Blue cheese stuffed dates wrapped in bacon with a spicy glaze are sweet, salty, spicy and delicious all in one bite. Throw them together in just 15 minutes and you’ll have an appetizer that’s great for game day or your next dinner party.
These stuffed dates wrapped in bacon are a quick and easy appetizer that you can eat hot or at room temperature that will have people raving. Prep them ahead of time and pop them in the oven when your friends arrive.
If you’ve got the grill on then you might want to try dates wrapped in prosciutto for a similar salty sweet combination.
March Madness is here in the Carolinas! While I enjoy football, having lived in Kentucky growing up, I’m really more of a basketball fan. When Kentucky is playing, my husband wants to watch the games at home, so appetizers are a must.
When cooked, the dates develop a caramel like sweetness that’s hard to resist. Even folks that don’t love blue cheese, are amazed at how scrumptious blue cheese stuffed dates are. They’re also just the right size for a holiday party, or causal gathering with friends.
If you want to take these to the next level, add the slightly spicy glaze. If you want to keep them mild, just leave out the sriracha. The first time I made these, I didn’t make nearly enough, they were gone in an instant. I increased the recipe proportions so that it makes 24. I promise, you won’t have any left over.
They’re pretty hard to resist. In fact, the stuffed dates are so good, that you can leave off the bacon, but you would miss out on the salty smoky flavor it adds. Did you know that dates have all kind of vitamins and nutrients and while high in calories, are naturally sweet and contain fiber. So don’t miss out on this amazing snack.
Why you’ll love them
- Spicy and savory
- Sweet dates are a great snack
- Delicious fresh out of the oven and at room temperature
- You can make these ahead of time
- Perfect finger food and appetizers for tailgate parties and gatherings
- Anything’s better with bacon
What you’ll need
- Dates – use large medjool dates when stuffing dates. You’ll need to remove the pit, but it’s no big deal since you have to stuff them anyway. Medjool are the most common dates that you’ll find at the grocery store, they have a more caramel like flavor than Deglet Noor dates. These are the two most available dates you’ll find in the US.
- Blue cheese – if you love blue cheese, get one that has a strong flavor so that it comes through with everything else that’s going on. Let it come to room temperature to make it easier to stuff the dates. You can substitute another soft cheeses instead, like boursin cheese or goat cheese.
- Bacon – thin sliced makes it easier to wrap, if using thick-cut bacon, you will need to increase the time they cook so that the bacon is crispy.
- Pure maple syrup – this is not the same as pancake syrup, it’s very thin and runny.
- Sriracha – you can use your favorite hot sauce
Where can you find dates in the grocery store?
Did you know that dates are fresh and not a dried fruit. Because of this, they are often found in the produce section, but sometimes you’ll find them in the dried fruit section.
They can be stored at room temperature for about 1-2 months and in the refrigerator for up to 6 months. You can also freeze them in an airtight container.
How to choose the best dates
Look for dates that are shiny and plump and not shriveled. As they dry they will shrivel, you can still eat them, but they won’t be as soft and will be harder to stuff.
How to make stuffed dates wrapped in bacon
While you might think stuffing dates is complicated, it’s actually very easy.
Step 1: stuff the dates
Using a small paring knife, cut a slit in the dates down the long side without cutting all the way through and remove the pit. Add as much blue cheese as you can fit in the hole you’ve created.
Step 2: wrap in bacon
Cut the bacon into pieces large enough to go around the dates, about a ½ slice,. Wrap the piece of bacon around the stuffed date. The bacon should stay in place without needing a toothpick. If the bacon is very thick, you can secure it with a toothpick. Place them on a wire rack inside a rimmed backing sheet lined with parchment paper or foil.
By baking them on a wire rack, the bacon fat will drip through and you won’t have a greasy appetizer.
Step 3: glaze
Combine maple syrup and sriracha and brush it on the bacon wrapped dates, bake until the bacon is crispy.
Let them cool a little before serving.
If you don’t want them spicy, leave out the hot sauce, they will still be delicious. You can also leave off the bacon, and just heat them until warm.
These are great to serve for a March Madness or any party because you can make them in advance and they’re just as good once they’ve reached room temperature.
FAQs and tips
Are devils on horseback the same as bacon wrapped dates?
Devils on horseback appetizers are the same as bacon wrapped dates.
What kind of cheese goes well with dates?
Almost any cheese will go well with dates, the most common cheese that’s paired with dates is goat cheese.
Are there different kinds of dates?
There are 100’s of different kinds of dates, Medjool and Deglet Noor are the most common in the US.
What type of bacon should you use to wrap dates?
You can use any type of bacon, try pepper bacon, or applewood smoked or stick to a traditional bacon. All will add flavor to this delicious recipe. The thinner the bacon, the easier it is to wrap the dates. If you use a thicker cut bacon, you may need to secure it with a toothpick.
Some more easy appetizers you’ll love
Stuffed Dates Wrapped in Bacon
- 24 Dates pitted
- ¼ cup blue cheese up to ½ cup
- 12 slices Bacon
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon sriracha
- Preheat oven to 400º. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and place a wire rack inside the baking sheet.
- Fill each date with blue cheese and press together. Wrap with ½ a bacon slice depending on the size of your dates. Secure with toothpick and place on wire rack.
- Combine maple syrup and sriracha and brush over each date. Bake for 15 minutes, until bacon is cooked, remove and brush with remaining sauce. Continue to cook for about 5 minutes until bacon is crisp.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- Use Medjool dates which are larger than other varieties and easier to stuff.
- Let the blue cheese come to room temperature so it’s easier to stuff into the dates.
- Thinner bacon slices will be easier to wrap around the dates.
- If using thick bacon, you may need to secure with a toothpick
- You can use goat cheese or boursin cheese instead of blue cheese.