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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:

Goat Cheese Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates with Rosemary Honey

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

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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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. 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.

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

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Just wanted to let you know that every-time I make this recipe I get rave reviews. The last time I made this I mixed cayenne, rosemary, salt and pepper in with the Goat Cheese before stuffing the dates and it added a tad bit more spice to it.
    Thanks for all of your posts on here and instagram, love your recipes.

  2. 5 stars
    Awesome — my kids (ok, grown kids) ask for these every winter holiday. The cayenne is a good addition for added sparkle, and yes, adding salt for the vegan option I will do next time and often for the vegan option I add a pecan or chopped walnut and herbs/maple syrup. So glad I found Half-Baked Harvest. And so glad you have a Recipe Box option on your website! This will make it easy to find recipes at holidays!

    1. Hey there,
      Thanks so much for making this recipe, I am delighted to hear that it was enjoyed! Have the best weekend:) xTieghan

    1. Hey Aisha,
      Wonderful! I am so glad that this recipe was enjoyed, thank you so much for giving the recipe a try!! xTieghan

  3. 5 stars
    Just made these for the first time yesterday and they were a hit! Even people who didn’t think they liked dates or goat cheese were going back for seconds! Will definitely be adding this to my app rotation!

    1. Hey Kat,
      I am thrilled that you liked the recipe, thanks so much for giving it a go! Have an awesome week:) xTieghan

  4. 4 stars
    I made these for my New Years charcuterie board & they were good, but I had an issue with the honey drizzle. It just dripped off the bacon onto the pan and then proceeded to burn as the bites cooked in the oven. Thank goodness I lined my pan & the burned honey stayed behind when I lifted the bacon wrapped dates up. My bacon didn’t end up crispy or caramelized as I would have liked, but I drizzled the remaining honey over the top and they were yummy. Would do again, but would probably just coat the bacon in brown sugar before wrapping, then put the honey on when they come out the oven. Happy Holidays!

    1. Hey Lizzy,
      Thanks so much for giving the recipe a try, I am sorry you had issues with the honey! Happy New Year! xTieghan

  5. 5 stars
    LOVE THESE! Made them twice already and they were popular. If you have a picky eater just use whipped cream cheese instead of goat cheese and it comes out pretty much the same. Make sure you make extras, these disappear quickly. ☺️

    1. Hi Charlotte,
      Thanks so much for giving the recipe a go, I am thrilled it was enjoyed! Happy New Year! xTieghan

  6. These were alright. I like the idea of the salty sweet, but the flavors didn’t pop. I’m thinking the date just overpowered the other ingredients. Maybe I should have stuffed a bit more goat cheese in there? Cute idea, but probably won’t make again.

    1. Hey Jessica,
      So sorry you did not enjoy the recipe, please let me know if I can help in anyway! Happy New Year! xTieghan

  7. 4 stars
    These were a hit! I made a large batch and have some left in the refrigerator. Would it be OK to bake one week later?

    1. Hey Erica,
      Thanks so much for giving the recipe a try, I am so glad it was enjoyed! I would pop these in the freezer:) Happy New Year! xTieghan

  8. 3 stars
    They were just ok, which surprised me – I was expecting to really love these. Even found the good medjool dates. I thought the rosemary overpowered everything – if I were to do again I’d back off a little on that.

    1. Hey John,
      Thanks for giving the recipe a try, I am sorry you did not love these. Let me know if there is something I can help with! Happy New Year! xTieghan

  9. 4 stars
    I made these over the weekend with fotina cheese since some of the guests don’t like goat cheese. It was a huge hit but I’m glad I baked some a day ahead to try out because there were some lessons learned. First, if you bake the full +20 min then all the cheese melts out. I precooked the bacon half way and then wrapped the cheese stuffed dates. Then I baked about 10 min until the bacon was crispy on the day of the event and the cheese was soft and still inside the date. I also only put a dab of honey on each date. I think I did too much the first time bc they were so sticky that it was not enjoyable and only got stuck in our teeth. With the little adjustments it worked out wonderfully on the day!! Even the people who “thought” they didn’t like dates LOVED these! Thank for the great idea. Oh, I also used sage instead of rosemary bc the grocery store was out but it added a nice spice and floral to the honey as well.

    1. Hey Amanda,
      Yes, that will work. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! Happy Holidays! xTieghan

  10. 5 stars
    Made these with medjool dates and honey goat cheese. I used Mike’s Hot Honey to glaze them and they turn out perfect!

  11. Hi! If I omitted the goat cheese and just made bacon wrapped dates with the Rosemary honey, do you think they need a shorter bake time? Or bake the same? Thank you!

    1. Hey Tinesha,
      I would keep the bake time the same. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions. Happy Holidays! xTieghan

  12. 5 stars
    So happy to be able to still share Thanksgiving with my family during the pandemic because of recipes like this. I was able to prep and drop off servings for my family to finish and bake and it brought some togetherness, even though we weren’t in the same room. The hot honey make this recipe. I’ll be saving for future holidays!

