Everyone loves candy. Everyone loves meat. Therefore, everyone loves meat candy.
Okay, you’re right, none of those statements are true, but if they are true of YOU then you’re going to love this recipe!
Belle and I first discovered it when we did a 30-day Paleo challenge at our gym (“Paleo” is short for “Paleolithic”, in case that was keeping you up at night).
Turns out that cavemen didn’t eat Frosted Mini Wheats – tragic, I know. So what did those loin-cloth sporting mad-men enjoy when their singular (sweet) tooth got a craving?
Cavemen ate bacon-wrapped dates.
No? Still not buying it? Huh, I’ll have to check Wikipedia again.
Anyhow, here’s how it goes:
A Paleo Snack Recipe
First, start with uncooked bacon – if you’re going for Paleo then it should also be minimally processed and have no added sugar or nitrites (we found a brand called Applegate at Publix, but you may have more options).
Next make sure you have some whole, pitted dates on hand – these may be in the dried fruits section of your grocery store, but ours are actually with the nuts in the produce section.
You just want to make sure they are not chopped (since it’s hard to wrap bacon around chopped dates) and don’t have pits (since we’re not looking to replicate the dental state of Paleolithic man).
First things first: preheat the oven to 450 degrees. I always forget this step.
Then, take four or five strips of bacon, lay them on a plate and microwave them for 2 to 3 minutes. Why? Well, in our experience, bacon that is cooked a little bit first not only is easier to wrap around the dates (some bacon falls apart easily), but also provides a much crispier treat at the end.
Once you’ve done that, split each piece of bacon in half (width-wise) and start wrapping individual dates, securing the bacon to the date with a toothpick. A half-strip should provide enough length to wrap all the way around the date and allow you to put the toothpick through a doubled-over piece of bacon. This is key because you don’t want the bacon to fall off while cooking!
As you finish each of these little gems, place them on a rimmed baking sheet – you don’t want any rolling away!
When you have created the desired number or run out of bacon, pop them in the oven at 450 degrees for about 10 minutes, checking at 8 minutes to see how they are crisping up.
Remember that bacon tends to crisp up a little more after you take it out of the pan, and the same applies here, so lean on the side of caution and remember you can always put them back in for another minute or two.
Once you pull them out: VOILA! Delicious treats for you and your loin-clothed brethren. Or maybe just an afternoon pick-me-up, or guilt-free post-work snack. I could keep hyphenating all day long, but I’d rather be munching on one of these!
Find this recipe too tame? Want to amp it up from a Paleo snack recipe to a classy hors d’oeuvre treat? Try cutting open the date and putting some goat cheese in the middle. I know, I know, cavemen didn’t eat goat cheese, but you don’t see a lot of food critics going around trying to reinvent cavemen cuisine. If your diet allows it, this is an incredibly simple, but decadent, entertaining option.
Sometimes I just pretend to throw a dinner party as an excuse to make them. That’s not weird, right?
Also, if you’re REALLY leaning out, and I’m talking squirrel-suit skydiving here, you could put an almond in the middle and get a double-crunch effect! But you’d have to like almonds and be willing to have a toothpick sticking halfway out of your creation, since toothpicks and almonds are sworn enemies. This is just to illustrate that you can take this recipe ALMOST anywhere – let your taste buds be your guide!
Posted by Beau.Print
A Paleo Snack Recipe: Bacon-Wrapped Dates
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 10-12 1x
- 1 pack uncooked bacon (12 slices)
- 24 whole, pitted dates
- 24 toothpicks
- Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees
- Lay a single-layer of bacon strips on a plate and microwave for 2 to 3 minutes (repeat with remaining bacon)
- Cut strips of bacon in half width-wise
- Wrap individual dates in half-strips of bacon, secure with toothpick at overlap
- Place on rimmed baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, checking at 8 minutes
- Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes
All I can say is, Jeremy – you are a great writer, and an amazing hyphenater! Actually, these sound tasty, and would put to great use all the toothpicks people keep bringing to my house…
That looks so mouth watering 🙂 We – me and my husband are almost through the paleo 8 week meal plan and I’m collecting already more great recipes to continue our paleo journey once finished (of http://timreviews.com/paleo-recipe).
