Sausage Pepper Wonton Cups

Story provided by Karyl Henry, KarylsKulinaryKrusade.com

There’s no question the holidays will look very different this year. But many families will still get together to celebrate. And those family members will inevitably be hungry long before the main meal.

Appetizers are a great way to stave off those afternoon hunger pangs. Baked Pumpkin Spice Wontons are perfect for the holidays. Bacon Cranberry Goat Cheese Truffles are gone in a flash whenever I make them. And Marinated Steak Vegetable Roll-Ups can practically be a meal themselves.

An appetizer that I’ve been making for years, and that is popular with my friends, is Sausage Pepper Wonton Cups

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS

  • They’re 2-3 bite treats with loads of flavor
  • You can make the ingredients ahead, and then assemble and bake as needed
  • You can easily add your own twist

INGREDIENT TIPS FOR SAUSAGE PEPPER WONTON CUPS

I use mild pork sausage for this recipe. You could also substitute spicy sausage, breakfast sausage, or even Italian sausage.

I originally used just green bell peppers, but recently started adding red peppers as well. It just adds another pop of color to the Sausage Pepper Wonton Cups. Use your favorite combination.

The sausage is well seasoned, so you really don’t need to add much extra. So I just use a little cayenne pepper for a kick of heat and ground cumin for a little smoky flavor.

Cream cheese is my favorite way to add silkiness to the Sausage Pepper Wonton Cups. I’ve seen a couple of versions call for a generous amount of cream cheese, but that makes them much too heavy for my tastes. I prefer to go less on the cream cheese and a little heavier on the Cheddar.

I use the block cream cheese, cut it into pieces, and soften it for about 10 minutes on the counter before adding it to the pan. That helps it melt more evenly into the sausage and pepper mixture.

I use a combination of sharp Cheddar cheese and smoked Gouda, to add another layer of smokiness. Gruyere would be a wonderful substitute for the Gouda.

Don’t forget to add freshly chopped spring onions just before serving! The onions add a burst of fresh flavor that complements the other ingredients really well.

MAKING THE WONTON CUPS

I use store-bought wonton wrappers. Yes, you can make your own. No, I don’t plan to do that.

To make the wonton cups for my Shrimp Avocado Wonton Cups I use a mini muffin pan because it makes them the perfect size for the filling. But for these Sausage Pepper Wonton Cups, I use a regular muffin pan.

Wonton Cup Tips:

  • Press the wrappers carefully into the muffin cups. You’ll need to fold them over slightly, but that’s fine.
  • Bake the wrappers for 5 minutes to partially set them before filling them with the sausage mixture. This helps prevent the bottom from getting soggy.
  • Transfer the wonton cups to a cooling rack as soon as you can handle them. This prevents the wontons from burning and allows the base to firm up.

Sausage Pepper Wonton Cups from KarylsKulinaryKrusade.com

Yield: 24 Wonton Cups

Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Cook Time: 15 Minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 24 Wonton Wrappers 
  • 1 lb mild pork sausage
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper, diced small
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced small
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more, to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 3/4 cup smoked Gouda, shredded
  • 2 large spring onion, chopped small, for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place wonton wrappers into the muffin pan and set aside. Take cream cheese out of the fridge to soften.
  2. Spray a large skillet with cooking spray. Add the sausage, break up with a spoon, and cook for 4-5 minutes over medium heat.
  3. Bake the wonton wrappers in the oven for 5 minutes and remove the pan from the oven.
  4. Add the bell peppers, cayenne pepper, and cumin to the sausage. Cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Add the cream cheese and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring to fully combine.
  6. Spoon the filling evenly into all of the wonton cups. Top each cup with a little bit of shredded cheese.
  7. Return to the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let rest for about 30 seconds.
  8. Carefully transfer the wonton cups to a cooling rack.
  9. Garnish with spring onions and serve hot.

SERVINGS AND MAKE-AHEAD OPTIONS

When making Sausage Pepper Wonton Cups for a crowd, I would definitely plan on 4 per person. They’re bite-sized, delicious, and will be gone in a flash.

Make-Ahead Options:

  • Bake the wonton cups for the first 5 minutes up to one day ahead and store them in a sealed container in the fridge. Take them out of the fridge about 30 minutes before baking.
  • Cook the sausage and peppers ahead and store it in a separate sealed container in the fridge. Take it out of the fridge 20 minutes before baking, heat lightly in a skillet, and melt in the cream cheese.
  • Don’t fill the wonton cups until you’re ready to bake, otherwise, the bottom of the cups will get soggy.

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