May 20, 2024
May 2024

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Black Bean Fiesta Bites

Black Bean Fiesta Bites

Black Bean Fiesta Bites are small crunchy bites of spicy black beans and rich melted cheese.
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This vegetarian filling mirrors the flavors of Sausage Fiesta Bites in a plant-based version. Preparing our Black Bean Fiesta Bites is a breeze, and it perfectly aligns with vegetarian principles while retaining a delightful taste. Much like the original, this vegetarian version has received rave reviews and garnered frequent requests for the recipe, enticing me to make it time and again. The added bonus of being freezer-friendly ensures I always have a batch on hand, ready to be heated and relished.

These versatile vegetarian bites are excellent as a quick snack, a delightful appetizer, a brunch addition, or a thoughtful hostess gift for those who savor plant-based delights. Moreover, if you’re a fan of our Toasted Phyllo Shells, there’s a trove of enticing vegetarian recipes waiting for you to explore!

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Silver sheet tray with 3 mini phyllo cups filled with cooked sausage and melted cheese topped with half slice black olive.

Black Bean Fiesta Bites

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  • Author: Valerie Denton
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 60 shells 1x


Crispy phyllo cups with a spicy cheese and black bean filling!


Units Scale
  • 15.5 oz Chili Black Beans, drained
  • 16 oz sour cream
  • 1 pkg Hidden Valley® Fiesta Dips Mix
  • 1/4 cup fresh red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh yellow pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1 cups mild Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 4 boxes Toasted Phyllo Shells,(60 shells total)


Preparing Phyllo Shells

  • Toasting Phyllo Shells: Follow the recipe for Toasted Phyllo Shells to prepare the shells before filling.

Black Bean Preparation

  • Strain any extra sauce from a 15.5 oz (439 grams) can of Chili Black Beans and transfer them to a spacious mixing bowl.

Dressing Preparation

  • Mixing the Dressing: In a small bowl, blend sour cream with 1 package of Hidden Valley® Fiesta Dips Mix until thoroughly combined.

Combining Ingredients

  • Adding Flavor: Into the black bean mixture, incorporate 3/4 cup of prepared Hidden Valley® Fiesta Dip, finely chopped fresh red pepper,  finely chopped fresh yellow pepper,  finely chopped fresh orange pepper, red pepper flakes, and hot sauce. Gently stir the mixture.
  • Incorporating Cheese: Mix in cheddar cheese and Monterey jack cheese until the ingredients are well blended.

Making and Baking Black Bean Fiesta Bites

  • Filling the Shells: Fill the toasted phyllo shells generously. This can be done up to 1 hours before baking.
  • Garnishing: Optionally, top each cup with a half slice of black olive.
  • Storing: Place the filled shells in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake, up to 3 hours before baking.
  • Preheating: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius).
  • Assembling for Baking: Arrange the filled shells 1.5 inches apart on a sheet pan or Air Fryer pan.
  • Baking Times:
    • Standard oven: Bake for approximately 20 minutes.
    • Convection oven: Bake for 15-20 minutes.
    • Air Fry oven: Bake for 8 minutes.

Freezing Shells Before Baking

  • Filling and Storing for Freezing: Generously fill each shell and return them to the plastic tray. Lay the plastic over the shells in the tray.
  • Container and Labeling: Place the full tray back into the original Phyllo Shell box. Seal the open end with tape and use a permanent marker to label the box with “Black Bean Fiesta Bites,” baking instructions (350 degrees Fahrenheit or 177 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes), and the current date.
  • Freezing: Place the labeled box in the freezer without stacking until the shells are completely frozen.

Baking Frozen Filled Shells

  • Preheating: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius).
  • Assembling for Baking: Place the frozen filled cups 1.5 inches apart on a sheet pan or air fryer tray.
  • Baking Times:
    • Standard oven: Bake for approximately 30 minutes.
    • Convection oven: Bake for 20-25 minutes.
    • Air Fry oven: Bake for 10 minutes.


