Pistachio-Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates

by Maris Callahan on April 18, 2011

This weekend was my friend Rachel’s bachelorette weekend. She did something that I think every bride should do and planned her bridal shower and bachelorette festivities for the same night so that her out of town friends wouldn’t have to travel twice.  Seriously, all brides-to-be should take cue from Rachel.

She also won me over when her two primary requests for the evening included champagne & karaoke.

I’m just saying.

Naturally, I was tasked with planning a menu and making appetizers for the pre-party, a task that I think we all know I enjoyed immensely. Sometimes when I entertain I like to stick to a theme of sorts – or at least try to keep the flavors consistent – and this would have been an easy one since Rachel is a most-of-the-time vegan.

Though I did whip up a couple of vegan recipes (like Thai spring rolls and these chocolate cupcakes from Brown Eyed Baker) I decided that we also needed some good old-fashioned cheese. In addition to a few different types of cheese and crackers I made these stuffed dates that I’ve seen all over the internet but think their original origin is Martha Stewart.

I decided to make them at the very last minute – they’re so, so easy that you can do that.  Yes. At 4:00pm when your guests are coming at 7:00pm you can decide to add an elegant dish to your table. Whenever I’ve made these, its been to serve as a finger food, but if you were hosting a formal dinner party these would be perfect to pass around during cocktails.

Goat Cheese and Pistachio Stuffed Dates
Adapted from The New Classics by Martha Stewart
Makes 16 (32 pieces)

What You Need:

5 ounces soft goat cheese
1/4 cup shelled salted pistachios, coarsely chopped
16 plump, soft dried dates (preferably Medjool), pitted and cut in half lengthwise

How-To:

In a small bowl, combine goat cheese and pistachios. You don’t need a food processor or anything fancy: just a small bowl and a wooden spoon. When finished, set aside.

Arrange dates, cut side up, on a platter. Using a small spoon and your fingers, fill each date with about half a teaspoon of the filling. Depending on the size of your dates you can use more or less filling. If you’d like, garnish with additional chopped pistachios and drizzle with honey.

GIVEAWAY WINNER: Congratulations to Lisa from The Dishes of Mrs. Fish! Thanks to everyone who entered to win a set f Nudo olive oils.

{ 73 comments… read them below or add one }

Sukaina April 18, 2011 at 2:49 am

I have never heard of cheese stuffed dates and I live in the region that is the biggest procucer of dates! I think it’s a fabulous idea for a finegr food and very versatile too!

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Bee April 18, 2011 at 2:51 am

OMG. These look AMAZING. I used to think I hated pistachios, and my mom would unknowingly put them in my stocking every year. When I finally told her, I discovered soon after how lovely the little nuts were. She now has forgotten that I LIKE them, and I long for them to return to my stocking each year.

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Sarah Caron April 18, 2011 at 2:52 am

Oooh, what a delicious looking appetizer. And I love the idea of planning the bachelorette and bridal shower on the same evening.

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Nicole@HeatOvenTo350 April 18, 2011 at 3:24 am

What a great idea for an elegant finger food. Congrats to your friend on her upcoming wedding.

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Shaina April 18, 2011 at 4:28 am

These sound so easy and impressive, Maris. They’d be perfect for the family Easter, too.

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Amanda April 18, 2011 at 4:37 am

Those look and sound decadent! I will definitely be adding that to my repertoire.

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Little Inbox April 18, 2011 at 7:38 am

Date stuffed with goat cheese, hmm…this is something new to me. :P

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daryl April 18, 2011 at 7:48 am

These look so amazing. I bet they were a hit! Congratulations to Rachel <3

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Blond Duck April 18, 2011 at 11:18 am

I could make a dinner out of those.

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Erica April 18, 2011 at 11:29 am

Hope you guys had a blast celebrating the upcoming wedding! And I agree- bachelorette parties & bridal showers should totally be the same weekend- it only makes sense. These stuffed dates sound totally unique. I love all of the flavors you put in, so I’m sure I’d be a huge fan

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A Plum By Any Other Name April 18, 2011 at 11:35 am

Dates + pistachios = a happy marriage. I hope the same for your friend.

I love pistachios, I recently made pistachio ice cream and was thinking how good it would be with a fig dessert … I don’t know how I let the date escape me! Sounds delicious.

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Jessica April 18, 2011 at 12:04 pm

I keep getting messed up on your posting schedule because I just saw 2 posts that I love but didn’t see when you first put them up. Anyway, I love dates and I have never stuffed them- really because I never thought about it. I always put them in salads or breads or even pasta sometimes. I like to roast them in a sea salt marinade. Now i am babbling. Love this recipe and will definitely be trying it SOON!

