These goat cheese stuffed dates are the perfect sweet and salty appetizer that come together in 15 minutes with 5 ingredients: dates, goat cheese, honey, and pistachios. They can be enjoyed as is or baked in the oven, topped with crushed pistachios, a generous drizzle of hot honey, and fresh herbs.
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Why We Love These
This appetizer is a crowd pleaser. It gets bonus points for coming together with 5 simple ingredients in a matter of minutes.
If you enjoy Mediterranean flavors and the balance of sweet and salty (often found in Moroccan cuisine), chances are you will love this easy recipe too.
The combination of fatty goat cheese with the natural sweetness of the dates, topped with salty pistachios and a drizzle of hot honey hits all of those flavor elements we love, as chronicled in Samin Nosrat's Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat.
Here's everything you will need to make these:
- large Medjool dates
- goat cheese, softened to room temperature
- pistachios, shelled and chopped roughly
- hot honey or regular honey
- Optional: fresh thyme, chives, or basil
See recipe card for quantities.
Step by Step Instructions
Prep the dates. Using a small knife, slice into a date lengthwise just enough to remove the pit. Do so with all of the dates.
Stuff the dates. Stuff the dates with goat cheese using a small spoon. Chop the pistachios and press the dates into them, cheese side down, to top them off.
Optional: If you don't have hot honey and would like to add a bit of spice, sprinkle some red chili flakes into the goat cheese and mix before stuffing the dates.
Drizzle with honey. Heat the honey in the microwave in 15 second intervals or in a saucepan until warm. Drizzle generously over the stuffed dates.
Enjoy! Keep reading for baking instructions if desired. Enjoy with a sprinkle of fresh thyme, chives, or basil.
Baking Instructions: If you want to melt the cheese and serve these warm, you can bake at 375 degrees F / 191 degrees C for 8-10 minutes, or until the goat cheese begins to melt and bubble.
What to Eat With Stuffed Dates
I recommend serving these with some other Salima's Kitchen reader favorites:
If you're looking to make these a bit more filling, or just mix it up a bit, here are some easy variations:
- Bacon wrapped - Cut strips of bacon in half and wrap a piece around each date before baking until the bacon is fully cooked.
- Assorted nuts - Mix up the kind of nuts you use; I enjoy using walnuts, almonds, or even pecans.
- Herbed goat cheese - Mix some minced fresh herbs into the goat cheese before stuffing into the dates to amp up the flavor.
Dates are delicious when paired with a variety of different cheeses. Here are some ideas if you're looking to mix up the flavor and try something other than goat cheese:
- Brie cheese - cut a round of brie into small wedges and stuff the dates with the wedges
- Cottage cheese - if you're into the latest cottage cheese trend, feel free to use a small scoop of this high protein cheese
- Blue cheese - dates and blue cheese are a match made in heaven; this is probably my favorite to use (second to goat cheese)
- Feta - feta cheese gives a nice sharp bite that can be easy to cube up and stuff into the dates
- Hard cheeses - you can also try a hard cheese like fontina, sharp cheddar, or gouda
Dairy Free Options
If you're looking for a dairy free alternative to stuff your dates with, I like using a scoop of peanut butter or vegan feta.
These are best enjoyed fresh, but can keep in the fridge in an air tight container for up to 5 days.
I recommend holding off on topping with the nuts and honey until ready to serve, as these ingredients don't hold up the same when stored in the fridge.