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If you’re looking for a party appetizer recipe that’s the ideal trifecta: easy, mouthwatering and impressive, look no further than Bacon Wrapped Dates (also called ‘Devils on Horseback‘). They are the perfect blend of sweet, salty, and savory — an appetizer that’s sure to be a hit at any gathering.

Bacon Wrapped Dates served on a wooden board.

It’s the flavor complexity that makes these easy appetizers so irresistible – crisp bacon wrapped around soft dates stuffed with a creamy cheese (like goat cheese, feta or blue cheese) and nuts, (like almonds or pecans). They are completely versatile, come together in minutes, and clean up is a snap!

Ingredients You Need to Make Bacon Wrapped Dates

Bacon Wrapped Dates Ingredients on a granite surface.
  • Dates: Opt for larger dates (pitted or with pits), as they provide more space for stuffing. Medjool dates or Deglet Noor are good choices. If they have pits, don’t worry; removing them is easy. Just follow the instructions and photos provided below.
  • Cheese: The choice is yours between goat cheese, feta, or blue cheese. Each has its distinct flavor profile, so go with what you or your guests prefer.
  • Bacon: Thin bacon slices are your best bet as they wrap snugly around the dates and cook evenly. If you prefer extra crispy bacon, consider partially cooking it before wrapping the stuffed dates.
  • Nuts: Toasted almonds or pecans can add a deeper flavor note. But if you’re short on time or just prefer it, raw nuts will still give that lovely crunch.
Closeup shot of Bacon Wrapped Dates served on a wooden board.

Recipe Options

When we throw a dinner party or holiday party, I like to stuff dates with an assortment of nuts and cheeses so that our guests have choices. They make an excellent 3 or 4 ingredient appetizer. Here are some of my favorite combinations (as you’ll see in the recipe video below):

  • Just Cheese: Stuff dates with goat cheese, feta cheese, or blue cheese before wrapping in bacon. One to two teaspoons of cheese per date, depending on the size of the pocket left in the date once you remove the pit.
  • Just Nuts: Stuff dates with toasted nuts, either almonds or pecans, before wrapping in bacon. (Great for Paleo diets.)
  • Cheese and Nuts: Stuff dates with goat cheese and an almond, blue cheese and a pecan, or feta and an almond before wrapping in bacon.

Additional Flavor Enhancers:

  • Dried Fruits: Tuck a piece of dried apricot, cranberry, or fig inside with or without cheese. It brings an added layer of sweetness and texture.
  • Spice it Up: A tiny sprinkle of smoked paprika or a touch of cayenne pepper can introduce an intriguing kick.
  • Herbs: Finely chop fresh rosemary or thyme and sprinkle a pinch inside the date for a fragrant touch.
Bacon Wrapped Dates served on a round wooden plate and photographed from the top.

How to Pit Dates

You can buy pitted dates, but I like to buy them with the pit as they tend to be softer. To pit a date, cut a slit down the middle of the date lengthwise leaving the ends intact. With your thumbs, pry the slit open wide and remove the pit. Now you have the perfect pocket to stuff!

Make in Advance: Refrigerator & Freezer Options

Preparing Bacon Wrapped Dates ahead of time can be a great way to reduce stress on the day of your event. Here’s how:

Short-term Preparation (Refrigerator):

  1. Assemble the dates as per the main recipe.
  2. Place them in a single layer on a tray and cover with plastic wrap.
  3. Refrigerate until you’re ready to bake, then follow the baking instructions in the main recipe.

Long-term Storage (Freezer):

  1. After assembling the dates, lay them out on a tray and freeze until solid to prevent them from sticking together.
  2. Once frozen, transfer the dates to a zip-top freezer bag and store for up to 1 month.
  3. Before baking, thaw the dates in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Then, proceed with the baking instructions provided in the main recipe.
Bacon Wrapped Dates served on a wooden board and photographed at an angle.

How to Store and Reheat 

Store leftover dates in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, arrange them on a parchment lined baking sheet for easy clean up and warm in a 350°F oven for 5-7 minutes, or until heated through.

More Party Food Ideas

More Bacon Wrapped Recipes:

How to Make Bacon Wrapped Dates

Pry open slit in a pitted date to reveal pocket. Fill pocket with 1 to 2 teaspoons creamy cheese, such as goat cheese, feta, or blue cheese. If desired, press nut into cheese and squeeze date edges to enclose stuffing.

Wrap stuffed date with 1/2 slice of thin bacon and secure with cocktail pick or toothpick. Repeat with remaining dates.

Arrange dates on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or brushed lightly with oil). Bake at 375˚F for 15-20 minutes until bacon is crisp, turning dates after 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe Video

Bacon Wrapped Dates

5 from 9 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Calories: 93
Servings: 6 people
These are delicious warm from the oven and at room temperature making them an indispensable party appetizer. Feel free to double the recipe!

Ingredients  

  • 12 large pitted dates
  • 3 ounces goat cheese or feta or blue cheese (recipe note #1)
  • 6 thin slices bacon (recipe note #3)
  • 12 toasted almonds or toasted pecans

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 375 °F (191 °C).
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (or lightly oil). 
  • Use thumbs to spread slit in pitted date and use a small spoon or butter knife to fill pocket with 1 to 2 teaspoons cheese. If desired, press whole almond or whole pecan into cheese. Squeeze date sides to enclose filling. Repeat with remaining dates.
  • Cut bacon slices in half crosswise. Wrap each date in 1/2 strip of bacon and secure with cocktail pick or toothpick, starting from the seam side. Place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dates, leaving a little room around each one. 
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until bacon is crisp, turning dates after 10 minutes to cook bacon evenly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

  1. Use your favorite cheese for stuffing, or offer a variety of cheeses in different dates to give your guests multiple flavor options.
  2. If you’re using nuts, I recommend pairing almonds with goat cheese or feta and pecans with blue cheese. These are naturally gluten-free and for a Paleo option, skip the cheese and stuff with nuts only before wrapping in bacon.
  3. If you are using thick bacon, you’ll find directions here for pre-cooking bacon so that it crisps up without overcooking the dates.
  4. Serving Tip! If you want to stand dates on end before serving, hold the cocktail pick or toothpick vertically against the serving platter and gently press the cooked date down to the bottom so that it’s stable standing up.

Nutrition

Calories: 93kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 59mg | Potassium: 106mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 146IU | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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36 Comments

  1. Apoorva says:

    Made this for my office Thanksgiving potluck and it was a HUGE hit! Thank you!!

    1. Marissa says:

      I love to hear that, Apoorva! Thank you for coming back to let me know!

  2. nicki monti says:

    i don’t seem to be finding how long the bacon prebake should be?

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      Hi Nicki! If you have thick bacon, you can partially cook it at 425˚F for 5 to 10 minutes on an oven-safe rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet before wrapping the dates.

  3. Melissa says:

    Can any part of this be prepped ahead. Like – maybe stuff and wrap the dates a couple days ahead and then bake just before serving?

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      Hi Melissa! Yes, you can assemble and refrigerate them 1 day in advance to bake the day you plan to serve them.