This is an easy no-bake appetizer that you can quickly put together with pepper jelly, homemade pimento cheese or with your favorite store-bought brand. For those unfamiliar with pimento cheese, it is a staple food in the Southern United States. It is used as a spread for sandwiches and also used in many creative ways for appetizers. Once, while traveling in Hawaii, I went to a grocery store looking for pimento cheese and didn’t see it. When I asked if they sold it, no one knew what it was! It is definitely a Southern food, but what might be surprising to Southerners is that pimento cheese was first created in the Northern United States. (Click here for the Serious Eats Story on the History of Pimento Cheese.) However, Southerners have definitely perfected the recipe. Now you can find it prepared many ways such as with smoked flavors and hot peppers.
For this appetizer recipe, a basic original pimento cheese works best with the pepper jelly. This appetizer combines sweet and savory flavors together in one bite that will leave your guests wanting more. The bacon pieces sprinkled on top are the perfect topping but can be left off for vegetarian eaters. (Click here to jump to the recipe.)
This recipe includes instructions for a homemade pimento cheese and uses home-cooked bacon. The pepper jelly is store bought.
Mini fillo shells are usually found in the freezer section of the grocery store. They can be frozen for longer-term storage or kept sealed in the box at room temperature. Click here to order online.
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!