Bacon Wrapped Dates with Goat Cheese are the simplest holiday appetizer. Par-cook the bacon, stuff the dates with goat cheese, and wrap the bacon around the date, securing with a toothpick. Top them with brown sugar before baking, for that extra little sweet and salty flavor hit. So easy, so delicious!
This appetizer really is the easiest of recipes, and a real crowd pleaser. My family LOVES anything with bacon, and you probably do too. Bacon is normally used sparingly in our home, but it’s obviously a great party ingredient. While you can definitely use just 1/2 of a slice of bacon for each date, I decided to go big and use the entire slice. I mean, why not?
Ingredients needed for for Bacon Wrapped Dates with Goat Cheese:
- Bacon – You’ll need one pound of thinly sliced bacon.
- Dates – My package of bacon had 18 slices, so I used 18 dates. Make sure they are fresh dates with the pits removed.
- Goat Cheese – You can use the crumbled goat cheese or the goat cheese log. Both work equally well.
- Brown Sugar – Sprinkle some on top of the bacon, for a blast of flavor. Optional, of course.
- Toothpicks – These will be used to secure the bacon to the dates.
How to make Bacon Wrapped Dates with Goat Cheese:
You might consider doubling this recipe for a large group. They go quickly!
- Par-cook the bacon. Line a baking sheet with foil, and top with a baking rack. Lay the bacon on top, just slightly overlapping to allow for all the bacon to be cooked at one time. Bake in a 400 degree preheated oven for about 25 minutes, or until bacon is almost fully cooked. You want it to be pliable enough to wrap around the dates without tearing. Remove the bacon to some double layered paper towel to soak up some of the grease.
- Stuff the dates. Take one date at a time, and stuff it full of goat cheese, pushing as much as you can into the opening.
- Attach the bacon. Wrap one full slice of bacon around each date several times and secure with a toothpick. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake. Bake the dates on 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes, or until nice and golden brown. Add a sprinkle of brown sugar about half-way through. (This step if optional.) Don’t over-bake.
- Serve. Serve warm. You can pre-make these, and bake them the final minutes right at party time.
Why do you par-cook the bacon?
Par-cooking the bacon allows you to eliminate some of the grease for these appetizers, and since we’re using an entire slice for each date, the bacon is able to be fully cooked. If you don’t par-cook it, the result will be a greasy, raw mess. We don’t want that!
Adding Brown Sugar: These pictures do not include the brown sugar (because I simply forgot to add it). But they are good with or without. The brown sugar adds a hint of sweet, and the combo of sweet and salty is pretty amazing. You could also add brown sugar to some of the dates and leave the rest plain.
Other Variations to this recipe:
- Stuff the dates with other cheeses, like cream cheese, blue cheese, or a touch of brie.
- Wrap the dates with prosciutto or turkey bacon, instead of regular bacon.
- Stuff the dates with almonds INSTEAD of cheese.
- Use half slice of bacon instead of an entire slice. Unless you just REALLY love bacon. 😀
Try these appetizers next! Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers
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Bacon Wrapped Dates with Goat Cheese
- 1 pound bacon – 18 thinly slices
- 18 dates – with pits removed
- 4 oz. goat cheese
- sprinkle of brown sugar – optional, see blog post
- Par-cook the bacon. Line a baking sheet with foil, place a baking rack on top, followed by the thinly sliced bacon. The bacon will need to be partially overlapped but should cook fine this way. Cook at 400 degrees for approximately 25 minutes, or until almost fully cooked. Remove from oven and place on paper towel to absorb some of the grease.
- Stuff the dates with goat cheese, using your fingers to push as much as you can into the opening.
- Wrap one slice of bacon around each date, securing with a toothpick. Place on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Reduce oven temp to 350 degrees, and bake for about 15 – 20 minutes. You can also add a sprinkle of brown sugar to the top of the dates, about halfway through the baking time.
- Serve immediately.
- These dates can be pre-made, up until the last step of baking for 15-20 minutes. Just store the pre-made dates in the refrigerator, covered.