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Recipes

Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates Appetizer

Who wants to see something a little less carby and a little more healthy on the party table? Yeah, me too.

Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates are one of my all-time favorite party snacks. They’re ridiculously easy to make and everyone loves them. People usually eye them for a few minutes because they’re not sure what they are, then say, “wow, that’s so good!” after trying one.

This appetizer is:

Gluten-free, Grain-free,
Vegetarian, Simple-to-Prepare,
Healthy & Delicious

My dear friend Ann Wolter taught me how to make these years ago with fresh figs. She suggested using dates when I couldn’t find fresh figs and I’ve made them this way ever since. Dates are easier to come by and usually easier on the budget, but if you have a pile of fresh delicious figs they work beautifully here, too.

What I love about this healthy appetizer is that it’s a little unexpected, and different from so many bread-heavy appetizers.

Let’s talk Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates ingredients:

Goat cheese: I don’t use a lot of dairy, but one exception I occasionally make is goat cheese. Goat’s milk is full of medium-chain fats that are much easier to digest than cow’s milk. It’s a little tangy and pairs really well with the sweetness of the dates and acid in the balsamic. Use organic goat cheese if you can, but as always just buy the best ingredients you can afford. You can substitute a vegan cream cheese here to make this completely dairy-free and vegan.

Dates: Use Medjool dates here if you can, they are usually a little bigger and more plump. I recently found a big pack of Medjool dates in the produce section of Costco for a really good price. You can also find them at most grocery stores. Dates are a dried fruit that are full of enzymes, minerals and fiber. They do contain a decent amount of natural sugar but they’re much better for you than anything with refined sugar.

Almonds: I prefer plain, not roasted, unsalted almonds here. The crunch of the almonds with the soft dates and cheese make these little bites delightful. The almonds will slightly toast in the oven giving them a really nice flavor. I’ve never tried this with another type of nut, but if you’re allergic to almonds you can leave them out.

Balsamic vinegar: The range in quality of balsamic vinegar goes somewhere between so acidic that it hurts your tongue, to sweet and balanced. Balsamic is one area that you want to get the best you can afford—the longer it’s aged the better. There are also different textures of balsamic and the longer it’s aged, usually the thicker and more syrupy it is. I use the Grand Reserve Balsamic Vinegar from Thrive Market for this dish. It’s thick and drizzles really well, plus, it’s a good price. When buying balsamic, just make sure there isn’t any sugar added to it. A high-quality one will just be balsamic vinegar with no additives. The sweetness and texture comes from the aging process.

Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates Elizabeth Rider Blog

Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates Appetizer
 
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Author:
Yield: 24
Ingredients
  • 12 Medjool dates
  • 4oz soft goat cheese (chevre)
  • 24 raw unsalted almonds
  • Balsamic vinegar
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Slice each date in half, lengthwise, and remove the pit and stem.
  2. Set out a 9x13" baking sheet. Fill each date with about ½ teaspoon of goat cheese and press one almond into each.
  3. Bake in the oven for approximately 10 minutes, to warm through.
  4. Finish by drizzling the stuffed dates with a good quality, aged balsamic vinegar.
  5. If your vinegar is thin, reduce it in a saucepan over medium to high heat for 10-15 minutes to thicken it. Let cool before drizzling.
  6. Serve at room temperature or slightly warmed.

 

If you try them, let us know how they turn out in the comments below!

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Add A Comment

  1. cindy Kay barnette

    February 21st, 2019 at 2:17 pm

    do have any nutritional information on this recipe?

  2. Elizabeth Rider

    February 21st, 2019 at 3:58 pm

    Hi Cindy, I don’t count calories because I don’t feel that it’s healthy or sustainable in the long term. All of my recipes focus on high-quality, close-to-nature food. Thanks for being here! ~Elizabeth

  3. Caroline Horn

    March 11th, 2019 at 10:23 pm

    I made these for a birthday party on the beach for a crowd of endurance athletes. I was a little nervous about what to bring, and these were a huge hit! Thanks for my new go-to appie!

  4. Elizabeth Rider

    March 12th, 2019 at 5:08 pm

    Caroline, so glad to hear it! These are one of my favorites, too. Thanks for stopping by to comment. ~E

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