Everyone in the South has a favorite pimento and cheese recipe, or several! This recipe for a zesty pimento and cheese is one of my favorites. It’s a very simple recipe, and so much better than store bought.
Pimento and cheese, also known as just “pimento cheese” around these parts, is a staple in the south. It gets served at almost every social function or afternoon tea. Usually, I see it made into tea sandwiches, or served with in a bowl with plenty of crackers. Personally, it is my favorite thing to eat at a BBQ contest! When I have my face in a BBQ pit for hours, the last thing in the world I want is hot food. A simple, cool pimento and cheese sandwich really hits the spot!
Make it Zesty!
If you haven’t guessed by now, I’m not a fan of bland. Even a dish such as pimento and cheese can be jazzed up slightly. Instead of the normal little jar of diced pimento peppers, I like to either roast my own peppers or purchase some roasted piquillo peppers, which have a bit more of a freshness and flavor to them than pimentos.
I also love to add my homemade candied jalapeños. You can find my recipe for those in my book Smokin’ Hot in the South. They are one of my favorite things, and quite addictive. Candied Jalapeños will add a little bit of spice, some sweetness and crunch. For a bit of spice, I drop in a couple of tablespoons of Tabasco Chipotle Sauce, or you can use your favorite hot sauce.
Make it creamy!
The one trick to making your pimento and cheese creamy is using an electric mixer. Leave your cream cheese sitting out for about an hour before making this recipe. Then, add it with your mayo and let that mixer run. I like to let it whip for about 3-4 minutes on a medium high speed. After that, you’ll add in the rest of your ingredients and mix for another 2-3 minutes on a medium high speed. The other option you have for creaminess is the cream cheese/mayo ratio. I like it creamy, but with enough body that it’s nicely spreadable but can also be used to top a burger and melt some. For that, I usually use one 8 ounce block of cream cheese to a half cup of mayo. If you want to go creamier than that simply up the mayo another couple of tablespoons.
And Voila, you have pimento and cheese!
- 8 oz cream cheese room temperature
- 1/2 cup mayo
- 2 cups shredded cheddar
- 2.5 TBS roasted piquillo peppers diced
- 2 TBS candied jalapeños optional
- 1 TBS minced garlic
- 1.5 TBS Tabasco Chipotle Sauce or your favorite hot sauce
- 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- Place the room temperature cream cheese and mayo in a mixing bowl and mix on medium high for 3-4 minutes
- Add in peppers, jalapeños, garlic, salt and pepper and mix for 1 minute
- Add in shredded cheddar and mix for 2-3 minutes
- Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before using.