Air fryer bacon wrapped dates stuffed with creamy goat cheese and a sweet honey drizzle are the perfect appetizer for your next get together. You can truly never go wrong with dates or bacon, let alone when you combine them together! Even better, by making these in the air fryer you can have a delicious appetizer that is quick & easy to make.
I discovered my love for bacon wrapped dates at my favorite restaurant in Laguna Beach. Imagine a sunny Saturday afternoon, enjoying a cold glass of rose and a bacon-wrapped date while overlooking the Pacific Ocean - what more could you want? Unfortunately, due to the pandemic and a change in management, I can no longer enjoy this beautiful Saturday afternoon. So, I had to do what I often do, which is figure out how to recreate them at home. While I cannot provide the rose or ocean view, I can at least provide you with the recipe for the best bacon wrapped dates you've ever eaten!
Not only are these bacon wrapped dates extremely easy to make, but they are even easier to cook when you use the air fryer. The air fryer allows for them to cook evenly, making the bacon crispy on the outside and the date soft and gooey on the inside.
The natural sweetness from the dates and the smokey bacon combine perfectly for the most decadent and delicious appetizer. If that isn't enough, the creamy goat cheese middle and the honey drizzle kick these bacon wrapped dates up to another level.
Medjool dates: be certain to get Medjool dates and not regular dates. Medjool dates are much larger, softer, and decadent than regular dates.
If you have leftover dates, I recommend adding some nut butter (my favorite is cashew butter) and chocolate chips and enjoy as a sweet treat.
Bacon: when purchasing bacon, look for uncured bacon and nitrate free.
Cheese: this recipe uses goat cheese but you can use any cheese you like. I've also used a Toscano black pepper cheese and caramelized onion cheddar cheese - both from Trader Joe's. You can't really go wrong.
Honey: if you don't like honey, you could try this recipe with a balsamic glaze (Trader Joes makes one) but I tried both ways and preferred honey.
- Air fryer - any air fryer will work but I use the Instant Vortex 4 Quart Air Fryer. I've tried making these in the oven in the past but I found that they didn't cook as evenly. The air fryer cooks the dates evenly and quickly.
- Toothpicks - this may be common knowledge but I was not sure where to look for toothpicks in the grocery store. I ended up finding them on the aisle with paper plates and napkins. Hopefully this helps somebody and I'm not the only one that didn't know where to find tooth picks 🙂
How to Make Air Fryer Bacon Wrapped Dates
This recipe makes 8 bacon wrapped dates. Feel free to cut the recipe in half or double it.
First, with a small sharp knife, slice the dates lengthwise on one side to create an opening into the center. If you did not get pitted dates, remove the pit. Repeat this step with all of the dates.
With a small knife or spoon, stuff each date with goat cheese. The amount of goat cheese you use will vary depending on the size of your dates. Add enough to fill the inside of the date with goat cheese. Repeat this step with all of the dates.
Next, slice all of the bacon slices in half.
Lay one of the cheese filled dates at the end of a slice of bacon. Tightly roll the bacon around the date and secure the bacon with a toothpick. Try and minimize the amount of bacon that overlaps when you wrap it around the date. Too much overlap will cause the bacon to cook unevenly. You want just enough overlap to secure the bacon around the date. If you have too much, remove the bacon, trim off the excess, and re-wrap the date. Repeat this step with all of the dates.
For easy cleanup, line the basket of your air fryer with tin foil. Next, preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once the air fryer is preheated, arrange the dates in the basket of your air fryer with enough space so they are not touching. If you have a small air fryer, you may need to make these in batches. My 6 quart air fryer fits 8 dates perfectly.
Check on your dates after 5 minutes. Use tongs to rotate the dates so that the side that was touching the tin foil is now facing the side. The bottom side is most likely less cooked than the rest of the date and you want to make sure the dates cook evenly.
Return the basket to your air fryer and continue cooking for another 5 minutes. The exact cook time may vary slightly depending on your air fryer. If your dates do not look like the picture below after the 10 minutes is up, continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes.
Once the dates are done cooking, use tongs to remove from the basket and onto a large plate. Add the honey drizzle and enjoy!
Yes! Cook them at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes. Keep a close eye on them while they are cooking. Cook time may vary.
Air Fryer Bacon Wrapped Dates
- 1 Air fryer
- 8 Medjool dates
- 4 strips bacon
- 4-8 tablespoon goat cheese (this will depend on how big your dates are - you want enough to fill the inside of each date)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 8 Toothpicks
- With a small sharp knife, slice the dates lengthwise to create an opening into the center of the date. Do not slice the entire date in half. If you did not get pitted dates, remove the pit. Repeat with all of the dates.
- Using a knife or spoon, add enough goat cheese to fill the middle of each date.
- Next, take a sharp knife, cut each slice of bacon into two.
- Lay the cheese filled dates at the end of one of the slices of bacon. Tightly roll the bacon around the date and secure the bacon with a toothpick. Try and minimize the amount of bacon that overlaps when you wrap it around the date. This will cause the bacon to cook unevenly. If you have too much overlap, remove the bacon, trim off the excess and re-wrap the date. Repeat this will all of the dates.
- Line the basket of your air fryer with tin foil and preheat your air fryer to 400°F. Set the timer to 10 minutes.
- After the air fryer is preheated, add the dates to the basket of the air fryer.
- Halfway through cooking, use tongs to rotate the dates so that the underneath side of the date is now facing to the side. This will allow the bacon to cook evenly.
- Replace the basket and continue cooking for another 5 minutes. Cook time may vary depending on the type of air fryer you have. If the bacon is not crispy, cook for another 2 minutes.
- Once they are done cooking, use tongs to remove the dates from the basket and drizzle with honey.