Pimento Cheese Recipe
With the holidays fast approaching and being a crazy busy time for most people, I figured we all could benefit from having a quick, easy and tasty party food in our cooking repertoires. This pimento cheese recipe is just the thing. It’s a snap to put together and delivers big time in the flavor department.
Although historically a Southern treat, pimento cheese is gaining popularity on a national scale these days. It’s a very simple dish typically made of cheddar cheese, pimentos, a binder (usually cream cheese or mayo) and seasonings. Most commonly used as a snack dip, it can also be spread on bread to create a truly decadent grilled cheese sandwich or as a spread on tea sandwiches. Either way, it’s one of the most delicious dips out there. Let’s take a look at this brief ingredient list then move on to our recipe.
It’s only appropriate to start with the almighty pimentos, this dish’s namesake. Pimentos are small red Spanish peppers that Americans typically buy in tiny jars, already pickled. They are most commonly chopped or diced. Another common place they show up is inside little green olives for garnishing everything from cocktails to cheese plates. They’re typically not a spicy pepper and make a good accompaniment to a wide variety of dishes and cocktails.
Besides the pimentos themselves, the cheddar cheese is the second most prominent ingredient in this dish. I prefer use a sharp cheddar cheese for maximum flavor. Sharp cheddar has been aged the longest and therefore is the most flavorful. The difference in depth of flavor between and mild and sharp cheddar is stark. Two of my favorite store brands of sharp cheddar are Tillamook and Cabot.
To finish the dish, we have the binders and seasonings. I like to use a combination of mayo and cream cheese as binders for this dip. The cream cheese provides the bulk of it with a just little mayo to help with consistency. This will produce a very creamy pimento cheese as you can see below. For seasonings, I like to keep it simple and use cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and celery salt. Each is in a rather small amount, but together they put the final flavor dimensions into this dish.
Finally, the method for making pimento cheese could not be easier. Simply whip the cream cheese until light and fluffy then mix in the remaining ingredients. You definitely want to refrigerate this for at least two hours as directed below. This will allow for development of flavors. I actually try to allow mine to sit overnight when I can. This is typically when the cheese tastes the best.
Now that we both want pimento cheese… Without further delay, the recipe!
Pimento Cheese Recipe
This pimento cheese recipe is a Southern classic. It's rich, creamy, decadent and is a snap to make. Features sharp cheddar cheese, pimentos and cream cheese.
- 1-8 ounce block of cream cheese
- 3-2 ounce jars of pimentos, drained and rinsed
- 1 pound sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/8 tablespoon cayenne
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
- Celery sticks
- Carrot sticks
- Pretzel crackers
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the cream cheese on medium high speed until light and fluffy
- Add remaining ingredients and mix well until combined.
- Refrigerate two hours to overnight for flavors to marry.
- Serve with celery sticks, carrot sticks or pretzel crackers.
Total:2 hour 15 min