Bacon-Wrapped Dates are the ultimate easy party appetizer! Made with minimal ingredients, this sweet and salty appetizer only takes minutes to prepare.
One of my all-time favorite appetizers to prepare is Bacon-Wrapped Dates.
From the crispy, savory bacon to the sweet, chewy date, Bacon Wrapped Dates are not only irresistible, but this party appetizer couldn't be easier to make.
Whether served unstuffed or stuffed with almonds or cheese, you only need a couple of ingredients and a few minutes of hands-on prep to whip up a simple appetizer that will be the first to disappear at any gathering! In fact, this recipe for Bacon-Wrapped Dates even rivals my famous taco dip!
Bottom line, these Bacon-Wrapped Dates won't disappoint you or your guests! They are a must-make.
Notes on Ingredients
The two only ingredients you need to make bacon-wrapped dates are whole dates and bacon. However, adding a filling, such as goat cheese, cream cheese, almonds, or bleu cheese adds additional flavor and texture to this simple recipe.
- Dates: Use whole, dried Medjool 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 nuts, such as almonds or pecans, are a wonderful way to add crunch. 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 them 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 always 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.
- Wrap each date with ½ strip of bacon, using a toothpick to secure the bacon to the date, and then place them onto 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, Bacon-Wrapped Dates can be assembled up to 48 hours in advance and refrigerated or flash-frozen up to 1 month prior to baking.
- Refrigerate: Pit, stuff, and, wrap the dates as the recipe directs. Instead of placing them onto a baking sheet to bake, place the prepared dates into an airtight container, and store them in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours. When ready to bake, remove the stuffed dates from the refrigerator place them onto a prepared baking sheet and bake as directed.
- Freeze: To freeze bacon-wrapped dates, assemble them up to baking. Arrange them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze until solid, about 2 hours. Transfer the frozen bacon-wrapped dates to a freezer bag and freeze for up to 1 month. To defrost bacon-wrapped dates, just place them on a baking sheet in the fridge 12 hours before baking and bake as directed, adding 1-2 minutes if needed to the baking time to allow the bacon to crisp up fully.
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
If you tried these Bacon-Wrapped Dates, 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 2022 with step-by-step photos and a video.