Dates stuffed with goat cheese are a quick appetizer or snack that’s fancy enough to serve for holiday parties and gatherings yet simple enough to make throughout the week. Featuring less than ten ingredients, they’re sweet, savory, and guaranteed to satisfy all your tastebuds!
Stuffed Medjool Dates
If you’ve never had filled dates, you’re in for a treat with this stuffed dates recipe! One of my favorite snacks to keep on hand, they make you feel like you’re enjoying appetizers at a fancy restaurant but couldn’t be easier to make.
Plus, they’re full of nutrients and even pack a punch of protein to help keep you satisfied until your next meal. With minimal prep time and a cook time of less than 10 minutes, they’re great to whip up for a crowd and store well to enjoy throughout the week. One bite, and they’re sure to become your new go-to recipe!
Ingredients & Notes
- Goat cheese - Goat cheese logs can be found in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores. I stuck with a plain version for this recipe, but you could also switch things up with an herbed variety. Or, if preferred feta cheese would also work.
- Greek yogurt - Used to create a creamy filling with a tangy flavor and extra protein. Full-fat varieties are best, but any fat percentage will work as long as the flavor is plain.
- Seasonings - Garlic powder and sea salt and a nice savory flavor to the filling.
- Dates - The star of the show, large Medjool dates act as a “shell” for the filling and provide a sweet flavor. Pitted varieties will make the process easy, but the pit can easily be removed with a knife.
- Garnishes - Technically optional but highly recommended, a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of chopped pistachios enhance the sweet and salty flavor of these stuffed Medjool dates while adding a satisfying crunch.
Which cheese goes best with dates?
A soft cheese pairs best with dates as it’s easiest to fill. I personally prefer a strong savory cheese like goat cheese, feta, or even blue cheese which compliments the sweetness from the dates effortlessly. However, a sweeter cheese like cream cheese, mascarpone, or ricotta works as well.
How to Make Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates
This filled dates recipe looks super fancy but is actually really simple to prepare. All you need is a food processor or high-speed blender and a baking sheet.
Step 1: Prepare the filling. Place the goat cheese, Greek yogurt, garlic powder, and sea salt into the bowl of a food processor or a high-speed blender. Pulse until the ingredients are well combined and creamy, scraping down the edges of the bowl as needed.
Step 2: Stuff the dates. Slice each date in half lengthwise, and remove the pit. Then, use a spoon to fill each date with the goat cheese mixture, and place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, leaving space in between each piece.
Step 3: Bake. Transfer the stuffed dates to a preheated oven, and bake until the cheese is melty and light golden brown on top.
Step 4: Garnish. While warm, drizzle honey over each date, and sprinkle them with the chopped nuts. Allow them to cool slightly, and enjoy!
Stuffed Dates Recipe Variations
- Add some bacon pieces on top of the goat cheese dates for a salty savory flavor.
- Swap the pistachios with chopped pecans and pomegranate seeds for a festive flare.
- Add some rosemary to the blender with the goat cheese for a rosemary-flavored cheese spread. You can top each stuffed date with a little twig of rosemary too!
- Top the goat cheese dates with a spoonful of caramelized onions for a savory twist.
Filled Dates Expert Tips
- Make sure the goat cheese mixture is thick yet creamy. You don’t want it too runny or it won’t stay inside the date.
- Watch the dates closely in the oven so they don’t overcook. You just need the cheese on top to get a nice golden brown color to it.
- Drizzle the honey over the dates while they’re warm. The honey will melt into the cheese on top making it even more delicious.
- Don’t bite into one right away! Even though the date may be warm, the cheese in the middle needs some time to cool down slightly.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. When ready to enjoy, either eat cold right away or heat them up in the microwave or toaster oven for 10 seconds until the cheese is warm. You can also pop them back in the oven at 300 F for 2 - 3 minutes to warm up the cheese in the middle.
Frequently Asked Questions
If your cheese mixture is too thin, it won’t stay inside the date. Make sure your spread is thick enough to scoop with a spoon without it running off the edge.
Dates contain a good amount of natural sugars which they release when cooked. Make sure to place a piece of parchment paper on your baking sheet so they are easy to remove once cooked.
Regular dates and Medjool dates come from different varieties of the same plant. Regular dates are typically hard and must be soaked in water before cooking or eating. Meanwhile, Medjool dates are larger, softer, and easier to eat.
More delicious appetizers to try:
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Dates Stuffed with Goat Cheese
- 8 oz goat cheese
- 3 tablespoon greek yogurt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 24 medjool dates
- Honey - optional, to garnish
- Pistachios - finely chopped, optional, to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400 F. Place the goat cheese, greek yogurt, garlic powder, and sea salt into a food processor or high speed blender and blend until creamy. Scrape down the sides every now and then to ensure everything is getting mixed. Set aside.8 oz goat cheese, 3 tablespoon greek yogurt, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Cut the medjool dates lengthwise and remove the pit. Use a spoon to fill the date with the goat cheese mixture. Place each date on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, leaving about an inch in between each one. Repeat this step with remaining dates.24 medjool dates
- Bake the dates in the oven for 5 - 7 minutes until the cheese is toasty on top. Remove the sheet from the oven.
- While warm, drizzle some honey over top of each date and sprinkle with chopped pistachios. Allow the dates to cool down slightly and enjoy!Honey, Pistachios