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Roasted devils on horseback made with dates and blue cheese on a rack on a sheet pan.

Devils on Horseback

Delicious little Devils on Horseback are a fun appetizer for summer barbecues and an appropriately-named Halloween dish. Tangy, pungent blue cheese, sweet chewy dates, and salty, savory bacon make for a trifecta of deliciousness.  Experiment with different cheeses and dried fruit to find your favorite little devil.

  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 Appetizers 1x


  • 12 dates, pitted
  • 6 strips of bacon, cut in half (so you end up with 12)
  • 6 ounces of blue cheese such as Roquefort, Gorgonzola, or Stilton
  • Toothpicks
  • Cayenne pepper, optional


  1. Preheat the oven to 425° F or your grill over high heat. Line a baking pan with foil or parchment paper for easy cleanup.
  2. To remove the pits from dates, slice each open lengthwise and slide out the pit.
  3. Mold small portions of the blue cheese and stuff them inside the cavity of the dates. Squeeze the dates closed to keep the cheese tucked inside.
  4. Wrap dates in the cut strips of bacon by placing the date on one end of the bacon strip, and rolling it. For a spicier appetizer, sprinkle a little ground cayenne pepper on each one. 
  5. Secure the devils closed with a toothpick, and line them up on a sheet pan, with the open end of the bacon strip down. Placing a rack inside the pan will help the hot air circulate around the devils and they will cook faster and more evenly. 
  6. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes until the bacon is fully-cooked, deeply colored, and crisp all around.
  7. Serve devils on horseback hot, and chill leftovers for up to a week. Reheat them in a 350° F oven until warm.  


Chef's Tips

Bringing home the bacon.  I highly recommend using raw bacon as all the juices and flavors will seep into the dates and cheese during roasting. Pre-cooked bacon can't bring all that bacon mojo, since the fat will have been rendered (cooked) out already. Also, I buy bacon or pork loin only on occasion and look for brands raising pastured or heritage pork. Easier to find and usually a little less expensive is certified-organic pork, which is raised with higher standards than conventional (the pigs eat better and live better).

Experiment with different ingredients. Prunes instead of dates. Prosciutto instead of bacon. Whatever cheese you enjoy or happen to have on hand. All will be delicious. 

Add nuts for texture. Along with stuffing and wrapping prunes in place of dates, the British often stuff the prunes with almonds. Pecans, walnuts, and even Brazil nuts are others to try. 

On the Nutrition Information

The amounts below are based on the recipe as written, with about half of an ounce of blue cheese in each one. The totals will vary depending on how generously you stuff your dates with cheese, and how much bacon you wrap around each one.

  • Author: Christina
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Roasting
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free


  • Serving Size: 1 Devil on Horseback
  • Calories: 175
  • Sugar: 16.2 g
  • Sodium: 255.7 mg
  • Fat: 9.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 18.5 g
  • Protein: 5.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 19.9 mg

Keywords: devils on horseback, bacon-wrapped dates, stuffed dates