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Three-Cookies April 18, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Unusual and interesting, sweet, salty, crunchy and delicious:)

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bellini April 18, 2011 at 12:22 pm

I am not sure that I could be vegan and be required to give up cheese and delicious appetizers like these dates Maris:D

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bellini April 18, 2011 at 1:06 pm

PS, I just realized that you will be in Washingtin DC at Eat, Wrie Retreat. I won a sponsorshop from Canadian Beef:D I will see you there:D

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Penny April 18, 2011 at 1:20 pm

What an interesting combination of foods! I bet they taste wonderful – and I am going to find out tomorrow!

Penny

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Roz April 18, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Holy smokes, those look incredible. So simple, yet so delicious. Congrats to your friend Rachel! Have a great day Maris!!

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Rachel W. April 18, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Just to let you all know, we were so well fed that we cancelled our dinner reservations and instead just ate Maris’ apps. AND, my vegan-tendencies were out the window after about 2 glasses of champagne. These dates are one of my favorite things that Maris has ever made! MAKE THEM! And thanks, Maris, for being the HOSTESS WITH THE MOSTESS!

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Kate April 18, 2011 at 3:55 pm

These look o-so-tasty! I love goat cheese on anything so you had me sold before I heard the rest of the recipe! Adding salty pistachios and serving them inside a sweet date sounds like the perfect combo! Also, I had a friend do the exact same thing regarding her shower and bachelorette – genius!

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Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking April 18, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Now this is one easy and elegant appetizer! Right up my alley. What a great combo of subtle sweet-salty flavors in this finger food, Maris! You are so creative and really know how to put the right flavors together. Thanks for sharing!

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Sommer@ASpicyPerspective April 18, 2011 at 4:31 pm

I love the idea of the pistachios with goat cheese. Sounds like heaven!

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Kelly April 18, 2011 at 4:49 pm

Is there anything that is not better with goat cheese. I would say not. And pistachios are a great marriage as well. These sound heavenly.

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Mary April 18, 2011 at 5:05 pm

These sound fantastic. The combination is not one I would have thought of, but in retrospect it really sounds delicious. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

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emily (a nutritionist eats) April 18, 2011 at 5:12 pm

Yum, these look great!
By the way, I scheduled my shower and bach party for the same afternoon/evening. :)

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Kathleen April 18, 2011 at 5:17 pm

This look perfect! I think I’m going to make this for a party I have in 2 weeks! Thanks for sharing ;)

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Blond Duck April 18, 2011 at 6:18 pm

I’ll trade you a plate of these for French Toast!

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Caitlyn April 18, 2011 at 6:30 pm

Oh my goodness, congratulations to Rachel! These look absolutely delicious and I want to make them for my carnivore of a husband. Hope you guys had a blast!

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Pudding Pie Lane April 18, 2011 at 7:04 pm

Cheese, nuts and dates are a classic combination, I love the twist with goats cheese! I hope you enjoyed the bachelorette weekend and there was cheese not just of the edible variety :)

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Betty @ scrambled hen fruit April 18, 2011 at 7:24 pm

Sweet, salty, creamy, crunchy…this hits them all! These little nibbles sound delicious! :)

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Nadia April 18, 2011 at 7:36 pm

I love stuffed dates, especially with cheese. These are a lovely appetizer for a party. Your friend sounds lovely, hope she had a wonderful wedding. :)

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Julie April 18, 2011 at 8:00 pm

they look really great!

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Katie April 18, 2011 at 9:20 pm

Put goat cheese on anything and I’m there!

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camille April 18, 2011 at 9:47 pm

I just love that you said “need should.” My inner sociolinguist is squeaking with joy (she’s very small, so she squeaks).

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Juliana April 18, 2011 at 10:26 pm

Wow MAris, these little appetizers not only sound delicious, they look wonderful…I love the combination of the flavors and textures…have a great week ahead :-)

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Susan April 18, 2011 at 11:07 pm

Those look so delicious! I love dates and pistachios but I’d have to substitute another cheese – just quirky me :)

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velva April 19, 2011 at 12:38 am

I think your friend Rachel was spot on- good advice for all brides-to-be
Your appetizer of stuffed dates hits the nail too. This looks delightfully delicious. Very nice.

Velva

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Nichole April 19, 2011 at 1:52 am

A whole new meaning to the term, date night. WOW! too many awesome tastes in this recipe. Delish!

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Reyna April 19, 2011 at 2:08 am

I agree about having both parties at the same time! Much more efficient for the guests!

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Christina @ Sweet Pea's Kitchen April 19, 2011 at 2:27 am

These sound great! So quick, easy and delicious! :)

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Monet April 19, 2011 at 4:48 am

So easy…yet such amazing flavors! Thank you for sharing with me today. Your creations and your appreciation for good food and a full life are inspiring. And thank you for your kind words on my own blog…they made me smile. I hope you have a bountiful week!

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Blond Duck April 19, 2011 at 11:02 am

Happy Tuesday!

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chopinandmysaucepan April 19, 2011 at 11:53 am

They remind me of oysters mornay which is my all time favourite way to eat oysters apart from slurping those suckers fresh! Yum!

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Kristen April 19, 2011 at 12:25 pm

That is very thoughtful of the bride to be to have you all over the same weekend! Sounds like she has a good head on her shoulders ;)
Wonderful recipe… I have some goat cheese I need to create something with. This looks like fantastic inspiration!

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MegSmith @ Cooking.In.College April 19, 2011 at 2:10 pm

That is such a good idea, Rachel sounds like a very efficient bride!

Those dates look so wonderful, they are gorgeous. I love goat cheese, nuts, and fruit together. A perfect fancy addition to what I am assuming was a fantastic party!

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sarah April 19, 2011 at 2:34 pm

I’m seeing pistachios pop up everywhere, I’m going to take that as a sign from above. These look so delicious! I have just the event for these. Perfect! Thank you!

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Lentil Breakdown April 19, 2011 at 3:12 pm

I’m available for a date with one of your appetizers anytime!

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Lauren@LittleYellowKitchen April 19, 2011 at 5:02 pm

These are so cute. I think the dates that have been in my fridge for 2 months have a purpose now!

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Maria @ Scandifoodie April 19, 2011 at 5:50 pm

I love this! I’ve had dates with goat cheese and walnuts before but the pistachio sounds like a delicious choice!

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Suzy Eats April 19, 2011 at 8:36 pm

This is such a great idea! I am going to make it this sunday for easter. Love goat cheese and dates.

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Kalynskitchen April 19, 2011 at 9:04 pm

Wow, this sounds like a wonderful appetizer!

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Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. April 19, 2011 at 10:39 pm

yum these look great!

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Winnie April 19, 2011 at 11:07 pm

Wow those look incredibly easy and delicious!!!

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Angela April 20, 2011 at 12:00 am

This is such a beautiful and easy dish. I am in.

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Gen April 20, 2011 at 12:04 am

That sounds so, so good!!!! :D Thanks for sharing the recipe!!!!!

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Reeni April 20, 2011 at 1:47 am

I never had pistachios with dates! I love, love, love it! I bet they were a hit!

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Olga @ MangoTomato April 20, 2011 at 1:48 am

I’ve usually done these with hard cheese or nuts and then wrapped in bacon and baked, but your version looks really good too! Love goat cheese.

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Baking Serendipity April 20, 2011 at 2:50 am

Love this appetizer! Perfect for a girls night :)

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NancyC April 20, 2011 at 3:36 am

Those sound great! I think I’ll make them when I have out-of-town guests next month!

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pigpigscorner April 20, 2011 at 10:15 am

Love the flavour combo, will keep this in mind for future parties!

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brandi April 20, 2011 at 12:40 pm

just delicious. I love pistachios with goat cheese!

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Audrey Ellen April 20, 2011 at 1:34 pm

What a fun idea for an appetizer!
(or snack anytime from the fridge…)

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Andrea@HighLowFoodDrink.com April 20, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Great idea! I love to entertain and am always on the lookout for quick snacks to make. These dates would be perfect for a wine tasting party or cheese plate!

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Beth @ DiningAndDishing April 20, 2011 at 3:26 pm

I am so in love with dates as an appetizer. The savory/sweet combo just works so well with them! Yours look beautiful :) .

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Kate@Diethood.com April 20, 2011 at 8:22 pm

Goat cheese paired with pistachios?! YUM!! And then stuffed in dates … oh my worrrrrd!

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Tracy April 20, 2011 at 8:24 pm

I love goat cheese and I love dates…so I don’t really think it gets better than this!

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elizabeth / sophisticated pie April 21, 2011 at 4:08 pm

these look divine! Hope you had a great girls weekend!!

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Shannon April 21, 2011 at 5:53 pm

wow, these look phenomenal!!

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Simply Life April 22, 2011 at 12:16 am

Oh I LOVE this idea – these look so full of flavor!

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Jennifer (Savor) April 22, 2011 at 2:27 am

You are tempting me to try dates – I don’t think I have eaten them in 15 years.

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Rosa April 22, 2011 at 9:47 am

What a wonderful appetizer idea! I love that great combination.

Cheers,

Rosa

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erin April 22, 2011 at 4:07 pm

pistachios (yes!), dates (yes!), cheese (yes!)…no need to say more. :-)

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The Healthy Apple April 29, 2011 at 6:30 pm

Love this post; what a fabulous recipe and I love the photos. You are so creative…I love stuffed dates and this is such a splendid idea for an appetizer! Thanks so much for sharing; enjoy your weekend!

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Sawsan@chef in disguise August 26, 2011 at 2:41 pm

I love dates but this is a totally new twist and I love it..thank you for linking back to this amazing recipe Maris

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