You are currently viewing Easy Stuffed Dates with Goat Cheese, Nuts, Honey and Thyme ~ Homestead and Chill

Easy Stuffed Dates with Goat Cheese, Nuts, Honey and Thyme ~ Homestead and Chill

Are you looking for a delicious, unique, and healthy snack or party appetizer idea? Look no further than this easy vegetarian stuffed dates recipe! Filled with creamy goat cheese, crunchy nuts, a sweet drizzle of honey, and savory pop of thyme, these stuffed dates hit ALL the right spots. Even better, this raw appetizer idea comes together quickly – no cooking required. We recently brought these to a holiday party, and they were the most popular item at the table!

Are stuffed dates good for you?

Dates boast a variety of nutritional benefits. They’re high in fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin B6, as well as essential minerals like copper, magnesium, manganese, and potassium. Dates do contain a good amount of natural sugars, so as a Type 1 diabetic I have to be careful not to eat toooo many. Yet the addition of goat cheese and nuts bring a nice balance of savory protein to offset the sweetness of the dates. Compared to most appetizers or party snacks, I’d say these vegetarian stuffed dates are a pretty darn healthy option!

A close up image of a vegetarian stuffed date with goat cheese that has been topped with a few walnut pieces and bits of fresh thyme. Beyond and out of focus is a tray of the finished dates along with sprigs of thyme scattered about. A close up image of a vegetarian stuffed date with goat cheese that has been topped with a few walnut pieces and bits of fresh thyme. Beyond and out of focus is a tray of the finished dates along with sprigs of thyme scattered about.

Disclosure: Homestead and Chill is reader-supported. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. 

Ingredients

  • Dates. Medjool dates are the biggest and best, and also the easiest to stuff! We buy organic Medjool dates at our local Costco.
  • Goat cheese. Use the soft spreadable type (usually available in logs) not a block of firm cheddar-like goat cheese. I used about one 11-ounce log of goat cheese to stuff about 40 large dates.
  • Nuts of choice. Walnuts, pecans, pistachios, or slivered almonds are all fantastic options. With walnuts and pecans, you can either use pieces or halves – placing one half on each date.
  • Honey for drizzling. Raw local honey is a wonderful option! For this particular platter, we used homemade fermented jalapeño-infused honey, which brought a tasty little kick of heat to the stuffed dates! Learn how to make infused honey in this post (it’s made the same way, just substitute sliced jalapeños instead of garlic).
  • Optional: a handful of fresh thyme to sprinkle on top
A view from above of a metal platter full of dates which have been garnished with walnuts and thyme. A mason jar of honey with jalapeno slices is next to the platter  along with some sprigs of thyme. A view from above of a metal platter full of dates which have been garnished with walnuts and thyme. A mason jar of honey with jalapeno slices is next to the platter  along with some sprigs of thyme.

Tips before getting started

It’s easiest to stuff the dates with goat cheese when it’s slightly softened. So, take the goat cheese out of the refrigerator an hour or two before you plan to make stuffed dates if possible. For the sake of food safety, please don’t leave it out for more than three to four hours though!

If you want to make these ahead of time, I recommend the following:

  • Pit and stuff the dates with goat cheese in advance, and then store them in the refrigerator.
  • If it’s only a few hours in advance, go ahead and add the nuts early too. To make them a day in advance, wait to add the nuts until closer to the time of serving so they don’t get soft.
  • Both the dates and goat cheese will become quite firm when they’re cold. Therefore, I recommend lightly warming them in the oven before serving to improve the texture and flavor. Heat the cold stuffed dates for only 5 to 8 minutes on 350°F – just enough to take the chill off, but NOT melt the cheese!
  • Wait to add honey and thyme until the time of serving.

