Blue Cheese Pecan Dates are an amazing appetizer that is both easy and impressive with candied pecans, crumbled blue cheese, pitted dates, and bacon.
These amazing cheese stuffed dates are the perfect Appetizer Recipe to serve at holiday parties and special occasions. Put them out with other party favorites like Brown Sugar Bacon Smokies and Cocktail Meatballs.
For this recipe, sweet dates are filled with a soft cheese mixture and topped off with crunchy pecans. Enjoy the recipe as an appetizer before your main meal, or put it out as an impressive party food. For a show-stopping cheese platter, serve Stuffed Dates along with your favorite cheeses Crusty Bread, fruit, nuts, and Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts.
The delicate finger food looks wonderfully elegant, but it’s surprisingly easy to make with basic ingredients. The filling is made with crumbled slices of bacon, cream cheese, blue cheese, onion, and orange juice. Then those savory, and tangy flavors are all combined into a creamy mixture to fill the dates.
Can Blue Cheese Stuffed Dates be made ahead?
Stuffed Dates are best served fresh, as the moisture will start to seep out over time. However, if you’re serving these dates for a special occasion and want to get ahead on cooking, you can make the cream filling a few days in advance. Once the ingredients are combined, cover them and keep them in the fridge for up to 3 days. Then on the day that you’re serving them, all you have to do is spoon the mixture into the dates and top it all off with pecans. Prep the candied pecans ahead of time as well, and store them in a sealed container or bag until you begin assembly.
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Key Ingredients in Blue Cheese Pecan Dates
- Bacon: There’s no flavor quite like bacon. The savory, smoky, salty addition to this recipe give the Dates a hardiness, plus the savory flavor balances nicely with sweet dates and creamy cheese.
- Blue Cheese: There is no mistaking the taste of blue cheese and if any flavor can be strong enough to hold up to bacon and dates, it is blue cheese! It’s sharp, earthy, and even pungent. There are some people out there who do not like blue cheese but mixed together with the other flavors here, it will be worth a try!
- Cream Cheese: Mixing the blue cheese and cream cheese together creates a nice creamy blend that is so pleasant to bite into. The cream cheese also mellows out the strong blue cheese flavor.
- Onions and Orange Juice: The onions are cooked in orange juice to give a little citrus kick to what will eventually be added to the cheese mixture. The citrus and onion help marry the other bold flavors to make the perfect bite.
- Pecans: Nutty flavor isn’t the only benefit of adding pecans. The crunchy texture of the candied pecans are fantastic, and the finished look just makes everyone want to try it.
How to Make Blue Cheese Pecan Dates
- Bacon: Cook the bacon in a skillet on medium heat until crispy. Remove and drain most of the grease, leaving behind 1 tablespoon.
- Onions: Add the onions to the oil and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add orange juice and cook until the liquid is gone. Remove onions to a small bowl to cool for 5 minutes.
- Blue Cheese: Mash the blue cheese and cream cheese together in a bowl. Add the red onions and bacon and mash the cheese mixture all together. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Serve: Add a small spoonful of the cheese mixture to each date, then top with a candied pecan and serve.
Blue Cheese Pecan Dates FAQs
Dates are a small, sweet fruit that comes from the date palm. They have a wrinkled texture that kind of looks like raisins, but they come straight off the tree looking like that. They also have a different flavor than raisins and are a little chewier.
If you purchase pitted dates you’ll see a clean slice, lengthwise, cut about halfway through the date. If you pull that slice open just a bit it is the perfect place to stuff the date.
How to Make Candied Pecans
Make your own Candied Pecans from scratch. It’s really pretty easy. Just follow these directions and your pecans be ready for this recipe, and for any other recipe you’d like to add them. They’re great in salads, trail mix, as a snack, as a topping for other treats and desserts.
- Prep Time: Start by preheating the oven to 250 degrees F. You can also line the baking sheet with parchment paper for easier clean-up.
- Candied Coating: Mix together ⅓ cup sugar, ⅓ cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and ¼ teaspoon salt, and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl.
- Egg Whites: In a separate bowl, whisk together one egg white until frothy.
- Coat Pecans: Toss the 1 pound of pecan halves in the egg whites. Then mix them in the sugar mixture until the pecans are coated.
- Cooking Time: Spread the pecans out over the baking sheet in a single layer. Put the tray in the oven for an hour, stopping to stir every 15 minutes to move the pecans so they cook on all sides.
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Variations on Blue Cheese Pecan Dates
- Walnut Stuffed Dates: You can use different kinds of nuts in this recipe instead of pecans. Candied walnuts would taste amazing with the dates.
- Cheese: Instead of blue cheese, you can try out different kinds of soft cheeses like fresh goat cheese, feta cheese, brie, or ricotta.
- Vegetarian Version: If you have any guests who don’t eat meat, you can easily remove the bacon from this recipe. Simply, make the cream cheese mixture without the bacon added in. You could also separate the cream cheese mixture into two bowls and mix bacon into one. Then you can make half vegetarian dates and half with meat. Just make sure to keep them separated when serving.
- Drizzle: For added sweet flavor and texture, you could drizzle some honey or maple syrup over the Stuffed Dates. Go easy on the drizzle, because this will add quite a bit of sweetness to your Dates.
- Hot and Spicy: Do you like things a little spicy? Love hot sauces? Mix in a dash or two of your favorite brand of. hot sauce into the cheese mixture. You could also sprinkle in a dash of cayenne pepper, or a pinch of crushed red pepper to the filling. Combining some spice with a sweet drizzle of honey or maple would be a winning combination!
How To Pit Your Own Dates
Pitting your dates is very important. The pits or seeds inside a date are long, skinny, and dense. You can typically purchase dates that are already pitted, however if you need to pit your own dates it is pretty easy. Cut the date lengthwise, but not all the way through. You will feel the knife hitting the pit as you slice. If you pry the date open with your thumbs and push the other side with your index fingers you’ll start to push out the pit. Use your fingers to grab it and push it out the rest of the way.
How to Store
- Serve: Due to the dairy and meat in this recipe, you shouldn’t leave this recipe at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
- Store: Place the dates in an airtight container with a paper towel at the bottom to absorb any excess moisture. Keep them in the fridge for 3-5 days.
- Freeze: Unfortunately, the cream in the filling won’t freeze and thaw well. If you haven’t finished the dates after 5 days, it’s better just to make them fresh.
- 4 slices bacon , cooked and chopped
- 1/2 cup red onion , minced
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup blue cheese , crumbled
- 4 ounces cream cheese , softened
- 24 candied pecan , halves
- 24 dates , pitted
- To a large skillet, add the bacon on medium heat.
- Cook until crispy but not burnt.
- Remove bacon and drain most of the grease (leaving 1 tablespoon behind).
- Add onions and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes.
- Add orange juice, stir well and cook for another 5 minutes until orange juice has cooked off.
- Let onions cool for 5 minutes in a small bowl.
- In a medium bowl mash together the blue cheese and cream cheese.
- Add in the red onions and bacon and mash together.
- Refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.
- Add a small spoonful of cream cheese mixture to each date and top with a candied pecan.