Method: Grill or SmokerJump to Recipe
Bacon wrapped dates are a classic Spanish tapas served frequently in bars and bodegas across Spain. These Spanish appetizers are stuffed with assorted meats or cheeses and then wrapped in bacon and cooked to crispy perfection. Also known as Devils on Horseback, these Spanish appetizers are easy to make, and are the perfect finger food when you need an easy appetizer to feed a crowd.
Making the Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates
To make these grilled dates wrapped in bacon, you will need dates, bacon, and whatever filling you wish to stuff the dates wish. You will also want a balsamic vinegar glaze to finish the stuffed dates. This is a super easy appetizer recipe that can be prepped ahead of time.
Prep your ingredients
Prep the Devils on Horseback appetizer by cutting your bacon slices in half, preparing your filling, and pitting the dates (if needed).
What are the best dates for stuffing?
Our favorite stuffed dates recipes use Medjool dates. Medjool dates are typically larger than Deglet dates and are picked earlier in the season so they are sweeter as well. Due to there larger size Medjool dates are perfect for stuffing and make the best Devils on Horseback appetizer.
Best way to pit dates
If possible, look for dates that have already been pitted, as this will save you a lot of time. If you need to pit the dates yourself there are a couple of different methods that you can use.
To remove the pits for stuffed dates you can use serrated knife to slice down the side of the date and then remove the pit or stone. For small dates a cherry pitter will sometimes work, though this method does not typically work as well with the larger Medjool dates
We have found the best way to remove the pits from Medjool dates is with a seafood pick. You can simply use the tool to scoop the pit out of the top of the date.
What is best to stuff dates with?
In Spain you are most likely to find Spanish stuffed dates filled with cured meats or cheeses. Below are some of our favorite ways to make these grilled or smoked bacon wrapped dates.
Bacon Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Goat Cheese
Goat cheese stuffed Medjool dates are one of our favorite ways to make these smoked bacon wrapped dates. A simple goat cheese works perfectly for this date appetizer, or use a flavored goat cheese like black pepper or herb goat cheese for an added hit of flavor. You really can't go wrong with dates stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in bacon!
Manchego Stuffed Dates
Spanish dates stuffed with manchego cheese is another classic tapas recipe. The buttery semi-hard cheese holds up well to the heat of the grill in these grilled bacon wrapped dates.
Other Cheese Stuffed Dates
Other great options for cheese stuffed bacon wrapped dates include blue cheese, or even cream cheese. Really, any of your favorite cheeses will work. We have even used our Smoked Bacon Pimento Cheese as a filling for the bacon wrapped dates.
Chorizo Stuffed Dates
Dates stuffed with Spanish Chorizo is another classic way to serve these tapas. The salty and slightly spicy chorizo pairs perfectly with the sweet dates. Be certain you are using the cured Spanish chorizo and not the Mexican variety. If you have extra chorizo, give our Spanish Inspired Pasta Salad a try.
Dates Stuffed with Nuts
Almonds, walnuts, or pecans also make a great filling for bacon wrapped dates. They can be used alone, or even along with some of the soft cheese fillings mentioned above.
Stuff and Wrap the Dates
Stuff the dates with your desired filling, then wrap with the half piece of bacon and secure with a toothpick.
Grilling or Smoking the Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates
Although this Devils on Horseback recipe can be made in the oven, making these bacon wrapped Medjool dates on a grill or smoker is our favorite way to prepare the appetizer.
Preheat your grill or smoker to 350-400 degrees and set up for indirect heat. We find it easiest to cook the smoked bacon wrapped dates on a grill tray so you can easily rotate and turn the grilled dates while they cook.
Cook the Bacon Wrapped Medjool Dates for about 15 minutes, then flip them over and continue to cook until the bacon is cooked to your preference. Once the Devils on Horseback are done cooking, remove them to a serving tray.
Remove the smoked stuffed date appetizer to a plate and drizzle with the balsamic vinegar glaze. Enjoy while warm.
Everything is better with bacon. Be sure to try more of our favorite bacon wrapped and bacon inspired recipes:
- Creamy Irish Colcannon with Bacon
- Smoked Bacon Pimento Cheese
- Spicy, Bacon Wrapped Shrimp: Bottle Rocket Shrimp
- Grilled Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts
- Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin
- Beef Tostada Burger with Bacon Patty
- Charro Beans With Hickory Smoked Bacon
What to serve with Spanish Bacon Wrapped Dates
The stuffed dates are a perfect appetizer for grilled meats or a Spanish inspired meal like Spanish Cochinillo Asado: Roast Suckling Pig. They can also be served as part of a tapas meal with other finger foods:
- Smoked Dry Rubbed Chicken Wings
- Italian Style Parmesan Wings
- Smoked Pumpkin Seeds
- Fried Sausage Wontons
Of course, no Spanish meal is complete without some Blackberry Red Sangria
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Grilled Bacon Wrapped Dates
- 24 Dates Preferably Medjool
- 12 Slices Bacon Halved
- Balsamic Vinegar Glaze
- 4 Ounces Goat Cheese
- 4 Ounces Spanish Style Chorizo Salami
- 4 Ounces Manchego Cheese
- Cut the bacon slices in half and remove the pits from the dates, if there are not already pitted. If using, cut the chorizo into small pieces that can be stuffed into the dates.
- Stuff the dates with the pieces of chorizo, goat cheese, manchego cheese, or other desired filling.
- Wrap the bacon around the stuffed dates and secure with a toothpick.
- Heat your grill or smoker to 350-400 degrees and set up for indirect heat.
- Cook the stuffed bacon wrapped dates for about 15 minutes, then flip the dates over and continue to cook until the bacon is done to your preference.
- Remove the smoked stuffed date appetizer to a plate and drizzle with the balsamic vinegar glaze. Enjoy while warm.