Bacon Wrapped Dates With Goat Cheese and Basil
These bacon wrapped dates stuffed with creamy whipped goat cheese and fresh basil just might become your new favorite appetizer! They’re easy to make, with only 4 ingredients.
You’ll love the tasty combination of savory, crispy bacon paired with sweet dates, tangy chevre cheese and peppery fresh basil. Check out the easy recipe for more flavorful variations, including dates stuffed with Brie, Boursin cheese, blue cheese, cream cheese or ricotta plus three sweet glaze options.
If you love hors d’oeuvres with the savory flavor of bacon, be sure to check out our roundup of 52 Best Bacon Appetizers!
Why This Recipe is Worth Making
- These tasty hors d’oeuvres are easy to make and serve.
- The ingredients are readily available at most grocery stores.
- People go crazy for these delicious small bites!
- Mix up the flavors with one of our 7 variations (see below).
Types of Dates
These are some of the common date varieties dates you might find at the grocery store:
Medjool – The most widely available dates, Medjools are generally very sweet and may be a little sticky.
Deglet or Deglet Noor – the second most common date, these are a little less sweet than Medjool dates and are often sold pitted.
Halawi or Halawy – These medium-sized dates have a sweet, honey flavor.
Any commonly-available date will work perfectly for this recipe!
Ingredients and Substitutions
Here are the ingredients we used for these goat cheese stuffed dates wrapped in bacon:
Regular sliced bacon – The standard strips are thin and flexible, perfect for wrapping. They’ll cook faster than thick sliced bacon, which helps not to overcook the dates.
Dates – The dates I used for this recipe are organic Deglet dates. You can use whatever dates are available in your area.
Goat cheese – Also known as chevre, the flavor of goat cheese ranges from mild to very tangy, with a texture that can be smooth or crumbly. If yours is more on the crumbly side, you can add a little milk to the cheese to make a spreadable mixture.
Fresh basil leaves – You’ll need about 24 small basil leaves (one for each appetizer), or the equivalent of larger leaves that you can cut or tear. During cold-weather months, look for live basil plants in the produce section, or small packages containing the fresh leaves.
- Cutting board
- Sharp knife
- Small bowl
- Paper towels
- Baking Sheet
- Aluminum foil
Step by Step Instructions
- Cut the dates in half lengthwise using a sharp knife. Remove the pit, if necessary.
Mash up the goat cheese in a small bowl (add a little milk if necessary), and whip it with a fork until fluffy. Spread it on the halved dates, and top one half with a basil leaf.
Arrange the bacon strips on double layers of paper towels.
Pre-cook the bacon strips in the microwave for about 90 seconds on high, to render some of the fat.
Wrap the stuffed dates with bacon strips overlapping by about 1/2 inch. Secure with toothpicks.
Arrange the appetizers on the foil-lined baking sheet and cook at 375 degrees F, turning once during cooking, until crispy and browned, about 20-25 minutes.
Drain on paper towels and serve warm.
Pro Recipe Tips
The dates can be fully assembled up to 24 hours in advance and refrigerated until you’re ready to bake them.
Soak the toothpicks in water for 1 hour (drain on paper towels before using) if you don’t want them to darken during baking.
You can also remove the toothpicks that were used during baking and replace them with fancy bamboo cocktail picks for serving if you like.
Instead of goat cheese, try stuffing these bacon wrapped dates stuffed with any of these cheeses. Bring to room temperature first for easier spreading:
- Brie or Camembert cheese
- Boursin cheese
- Blue cheese
- Ricotta cheese
- Softened cream Cheese
Sweet Glaze Options
Brown sugar – Sprinkle the appetizers with light or dark brown sugar on both sides before baking.
Apricot jam – Heat apricot jam in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir until melted. Brush the appetizers with the jam before baking.
Honey – Drizzle the cooked appetizers with honey before serving.
How to Store Leftovers
While we’ve never had any leftover bacon wrapped dates, it could happen. Wrap them tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat at 375 F degrees until hot, about 10 minutes.
Where can I find dates in the grocery store? This is such a good straight line, but we’ll resist saying “hang around the wine coolers on a Saturday night” and instead recommend that you look near the shelves of nuts and dried fruits. The other common place stores feature dates is in the fresh produce department.
Can you freeze bacon wrapped dates? Yes, the cooked bacon wrapped dates will freeze well. I suggest omitting the fresh basil, as the leaves will blacken when frozen. To freeze, wrap tightly and store in the freezer for up to 1 month. Allow the appetizers to thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat in a 375 F degree oven until hot, about 10 minutes.
What to serve with bacon wrapped dates?These hors d’oeuvres are perfect for a party, on a buffet table, or as an accompaniment to cocktails. Since they have rich flavors, you might serve them with a colorful tray of crisp fresh veggies for contrast.
When in Doubt, Wrap It In Bacon!
If you love wrapping things in delicious bacon, you might enjoy our delicious recipe for Bacon Wrapped Little Smokies!
Got questions? Just ask! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this bacon wrapped dates recipe, I’d be thrilled if you clicked the little stars above and gave the recipe a 5-star rating.
Nutrition Disclaimer: All nutritional information shared on this site is an approximation. I am not a certified nutritionist, and any nutritional information should be used as a general guideline.
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Bacon Wrapped Dates With Goat Cheese and Basil
- 24 large dates, pitted
- 3 ounces goat cheese
- 24 fresh basil leaves
- 12 strips regular sliced bacon (about 1 pound)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the dates lengthwise almost in half without cutting all the way through, removing any pit if needed. Spread the dates open.
- In a small bowl, mash the goat cheese with a fork until smooth. If necessary, you can add a few drops of milk to achieve a smooth consistency.
- Spread the inside of the dates with the goat cheese. Top one half of each date with a basil leaf and close the dates.
- Arrange the bacon slices on double layers of paper towels and microwave on High for 90 seconds to render some of the fat and pre-cook.
- Cut the bacon strips in half. Wrap each date in a piece of precooked bacon, trimming to allow 1/2 inch excess. Skewer with a toothpick to hold in place. Arrange on the foil lined baking sheet.
- Cook for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, flip the appetizers over and continue cooking until crispy and golden brown, about 10 to 15 additional minutes.
- Drain on paper towels and serve warm. Makes about 24 pieces.
- Make ahead: The dates can be fully assembled up to 24 hours in advance and refrigerated until you’re ready to bake them.