Bacon makes everything better, and that goes for fruit as well. This recipe for bacon-wrapped dates will not only turn dates into a delicious appetizer, but it will also get you to start eating those sweet little dates.
For even more easy-to-make appetizers this holiday season, make sure to check out this Popcorn Shrimp recipe! Or make your own Caprese Skewers with Balsamic Drizzle!
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Bacon Wrapped Dates
Dates aren’t the most popular food, especially when offered as an appetizer. However, if you pair some dates with everyone’s favorite meaty snack, bacon, then it suddenly becomes not only super delicious but also entirely different.
Though it might seem strange to pair bacon with fruit, definitely give this recipe a try and make some sweet, savory, and salty snacks that are perfect for your next party.
How To Pit Your Dates
Most dates that you buy in stores tend to have the stones already removed. If you can find pitted dates, it is best to choose these as they will save you a lot of hassle having to pit them yourselves.
Luckily if your only option is to pit your own dates, there are a few tricks that can make the process easier.
One method is to use a chopstick to push the stone out from the middle of the date. Hold the date between your thumb and forefinger, and with a chopstick in the other hand, push the chopstick from one of the narrow ends of the date to the other. The stone should fall out of the other end as the chopstick works its way through.
It might take a few dates to get the hang of this method, but after that, you should be able to work through the rest quickly.
If you don’t have chopsticks in your kitchen, another option is to use a paring knife to slice down the center of the date carefully. Try to keep the cut as small as possible, just under 1/2 centimeter, while still being able to push the stone out when squeezing it between two fingers.
Do You Have To Use Maple Bacon?
Maple bacon can be difficult to find and expensive outside of North America. Luckily if you live in Europe or anywhere else where maple products are not so common, there are other options that you can use.
When choosing your bacon for this recipe, look out for words like sweet, honey, and brown sugar in the description. If all you can find is smoked bacon, this will also work, but you may want to use a little extra maple syrup when brushing your wrapped dates.
What Are Some Other Alternatives To Goat’s Cheese?
Goat’s cheese is best when making bacon-wrapped dates thanks to its soft consistency and earthy flavors. However, this does not mean you must use goat’s cheese when making bacon-wrapped dates.
There are several other kinds of cheese that you can try with your wrapped dates.
- Cream Cheese
When trying different types of cheese, it is best to stick with soft cheese as these are the easiest to pipe into your dates. Cream cheese has an even softer texture than goat’s cheese, making it a great alternative when making this recipe.
One of the nice things about cream cheese is that it has a very mild taste, allowing you to season it as you wish. You could add a spoon of Greek yogurt for a tangy flavor or a little lemon juice for freshness. You could also add dry spices to add a layer of extra flavor.
- Feta Cheese
Feta cheese is made using a mixture of sheep and goat milk and has a soft crumbly texture. Due to their similarities, feta and goat’s cheese are often used interchangeably in salads.
Feta cheese has a much harder texture than goat’s cheese, so using the piping method to stuff your dates could prove challenging. A much easier option is to cut the feta into small cubes and place one or two inside each date. The feta will gradually melt in the oven, and the cube texture will not be noticeable while eating.
One thing to consider if you use feta instead of goat’s cheese is that it is brined and therefore is much saltier. To help balance out the dish’s overall taste, use bacon with a low salt content.
- Ricotta Cheese
Ricotta cheese shares many of the same features as goat’s cheese, making it a great alternative for this recipe. Both kinds of cheese have a very soft consistency, making them ideal for piping into dates.
Ricotta is known for its mild profile and is one of the reasons why it is typically paired with more robust flavors in dishes. It does, however, have a slightly nutty taste which pairs well with the dates and can help to balance out some of the sweetness from the maple syrup.
Looking for more delicious Appetizers and Snacks recipes? Try these out:
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Bacon Wrapped Dates
- Prep Time
- 16 minutes
- Cook Time
- 15 minutes
- Karlynn Johnston
- 20 dates (pits removed)
- ½ cup goat cheese
- 10 slices thin maple bacon (cut in half)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley (for garnish)
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Coat a sheet pan with parchment paper or cooking spray
- Use a small spoon or a piping bag to stuff each date with about 1 teaspoon of goat cheese. Press each date closed.
- Wrap each date in a piece of bacon and secure it with a toothpick.
- Take the small dish of maple syrup and brush it all over the wrapped dates.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes, until the bacon is browned and crispy.
- Sprinkle with parsley then serve immediately.
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.