My favorite bacon-wrapped dates recipe is made with (actually!) crispy bacon, tender Medjool dates, and stuffed with your choice of cheese. Easy to make and always a party favorite!
Bacon-wrapped dates. ♡
I’ve made this 3-ingredient easy appetizer more times than I can count for happy hours, dinner parties, holiday gatherings…you name it. It’s one of those recipes that magically works for just about any occasion and is always guaranteed to be a crowd favorite. And I personally just find that sweet-savory-smoky flavor combo to be perfection. That said, I’ve developed a few opinions over the years about what takes a bacon-wrapped dates recipe from good to GREAT. So today I thought I would pop back in and give my decade-old recipe here a few modern updates!
First off, we’ve all officially gotta commit from now on to taking an extra 10 minutes to pre-cook the bacon before wrapping it around the dates. Otherwise, the bacon never has time to fully cook and crisp up while baking wrapped around the dates (or you end up having to bake the dates so long that the cheese burns or oozes out), which is a tragedy that can easily be avoided. Simply pre-cook the bacon in the oven, or you can cheat and buy that pre-cooked soft bacon that’s available in most stores nowadays.
Second, continuing on with the crispy bacon soapbox, the stuffed dates must be flipped halfway through baking so that each side can get evenly cooked. I’ve experimented with a number of flipping methods over the years and have found it’s simply easiest to poke the toothpick all the way through the date, which makes it easy to grab and quickly turn over.
Third, use a good-quality cheese. You only need a small amount for this recipe, but a richly-flavored cheese makes such a difference in balancing out the flavor of the smoky bacon and sweet dates. I’m partial to a punchy gorgonzola or a tangy goat cheese, but a good feta, Manchego, or even an aged cheddar are also great options here.
Finally, don’t forget to season the dates! I always add a few generous twists of freshly-ground black pepper, and also love sprinkling each date with a tiny a pinch of flaky sea salt for crunch. The perfect finish.
Sound good? Let’s stuff some dates!