3-Ingredient Mexican Cheese Bites

By Ann Fulton

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A curious thing happened a few days after my Mango Chicken Chili recipe appeared in this column a few months back.

The chili recipe included mango salsa as a key ingredient. Figuring this might not be a regular grocery list item for many readers, I mentioned two reliable brands. Several days later, I received an appreciative email from one of those companies—Mrs. Renfro’s Salsa. I was amazed that they noticed this minor mention.

As a thank you, Jane, from Mrs. Renfro’s Salsa, kindly offered to send me several jars of salsa, and invited me to select whatever appealed to me from their online store. I, in turn, asked if she might also be willing to pass along the thoughtful gift to a lucky reader, to which she generously agreed…times three.

When I clicked over to the company website to claim my goodies, something caught my eye—a recipe for Mexican fudge. The unexpected ingredient list replaced sweet staples such as sugar and chocolate for savory additions like cheese and salsa. I was intrigued.

This easy, three-ingredient appetizer was, indeed, a success. When I brought a batch to a small get-together, I had immediate requests for the recipe. Everyone was surprised by the unique combination, and several remarked that a plateful of these tasty bites would make for crowd-pleasing Super Bowl fare.

 3-Ingredient Mexican Cheese Bites

I modified the original recipe slightly by reducing the amount of cheese and trying it with a combination of regular and low-fat cheese. This change eliminated any greasiness that can occur when cheese is baked, yet it did not detract from the flavor.

 3-Ingredient Mexican Cheese Bites

For more easy, cheesy appetizers

Easy, cheesy appetizers

(Offer expired) Mrs. Renfro’s Salsa has kindly offered to give 4 jars of salsa to each of 3 lucky readers. Winners may choose from any of the varieties in their online store. To enter, simply leave a comment below the following recipe. You have until Saturday, January 31, 2015 at 6:00 pm EST to enter. Good luck…and enjoy these delicious mouthfuls!

Three Ingredient Mexican Cheese Bites
These savory bites are delicious finger food, picked up and eaten as is. For an added crunch, serve each square on a tortilla chip. The green salsa is classified as “hot” but the cheese provides a cooling effect, making these an all-around party favorite.

Yields 32-40 pieces.
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups grated reduced fat cheddar cheese (see notes)
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon) Mrs. Renfro’s Green Salsa
  • 3 eggs, well beaten
  • Optional for serving: tortilla chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Sprinkle 3/4 cup (half) of each cheese over the bottom of a 9×9 or 11×7 baking dish.  (There is no need to grease the dish.)  Beat or whisk the eggs in a small bowl, and then thoroughly mix in the salsa.
  3. Drizzle the egg/salsa mixture evenly over cheese.  Layer the remaining cheese on top.
  4. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until the mixture is just set in the middle and the edges are a little crispy. Cool for 5-10 minutes. Cut in small squares and serve on tortilla chips. Gently reheat leftovers in the oven or toaster oven, if desired.
Notes
  • As mentioned above, the combination of reduced fat and regular cheese provides the right texture without the greasiness that sometimes occurs when cheese is baked. If desired, you may use all regular cheddar cheese. For testing purposes, I used Sargento, an all-natural cheese, with excellent results.  For a flavor variation, we also enjoyed this recipe with a combination of cheddar and Mexican blend cheese.
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Comments

  1. Celeste Post author

    Just sharing how much we have been enjoying the Mexican Mule drink and these cheese bites that are now added to the recipe box of favorites, thanks!

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying the mules and the cheese bites-a very good combination! Many thanks for the thoughtful feedback.

      Reply
  2. Judy W Smith

    Made your Crustless Quiche as a welcome change for dinner last night but used fresh asparagus instead of spinach. Also, we have eliminated salt- no salt needed!
    Delicious!

    Reply
  3. Carolyn Price

    This is an answer for an afternoon tea that needs delicious treats that can be prepared a couple of days in advance, then trucked across 2 states before being served with lemonade.

    Reply
  4. Maureen Mangan

    I always have a family Xmas party with a theme. This year is Southwestern New Mexican. I am going to make these cheeses bites for one of my appetizers. Party is not till Dec. 21st. Yum…thank you!

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Carolyn, I think you could make these a day or two ahead, cool completely, and then cover and refrigerate. When ready to serve, just reheat, uncovered, at 325 or 350 F until hot, likely about 15 minutes but check a little early to be sure. Hope this helps!

      Reply
  5. Tammy

    Just learning to cook & this is going to sound really stupid but I want to be sure . Does 11/2 mean 11 & 1/2 cups ? Of the 2 different cheeses ? Thank you for your help

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Tammy, Not stupid at all! You want to use one and a half cups of each of the cheeses, for a total of three cups of cheese. If you have any more questions, let me know!

      Reply
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  7. Tracy

    A friend of mine has made these for years and they always disappear at parties! Going to make them myself for the first time and I have her recipe but decided to google and see what pops up 🙂 I’ll add that she garnishes them with a bit of sour cream, cilantro, black olives and additional salsa ~ so pretty!
    After reading through comments, I am wondering who won the salsa give-away, lol! 😀

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      They do go fast, and I love the garnish idea–will have to try that next time. Also, the winner was a longtime reader who I knew through her comments over the years. The giveaway was a while ago but I actually remember that one!

      Reply
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  10. Helen S.

    I made the mango chicken chili with some substitutions as I had fresh mangoes on hand and pineapple peach salsa from another company. It turned out great!! My husband couldn’t believe how a slow cooker would produce such a wonderful and flavorful meal!!
    Many thanks for the great recipe!

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      That’s terrific, Helen. I’m sure the fresh mango added something special. Thanks so much for your comment, and I’m so glad it was a hit!

      Reply
  11. maryk

    I was just wondering what the calories and the carbs are in the 3 ingredient Mexican cheese bites. I am having to watch what I eat.
    thank you,
    maryk

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      I haven’t calculated the nutritional information for these, Maryk, but I will attach a link that will enable you to easily find the information you want. Some of the information, such as sodium, will vary based on which brands of cheese and salsa you purchase. This tool will enable you to adjust the portion size based on how many calories you are aiming for, and you may find it helpful with other recipes as well.

      http://www.caloriecount.com/cc/recipe_analysis.php

      Reply