This quick and easy cheese hot pepper jelly bites appetizer is made with phyllo shells filled with pimento cheese and hot pepper jelly. Top them with chopped crispy bacon, or leave it off for a vegetarian appetizer.
Use Homemade Pimento Cheese or Store Bought
This is an easy no-bake appetizer that you can quickly put together with pepper jelly and homemade pimento cheese (or your favorite store-bought brand). To create an extra-spicy taste, use pimento cheese flavored with jalapenos or other peppers.
Make it Vegetarian
This appetizer combines sweet and savory flavors in one bite. The bacon pieces sprinkled on top are the perfect topping but can be left off for vegetarian eaters.
Use Phyllo Shells for Cheese Hot Pepper Jelly Bites
Mini phyllo shells (as known as fillo or filo) are found in the freezer section of the grocery store. Keep them frozen at home for long-term storage. They will also keep unopened in the refrigerator for about 4 weeks.
No Shell Thawing for Cheese Hot Pepper Jelly Bites
Unlike phyllo dough, you can use phyllo shells as soon as you take them out of the package because they thaw quickly. By the time you can fill the shells with your appetizer, they will be ready to eat. There is no need to bake them either because they are fully cooked and ready to use.
Optional Baking for Cheese Hot Pepper Jelly Bites
If you prefer a warm appetizer, you can bake this one. Add the pimento cheese and pepper jelly to the shells. Then bake them in a preheated 350-degree F oven for 8-10 minutes or until the pimento cheese melts. To keep the bottom of the shells crisp after baking, let them cool on a wire rack. Finally, add the crumbled bacon to the top of the appetizer shells before serving.
Keep the Shells Crisp
To keep the shells crisp, add the fillings close to the time you plan to serve them. I have eaten refrigerated leftovers the next day that were crispy and fine, but this appetizer is best when it is freshly made. Enjoy!
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