Sweet dates, smoky bacon, and creamy cheese, all in one tasty bite! These Air Fryer Bacon-Wrapped Dates make a delicious finger food appetizer. Cooked quickly and evenly in an air fryer, this recipe needs only three ingredients. Make ahead and freeze for a tapas night at home!
Not simply Bacon-Wrapped Dates, these are Air Fryer Bacon-Wrapped Dates! A favourite 3-ingredient finger food, now baked to crispy, squishy perfection in your air fryer.
You'll know my love for these two-bite appetizers if you've read my recipe for How to Make Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Dates in the oven.
Naturally sweet, soft dates, creamy cheese, smoky bacon, all in one neat and tidy package, ready to pop in your mouth! And now with an air fryer, you can avoid turning on the oven, and clean up will be minimal. If you're looking for a make-ahead bacon appetizer that everyone loves, this is it!
Ready to make a quick batch? You only need three ingredients.
Medjool dates: these are large, soft and squishy dates, perfect for wrapping in bacon. Smaller baking dates will not work with this recipe. Medjool dates are not dried fruit. They're actually fresh. They're harvested from the date palm and packaged right away with no processing required. Read more about their health benefits in this article, Everything You Need to Know about Medjool Dates.
goat cheese: or other soft cheese, like blue cheese or cream cheese. These are also delicious with Manchego cheese, or sharp cheddar.
These bacon-wrapped stuffed dates make a quick and easy appetizer or snack, especially when cooked in an air fryer. Here's a quick overview of what you'll do. You'll find complete directions in the recipe card below.
- Begin by removing the pit from each date. Use a sharp paring knife to cut a little slit lengthwise on one side of the date. The pit will come out easily.
- Fill the cavity with a small amount (about a teaspoon) of goat cheese, or cheese of your choice.
- Once you've stuffed the opening, gently pinch the date closed to keep the cheese in before wrapping with bacon.
- Cut bacon slices in half widthwise. Place the filled date on one end of the slice, roll, and secure with a toothpick.
- Air fry at 360°F. for 12 minutes, checking partway through. Air frying cooking times are always a basic guideline. It's a good idea to test recipes first in your own air fryer and adjust the time as needed.
The easiest way to stuff dates is to fill a piping bag with goat cheese and use a frosting tip to pipe it into the cavity. An even easier way is to buy the goat cheese in a tube, snip off one of the corners, and squeeze it into the date.
If you're using blue cheese or cream cheese, just use a small spoon. For Manchego, simply cut a small slice. Use about 1 teaspoon of cheese per date, depending on their size. Don't overfill, or the cheese will melt and leak out while the dates are baking.
Thinly sliced bacon works best, as it cooks faster. You'll only need half a slice for each date.
Wrap each date so that there is just a small amount of overlap and secure it with a toothpick. To prevent the bacon from coming off the date, make sure to insert the toothpick in the meaty part of the bacon and not the fat. If the bacon slice has too much of an overlap, part of it will not cook evenly.
🔁 Possible Variations
Change the type of cheese you use. Instead of goat cheese, try blue cheese, cream cheese, or another strong-flavoured cheese like sharp cheddar.
Or you could keep these authentically Spanish and serve them as tapas filled with Manchego cheese.
You may want to fill some of the dates with one type of cheese, and some with another, remembering that not everyone loves blue cheese!
A make-ahead bacon appetizer
Can you make these ahead of time? Yes! Fill the dates with cheese, wrap in bacon, secure with a toothpick, then freeze on a baking sheet. Once frozen, transfer the dates wrapped in bacon to a freezer storage bag and freeze for up to a month.
Let thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then follow the air frying instructions in the recipe card.
🍽 Serving Suggestions
Add these to a grazing board or an antipasto platter. Make these bacon-wrapped stuffed dates just one of the items for a meal made entirely of finger foods.
Check my Appetizer Category for more ideas or use any of the recipes below.
Enjoy these dates with bacon! *****If you love this recipe, please rate it 5 stars below and leave a comment to let everyone know what you thought about it.
Air Fryer Bacon Wrapped Dates
- 12 large Medjool dates
- 12 tsp soft goat cheese or blue cheese, about ¼ cup
- 6 strips bacon, hormone free, nitrate-free sliced crosswise (not thick-cut bacon)
- 12 sturdy toothpicks
- With a small sharp knife, make a lengthwise slit in one side of each date and remove the pit.
- Stuff about 1 teaspoon of cheese into the cavity.
- Cut bacon slices in half, widthwise, to make 12 pieces.
- Lay the filled date on one end of a half slice of bacon. Roll up and secure with a toothpick.
- Preheat the air fryer to 390°F. for 3 minutes. Place the wrapped dates in the air fryer basket so they are not touching each other. Set the timer for 8 minutes. When time is up, open the air fryer drawer and either give the basket a good shake or use tongs to flip the dates over. Continue cooking for 3 - 5 minutes, or until bacon is crisp.
- Drain on paper towel. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.
- Refrigerate leftovers in a covered container.
- The easiest way to stuff dates is to fill a piping bag with goat cheese and use a frosting tip to pipe it into the cavity. An even easier way is to buy the goat cheese in a tube, snip off one of the corners, and squeeze it into the date.
- If you're using blue cheese or cream cheese, just use a small spoon. For Manchego, simply cut a small slice. Use about 1 teaspoon of cheese per date, depending on their size. Don't overfill, or the cheese will melt and leak out while the dates are baking.
- Thinly sliced bacon works best, as it cooks faster. You'll only need half a slice for each date.
- Wrap each date so that there is just a small amount of overlap and secure it with a toothpick. To prevent the bacon from coming off the date, make sure to insert the toothpick in the meaty part of the bacon and not the fat. If the bacon slice has too much of an overlap, part of it will not cook evenly.
This is the air fryer I use. I like it because it's not too big to store in my kitchen, it works well, and it's incredibly easy to clean. (affiliate link)