A DASH of Cooking: Bacon Wrapped, Blue Cheese Stuffed Dates with Balsamic Reduction

A quick and delicious holiday appetizer

Inspired by one of my favorite tapas spots in Ballard, Ocho, this is one of the easiest and most impressive appetizer recipes. In addition to serving this as an appetizer, I also enjoy having these with a small salad and some other small bites for a tapas night at home. Though you can make your own balsamic reduction, for most instances when I make this at home I usually just use pre-made from the store. I’ve found it at several of my local major grocery stores. If you cannot find it however, I have included a recipe below as well.


Bacon Wrapped, Blue Cheese Stuffed Dates


  • 8 oz. whole Medjool dates, pits removed
  • 1/2 lbs thick cut bacon, cut in half
  • 2-3 oz. Blue Cheese Crumbles
  • Balsamic Reduction (see recipe at the end)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Wrap a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
  2. Open one end of the date or slice into the side of the date so that it can be stuffed. Working over a bowl or rimmed dish to catch any dropped cheese, stuff each date with as much blue cheese as you can fit inside without it falling out.
  3. Next wrap each date with a half slice of bacon and lay on prepared baking sheet, bacon end side down.
  4. Bake the dates for 20-30 mins or until bacon is cooked and cheese is gooey. Serve drizzled with balsamic reduction.

Balsamic Reduction

Bring 1 cup balsamic vinegar to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occassionally. Continue simmering vinegar, stirring occassionally for about 20 mins or until the vinegar has reduced to about 1/3-1/2 cup and is a syrupy consistency. I look for it to coat the back of a spoon evenly. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Add in a little sugar or honey to taste if desired.

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