Updated: Aug 7, 2021
This sweet and savory appetizer is always a crowd-pleasing favorite. Big, Medjool dates are pitted and halved, then stuffed with creamy herb cheese and wrapped in smoky bacon. They can be made in advance so you can have these little gems stored away in the freezer for your next grazing party!
Recipe adapted from You've Got it Made by Diane Phillips, Page 35
Bacon-wrapped dates are always a must-have appetizer at our house for Thanksgiving. I traditionally make these with blue cheese and sometimes I swap out the dates for dried figs. When I was thinking about an appetizer to have with our Family Date Night Dinner, this one came to mind. I swapped out the blue cheese for a creamy, non-dairy herb cheese so that it was compliant with my dairy restrictions. They were amazing. I did find that the non-dairy cheese was a bit softer and melted much more quickly than other cheeses. I put the finished dates in the freezer for about an hour before baking. This firmed up the cheese and kept it from melting out before the bacon was crispy.
Feel free to get creative and use a variety of cheeses to your liking. Try these nuggets with sharp, white cheddar, Maytag, Gorgonzola, or parmesan.
This recipe makes 32 appetizers.
To make this a complete Family Date Night Dinner of your own, please see my posts for Peach Bellini Slush, Cabernet Short Ribs with "Parmesan" Polenta, and Oven Smore's.
Let’s get cooking!
11 strips of bacon (I used Pederson's Uncured No Sugar Hickory Smoked Bacon, which is gluten-free)
16 Medjool dates pitted and halved
1/2 cup of crumbled soft cheese, such as Maytag or Gorgonzola (I used Miyoko's Semi-Soft Double Cream Garlic Herb, which is dairy-free)
How to make:
Please be sure to reference: You've Got it Made for the source recipe and original cooking instructions.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, a silicone baking liner, or a roasting rack.
Lay the bacon on the baking sheet and cook for 5 minutes per side, until it has rendered some of the fat, but is still pliable. Drain on paper towels.
Cut each strip into thirds and lay it on a cutting board.
Fill the date halve pockets with about 1 teaspoon of crumbled cheese.
Place the fig, filling side down, in the center of a bacon slice. Roll the bacon around the date, securing with a toothpick. Repeat this process with the remaining bacon, cheese, and dates.
Place the dates on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze for 1-2 hours before baking.
Bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until the bacon is crisp.
Remove from the oven and serve warm.
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If you are making these ahead of time, freeze them on parchment-lined baking sheets until they are completely frozen. Remove from the pan and place in a gallon storage bag. Bake them directly from frozen, adding 10 minutes or so to their baking time.