Instructions

  1. First, remove the pits from the dates. Do so by cutting a slit down one side of the date, gently prying it open, and removing the pit with your fingers. Some dates have a hard little nubby stem at the top that should be removed too.
  2. Next, use a spoon or butter knife to press a dollop of goat cheese into the center of each date. It’s not important to measure. I like to use enough to completely fill the void inside the date plus have a little extra sticking out (spreading the date slightly open) for toppings to stick to.
A view from above of a cutting board full of whole fruits and pits that have been separated from other fruits which are on a baking sheet that have been sliced open to reveal their inner cavity.  A view from above of a cutting board full of whole fruits and pits that have been separated from other fruits which are on a baking sheet that have been sliced open to reveal their inner cavity.
A four part image collage, the first image is a hand holding a dried date, it has been spiced open and is showing the pit inside. The second image shows a hand holding another dried date, illustrating the hard stem on top. The third image shows a hand holding open the date and the other hand is holding a spoon with a dollop of soft cheese. The fourth image shows a hand holding a date that has been filled with cheese while the other hand holds a spoon that was used to fill the dates with cheese.A four part image collage, the first image is a hand holding a dried date, it has been spiced open and is showing the pit inside. The second image shows a hand holding another dried date, illustrating the hard stem on top. The third image shows a hand holding open the date and the other hand is holding a spoon with a dollop of soft cheese. The fourth image shows a hand holding a date that has been filled with cheese while the other hand holds a spoon that was used to fill the dates with cheese.
A view from above of a a metal baking sheet lined with parchment with dried fruits lined up, they have been filled with cheese and topped with walnut pieces. A view from above of a a metal baking sheet lined with parchment with dried fruits lined up, they have been filled with cheese and topped with walnut pieces.
  1. Add nuts to each date (e.g. a half a pecan, or pinch of walnut pieces). Lightly press the nuts into the goat cheese to stick.
  2. Spread them out on a plate or serving platter. If you’re going to add honey, lining the plate or tray parchment paper first will help make for an easy clean-up!
  3. Next, add a light drizzle of honey over the stuffed dates. Tip: If your honey is cool and firm, set the jar of honey in a bowl of hot water. This will warm it up and make it easier to drizzle. Avoid heating honey directly (don’t microwave it) as heat will kill the beneficial properties of honey.
  4. Finally, sprinkle fresh thyme leaves over everything (washed and stems removed.) Thyme adds a wonderful pop of flavor, and also makes the platter look even more pretty!
  5. Serve and enjoy!
Dates that have been stuffed with goat cheese, walnuts, thyme, and honey are lined up on a metal serving tray lined with parchment paper. Dates that have been stuffed with goat cheese, walnuts, thyme, and honey are lined up on a metal serving tray lined with parchment paper.

Storage

Store leftover stuffed dates in the refrigerator, and enjoy within 5 days. Following food safety best practices (since goat cheese is a potentially hazardous food), it’s best to discard any leftovers that were out at room temperature for over 4 to 5 hours – such as during a party.

An ornate metal platter has parchment paper covering the inner portion of the tray. Vegetarian stuffed dates with goat cheese are lined up on the tray, walnut pieces, bits of thyme and drops of honey are garnishing each date. Some sprigs of thyme are scattered around the outside of the platter. An ornate metal platter has parchment paper covering the inner portion of the tray. Vegetarian stuffed dates with goat cheese are lined up on the tray, walnut pieces, bits of thyme and drops of honey are garnishing each date. Some sprigs of thyme are scattered around the outside of the platter.

And that is how you make your new favorite party appetizer! Lol, you’re welcome. I hope you (and your friends and family) enjoy this easy vegetarian stuffed dates recipe as much as we do. I’m going to make another batch this week while my mom is in town visiting. Please let us know by leaving a review below!

You may also like:

Stuffed Dates with Goat Cheese, Nuts, Honey and Thyme (Vegetarian)

Enjoy these delicious vegetarian stuffed dates with creamy goat cheese, crunchy nuts, a sweet drizzle of honey, and savory pop of thyme – the best easy appetizer!

Course: Appetizer, Holiday Dish, Party Food, Snack

  • Dates – large Medjool dates preferred-
  • Goat cheese – soft and spreadable, not a firm block. (I used about one 11-ounce log of goat cheese to stuff about 40 dates)
  • Nuts of choice – such as walnut or pecans (halves or pieces), slivered almonds or pistachios
  • Honey for drizzling
  • Fresh thyme
  • Use a sharp knife to carefully slice down one side of the dates, gently pry them open and remove the pits. Also remove the firm nubby stem if present.

  • Next, use a spoon or butter knife to press a dollop of goat cheese into the center of each date. *See note below about softening the cheese in advance.

  • Add nuts to each stuffed date (e.g. a half a pecan, or pinch of walnut pieces). Lightly press the nuts into the goat cheese to stick.

  • Spread the stuffed dates out on a plate or serving platter.

  • Add a light drizzle of honey over the stuffed dates. **See tip below about warming honey.

  • Finally, sprinkle fresh thyme leaves over everything (washed and stems removed.)

  • ***See tips on making stuffed dates ahead of time below.

  • Enjoy!

*It’s easiest to stuff the dates with goat cheese when it’s slightly softened. So, take the goat cheese out of the refrigerator an hour or two before you plan to make stuffed dates.
**If your honey is cool and firm, set the jar of honey in a bowl of hot water. This will warm it up and make it easier to drizzle. Avoid directly heating honey directly (don’t microwave it) as heat will kill the beneficial properties of honey.
***If you want to make these ahead of time, I recommend the following: pit and stuff the dates with goat cheese in advance, and then store them in the refrigerator, then lightly warm them in the oven before serving to improve the texture and flavor. Heat the cold stuffed dates for only 5 to 8 minutes on 350°F – just enough to take the chill off, but NOT melt the cheese! Wait to add honey and thyme until the time of serving. It’s okay to add nuts early if they’ll be in the fridge for only a few hours, but wait to add the nuts if you’re making them a day in advance (so they don’t get soft). 
DeannaCat signature, keep on growing.DeannaCat signature, keep on growing.

Source link

Leave a Reply