Go ahead, grab another one!
As a caterer, I’ve developed many different dishes over the years. I think it’s safe to say that these Sausage Stuffed Dates with Bacon have become one of the most popular items! I’ve received so many requests for these tasty little morsels — more so than any other menu item. To my amusement, some of my clients have affectionately referred to these dates as “meat candy,” and I can’t even blame them!
Truth be told, I was hesitant to give out this recipe at first. Since it was so popular, I didn’t want to give away such a valuable secret. After much pondering and introspection, I decided to give in and share this sweet, salty, meaty goodness!
Sweet and Savory Treat
To start, find plump, pitted medjool dates. If you need to remove the pit, use a small knife and cut along the entire length of the date. You will feel the pit with your knife. Next, use your fingers to open the date without tearing it in half. Gently remove the pit with your fingers and discard the pits.
After that, make your filling for these sausage stuffed dates. First, cut the smoked sausage into small pieces, about one to two inches in length. Using your knife to make a small cut on the outside of each section, remove the skin or casing. Next, place the sausage filling in a food processor along with the pecans or walnuts. Pulse the mixture until you have a dough-like consistency.
Finally, you’ll stuff the dates with the filling. Once they’ve been stuffed, wrap each date in smoky bacon and bake them in the oven. Once you glaze the dates with the sweet-and-spicy honey mixture, they’re ready to go!
No Turning Back Now
Well, the secret is out. Go forth and wow your guests with these amazing Sausage Stuffed Dates. A word of warning: This “meat candy” is very rich, and one or two dates is more than enough (although your taste buds will definitely want more). Enjoy!
Sausage Stuffed Dates with Bacon
- 24 medjool dates pitted, whole
- 8 ounces smoked sausage casing removed and cut into 1" pieces. We used "Pecan Smoked Beef Sausage", but any smoked sausage will work.
- 4 ounces pecans or walnuts, chopped
- 24 bacon slices
- 8 ounces honey raw
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Place the sliced pecan smoked sausage and pecans or walnuts in a food processor. Pulse until finely ground.
- Stuff each date with the sausage mixture.
- Wrap each date with a piece of bacon and secure it with a toothpick.
- Place the dates on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, until the bacon is almost done.
- While the dates are baking, prepare the glaze.
- Heat the honey, vinegar, and cayenne pepper over medium heat until warm but not boiling. Set aside.
- After 20 minutes, remove the dates from oven and brush them with glaze. Return to the oven for 10 minutes.
- Glaze the dates again and return them to the oven to bake until the bacon is crisp and golden brown. Check often to be sure they don't burn.
- When the bacon is crisp and golden brown, remove the dates from the oven. Place each date on wax paper and allow to cool. NOTE: You can also place the dates on a wire cooling racks and place paper towels or wax paper underneath the cooling racks to catch any stray glaze. Do NOT place dates on foil, as the foil will stick.
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