These bacon wrapped dates are always a good idea as an easy appetizer. Sweet Medjool dates are stuffed with buttery manchego cheese and then wrapped in a thick slice of applewood smoked bacon. These sweet and salty bites are roasted in the oven till crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside. Dip them in honey for a little bit of extra sweetness!
Appetizers are a favorite for our family, whether it's for a fun weeknight dinner or gatherings for the holidays. Bacon wrapped dates of any kind are a must for special occasions in our house. I have been making different variations of this recipe for years after first trying them at a local tapas restaurant back in Illinois. This version is probably my favorite because they are stuffed with manchego cheese. The sweetness of the dates pairs so well with the buttery manchego cheese, then wrapped in bacon and dipped in honey, it's definitely the best flavor combo!
🥓 Ingredients notes
- Medjool dates - These types of dates are usually larger and also have a bit of a softer, chewier texture to them. They also have a more rich, caramel like flavor to them, so I highly recommend them for this recipe. Alternately, regular pitted dates can be used. If pitted dates aren't available, you can remove the pits on your own, it's not difficult.
- Manchego cheese - Manchego cheese is a buttery sheep's milk cheese from Spain. It has a bit of a firmer texture to it, which makes it great for stuffing the dates with. It lightly melts as the bacon cooks and also adds a tasty flavor!
- Bacon - I like using thick sliced bacon for this recipe. It holds up well and renders perfectly during cooking. Regular bacon can be used as well, however cooking times may be shorter.
🔪 Step by step instructions
First, remove any pits from the dates, if needed. Cut the manchego into 16 thin rectangles so that they fit inside of the dates. Cut bacon slices in half so you have 16 equal pieces.
Next, stuff the dates with the cheese and then wrap them with one half of a slice of bacon. Place a toothpick through the center of the date to secure the bacon.
Cook prepared dates in the oven for about 25-30 minutes or until the bacon is nice and crispy.
Let the dates cool for 5 minutes and then serve either drizzled with honey or on the side as a dip!
If you ever don't recognize a tool or skill that I mention, be sure to look it up in the Glossary of Cooking Terms and Definitions for more information.
⭐ Top tip
Make sure to use the toothpicks inserted through the middle of the dates to help secure the bacon. Otherwise, the bacon will shrink during cooking and unwrap from the dates.
- Different cheese - Goat cheese, blue cheese or parmesan cheese are all other great options for cheese to stuff the dates with.
- Spicy dip - add ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes to the honey for a spicy dip!
- Dairy free - simply omit the cheese for a dairy free version of this recipe.
🧀 More appetizer recipes
If you loved these bacon wrapped dates with manchego, check out these other appetizer recipes that I know you will love too!
Bacon Wrapped Dates with Manchego
- 2 ounces manchego cheese
- 16 seedless medjool dates
- 8 strips thick sliced applewood smoked bacon
- honey for dipping optional
- Cut manchego cheese into 16 long, thin rectangles, to fit inside of the dates, approximately ¼" - ½" wide and about 1 - 1½" long.
- Place one piece of the cheese inside of each date.
- Cut bacon in half for 16 total pieces. Wrap one of the halved bacon slices tightly around each date. Stick a toothpick through the middle of the date to secure the bacon.
- Place the wrapped dates on the prepared baking sheet and place in preheated oven to cook for 25-30 minutes or until bacon is crispy.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with honey drizzled on top or on the side for dipping, if desired.