Bacon-Wrapped Dates are a sweet and salty appetizer that comes together with minimal effort and ingredients. Served plain or stuffed with cheese or almonds, this is one appetizer that is always a hit at parties.
One of my all-time favorite appetizers to prepare is Bacon-Wrapped Dates.
From the crispy, salty bacon to the sweet, chewy date, this combination of flavors is not only irresistible, but this party appetizer couldn't be easier to make!
With just a couple of ingredients and a few minutes of hands-on time, you can throw together an appetizer that will be the first to disappear at any gathering.
And did I mention that Bacon-Wrapped Dates are also allergy-friendly as well? They are naturally gluten-free and egg-free. I also like to make some stuffed dates without cheese and some without nuts to accommodate guests with nut or dairy allergies as well.
Bottom line, these Bacon-Wrapped Dates won't disappoint you or your guests!
- Dates: Use whole, dried dates. You can find them in either the produce section in a carton or bagged near the raisins and prunes. If you can find pitted dates, purchase those to save the step of pitting the dates yourself.
- Bacon: Use thick-cut, good-quality bacon for the best flavor. While you can use turkey bacon, pork bacon will render the most flavorful appetizer.
- Filling Options: While optional, adding a filling of some sort to the cavity of the dates adds texture and additional flavor. Whole almonds are a wonderful way to add crunch and soft cheese, such as goat cheese, bleu cheese, or cream cheese, adds a rich, creamy finish to the bacon-wrapped dates.
How to Make Bacon Wrapped Dates
Step One: Soak Toothpicks
To secure the bacon to the dates, it is best to use wooden toothpicks. This will keep the bacon from curling up and separating from the date as it bakes.
However, it is crucial to soak the toothpicks in water prior to baking to prevent them from burning.
- Simply place the toothpicks in a shallow dish and cover with water.
- Allow the toothpicks to soak for 20 to 30 minutes and then drain off the water.
Step Two: Prepare Pan
To allow for even baking, using a pan with a wire baking rack is best. This will allow the air to circulate around the bacon-wrapped date, evenly crisping up the bacon.
- Line a baking sheet with foil to allow for easier clean-up.
- Place a heat-safe metal rack on top of the baking sheet.
Step Three: Assemble
- Carefully cut open up the date lengthwise. If needed, remove and discard the pit. Even if using pitted dates, it is alway best to double check that the pits have been removed from each date.
- If desired, stuff the cavity with either 1 almond or 1 teaspoon of soft cheese of your choice. You can also opt to make a variety of flavors of stuffed dates and leave some dates unstuffed.
- Cut the bacon slices in half.
- Wrap each date with ½ strip of bacon, using a toothpick to secure the bacon to the date.
- Place the bacon-wrapped dates on the prepared baking sheet.
Step Four: Bake
- Bake until the bacon is crispy, keeping a close eye to not burn the bacon. If you are using a broiler pan instead of a baking rack on top of a sheet pan, you will want to flip your dates halfway through cooking to ensure even browning of the bacon.
- Remove the dates to a paper-towel lined plate to soak up any excess bacon grease.
- Once cool to the touch, transfer to a serving platter and serve warm or at room temperature.
Preparing in Advance
If you would like to get a jump start on preparing this appetizer for a gathering, which in my book is always a good idea, these Bacon-Wrapped Dates can be assembled up to 48 hours in advance.
Assemble the dates as directed, place them into an airtight container, and store in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours. When ready to bake, remove them from the refrigerator and place the bacon-wrapped dates onto a prepared baking sheet and bake as directed.
Tips for Serving
Bacon-Wrapped Dates are not only a great party appetizer because the flavor is incredible and they are easy to make, but they also do not need to be kept warm for serving.
They taste delicious when served slightly warm or at room temperature and can be left out at room temperature for up to 2 hours safely.
More Party-Worthy Appetizers
- Antipasto Skewers--Made with tortellini, cherry tomatoes, basil, and pepperoni these skewers are easy to make and stunning to look at.
- Vegetable Egg Rolls--Made with fresh vegetables, these egg rolls are crispy, fresh, and light!
- Taco Dip--No party is complete without Taco Dip and this dip is truly amazing.
- Baked Brie: Who doesn't love gooey, melted cheese?! It doesn't get easier, or more delicious than this recipe for Baked Brie.
- Instant Pot Chicken Wings--Incredibly tender, you won't believe how delicious and easy these chicken wings turn out!
- Deviled Eggs: What's a party without a tray of creamy, flavorful Deviled Eggs? And this recipe is the best!
If you gave these Bacon-Wrapped Dates a try, I would love for you to leave a comment and star review below.
Bacon Wrapped Dates
- 24 whole dried dates
- 12 slices bacon cut in half
Filling Options for Bacon Wrapped Dates (optional)
- 24 whole almonds
- 4 ounces cream cheese softened
- 4 ounces blue cheese
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place an oven-safe baking rack on top of a rimmed baking sheet that has been lined with foil.
- While the oven is preheating, soak toothpicks in a shallow dish of water for 20 minutes and then drain from the water.
- Slice the dates lengthwise on one side to create an opening. Remove the pit if needed. If desired, fill the cavity with either 1 almond, or 1 teaspoon each of either goat cheese, cream cheese, or blue cheese. Use a spoon or your fingers to be sure filling is inserted fully into the date and not oozing out the sides.
- Cut each strip of bacon in half. Wrap one piece of cut bacon around each date. Secure with a pre-soaked toothpick and place onto the prepared baking dish. Alternatively, you can place the wrapped date seam side down onto the prepared baking dish.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until bacon is crispy. Keep in mind if you are using a broiler pan instead of a baking rack on top of a sheet pan, you will want to flip your dates halfway through cooking to ensure even browning of the bacon.
- Place the bacon-wrapped dates onto a paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess grease. Once cooled, serve.
This post was originally published in 2016 but updated in 2021 with step-by-step photos.