* Don’t forget to read our FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs) and HOW MUCH TO MAKE sections below.

*Click Phyllo Shells to buy online.

  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: appetizer, snack, brunch
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: American


Creating the Ultimate Black Bean Fiesta Bites

In the art of creating the ultimate Black Bean Fiesta Sausage Bites, the inclusion of chili black beans is essential.

Choosing the Perfect Cheese Blend

For a harmoniously blended filling that’s easy to work with, opt for mild Cheddar cheese with a fine shred. This choice ensures the filling remains compact and simple to fill into the shells without compromising integrity. If you desire more pronounced cheese flavors, a larger, wider shred will achieve this effect. Additionally, shredded sharp Cheddar cheese is another viable option.

To elevate the flavor profile, incorporate Monterey Jack cheese, finely shredded, for a delightful complement to the Cheddar. Fresh red, yellow, and orange peppers not only provide a visually “festive” touch but also infuse a light, refreshing flavor into the mix.

Adding Heat and Creaminess

To bring the heat, red pepper flakes and hot sauce are key players, creating a party of flavors in your mouth! While any preferred family hot sauce will work, we suggest Crystal® Hot Sauce for its excellent results. In contrast, we advise against using wing sauce for this recipe. For a creamy base tying all these ingredients together, turn to prepared Hidden Valley® Fiesta Dip.

Understanding Phyllo (also FILO or fillo)

Phyllo (also filo or fillo) is a remarkable ingredient—an ultra-thin, unleavened dough resembling delicate paper. When expertly layered and baked, it transforms into a wonderfully crispy and flaky crust. This versatile dough is prominent in Greek, Balkan, and Middle Eastern cuisines, featuring in well-loved dishes such as spanakopita and baklava, among others. Its unique texture and lightness contribute to the creation of delectable, elegant recipes in various culinary traditions. Click Phyllo Shells to buy online.

Pre-cooking Toasted Phyllo Shells: Pre-cooked Toasted Phyllo Shells is key to keeping the shells crisp during baking. I continuously create filling recipes for these petite bites of goodness.


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If you’re in need of some guidance on creating this delightful recipe, you’re in the right place. Below, you’ll find comprehensive instructions. We’ve enriched these sections with visuals like photos and videos to aid your cooking experience and ensure a successful culinary adventure.

Preparing Phyllo Shells for Black Bean Fiesta Bites

Preparing the phyllo shells can be done either at the time you make the filling or well in advance, even up to several days or months ahead. If you opt to prepare them ahead, ensure to store the boxes back in the freezer until you’re ready to use them. For detailed instructions on preparing the phyllo shells, please refer to the Toasted Phyllo Shells recipe.

This step lays the foundation for the perfect Black Bean Fiesta Bites and sets the stage for a delicious culinary adventure!

8 toasted phyllo cups on silver sheet pan

Prepare the Black Beans

Refer to the suggested Chili Black Beans to bring in that spicy essence. Thoroughly strain and discard any surplus liquid from the black beans, then carefully place them into a generously sized mixing bowl.

Creating a Flavorful and Well-Blended Mixture of Sour Cream and Hidden Valley® Fiesta Dip

I start by using a whisk, a versatile tool that proves invaluable in achieving the perfect consistency. The whisk not only combines these two ingredients effectively but also aids in breaking down the dry mix and incorporating it smoothly into the wet component. To ensure no pockets of the dry mix are left behind, it’s essential to be thorough. I meticulously scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula, leaving no room for any hidden clumps or dry pockets.

