This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.
If you're looking for bite-sized appetizers for your next party, look no further. These Mini BLT Cups (AKA: stuffed cherry tomatoes) are as cute as they are delicious! Cherry tomatoes are stuffed with arugula and a little chipotle mayo then topped with a piece of crunchy bacon.
Table of contents
These cute little stuffed cherry tomatoes are one of our all-time favorite appetizer recipes. We've been making them since 2013 and they're still going strong.
These tomato cups are all the things you would find in a BLT sandwich, only in cute, bite-sized appetizer form. Plump cherry tomatoes are hollowed out and then stuffed with a piece of arugula and crumbled bacon. Then some easy-to-make chipotle mayo is piped on top because you can't have a BLT (or mini BLT cups) without chipotle mayo. There's a law about that somewhere.
For a real treat, try making these BLT tomato cups with our homemade mayonnaise recipe!
Bacon – we use regular bacon (as opposed to thick-cut bacon) as it works better in these little cups.
Cherry tomatoes – look for round cherry tomatoes that aren't too small.
Arugula – pick through a box of baby arugula to find the smallest pieces.
Chipotle mayo ingredients
Mayonnaise – use real mayonnaise (not Miracle Whip). Light mayo works, too. Or you can even try making your own homemade mayo!
Adobo sauce – this is the sauce that comes in a jar of chipotle peppers.
Lime juice – fresh is best. Or substitute apple cider vinegar.
Soy sauce – low-sodium works.
Salt – fine sea salt works best in this recipe.
Liquid smoke – a few drops really kicks up the smoky flavor.
How to make mini BLT stuffed cherry tomatoes
Start by cooking the bacon until it's nice and crispy. Break 24 pieces and set them aside to garnish the stuffed tomatoes and then crumble the rest.
Hollow out the tomatoes by cutting off the bottoms then using a small spoon to scoop out the inside. We cut the bottom of the tomatoes because they will sit nicer on the top where the stem was.
Now make the mayonnaise by mixing the ingredients together. Then, transfer the mayo to a piping bag. (You can also use a sandwich bag and snip off the corner.)
It's time to assemble your stuffed cherry tomatoes! Put a piece of arugula into the hollowed-out tomato, letting the edges hang over. Then spoon in some crumbled bacon and top with a little mayo. Finally, garnish the top with a piece of bacon. That's it!
The full recipe is in the recipe card below.
How far ahead can I prepare these?
You can assemble these a few hours in advance and then leave them on a serving platter in your fridge. They taste best if they're served at room temperature.
If you want to prep these ahead of time, you can cook the bacon and make the mayonnaise 2-3 days ahead.
Can I use store-bought mayo?
Sure! There are plenty of flavored mayo options available. Choose one that looks good to you!
What can I use instead of arugula?
We like to use arugula because of the small size, peppery taste, and because we always have a box in our fridge. But any baby lettuce that will fit into the tomatoes will work.
How do I store leftovers?
In the EXTREMELY unlikely chance that you have leftovers, you can store them in a covered container in your fridge. The tomatoes do go a little soft by the next day, but they're still very tasty.
Don't skip the chipotle mayo
To make your life a lot more simple (and who doesn't love that?), put the chipotle mayo in a pastry bag fitted with a smallish tip and then pipe it into the tomatoes. You can also use a plastic sandwich bag and just snip the corner off.
The mayo is super easy to make and adds so much flavor to these tomato cups. It's a tiny bit spicy and has tons of smoky flavor, just the way chipotle mayo should be.
We use liquid smoke in this recipe. Have you heard of it? You can buy it for a couple of dollars in the BBQ sauce section of most grocery stores. A couple of drops will add a delicious smoky flavor. And it lasts nearly forever so you can have it on hand anytime you want a little smokiness.
When to serve stuffed cherry tomatoes
These BLT tomato cups are the ultimate party appetizer. Whether it's a special event or a just-for-the-heck-of-it party, these tomato bites will be a big hit. We often make this appetizer for:
- New Year's Eve
- Game Day
Easy appetizer recipes
Mini BLT Cups
- 5 strips bacon
- 24 cherry tomatoes
- 24 pieces of baby arugula
- 3 tablespoons real mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons adobo sauce (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- ½ teaspoon soy sauce (gluten-free if needed)
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Optional: 2-3 drops liquid smoke (see notes)
- Cook the bacon in a large pan over medium-high heat until crispy. Let the bacon cool slightly. When it is cool enough to handle, break 24 small pieces for the topping and crumble the rest.5 strips bacon
- While the bacon is cooking, hollow out the cherry tomatoes and make the mayo. Cut off the bottoms (they will sit on their tops) and carefully scoop/ shake out the insides with a small spoon.24 cherry tomatoes
- Whisk all the mayo ingredients together in a small bowl. Transfer the mayo to a small resealable plastic bag and cut off the tip. Make the hole very small.3 tablespoons real mayonnaise, 2 teaspoons adobo sauce, 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice, ½ teaspoon soy sauce, ¼ teaspoon sea salt, Optional: 2-3 drops liquid smoke
- Tuck a piece of arugula into each cherry tomato. Spoon a little of the crumbled bacon inside then fill with the chipotle mayo and top with a piece of bacon.24 pieces of baby arugula
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.