I started making these little Filled Wonton Cups as I call them many years ago. I and still make them because they’re fast, easy, make a bunch and most of all, they are strangely addictive. I promise you if you put these out on game day or bring them to a potluck, you’ll come off as an absolute genius. Seriously. People just can’t stop eating them.
I’m thinking my original “recipe” came from one of those little grocery store cookbooks you can buy at the checkout stand. And I think the original recipe was for a Barbecued Pulled Beef or maybe it was Pulled Pork, along with a little cheddar cheese to top. And they are wonderful. But over time my “recipe” has morphed and changed depending on what I have on hand, and who I’m serving to.
About Filled Wonton Cups:
There’s just something about using the wonton wrapper in these little puppies that works out so well. The outside edges are a little crunchy, but the bottom of the wrappers, where the filling has sat has just a bit of chewiness. They’re a delight, especially if you sprinkle just a touch of sea salt on those crispy outside corners.
And while can you use Barbecue and Cheese in your Filled Wonton cups, and it IS one of my fave fillings to this day, you’re really not limited at all to what you can do with these. You can go with all kinds of “meaty” kinds of fillings as long as it’s something that will kind of hold together (you don’t want your guests spewed with food when they bite into one) and something that’s not too wet. Think about sloppy joes or a thick, not too wet chili.
Creamy fillings are great, too. Something along the lines of Crab Rangoon (crab mixed with cream cheese) or a hot Chicken Salad. Really the sky (and your imagination) is the limit. Just about anything you can add to these little wonton cups and top with cheese (or not) and bake until heated through is marvelous.
Making Filled Wonton Cups:
Not only are Filled Wonton Cups fantastic, one of the best things is these can be made with a minimal amount of effort and it’s even possible to buy the little shells frozen. They can also be partially made ahead. Bake the shells off and place on a rimmed baking sheet, then shortly before serving, fill and top with cheese if using and run them under the broiler.
While this recipe makes 48, the standard size of ready-made wonton wrappers, it’s very easy to scale this recipe up or down. If you scale down, any extra wonton wrappers freeze well if tightly wrapped – just thaw in the fridge overnight.
I have seen recipes where the shells are not prebaked, and tried a couple, but I find the bottom of the shell can get a little soggy, and that’s a bit of a turn-off – it only takes a few minutes to pop the shells in the oven and bake them off. Besides, if you’re making a lot of these, you are probably going to need to bake in batches unless you have enough mini muffin pans to make them all at once. Bake them using however many pans you have and when out of the oven put them on a sheet tray and repeat.
How To Save Money on Your Filled Wonton Cups:
Making Filled Wonton Cups is, in itself kind of a money saving proposition. And while Wonton Wrappers aren’t dirt cheap (look for them, along with other Asian ingredients around the Lunar New Year when Asian items are often on special and often unadvertised) buying them and using them instead of the premade shells from the frozen section is so much more inexpensive.
And as far as appetizers go, a little bit of filling really goes a long way in Filled Wonton Cups plus you can decide to really load them up or stretch them. And you can decide on any number of fillings which lets you choose your price point. Filled Wonton Cups are also a great way to use up any number of leftover items, too and stretch them, even if it is just making appetizers for dinner. I know we have breakfast for dinner, brinner but we should have a special name for appetizers for dinner, too. Ummm….appetizers for dinner that isn’t already called “Happy Hour” that is!
So whether you are making appetizers for a few or for a crowd, Filled Wonton Cups offer you options to make partially ahead, and gives you a lot of versatility at varying price points. You can’t ask for more than that! Well you can ask that they are easy for guests to help themselves, that they can sit on a table or a buffet for awhile, and that they are easy to pick up and eat out of hand in just a bite or two. Check, check and check.
Filled Wonton Cups
- 48 Wonton wrappers, 16 ounce package
- 3 cups chopped pork, poultry or beef
- 3/4 cup barbecue sauce – your favorite. Sweet Baby Ray’s works well.
- 4 ounces grated cheese
- Cooking spray
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly spray mini muffin cups with cooking spray. Press a wrapper into each, spray with cooking spray, sprinkle edges lightly with salt. Bake five to eight minutes until golden brown.
Heat the barbecue sauce and your choice of meat together. Place about a tablespoon of mixture into each cup, sprinkle with cheese.
Place muffin trays on a cookie sheet for easy handling and broil about four to six inches from the heat source for about 30 to 45 seconds until cheese is melted. Watch closely as they burn quickly. These could be baked in a hot (400 degrees or so) oven for a minute or two instead.
If you came to this recipe looking for a way to use leftover turkey or chicken, be sure to check out the link below for 12 Days of Turkey. You might want to see the sister post for 12 Days of Ham, too.
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