squeeze the dates shut (but don’t worry if they don’t close all the way).
- Wrap each filled date in a half piece of bacon, stretching the bacon slightly if necessary. Secure the end with a toothpick and place on a baking sheet.
- Bake the dates in a preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, flipping once halfway through. If you prefer the bacon a little crispier, bake for 5 to 8 minutes longer. Let the dates cool for at least 10 minutes (they will be HOT) before serving.
What dates are best to use for bacon wrapped dates?
I like to use large Mejdool Dates which are reliably sweet and plump. Make sure you buy the ones with the pit. Pitted dates are convenient, but they will not be as fresh and sticky sweet as the ones with the pit still in them.
What bacon is best?
A thin, stretchy bacon is best to use here so you can wrap it easily around the date. I would avoid thick-cut bacon which will not wrap well and is just too much bacon for the small date.
Can I make bacon wrapped dates ahead?
You can assemble the bacon wrapped dates ahead of time, place them on a large platter or baking sheet, cover with plastic, and refrigerate for up to 2 days ahead. Bake the assembled dates just before you are ready to serve them.
How do I get the bacon really crispy?
First, use thin bacon. Secondly, don’t wrap the date with bacon too many times or the inner layers won’t get crispy. Thirdly, bake the dates in a 375º oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Crispy perfection.
What else can I stuff in bacon wrapped dates?
I have stuffed the dates with pitted Manzanillo olives, nuts (due to their size and shape, almonds work best), and other cheeses such Boursain, Manchego, or Applewood Smoked Cheddar. You can also combine any of the suggested ingredients such as olives and cheese – so, so good!
How To Store Leftovers
Bacon wrapped dates with cheese are best served as soon as you bake them. And quite frankly, it is unlikely you would ever have leftovers. But if you do, you can store them, covered, in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
A great idea is to chop them up and serve them cold in a salad. To serve warm, reheat gently in the oven until warmed through.
Other Appetizers To Try
Baked Fontina with Herbs and Hot Honey
Bacon Wrapped Dates with Cheese
- 24 Medjool dates (there is enough cheese for up to 50 dates)
- 2 ounces goat cheese
- 2 ounces blue cheese (or use all goat cheese)
- 2 ounces feta (or use all goat or blue cheese)
- 12 slices of bacon (not thick-cut), cut in half crosswise
- Preheat the oven to 375˚F (190˚C). Line one, or two, large rimmed baking sheet(s) with parchment paper.
- Cut a shallow slit on the dates lengthwise; make sure you don't slice all the way through. Pry open with your fingers and remove the pits.
- With a small knife, fill 1/3 of the dates with the goat cheese. Fill another 1/3 of the dates with the blue cheese, and the last 1/3 with the feta cheese. Tip: Because the blue cheese and feta are a bit crumbly, it is easier to use your fingers to fill the dates. Don't overfill them; you want to be able to gently squeeze the dates shut (but don't worry if they don't close all the way).
- Wrap each filled date in a half piece of bacon, stretching the bacon slightly if necessary. Secure the end with a toothpick and place on prepared baking sheet.
- At this point, if making ahead, the dates can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 1 day before baking.
- Bake the dates for 25 to 30 minutes, flipping once halfway through. If you prefer the bacon a little crispier, bake for 5 to 8 minutes longer. Let the dates cool for at least 10 to 15 minutes (they will be HOT) before serving.
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