My son and I had the best time making these little Pulled Pork Mini Bells the other day. They were each just a perfect scrumptious little bite or two and I thought they might make a great lower carb option for a casual holiday party or a game day. Fair warning: they’re a crowd pleaser and are going to go fast!
Recipes like this are great for the family or for a party because you can make a few (although after you taste them, you might realize a few is never gonna be enough if ya know what I mean) or knock them out for a crowd assembly-line style.
About Pulled Pork Mini Bells:
These baby bells are filled with barbecue pork, and you can use any kind that you’d like. Smoked if you lean that way or maybe one of my “inside” pulled pork recipes (below) or one of your own. And if ya gotta, and don’t have a stash of pulled pork in your freezer (I think everyone should!) pick up pulled pork somewhere; it’s a little pricier but makes these so easy.
Depending on where you live, maybe you can get your pulled pork from a BBQ joint or your grocery deli. I use a mixer just to break that luscious pulled pork down to shreds and added a little sauce. It helps to make these little appetizer hold together so they are easier to make and more importantly, easy to eat.
I took that barbecue flavor to a decidedly Southwestern vibe. I love the mix and play of the ingredients. A few black beans went into the pulled pork and then each little bell got topped with a single pickled jalapeno and touch of Monterrey Jack cheese. Once out of the oven, a little dab of sour cream finishes them off beautifully. These are really versatile so feel free to change the recipe up to what works for you.
Making Pulled Pork Mini Bells:
I’m not gonna say it’s ever fun to fill or stuff anything, but I gotta say it’s more fun when you sit down with family and/or friends and do it. It’s always a great time to catch up and chat, and I have a few tricks to make this recipe easier.
First of all, cut all your baby bells in half: Lay them out. They’re laying on the flat side, right. Turn each a quarter turn and slice through them and you’ll have two stable halves that rest well on a flat surface. I slice all of them first, then take a knife and carefully cut where the seeds meet the stem, being careful not to cut through the pepper.
It’s a simple matter, then, to scoop the seeds and ribs in one fell swoop with a teaspoon. That little extra step of cutting makes cleaning them so much easier and helps prevent any of those baby bells from cracking or breaking as they are cleaned. As each is done, give it a little shake to remove any errant seeds and move it to a sheet tray, close together is great.
When filling, a teaspoon scoop is a big help. Just scoop onto each pepper and then go back and manipulate the pulled pork to fill the baby bell. Easy peasy and it goes fast. Now you can use a little or a lot of the pulled pork, so if you’re frugal about it, you can actually fill a lot of baby bells with very little pork, or if you want to go hog wild, you can generously mound. And of course, the same goes for the cheese. Use a little or more, it’s up to you.
It’s good to know if you are making these for a crowd that a bag of mini bells usually has about a dozen in it, although that can vary. Then just multiply the recipe out. It’s very difficult to give an exact amount of pork, cheese, etc. for this recipe because the amount each pepper has in it can vary, but I think I’ve got you pretty well in the ballpark with my measurements in the recipe.
Saving Money on Pulled Pork Mini Bells:
Pulled pork is pretty inexpensive and it takes surprisingly little to fill up the baby bells. It’s the baby bells that can be pricey! Watch for them on sale and if you are a buyer’s club member, check there. Aldi always has amazing prices on them!
This is a fabulous recipe to use up any leftover pulled pork and a great recipe to use the trimmings from ribs. When I made Sticky Sweet Ribs the other day (that’s such a fab recipe, adapted from Tiki Iniki restaurant) I tossed all the trimmings from the ribs in my Instant Pot for 30 minutes. Then I made these and some Pulled Pork Nachos and a marvelous soup. Those recipes will be coming up. I have a couple of other options for the pulled pork. There’s my Instant Pot Pulled Pork, my Slow Cooker Pulled Pork or this Slow Cooker Pulled Pork or Brisket.
Cheese is regularly on sale, and so is sour cream, so get in the habit of picking items like this up before you need them, when you see them on sale, if you use them regularly. If your cheese isn’t open, it keeps just about forever and can be frozen, though it will be crumbly. Ok for casseroles, not so great for grating or eating. Keep your sour cream upside down after it’s open and it will stay fresh for so much longer.
I never buy pickled jalapenos; they’re better and cheaper to make at home. I have a small batch Pickled Jalapeno recipe and for more zip, you might want to try my more intense Cowboy Candy. Both are quick refrigerator pickles (no canning or processing necessary & take literally minutes to make. Beans are always less expensive made from dried. Cook up the whole pound, divide, including the cooking liquid and freeze.
Shortcut Pulled Pork Mini Bells:
I hope I’ve sparked some ideas and given you plenty of options and ideas to pull off this fabulous little recipe! You can easily shortcut this recipe with any of the following. Use store or restaurant pulled pork, canned beans, shredded cheese, and pickled jalapenos from the store.
To really save time, skip the filling and serve this Nacho Style. Lay out all your peppers (cut off the stems first) or use chunks of regular-sized peppers then just dollop the toppings all over. Serve them Nacho Style.Print
Pulled Pork Mini Bells
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 24 pieces 1x
- Category: Appetizers
- Cuisine: American Southwestern
- 1 package baby bells (about 12), cut in halve, seeds and ribs removed
- 1 1/2 cup of pulled pork (about 1/3 of a pound)
- 1/2 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
- 24 pickled jalapeno slices
- 6 to 8 ounces shredded cheese
- 1/4 cup of sour cream
Slightly warm pulled pork if cold and using a hand or stand mixer with the paddle attatchment, break the pork down to shreds. Add barbecue sauce to moisten (different brands have different textures so use good judgment; these should me moist, not wet. Stir in black beans by hand.
Fill each pepper half, top with a pickled jalapeno slice, then cheese. When ready to bake preheat oven to 350 degrees F and bake for about 20 to 25 minues until filling is hot and cheese is melted. Top each with a small dollop of sour cream.
Keywords: Appetizer, Barbecue Sauce, Beans, Bell Peppers, black beans, Cheese, cowboy candy, Jalapeno, leftover pulled pork, mini peppers, Monterey Jack, pickled jalapeno, Pork, Pulled Pork.