These goat cheese stuffed dates are an easy and delicious vegetarian appetizer for Christmas, New Year’s Eve, dinner parties, or any other festive occasion. Dates stuffed with goat cheese provide the perfect balance of sweet and savory flavors. They have a satisfying, creamy texture with just a little crunch from the pecans. This easy, gluten-free appetizer is delicious served warm or at room temperature.
Main ingredients and substitutions
I find it’s best to use Medjool dates in this goat cheese stuffed dates recipe, because they’re bigger than most other varieties of date so they’re perfect for stuffing. If you buy them already pitted, just coax the dates open into a bowl shape. Or if they’re not pitted, simply cut a little lengthwise slit in the date and remove the pit first.
I love the combination of dates, goat cheese, pecans, and chives, so that’s the combo I went with in this recipe, but you can certainly substitute different cheeses and nuts (or seeds if you prefer a nut-free stuffed date).
Walnuts, blue cheese, and green onions would be a delicious alternative combination. Or cheddar, pumpkin seeds, and a small sprinkling of very finely chopped red onion would work well too.
For a vegan version of these stuffed dates, substitute vegan goat cheese or any other variety of vegan cheese you like. Or skip the cheese altogether and add a generous drizzle of tahini to replace some of the creaminess that the cheese provides.
How to make these goat cheese stuffed dates
Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, then remove the pit from the dates (if you’re not using pitted dates). Use your fingers to slightly open up the dates, coaxing them into a bowl shape.
Next you’ll stuff the dates with half a teaspoon of goat cheese and place them on a baking tray. Then press a single pecan half into the goat cheese before sprinkling on the fresh, chopped chives.
Add a pinch of salt and pepper, then bake the dates in the oven to let all the flavors meld together and allow the pecans to toast a little. 10 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit is just enough time to mellow the flavor of the chives a bit and let the cheese get warm and melty. They’re delicious served hot, warm, or at room temperature.
Preparing them in advance
You can prepare these dates stuffed with goat cheese a day in advance if that makes things easier for the holidays. Just get the dates stuffed and ready to go, then store them in an airtight container until party time. Then transfer them to a sheet pan and pop them in the oven as your guests are arriving so you can serve them warm and toasty at your holiday party. You can scale this recipe up if you’re feeding a crowd (2 per person should be perfect).
You can store any leftover stuffed dates with goat cheese in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. Then reheat them in the oven or just leave them out at room temperature for a while before serving.
To give these goat cheese stuffed dates an extra flavor boost, add a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of fresh thyme before heating them up.
More vegetarian recipes to try
- This chickpea flour omelette is easy to make, filling, and delicious.
- This chocolate buckwheat cake is nutrient dense yet totally decadent.
- These chickpea flour cookies are soft, chewy, and sweet with a hint of saltiness.
- This dairy-free spinach artichoke dip is creamy, flavor-loaded, and perfect for special occasions.
Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates
- 12 Medjool dates
- 2/3 cup goat cheese (or substitute vegan cheese)
- 12 pecan halves
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped chives
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Pit the medjool dates (if not already pitted) and use your fingers to coax the dates into a bowl shape.
- Stuff each date with 1/2 teaspoon of goat cheese.
- Add a sprinkle of chopped chives on top of the goat cheese.
- Press a single pecan half into each date.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper on top of the dates.
- Place the stuffed dates on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes, then serve.
- These goat cheese stuffed dates can be prepared in advance and stored in the fridge until you’re ready to serve them.
- You can substitute other cheeses, nuts, or seeds according to your preference.