This sweet & spicy bacon wrapped dates recipe will really knock your guests’ socks off! They sound fancy, look fancy, even taste fancy, but they’re seriously easy to make…
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If you make just one new recipe this holiday reason, make it these sweet and spicy bacon wrapped dates stuffed with goat cheese! Seriously, they’re puurrrffffect for all occasions, no matter how upscale or low-key. Holiday parties? Check. Tailgating? Check. Just because they sound amazing? Check.
The thing about these bacon wrapped dates is they sound fancy, they look fancy, and they even taste fancy — but they’re seriously EASY to make! Guests will *think* you put a ton of thought into preparing them, but they really take almost no time at all.
At their most basic, you take a soft and sweet pitted date, wrap it in a piece of salty Hatfield Uncured Bacon, and bake. But we’re going to kick it up a notch (that’s my inner Emeril coming through) by stuffing the dates with a little creamy, tangy goat cheese and finishing them off with a red pepper jelly glaze. Four simple ingredients = BIG flavor… Bam!!!
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again — when it comes to super simple recipes like this, good quality ingredients matter! I’m especially picky about my bacon. I like a good thick cut, hardwood smoked, uncured bacon, and Hatfield has one of the best. As they say, “The best bacon doesn’t need anything extra,” and I couldn’t agree more…
In addition to meeting all of my criteria above, their new uncured bacon is also hormone-free, minimally processed, and contains no nitrites and nitrates and no preservatives. This is a bacon I’d go out of my way for! But I don’t have to, because they carry it at my local grocery store…
How To Make Bacon Wrapped Dates
First off, there’s just no clean and neat way to accomplish making these bacon wrapped dates. Your hands are going to get messy, and frequent hand washing will be necessary — but the results are SO worth it. Start by slicing the dates down one side. If you accidentally bought dates with pits, remove and discard them. Use your fingers to liberally stuff each one with goat cheese, then wrap each tightly in in a piece of bacon. Arrange them on a baking sheet, and bake until the bacon is crisp.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven, and brush each bacon wrapped date generously with warmed hot pepper jelly. Pop the tray back in the oven for about three more minutes, then remove and cool before serving. For real! You will be tempted to sample one immediately, but these babies will burn your mouth off right out of the oven.
Tips For Making Bacon Wrapped Dates
As simple as making these bacon wrapped dates with goat cheese is, I do have some tried and true tips for getting the best results. And of course, I’m going to share them!
1| Through trial and error, I discovered that the easiest way to slice the dates is to hold them vertically, sticking your paring knife down in, and then pull it down one side. If your knife sticks and you need a little more leverage, you can just hold it horizontally with the date still on it, and cut through it on your cutting board.
2| Different thicknesses of bacon will yield different results. Thinner bacon will cook more quickly than thick-cut bacon, so keep that in mind and adjust your cooking time accordingly.
3| Place the wrapped dates seam side down on a wire cooling rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. The wire cooling rack will allow for heat circulation making for crispy bacon on all sides, and the rimmed baking sheet will catch any grease drippings.
4| Warming the red pepper jelly makes it easier to spread it on the bacon wrapped dates. Instead of breaking out a saucepan for the stovetop, I just scoop it into a ramekin, and pop it into the oven to warm when the dates have about 10 minutes left to bake. Smart, huh?
5| Toothpicks aren’t necessary to hold everything together while baking, but they do make it easier for guests to eat when serving. Place a little container nearby or stick one in each while plating.
6| These bacon wrapped dates can be assembled a day or two ahead of time and put into the oven right before guests arrive. If you’re taking them to a gathering, you can bake them before you leave and cover them with foil to keep them warm. Or you can always serve them cold… Trust me, they’re just as delicious cold. I’ve been eating the leftovers like they’re going out of style!
Add these four ingredient to your shopping list right now, and you’ll be all set for those last-minute holiday shindigs: bacon, dates, goat cheese, and red pepper jelly. Of course, if you just want to make them for no special reason at all, I won’t tell. Even if you eat the last three on the plate when no one is looking. Not that I’ve ever done that or anything…
More yummy bacon wrapped recipes to try:
- Does it get any better than bacon + corn + a sweet & spicy honey chipotle glaze? This bacon wrapped grilled corn is THE recipe that all your guests will be asking for after your next cookout!
- These bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers are seriously addictive… Chives and onion cream cheese pair with crispy, smoky bacon along with a bit of a kick from the jalapenos, they’re the perfect combination of sweet and savory!
- These pickles wrapped in bacon (aka bacon pickle fries) are the perfect double-duty, easy appetizer for any gathering… Keto-friendly for your low carb guests, but still tasty enough to appeal to everyone else, AND they’re just 2 ingredients!
You might also be interested in learning how to bake bacon in the oven. Oven baked bacon is, hands down, the easiest way to get perfectly crispy and delicious bacon with the least amount of mess!
What’s YOUR favorite bacon recipe to make for the holidays?