  13. 5 stars
    These are one of my favorite appetizers! My friend makes these for our dinner club and as you said they are ALWAYS a hit. Sweet, salty, and creamy what could be better?

  14. 5 stars
    I made these with turkey bacon and on a sheet pan on the grill because the turkey was in the oven. They turned out great! Will definitely make again. I also did not have cayenne, so I used ground chipotle instead. I doubled the honey and used on grilled brussels sprouts.

    1. Hey Cara,
      You bet! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions. Happy Thanksgiving! xTieghan

  15. I’ve not cooked with dates before. May I use pitted dates, or is pitting the whole date essential for the structure of the appetizer?

  16. 5 stars
    I just made a single bacon wrapped date as a test run before thanksgiving. Superb! I highly recommend doing this test run though just to get a sense of how much cheese/honey/cayenne pepper you like to use. After this trial I thought I’d put more cheese stuffing, less honey drizzle, but more cayenne pepper in the honey.
    Can’t wait to serve these for thanksgiving ! Thank you HBH!

    1. Hey Ash,
      You can do that, or turkey bacon would be a great substitute. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  17. Hi there! I had a question about reheating. I’m wanting to make this for Thanksgiving at my partner’s mom’s place and would like to make them beforehand and then reheat them upon arrival. Will they be just as good or do they not bode well through the process? Thanks for this delicious recipe! 🙂

    1. Hey Heidi,
      I would recommend assembling these ahead of time and then baking at your destination. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  18. 5 stars
    OMG is all I can say!!
    These were so easy and so delicious!!! Definitely will be making these on a regular basis. Such a great app for serving at parties or family gatherings.
    Thanks so much!!

    1. Hey Orna,
      You can make a few days to a week in advance. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

    1. Hey Orna,
      So sorry I haven’t tried using that, but I am assuming it would work. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  19. Another great recipe! Good balance of sweet and savoury. The rosemary and chilli were a great addition to the honey and added that extra layer of flavour.

    1. Hey Jamie,
      Yes totally fine to do. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

    1. Hey Jamie,
      I would assemble these ahead of time and then bake when you are ready to serve. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  20. 4 stars
    Very easy and tasty. I did have an issue with my honey drizzle, it kinda pooled on my baking sheet and burned a bit and bottoms came out over done…maybe too much honey?

    1. Hi Lynda,
      So sorry about this, try removing from the oven next time and scooping any honey that has dripped down back onto the dates. Please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  21. 5 stars
    I made these for a baby shower and they were SUCH A HIT! Everyone kept commenting on how delicious they were. I was worried some people might not like goat cheese but it wasn’t an overpowering flavor at all. I prepped them the night before which was really helpful. Next time I’ll plan to avoid thick cut bacon (doesn’t wrap as well) and be a little more careful when drizzling the honey so it gets more evenly distributed. Can’t wait to make them again!

  22. 4 stars
    I didn’t use salted or smoked bacon the first time I made them, and with all the honey drizzled on there, they were way too sweet. The second time I made them, I made sure I used salted or smoked bacon and reduced the amount of drizzled on honey, then they were very nice!

  23. I made these with 1/3 of the dates stuffed with goat cheese, 1/3 of the dates stuffed with brie and 1/3of the dates stuffed with peanut butter. Delicious! The peanut butter took 1st place! My honey also burned like a previous reviewer but it didn’t affect the taste of the final product. Next time I’ll leave it off or drizzle it on 1/2 way thru. Excellent recipe!

  24. Made these tonight for New Years Eve, and while we loved the taste, the bacon took a long time to crisp and the honey that drizzled started burning. Any suggestions? This isn’t the first recipe I’ve tried that the bacon took longer to crisp than the recipe called for, so I must be doing something wrong.

    1. Hi Kim! Are you using a thicker cut bacon? Next time try using a thin cut bacon. Using a thinner cut will ensure the bacon cooks up quicker and the honey shouldn’t burn then too. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope this helps and you love this recipe! Thank you and Happy New Year! xTieghan

    1. Hi Bob! Yes, you can omit the cayenne if using a chili infused honey. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you and Happy New Year! xTieghan

  25. Ohh, I’m so glad I found this today, Christmas Eve! We have decided on just appies tonight and signature drinks and of course in my family its always a competition!! My sons think they can beat me in the game of culinary skill, thanks to you I may not be reachable tonight! So game on, I am going to knock one out of the park with these!!

    1. HI! Yes, that will work great! Just warm before serving or serve at room temp. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you and I hope you had Merry Christmas! Sorry my response is a bit late! xTieghan

    1. HI! Those will be a little on the dry side, but I imagine they should work just fine. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you and I hope you had Merry Christmas! Sorry my response is a bit late! xTieghan

  26. 5 stars
    These were such a hit! Many people told me I need to bring these to every party. I don’t like goat cheese but I loved these. I drizzled them with plain honey since I don’t like rosemary and didn’t have cayenne and they were still really good. Could these be good with turkey bacon to be a bit healthier or would it not be fatty enough?

