Whipped Goat Cheese with Warm Candied Bacon and Dates, the no-fuss holiday appetizer that’s addictive, festive, and perfect for entertaining! It’s quick, easy, and everyone loves this creamy goat cheese dip with spicy-sweet candied bacon and dates. We’ve got bacon tossed with a little sugar and spice, then baked up with dates until it’s candied and completely delicious. There never seems to be enough of this easy dip…addictive, festive, and perfect for holiday entertaining!
It’s officially appetizer season! I’ve said this before, but my appetizer recipes are lacking compared to dinners and sweet treats. I have no idea why, but I just don’t share enough appetizers…except for when the holidays roll around. In which case I love a good appetizer recipe.
For the last few weeks I’ve been really scratching my brain thinking up holiday recipes. I want this year’s recipes to really be some of the best! So I looked back at some old favorites. The ones our moms and grandmas would make. I asked myself, how can I reinvent these a bit. Make them even more delicious? Possibly easier?
Some recipes were kind of a lost cause, but there were others that gave me so much inspiration.
Bacon wrapped dates are one of those vintage-style recipes that many people love to serve at holiday parties. It’s funny because in general, dates are not the most popular food, but when you wrap them up in bacon?
Everyone loves them.
I wanted to reinvent the classic appetizer and turn it into an easy-to-make dip. I had to rework this one a bit, but I’m so in love with the recipe. It’s delicious.
Start with the bacon, I love a spicy-sweet candied bacon so I knew I needed to incorporate that here. The bacon gets tossed with fresh rosemary, a small amount of brown sugar, honey…and then a good pinch of cayenne. It’s spicy, sweet, and with hints of rosemary, so delicious.
Toss that all up on a baking sheet, add some plump torn dates, and bake everything together until the bacon caramelizes.
The goat cheese
While the bacon is cooking, mix up the goat cheese. Add the goat cheese to a food processor with cream cheese, olive oil, and salt. Then whip everything together until the cheese is light and creamy, it’s easy.
Then mix up some honey with rosemary and cayenne for serving.
Serve it up
Spoon the creamy goat cheese into a nice shallow bowl, then spoon the warm bacon and dates over the cheese. Drizzle with the sweet and spicy honey, then enjoy with toasted bread for dipping.
Honestly, it’s pretty close to being the perfect holiday appetizer. And the rosemary keeps them flavorful and festive too with that pop of green.
Just as great for Thanksgiving as it will be for all upcoming holiday gatherings. I know I’ll be making this over and over throughout the holiday season. We already love whipped goat cheese…this is just BETTER!
Looking for other easy holiday appetizers?? Here are my favorites:
Lastly, if you make this Whipped Goat Cheese with Warm Candied Bacon and Dates, 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!
Whipped Goat Cheese with Warm Candied Bacon and Dates
Calories Per Serving: 240 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
- 6-8 slices bacon, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, using more or less to taste
- 12 plump Medjool dates, pitted and torn
- 1 log (10 ounce) creamy goat cheese, at room temperature
- 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt
- 1. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.2. On the baking sheet, toss together the bacon, 1 tablespoon rosemary, the brown sugar, 1 teaspoon honey, and the cayenne. Arrange in an even layer. Tear the dates and scatter them around the bacon. Bake 8-10 minutes, until the bacon is crisping.3. Meanwhile, combine the goat cheese, cream cheese, olive oil, and a pinch of salt in a food processor and pulse until smooth and creamy. The goat cheese mix can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days, but bring to room temp before serving. 4. In a small bowl, combine 1/3 cup honey, 1 tablespoon rosemary, a pinch of cayenne – to taste, and a pinch of salt. 5. Spoon the goat cheese into a serving bowl and then top with the warm bacon and dates. Drizzle over a little the rosemary honey. Serve with bread or crackers.
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To Make Ahead: the goat cheese can be made 3 days ahead and kept in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before serving. The bacon/dates can be assembled and refrigerated for up to a day before baking.