Bacon Wrapped Dates
A few months ago our family ate dinner at a swanky tapas restaurant in Washington DC. Although everything we ordered that night was of excellent quality, the entire family’s favorite was a dish of bacon wrapped dates. It was so good that we ordered a second plate and then a third plate of these tasty little bites. Alas, it was tapas restaurant and so the dishes were tiny and in each order we only got three little dates. Since all of us had enjoyed the dates so much, a few days later I experimented with the recipe. The ones in the restaurant were breaded and deep fried and I wanted to make a slightly healthier version of it (I know, I know with so much bacon in it, it was not going to be healthy and that is why I said “healthier” – it’s all relative). I stuffed the dates with blue cheese and wrapped them with bacon strips and then to hold the little package together, I stuck a toothpick through it and baked the whole batch in the oven. VOILA!!! This is the tastiest three-ingredient bite of cooked food that you will ever eat. The combination of flavors is absolutely amazing. I admit, the process of assembling the stuffed dates is a little time consuming but believe me the effort is well worth it!
I have made these wrapped dates several times since my initial experiment. I usually make them as appetizers for a dinner party. Today I’ve made a huge batch to take to my son’s cross country meet tomorrow. This is the end of his cross-country season and the parents of all the kids on the team have organized a tailgate party. My son has requested that my contribution be a big dish of bacon dates and so this afternoon I spent a couple of hours stuffing and wrapping over two hundred dates. These are actually great for a potluck party because they can be eaten hot out of the oven or even cooled to room temperature. And if you are planning to make them as appetizers for a party, you can bake them ahead of time and just before serving them, you can warm them up in the microwave.
1. 50 pitted dates
2. 3-4 tablespoons of crumbled blue cheese
3. A packet of bacon (I used low sodium)
4. Wooden toothpicks
1. Pre-heat the oven at 350 degrees.
2. While the oven is getting heated, using a small teaspoon, start stuffing the dates with blue cheese crumbles. Dates are usually able to accommodate only a little bit of cheese – try to avoid over-stuffing the dates or the cheese will ooze out during the baking process.
3. Using a pair of scissors, cut each strip of bacon into four equal pieces.
4. Wrap each ¼ strip of bacon around the stuffed date and then pierce a wooden toothpick through the date to hold the bacon strip in place.
5. On a large baking sheet, place a sheet of parchment paper and then lay out all the bacon wrapped dates in even lines on the parchment paper.
6. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 10 minutes to cook the dates half-way through.
7. Take the dates out and turn each of them over and then place back in the heated oven for another 11-12 minutes.
8. Serve the dates either hot or at room temperature. Enjoy!
this is such a crowd pleaser – no wonder, who can resist the mix of sweet, pungent and salty – not to mention the mouth feel of soft and crunchy! I’ve enjoyed eating them at your place. Sometimes the simplest preparations are the best!
It sure is a crowd pleaser Shilpa – I made over 200 of these this morning for Aman’s tailgate and they were all gone in five minutes flat. It’s amazing how much food these young boys can consume and what great speed!
not just young boys Shabnam – middle-aged adults (myself included) also throw themselves at a platter of these!
me too Shilpa, me too…I just can’t stop eating these stuffed dates, which is why I make them only occasionally 😀
Hi Shabnam —
So the goat cheese project has emboldened me, and I came on looking for recipes for Xmas dinner (mom has entrusted me for the second year in a row!). I LOVE bacon-wrapped dates, so this is on the list. A few questions, since I don’t have a whole soccer team to feed. Do they keep? Could I prepare them at noontime and serve them at appetizers for dinner? And if so, how do I cover them up and store them? I’m thinking about doing one more practice run on the group that was brave enough to eat my goat cheese 🙂
Heyyyy Jessica!!! good to see you here (in your newly emboldened self). Yes, the bacon-dates you can keep them…make them ahead of time and warm them up just as you are ready to serve them. They are also good at room-temperature…I’ve taken them for pot-lucks etc… You can be also freeze in a tight zip-lock bag in the un-baked state….so stuff them and keep them in the freezer and bake them the day you have to use them. They are REALLY good! I hope you’ll like them as much as my family does. Let me know what your group thought of them 🙂 xoxo
Thank you! I bought the dates yesterday at our natural bulk-foods store. And it’s great news to know I can freeze them. I think I’ll do that. Would the cooking time and temp about the same?
This was a great recipe. Loved the sweet and salty combination flavor. I just made a half a box of dates that disappeared! Have to make more next time.
Yup!!! My family loves these too and can eat a whole ton of them in a jiffy…I’m so glad you liked them too 🙂 My 20 year old son is addicted to them and makes them for himself every week at college>