A fun, simple appetizer to start off your Thanksgiving feast! Creamy whipped goat cheese topped with a caramelized mixture of dates, shallots, vinegar and honey, with bacon and fried rosemary crumbled over top. You can serve this just like a dip, with either toasted bread or crackers for dipping. Kind of a spin on the classic “bacon wrapped dates” that everyone loves to bring to a party. It’s bold, flavorful, and such a beautiful dip to serve for any fall or winter holiday.
Over on Instagram, I frequently ask readers what kind of recipes they want to see. I’ll usually do a request like this before a new season starts or for a major holiday. One of the Thanksgiving requests that came in was some sort of recipe for bacon wrapped dates.
It got me thinking what I could do to make this appetizer, which is typically just composed of those two ingredients, a little different. And so, this whipped goat cheese dish was born. With all that lovely sweet & savory bacon and date flavor on top.
whipped goat cheese with bacon & dates – the details
You’ll start by cooking off some bacon. I like to do this in a cast-iron skillet so that all of the bacon drippings are left to use for cooking the rest of the topping. Some rosemary, shallots, sweet medjool dates, a splash of apple cider vinegar, and honey get cooked in the bacon fat until caramelized and sticky.
Meanwhile, the whipped goat cheese is made right in the food processor. It’s flavored simply with honey, olive oil, and black pepper…with some greek yogurt making it extra creamy. I like to serve this on a platter so that you can spread the goat cheese into a thin layer. This way, you get a little topping in every spoonful.
For serving, either toasted crusty bread or simple crackers work just perfectly. I kind of like the bread best though, so you have a softer bite with the creamy goat cheese.Print
Whipped Goat Cheese with Bacon & Dates
creamy whipped goat cheese topped with crispy bacon, sweet dates, caramelized shallots, and fried rosemary…served with toasted bread for dipping
- 6 oz raw bacon slices
- 12 oz crumbled goat cheese, at room temperature
- ½ cup greek yogurt
- 4 tbsp honey, split
- 2 tbsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 tbsp water
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
- 12 medjool dates, pitted + roughly chopped (about 6 oz chopped)
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- toasted bread or crackers, for dipping
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lay the bacon in one, even layer in a 12” cast-iron skillet. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until crisp.
- Meanwhile, combine the goat cheese, greek yogurt, 2 tablespoons of honey, olive oil, water, salt, and a few cracks of black pepper in a food processor. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Spoon the whipped goat cheese out onto a large plate or into a shallow bowl. Set aside.
- Transfer the bacon onto a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Place the skillet (with all of the bacon drippings) over medium heat. Add the rosemary sprigs. Allow the rosemary to fry on both sides until crisp. Transfer it to the plate of bacon to drain.
- Add the shallots to the skillet. Cook for a few minutes until caramelized and tender. Stir in the dates, apple cider vinegar, and remaining 2 tablespoons of honey. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for just about a minute until reduced and sticky.
- Spoon the date mixture over the goat cheese. Crumble the bacon and rosemary leaves over top. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and a few more cracks of black pepper. Serve with toasted bread or crackers alongside for dipping.
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17 thoughts on “Whipped Goat Cheese with Bacon & Dates”
Absolutely fantastic! So many layers of flavor and fun! A crowd pleaser that you won’t be able to stop eating!
Thanks for the feedback on this recipe, Katherine! I’m SO glad you enjoyed it!
What about using dried cranberries as an alternative to the dates? Any other suggestions for alternatives?? Thanks!
Hi Britt! I actually think dried cranberries would be great. They’ll plump up just like the dates and add a tart sweetness. Let me know if you give it a try! -Kayla
What about not using crumbled goat cheese, do you need to add Greek yogurt to the mix/ can I use my hand mixer with this arrangement instead of food processor?
Do you use dried dates?
Hi Brenda! I used dried medjool dates for this. They’re technically dried, but they’re not dehydrated, so they’re nice and plump/sweet/sticky. I hope you enjoy!
This looks amazing! Do you think it would be ok to make ahead and serve at room temp?
This is what I came here to ask!
Hi Erin! You can absolutely do this ahead. I would store the whipped goat cheese and date mixture separately in the fridge. Then let the goat cheese come to room temperature before spreading it onto the plate and I would recommend heating the date mixture in the microwave just slightly to bring it back to life! Hope this helps!!
Yes! Thank you so much! ?
One of the best appetizers!!!! Made this for a small group of friends and everyone raved about this. The dish was g-o-n-e, dredged empty by torn baguette. Will make this again and again. Thank you!
This is amazing to hear Joy!! Thrilled that everyone loved it. Thanks for sharing!
Can you use another cheese than goat cheese. (Not a fan).
Hi Carolyn! Yes, feta or ricotta cheese would be delicious. For feta, I would keep the recipe as is and just replace the goat cheese with the same amount of feta. For ricotta, I would omit the greek yogurt and use 1 pound of whole milk ricotta total. I hope this helps! -Kayla
Wow! That was fantastic! Halved it for my husband and myself. Will definitely make again!
Hi Jen – I am SO glad you enjoyed this! Thanks for sharing!!