Goat Cheese Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates with Rosemary Honey…my new holiday appetizer. They’re quick, easy, and everyone loves these sweet and savory bites. Sweet dates stuffed with creamy goat cheese, wrapped in salty bacon, then tossed in a rosemary honey that’s hinted with just a touch of spice. Bake these bites up in the oven until the bacon is crisping and “candied”. There never seems to be enough of these bites…addictive, festive, and perfect for holiday entertaining!

overhead photo of Goat Cheese Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates with Rosemary Honey with honey on tray

Thanksgiving is just one week from this Thursday. How is it that we are already entering into the last two weeks of November? As crazy as it is, the holidays are officially upon us. The one thing that always comes with holiday craziness? Houseguests…or at least that’s the case over here.

Around here Thanksgivings are filled with not only our immediate family (so mom, dad, plus all six of my siblings). But also boyfriends, girlfriends, cousins, and usually an additional friend or two. Most years we end up having around 20 people. And they don’t just come for Thanksgiving Day, they come for Thanksgiving week. So let’s just say there are plenty of mouths to feed.

It’s tradition, and everyone loves being together. But this Thanksgiving…absolutely no one is coming. My family is heading to Tahoe to spend Thanksgiving at my brother’s new house. Word on the street is that it’s going to be a Mexican night…YIKES. I’m not one for breaking tradition, so for me, this does not sound ideal, but we’ll see what happens. Guessing my mom puts the veto on that.

overhead photo Goat Cheese Stuffed in dates before baking

Anyway, the point of this very long-winded story is that I usually have so many people to feed this time of year. Come Thanksgiving Day they all LOVE their snacks and cocktails before the big meal.

In recent years I’ve made these cranberry brie tarts and a huge cheese board. But this year I wanted to break out of my Brie “habit”. I almost used the word rut, but you can never be in a Brie rut…Brie is the BEST! In fact, you’ll probably be seeing a new Brie recipe very soon.

I wanted to try something very different…enter these dates. Oh, these dates. I could not love them more. They are so addicting!

overhead photo of Goat Cheese Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates before baking

Here is how you make these bacon wrapped dates.

It’s easy! Simply take extra soft Medjool dates, stuff them with creamy goat cheese, then wrap them in bacon.

But you know me, simply wrapping a date in bacon wasn’t enough, I had to give these a special touch. SO, I added in a rosemary honey that’s hinted with cayenne pepper. The honey gives these dates a sweet, savory, and spicy taste. The salty bacon with the sweet and spicy honey makes for the best combo, but beware, these are highly addictive. Yes, this is the third time I’ve used addictive in this post, but it truly best describes these dates.

Although these may not be the prettiest appetizer out there, trust me, you will LOVE this recipe.

Even my mom, who really doesn’t care for eating a whole date greatly enjoyed these. Especially warm out of the oven with an extra drizzle of honey and a walnut on top. Delicious.

Goat Cheese Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates after baking on baking sheet

Here’s why these are great…

For one, you can assemble these mini bites ahead of time, then just bake them off as guests arrive. You can serve them warm or at room temperature, though I think they are best warm out of the oven.

Two, these bites are finger foods. They are a bit sticky, so you may want to serve them with toothpicks or cocktails forks. Although in my book, allowing guests to enjoy with their hands is completely acceptable as well. These are a two-bite appetizer and perfect for snacking on while chatting.

Three, these happen to be gluten free. At least they are free of cows milk, and most people can easily tolerate goat cheese. They obviously won’t work for vegan guests, so be sure to have anther appetizer option. But If someone prefers to not eat pork, you can leave the bacon off a few of the dates and bake them separately. Then simply finish with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt to give them a nice salty touch.

overhead close up photo Goat Cheese Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates with Rosemary Honey

So you see? These are pretty close to being the perfect holiday appetizer, and the rosemary keeps them flavorful and festive too.

These are just as great for Thanksgiving as they will be for all upcoming holiday gatherings. I know I’ll be making these over and over throughout the holiday season.

overhead close up photo of Goat Cheese Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Date split in half to expose the goat filling

If you make these goat cheese stuffed bacon wrapped dates with rosemary honey, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

watch the how to video:

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4.29 from 60 votes
The Recipe

Goat Cheese Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates with Rosemary Honey

Goat Cheese Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates with Rosemary Honey...my new holiday appetizer. They’re quick, easy, and everyone loves these sweet and savory bites.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 24
Calories 146 kcal

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces creamy goat cheese
  • 24 plump Medjool dates
  • 12 slices thinly sliced bacon, cut in half
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper using more or less to taste
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • candied or toasted walnuts (optional)

Instructions

  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

    2. Split the dates in half lengthwise, but don't cut the date all the way through. Remove the pit and discard. Stuff each date with goat cheese, then gently squeeze to seal. Wrap each date with bacon and place seam side down on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dates.

    3. In a small bowl, combine the honey, rosemary, cayenne, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Evenly drizzle 1/2 the honey over the dates. The goal is to coat the bacon in honey so that it caramelizes in the oven.

    4. Transfer to the oven and bake 20-25 minutes, until the bacon is crisping. Serve warm or room temperature with any remaining honey and walnuts, if desired.

Recipe Notes

To Make Ahead: the dates can be assembled and refrigerated for up to a day before baking. Drizzle with honey just before baking, then bake as directed. 

To Make Vegetarian: skip wrapping each date in bacon. Instead roast the goat cheese stuffed dates drizzled with honey. Then, serve with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt to replace that saltiness that bacon would add. 

horizontal photo of Goat Cheese Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates with Rosemary Honey