    Thanks for making such an easy recipe!

    1. Haha wow that is too great! I am so glad you all loved these Sarah! I have not tried it, but am sure it would be great! Thank you! xTieghan

  27. I made these yesterday for a Christmas party and they were a big hit! Everyone loved them. Thanks for sharing this recipe — it’s going in by book.

  28. 5 stars
    This recipe is amazing!!! I doubled the recipe and have so many delicious bacon wrapped stuffed dates! They are so so delicious and everyone at the holiday party loved them! Thanks for such a great recipe!

  29. I made these on Thanksgiving on a whim and we LOVED them! They disappeared in minutes! Tonight, I’m making more than three dozen to take to a potluck at work tomorrow. We just harvested honey for the first time so I’m excited to use honey from our own bees!

    1. HI! try using a little less blue cheese next time and make sure to wrap the bacon tightly around the date to seal the cheese inside. Then, make sure to place the dates cute side facing up on the baking sheet. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you and happy holidays! xTieghan

  30. 5 stars
    Made these for Thanksgiving and served them on a rustic wood slab. They were delicious and my company raved about them!

  31. 5 stars
    these were soooo delicious! made them twice, for friendsgiving and actual thanksgiving, and they were a big hit!

  32. 5 stars
    Made these for Thanksgiving and they didn’t even last 10 minutes! So addicting and delicious! Already getting requests to make them for Christmas Parties and Christmas Eve! Thanks so much for sharing!

  33. 5 stars
    I made these for two dinners this weekend and everyone went wild for them! I passed on the recipe to a bunch of friends who also want a quick and easy but also delicious app to bring to holiday events. Thank you so much for this lifesaver of a dish, and for making everyone think I’m an amazing cook 🙂

  34. I don’t know if I did something wrong but these did not taste good. 95% of my cooking comes from your recipes! I’m one of your biggest fans, Tieghan! We had an early Thanksgiving yesterday and I did your turkey (with the cheesecloth), your wine gravy and the Thanksgiving Sangria. All super delicious!!! But these were sadly a fail. Just a weird texture (kinda gritty) and taste. I’m thinking my bacon didn’t crisp enough. Oh well, I’ve done DOZENS of your recipes and this is the first one that didn’t work. Thank you so much for all your hard work. I hope you and your family have a great holiday.

    1. Hi Lisa! I am really sorry to hear that! Is there anything that went wrong with this recipe? I would love to help you out! xTieghan

  35. I’m baking a test batch right now. I wanted to know if you have any tips for coating with honey, as that part was a bit difficult. Thanks!

    1. Hi Nora! I simply just drizzle the dates with the honey using a small spoon. This is the easiest way I have found. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!! xTieghan

    1. HI! Prosciutto will be delicious! YUM! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!! xTieghan

  36. still legit crying at the fact Red is living my dream ? but also couldn’t be happier for you and your family, and while I’m aMexican food FIEND I can’t say I’m one to easily break holiday tradition either 😉 but this app looks amazing !!

  37. @Carswell: Oooh, that sounds good too, and the Halloumi would definitely stay firmer. I like the thought of Brie or Camembert because the bacon will already be quite salty, so the mild cheese might balance nicely. I have tried a similar recipe but using Brie stuffed, bacon wrapped figs instead of dates, and while the cheese did melt to a delicious creamy goo, the bacon wrap held it in nicely, so it worked well.

    Another option is Manchego…hmmm. (Apparently, I can’t stop thinking about cheese now…) 😀

  38. I love goat cheese, but my family doesn’t….we make these every Christmas, but leave them empty. They are sweet enough with just the dates and bacon, but I will try them with goat cheese and rosemary honey for my piggy self. The rosemary honey sounds like the PERFECT complement to the cheese.

  39. I was thinking of using halloumi – only because I have a friend who doesn’t care for goat cheese.

    I would think that brie or camembert would melt to the point where they would completely run out of the date/bacon package, whereas halloumi or even paneer hold their shape when hot.

  40. Would it be okay to do these goat cheese dates and the cranberry brie pastry tarts? Or should I pick one? If just one, and I’ve never done either, which should I do? 🙂 . (about 21 guests)

    1. Hey Tiffany! I think you can sure do both appetizers as they pair well together!! 21 is a lot of people, so 2 apps will be nice! If you want to only make one, go with the Brie. Everyone loves Brie. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  41. I was planning on making stuffed dates for a holiday party I am going to in December and now I am totally using this recipe with the rosemary honey. Can’t wait to test them out!

  42. I agree these look delicious! And like a really fun appetizer. @Laura, I agree about goat cheese, so I’m going to try with Brie or Camembert. Should work nicely, I’d think?

    1. Hi Aline! I would recommend using cubes of fontina, brie, or blue cheese. Either will be SO GOOD. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  43. Love the look of these but unfortunately Goats cheese is off the menu! Something i havent learnt to love. Any suggestions for substituting???

    1. Hey Laura! I would recommend using cubes of fontina, brie, or blue cheese. Either will be SO GOOD. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan