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Crispy Bacon Wrapped Dates with Lemon-Basil Crema

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 45 min (includes refrigeration time)
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 12 servings
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2 tablespoons sour cream, room temperature

1 tablespoon mascarpone, room temperature 

1 teaspoon lemon zest

2 tablespoons lemon juice 

3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil 

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 


12 Medjool dates

2 links hot Italian sausage, casings removed

6 slices bacon (about 4 ounces), cut crosswise in half


  1. For the crema: Whisk together the sour cream, mascarpone, lemon zest, lemon juice, basil and salt. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to let the flavors marry.
  2. For the dates: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Make a small lengthwise slit down the center of each date. Remove the pits and open the dates slightly; make sure they stay intact. Stuff each date with 1 teaspoon of the sausage. Close the dates up and around the sausage¿they won't close completely¿leaving some of the sausage exposed. Wrap each date in a piece of bacon and place on a baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 8 minutes. Flip the dates, and bake until the bacon is crisp, another 8 to 10 minutes. Serve warm, with the crema on the side.