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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