I grew up eating pimento cheese. My mom–all the moms in the neighborhood went through a phase–even used to make it in their shiny new food processors.
I’ve jazzed up this particular pimento cheese recipe to make it a little bit spicy and a little bit smoky. And a whole lot of delicious!
For us, it’s a must make whenever we go on vacation or are at home and need a little smackerel. Enjoy!
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Pimento Cheese at The Beach
This Pimento cheese recipe has become a preferred snack whenever we visit The Outer Banks in NC.
It’s easy to make, and it’s easy to make a ton of it.
Plus it doesn’t require any special equipment except for maybe a cheese grater.
Since it requires so little equipment, it’s easy to make almost anywhere you go on vacation, especially if you’re renting a cabin or house that has a reasonably well-stocked kitchen.
Is There One Right Way to Make Pimento Cheese?
There really isn’t. At its most basic, you can make pimento cheese with shredded cheese, mayo, and diced pimentos, but from there, the sky is the limit.
Even though there really is no one way to make pimento cheese spread, I think this version is pretty excellent.
Regardless, here are some ideas for additions you might enjoy:
What Else Can I Put in My Pimento Cheese?
- Crumbled bacon
- Prepared horseradish
- Celery seed (one of my favorite additions)
- Cream cheese (mixed with some mayonnaise for a super creamy version)
- Mustard powder (just a touch for me, but you do you)
- Spice blends such as Old Bay or Tony Chachere’s
- Hot sauce (Tabasco, sriracha, etc)
- Garlic powder, onion powder, etc.
- Sweet pickle juice or a little bit of sugar
- Liquid Smoke
Add everything to taste.
The beauty of this traditional Southern specialty is that you can add everything to taste.
Don’t like an ingredient? Leave it out.
Really like an ingredient? Add extra.
What is the Best Mayonnaise for Making Pimento Cheese?
This might be a controversial response to this question, but use your favorite mayonnaise. If you grew up on Duke’s, use it. Ditto for Hellman’s. Use your favorite.
Personally, I’m on Team Duke’s but I won’t fight you over the type of mayo you use.
This time, I decided to spice and smoke things up a bit, so this recipe for pimento cheese is actually a smoky, spicy pimento cheese.
So far, we’ve enjoyed it alone on crackers and then as a topping for a fried egg on one of my whole wheat English Muffins. Both ways? Excellent!
You can even use it as the base for one of the easiest Southern mac and cheese recipes ever, pimento cheese pasta.
Do give this spicy, smoky twist on pimento cheese a try. I think you’ll enjoy it as much as we did!
Can You Make Vegan Pimento Cheese?
Let me preface this by saying that I never have, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t.
If you’re vegan, use shredded vegan cheese and Just Mayo, which is made without eggs.
How To Serve Pimento Cheese
Let me count the ways!
- Spread on a sandwich
- Scooped up with Ritz crackers (or spread on Ritz if you’re fancy)
- As a burger topping
- Heated up under the broiler as a hot dip
- Scooped up with tortilla chips
- Stuffed inside arancini like these Pimento Cheese Stuffed Grits Arancini
- Mix some with hard boiled egg yolks to make pimento cheese deviled eggs
If you like the sound of this recipe, I’d appreciate your sharing it, and if you’d tried it, please rate it!
- 1 pound sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese, , shredded
- 1/2 pound pepper jack cheese, shredded
- 2 cups Mayonnaise, (preferably Duke's)
- 1/2 cup diced red pimento, (jarred is fine)
- 1/2 cup spicy pepper relish, (such as Get Me a Switch)
- 1/4 cup diced pickled jalapeno peppers, (or to taste)
- 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar or liquid from the jalapeno pepper jar
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Combine all ingredients and stir well until completely combined.
- You can eat it immediately, but it is better if you let it sit in the fridge for at least a few hours to let the flavors blend.
Nutritional information is based on 16 servings of about 2 ounces. Know that I can easily eat four times that much without blinking. Use your power wisely!
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Nutrition InformationYield 24 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 243 Total Fat 23g Saturated Fat 8g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 14g Cholesterol 35mg Sodium 403mg Carbohydrates 2g Fiber 0g Sugar 1g Protein 7g
Really easy and straightforward. I think you’ll like it!
Enjoy this spicy smoked pimento cheese recipe, friends.
Thanks for spending some time with me today.
Have a lovely day.