We just came out with a Paleo Friendly bacon, we would love to send you a sample if you are interested! Check it out here… http://pedersonsfarms.com/2013/04/paleo-girl-finally-gets-her-bacon-yeeehaw/
p.s., I agree with Mom McKoy, I really enjoy the writing!
Thanks so much, Stacy! I will send you an email soon about the bacon 🙂
These are to die for… Or live actively for… Just be thankful you came across this gem, make them, eat them, and be kind enough to share your new wisdom…. These really are amazing!
I’ve been making these as a party appetizer for a couple of years before I ever jumped on the paleo bandwagon. I buy the pitted dates, slit them open to take out the pit, and then replace it with a pecan half (or a piece of fontina cheese if I’m feeding a non-paleo crowd). I’ll try the trick of cooking the bacon a little before wrapping–seems like a great idea!
Nicholette, stuffing them with fontina sounds amazing! Thanks for the tip 😉
What if we stuffed the dates with hot Italian sausage? Has anyone ever done that?
Quick question! I want to take these to a party tonight, so I’ve already stuffed them with the cheese (and half with almonds). Can I wrap them with the pre-cooked bacon and wait until tonight to cook them? Thanks so much for this recipe! I can’t wait to eat these 🙂
Hey Hillary, I am so glad you are making these! We made them for Christmas and they went fast 🙂 I do not think there is an issue waiting to cook them tonight. But I would keep them in the refrigerator until that time! Let us know how they turn out!
Thanks so much for commenting back! I wrapped the stuffed dates in the pre-cooked bacon and popped them in the fridge until I was ready to cook them (which was about 10 hours later). They turned out awesome. I even cut the bacon into thirds and it was still enough to wrap around and secure with the toothpick. I think the trick is precooking the bacon. They were crispy and delicious. I used one package of medjool dates, and one package of bacon, which made approx 40 dates. They were gone in minutes. Even the toddlers were eating them 🙂 Thank you again for a great recipe, and for your help in answering my question! Happy New Year!
How well do these travel? Going to a Superbowl Party, and it’s about a 1 1/2 hour drive. What do you think?
Hi Kristina! They should travel just fine! I have even served them the next day at times. If you want that fresh out of the oven presentation then consider just taking the bacon and dates with you. They are so easy to assemble and you can pop them right in the oven when you arrive to the party 🙂 Have fun!
Had these just this last weekend. They were wonderful. I thought they sounded a bit…well, not good, but I loved them.
How well do you think these will travel? I’d like to take therm to a party, so they’d be wrapped up for about 20 minutes in the car. I just don’t want to bring them if they will be soggy / mushy.
Hi Denise! They travel very well especially if you let them cool a bit before taking them. These are a hit at parties for sure!
I’m doing these for a party on Christmas evening. My nephew made them and brought them to Thanksgiving a year ago and they were delish! I am going to layer the “travel dish” with a paper towel to absorb any mush and keep the bacon crisp. When I get to the party, then I will display them and not have a paper towel.
great recipe! I’m going to add it to my Paleo blog featuring top Paleo appetizers! great job!
Can these be made a day ahead and popped in the oven the next day?
Yes they can Lenora!
I made them with majool dates and put pecan pieces in the date prior to bacon wrapping. Also the pre cook isn’t necessary for the bacon to wrap. Serve warm and enjoy!
There is no doubt that paleo diets are extremely effective as i have lost just over 75lbs in about a year and half. However, I really can’t emphasise the importance on getting a sustainable long term paleo diet plan that is not going to have bad effects on your health. The best paleo diet cookbook & paleo diet regime I have used can be seen at http://newsciencediet.com/paleo and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to paleo diet that will achieve long term weight loss.
How should I precook the bacon if i dont have a microwave?
Hi Jessica, you will just need to cook the bacon wrapped dates in the oven longer. It can take up to 15-20 minutes per side to get the bacon crispy! Just check them every 5 minutes and once they are crispy they are ready!
could I assemble them and save them for the next day?
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