Roasted Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates with a Rosemary-Walnut Topping and drizzle of hot honey. This stuffed dates recipe is a crowd-pleasing appetizer that's easy to make and sure to impress!
Why You'll Love these Roasted Stuffed Dates
Creamy dollops of goat cheese stuffed inside sticky-sweet dates, then topped with a crunchy rosemary-walnut mixture and baked to perfection.
These tasty morsels are a total show shopper.
Between the holiday parties we attend and host, I have made some version of these tasty stuffed dates for every single one of them.
Every time I THINK I'm going to switch it up and try something new, I find myself right back here.
They’re just SO simple to make, and can be prepped hours ahead (double win!). And while they're best served warm, room temperature is almost just as good.
I also love how versatile this stuffed dates recipe is.
Not a fan of goat cheese? Plenty of suitable substitutions. Nut allergy? Seeds also work great!
The magic lies in the flavor and texture mashup, and the beauty of a two-bite treat.
- Dates: It’s important to use specifically Medjool dates for this recipe, whose large size, soft texture, and delicious caramel-y flavor work best. When slicing the dates, just be sure to only cut through the top half of the date so that the filling will not run out the bottom. Dates are a rich source of minerals and B-vitamins.
- Goat Cheese: You need 1 (4-oz.) log of plain goat cheese. Goat cheese works particularly well since it won’t immediately melt and ooze out. For easier handling, leave the goat cheese out at room temperature to soften for about 20 minutes.
- Walnuts: A fantastic source of omega-3 fatty acids, minerals, and folate, walnuts add richness and crunch.
- Orange: You need both the zest of juice of 1 naval orange. The orange adds brightness and a touch of acidity to the walnut mixture.
- Rosemary: This rustic herb adds a beautiful, festive touch. The combination of rosemary, orange, and cinnamon is just *chef's kiss*.
- Cinnamon: A touch of ground cinnamon adds warmth and a hint of spice to the filling.
- Olive Oil: Use a good quality olive oil here - anything too grassy will overwhelm the walnut mixture.
- Hot Honey: Optional, however I love the sweetness and spice of hot honey. If you do opt for a finishing drizzle, add it after the dates are roasted.
For a complete list of recipe ingredients and quantities, see the recipe card below.
- Almond Stuffed Dates: In place of walnuts, you can use chopped almonds or pistachios in this recipe.
- Cream Cheese Stuffed Dates: If you're not a fan of goat cheese, cream cheese also works great! The flavor will be much more mild, however still very tasty.
- Stuffed Dates Wrapped in Bacon: Take it up a notch and wrap each stuffed date in a thin slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick. Spread them out evenly on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes. Alternatively, you can top the dates with chopped bits of bacon.
- Blue Cheese Stuffed Dates: For extra funk, swap the goat cheese for blue cheese.
Step 1: Slice and Stuff each date with goat cheese. Arrange in a baking dish.
Step 2: Prepare Walnut Topping by combining walnuts, rosemary, orange zest and juice, cinnamon, salt, and olive oil. Spoon mixture evenly over dates.
Step 3: Roast Dates at 375ºF for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, transfer to a serving platter, and drizzle with hot honey.
While dates are high in natural sugars, they're also a rich source of minerals and several B-vitamins. It's best to enjoy dates in combination with protein and/or fat-rich foods, such as cheese, nuts to mitigate a blood sugar spike.
You can slice, stuff, and top the dates with the walnut mixture hours ahead of time. If you plan on roasting/serving them within the hour, you can leave them out at room temperature. Otherwise, refrigerate until ready to roast.
Store leftover goat cheese stuffed dates in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. To rewarm, bake at 350ºF for 15 minutes.
These stuffed dates are BEST enjoyed warm right out of the oven. However, you can certainly enjoy them at room temperature, or even chilled.
More Easy Appetizer Recipes:
Roasted Stuffed Dates
- 9x9-inch baking pan, round cake pan, or small baking sheet
- 1 (12-oz.) pkg. pitted Medjool dates
- 1 (4-oz.) log goat cheese *soften to room temperature for easier handling
- ⅓ cup very finely chopped walnuts
- 2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
- 1 tsp. orange zest plus 2 tsp. fresh orange juice (from 1 navel orange)
- ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. sea salt
- 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- A drizzle of hot honey for garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375ºF.Use a small sharp knife (such as a pairing knife) to slice open the dates lengthwise (do not slice all of the way through). Break open date and fill each one with 1 to 2 teaspoons of goat cheese.Arrange dates in a 9x9-inch baking pan, round cake pan, or small baking sheet.
- In a small bowl, combine walnuts, rosemary, orange zest and juice, ground cinnamon, sea salt, and olive oil; mix well.
- Spoon walnut mixture over stuffed dates, and transfer pan to the oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before transferring to a serving platter and drizzling with hot honey. Serve warm.
- Store leftover goat cheese stuffed dates in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. To rewarm, bake at 350ºF for 15 minutes.