Appetizers/ Family Favorites/ Lunch

A New Englander’s Version of Pimiento Cheese Spread

GOOD pimiento cheese spread is surprisingly hard to come by. Want some really mediocre pimiento cheese? You’ll find it at almost any grocery store and even in many homes and restaurants. I’ve been on a pimiento cheese quest for years – I will automatically order any item on a menu if it includes pimiento cheese, and I’ve tried an embarrassing amount of prepared products from numerous grocery stores. The results have been largely disappointing so I decided to try and make something at home that I really love.

My model for the best pimiento cheese came from one of the most incredible sandwiches I’ve ever had made by a bread shop in the suburbs of Nashville. It was tangy with tons of sharp white cheddar, structured with cream cheese rather than mayo goopy, and had distinct seasoning. Their version was all white, using no orange cheddar, which looks really gorgeous in a layered sandwich with tons of fresh greens and delicious bread.

My recipe here most closely resembles the classic Southern style pimiento cheese spread. I use a combination of high quality sharp white and orange cheddar, cream cheese with just a TOUCH of mayo, and smoked paprika and cayenne pepper to add additional flavor.

This is excellent to make in a batch and serve throughout the week in sandwiches, burgers, quesadillas, or grilled cheeses. For a fun party app, serve a pimiento cheese “BLT” by adding halved cherry tomatoes, small pieces of crisp lettuce, and slivers of bacon to crackers, crostini, or toasts. I’m pretty adamant about using Ritz Crackers because the crumbly texture and buttery flavor so perfectly complements pimiento cheese but that’s my personal preference.

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Pimiento Cheese Spread


  • Author: Stirs & Stripes
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: about 3 cups total 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 6 oz grated sharp orange cheddar
  • 4 oz grated sharp white cheddar
  • 1 4 oz jar pimientos, gently drained
  • 6 oz softened cream cheese
  • 23 TBS mayo (Hellmann’s all the way)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • black pepper

Instructions

  • In a food processor, blend together the cream cheese and mayo until smoothly mixed.
  • Add the seasonings and pulse a few times to combine.
  • Add the grated cheese and pulse just until the mixture combines fully.
  • Add the pimientos and just pulse a couple of times until they’re combined but not blended too finely. You could also stir these through with a spatula in a bowl rather than in the processor.
  • Chill and serve.

Notes

  • You’re looking for about 2-3 cups of shredded cheese total. As you blend everything together, check the consistency and adjust as needed. The texture should be firm but spreadable.

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