Bacon Wrapped Dates are an amazing sweet and savory appetizer for a crowd, and can easily be cooked on the grill for even more flavor. Stuffed with goat cheese and topped with a thyme smoked honey, this take on a classic will really wow your guests!
Grilled bacon wrapped dates is the perfect appetizer for any holiday party!
Bacon Wrapped Dates are a favorite at any party. They are a classic. These are bumped up about a thousand notches by grilling the stuffed dates and drizzling them with some smoked honey infused with thyme. Your guests will love the crunchiness of the grilled bacon and the intoxicating smoked honey drizzle.
What Types of Dates
Medjool dates are the best dates to use. They are larger, have a nice sweetness to them, slightly chewy and stand up the the grill really well. So when stuffing them, look for Medjool dates in the produce section of your grocer.
- Pitted – If the dates are already pitted that is fine, just add the filling through either a vertical or horizontal cut depending on how they were pitted.
- Pit – If the dates have a pit, the easiest way to pit a date is to use a paring knife, make a horizontal slice and remove the pit. Then you can stuff using the vertical slice made.
How To Make Bacon Wrapped Dates on the Grill
- Remove the pit from the dates.
- Slice small pieces of the goat cheese in advance in approximately 1 teaspoon pieces and stuff into the date.
- Cut the bacon in two pieces, and ideally use room temperature bacon to make it easier to wrap and let the bacon stay wrapped. This way you won’t need a toothpick to keep the bacon wrapped. Room temp bacon will naturally wrap and create its own “paste” to stick together.
- Place the date on one side of the bacon. Because of the small slice to put the cheese, we add the sliced side down so the bacon encloses the cheese and the slice.
- Make the honey glaze and drizzle half the glaze onto the bacon wrapped dates prior to grilling (this will help infuse the bacon and get it even more crunchy.
- Grill the dates on indirect side of a two zone grill set up. Flip once.
- Remove and place onto a clean sheet pan or your serving dish and drizzle the remainder of the honey glaze onto the dates.
- Serve warm.
How Long Do You Cook Bacon Wrapped Dates
Because we’re grilling the dates versus the oven, the general rule we use is 8 minutes on one side, and then 8 minutes on the other side. Because charcoal or flame will be different, the key is to look at the bacon to make sure it is browning or crisping up.
If needed you can quarter turn the bacon to finish any sides that may seem too raw.
Other Great Appetizer Ideas for the Grill
- Smoked Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms
- Wine Marinated Beef Skewers with Cranberry Sauce
- Steak Skewers with Chimichurri
- Spicy Sriracha Grilled Shrimp
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Grilled Bacon Wrapped Dates with Honey and Goat Cheese
- 1 pound Medjool dates (about 20-24 dates)
- 4 ounces goat cheese (or chevre)
- 12 slices thick cut bacon, cut in half
- 1/4 cup smoked honey (for drizzling)
- 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon dried cayenne pepper
- Preheat grill for indirect heat or two zone grilling using lump charcoal. Target 375 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- If dates are not pitted, use a paring knife and insert a small vertical slice along the date and remove the pit.
- Cut up the goat cheese in small rounds (about 1/2 teaspoon worth) and place into the pitted dates. Put just enough so that the dates can still close around the cheese.
- Using the half slice of room temperature bacon, place the date with the sliced side down on one end of the bacon. Roll the date tightly so the bacon wraps around the date. Room temperature bacon will seal without the need for a toothpick or skewer. If using cold bacon you will need to use a toothpick to hold the bacon in place. Place on a sheet pan until you grill.
- For the honey glaze: add the smoked honey to a small dish with thyme and cayenne. Stir and apply a small drizzle to the wrapped dates (approximately 2 tablespoons worth).
- Place the wrapped dates on the indirect side of the grill and cover grill. Grill one side for 8 minutes or until you see them slightly crispy. Rotate the dates and grill the other side for an additional 5 – 7 minutes or until slightly crispy. If needed rotate a 1/4 turn if any sides need a little more crisp.
- Remove from grill and drizzle again with the remaining honey glaze and serve warm.
- Indirect cooking on a charcoal grill avoids the grease from bacon from causing flare ups and burning the bacon. The time it will take to brown the bacon will depend on how hot the grill is. Too hot and they will burn, thus targeting a temperature of 375 – 400 degrees to properly cook for a crispy bacon outer crust.
- If using a gas grill use direct grilling and simply keep the direct flame lower and that way the dates don’t burn.
- You can find the recipe for Smoked Honey here. Alternatively you can use regular honey, mixed with cayenne and thyme.