This meticulous attention to detail ensures that every spoonful of the dip delivers a harmonious fusion of flavors, delighting the palate with each bite.

prepared Fiesta Dip in white ceramic square bowl

Crafting the Flavorful Fusion

It’s time to infuse the beautiful black beans with vibrant flavors and colors. I add 1 cup only of prepared Hidden Valley® Fiesta Dip, finely chopped red, yellow, and orange peppers, a touch of red pepper flakes for a hint of spice, and a dash of hot sauce to amp up the heat. These ingredients collectively elevate the taste profile, bringing in a delightful burst of flavors and a hint of fiery excitement. Carefully and gently, I stir the mixture, ensuring each element is evenly distributed, blending the savory sausage with the tangy dip and the colorful medley of peppers, creating a tantalizing blend that promises a sensational culinary experience.

Infusing Creamy Cheesy Goodness

Incorporating the richness of cheddar cheese and the creaminess of Monterey jack cheese into the sausage mixture is a pivotal step in achieving a cohesive blend of flavors and textures. This particular step is distinctly separated to ensure optimal blending. By adding the cheeses at this stage, the stirring process becomes more manageable, allowing the ingredients to meld seamlessly and guaranteeing a well-blended mixture.

This deliberate approach ensures that each bite will be a delightful symphony of flavors, where the cheeses perfectly complement the savory sausage, enhancing the overall taste profile.

fiesta sausage bite filling in stainless steel bowl

Baking Perfection of Black Bean Fiesta Bites

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, opting for the convection setting if available. Employ a small everyday spoon to generously fill the shells, allowing the mixture to peak slightly beyond the shell’s rim. Optionally, crown the filling with a half slice of black olive.

Arrange the filled shells on a baking sheet approximately 1.5 inches apart then bake until the mixture becomes delightfully bubbly.

3 filled phyllo shells on sheet tray

Estimated baking times are provided, account for oven variability:
Standard oven – bake 30 minutes
Convection oven – bake 20-25 minutes
Air Fry oven – bake 10 minutes

Silver sheet tray with 3 mini phyllo cups filled with cooked black bean fiesta bites filling topped with half slice black olive.


Freezing Black Bean Fiesta Bites for the Future

I often prepare extra filled shells for later use, finding them to be a convenient snack or dinner appetizer on busy days or for gatherings.

Using a small everyday spoon, I carefully but generously fill the cups, allowing the mixture to rise slightly above the shell’s rim and ensuring they’re nicely packed. Optionally, I top each with a half slice of black olive for added flavor and presentation.

Once filled, I neatly place them back into the plastic container they came in, covering them with the plastic still attached. Sliding the container into the original box, I secure the end with tape and promptly store them in the freezer for future enjoyment!

Baking Frozen Shells to Perfection

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, opting for the convection setting if available.

Arrange the frozen filled shells on a baking sheet approximately 1.5 inches apart then bake until the mixture becomes delightfully bubbly.

Estimated baking times are provided, accounting for oven variability:
Standard oven – bake 30 minutes
Convection oven
– bake 20-25 minutes
Air Fry oven – bake 10 minutes


When it comes to party appetizers, it’s all about ensuring there’s enough to go around while minimizing waste. As a general rule of thumb, I usually plan for 3-4 tarts per person when there are various other appetizers on the menu. However, if you have someone personally passing the tarts on a tray, a slightly more conservative estimate of 2-3 tarts per person typically suffices. This approach ensures your guests can savor these delightful treats without overindulging, creating the perfect balance for your gathering.


What do I do if the filling is too spicy?

If the baked Black Bean Fiesta Bites filling turns out to be excessively spicy, here are some adjustments you can consider. Firstly, remove the hot sauce and red pepper flakes from the recipe to tone down the spice levels. If the filling is still too spicy, another option is to substitute the chili black beans with standard black beans. These modifications will help tailor the dish to your desired level of spiciness. These modifications will help tailor the dish to your desired level of spiciness.

What do I do to make the filling more spicy?

To intensify the heat of the filling of the Black Bean Fiesta Bites, simply increase the amount of red pepper flakes to 1 tablespoon. This adjustment will add an extra kick of spiciness to the dish, enhancing the overall flavor profile.


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