If you’re looking for a no-cook party appetizer that’s ready in less than 10 minutes this goat cheese stuffed dates recipe is for you! All you need is medjool dates, goat cheese, walnuts, and a little bit of honey.
I’ve covered dates in chocolate for an easy snack (these are also great on holiday cookie tray) but a crowd favorite is this goat cheese stuffed dates recipe. They are a quick and easy bite-sized appetizer that really delivers on the wow factor.
Remove the pit from a few medjool dates, stuff them with creamy goat cheese, walnuts and finish with a good drizzle of Greek honey. That’s it! If you need a little kick, add a sprinkle of Aleppo pepper (totally optional).
Make these stuffed dates for your next party and watch them disappear in seconds! Don’t stop at goat cheese either! I have some more ideas for you like fig and apple, peanut butter and chocolate, and more!
Table of Contents
What are Medjool Dates?
Medjool dates are the tropical fruit of date palm trees. They have been cultivated in Morocco, North Africa, parts of the Middle East and other warmer climates for ages. You may also find them in warmer parts of the United States.
Medjool dates are soft, slightly sticky, and perfectly sweet, that’s why they are often called nature’s candy. Dates pack a lot of flavor and they are a good source of energy. So when the mid afternoon hunger hits me, I reach for a date to give me a boost. (Yes, you can add one or two dates to your list of Mediterranean diet snacks.)
You’ll find medjool dates sold in boxes in most grocery stores near the raw foods or in the dried fruit and nuts section.
How to Make Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates
This is literally the easiest party appetizer and it takes just a couple of simple steps:
- Remove the pit from the dates. Dates are a stone fruit, so unless you buy already pitted dates, you’ll need to open each date up and remove the stone.
- Stuff each date cavity with goat cheese (it helps if the cheese is at room temperature). Top with walnuts and drizzle honey on top to finish.
More Ways to Stuff Dates
I love the sweet and savory flavor combination of goat cheese stuffed dates, but it’s just one of many ways to enjoy tasty treats. They only take minutes to put together so why not try a few variations on the recipe?
- Manchego cheese with sliced Granny Smith Apples and a little fig jam (try our Greek fig jam for this!). Rich, mildly salty manchego pairs perfectly with apples. I selected Granny smith apples as they are not too sweet, since the dates are very sweet on their own.
- Peanut butter, almond butter or even tahini, and chocolate chips. Now, if you have a super sweet tooth, then this combination of flavors is for you.
- Feta stuffed dates with sundried tomatoes, topped with basil chiffonade and red pepper flakes (Aleppo pepper is my favorite). The sweetness of the date is subdued by salty feta and tangy sundried tomatoes. You can add honey to this option as well or keep it more on the saltier side
- Nuts! Yes, you can keep it simple and just stuff your dates with almonds, walnuts, or cashews! You don’t even need to chop the nuts. As long as they are shelled, they can go right inside the dates.
How to Serve Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates
This stuffed dates recipe is delicious at room temperature, but I also love goat cheese stuffed dates warmed up. When warmed dates are softer, velvety and the cheese is somewhat melty — they taste a tad more indulgent this way.
To heat stuffed dates: Assemble the dates on a sheet pan and stuff them with goat cheese and walnuts. Transfer to the oven and bake at 350°F for about 5 to 10 minutes or until the dates have softened and warmed through and the cheese has gained some color. Finish with honey and a dash of Aleppo pepper flakes if using.
What Else can I do with Dates?
There are so many ways to use sweet medjool dates. You can toss them in your homemade granola or use them to naturally sweeten your breakfast shake or cakes, like I do with banana bread.
Don’t forget sweet and savory work really well together. Where I come from, dates, raisins or dried apricots, are often used in savory dishes to elevate simple dishes like this rice pilaf. (You would typically remove the pit and chop the dates up real small so they don’t overwhelm the dish).
And if nothing else, you can serve dates alongside hot mint tea (this is a very Middle Eastern thing to do as a sign of hospitality).
More Quick and Easy Appetizers
Try our Greek Honey in this Recipe!
From the Greek island of Crete, this award-winning honey is sourced from bees feeding on the abundance of endemic wild and aromatic plants in the unspoiled mountain forest! It is exceptionally delicious in this recipe.
- 20 large medjool dates
For Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates:
- 4 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature
- ¼ to ⅓ cup walnut pieces
- Warmed honey, for garnish
- Red pepper flakes, or Aleppo pepper, optional for garnish
- Remove the pit. Cut the Medjool dates in half length-wise and remove the pit.
- Stuff the dates. Open the dates and fill the cavity with goat cheese, then top with the walnut (just gently push the walnut a bit into the goat cheese filling). Drizzle a little honey and finish with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes or Aleppo pepper, if using. Transfer to a serving platter (See notes if serving warm).
- To serve warm: Preheat your oven to 350°F. Assemble the pitted dates on a large sheet pan and stuff with the goat cheese and walnuts (hold the honey for now). Bake for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the dates have softened and warmed through and the cheese has gained some color. Remove from the oven and finish with honey and pepper flakes. Serve immediately.
- Prepare ahead: You can make these goat cheese stuffed dates a day or so ahead of when you need to serve them. Just keep them in the fridge on a plate in one single layer. Take them out and allow them to come closer to room temperature before serving.
- If you can not use honey, try our fig jam instead. Just thin it out with a little water, then drizzle it over the top of the dates.
- Manchego cheese + sliced Granny Smith Apples and fig jam (try our Greek fig jam for this!)
- Peanut butter + almond butter or tahini + chocolate chips.
- Feta stuffed dates + sun-dried tomatoes + basil chiffonade + red pepper flakes (Aleppo pepper is my favorite).
- Keep it simple and just stuff your dates with almonds, walnuts, or cashews. No need to chop them! As long as they are shelled put them right inside the dates.