Pimento Cheese, Please

Pimento-Cheese Potato Gratin 

Serves: 6  Time: 10 minutes preparation, 35 minutes cooking

3 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste

1½ pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and sliced into ¼” thick rounds

¾ cup heavy cream

3 shallots, finely diced (scant ½ cup)

¼ teaspoon crushed dried red chile flakes

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

One 9-ounce jar roasted red peppers or piquillo peppers, with their liquid

8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (about 2 cups)

1. Heat the oven to 375° F, with racks positioned in the middle and the top third of the oven
2. In a 3-4 quart stockpot, bring 2 quarts water and 2 teaspoons of the salt to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook for 10 minutes. Then drain, and set them aside.
3. Combine the cream, shallots, chile flakes, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, the black pepper, and 2 tablespoons of the liquid from the jar of roasted peppers in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook until the chile flakes have begun to stain the cream, about 2 minutes. Add half of the cheese and stir until it melts, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat.

4. Layer roughly a third of the potatoes in a 6-cup baking dish, overlapping them slightly so that they fit in an even layer. Scatter half of the roasted peppers on top of the potatoes (cut up any peppers that have remained whole so that they lie flat), and repeat layering potatoes and peppers until all of the peppers and potatoes have been used. Pour the cream mixture over the potatoes and peppers, and agitate the dish to distribute the liquid throughout. Cover with aluminum foil and bake on the middle rack for 15 minutes.

5. Uncover the dish, sprinkle the remaining cheese over the tip, and place the dish on the top oven rack. Bake for 8 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and gently browned on top. Serve immediately.

Backyard Pimento Cheese

1 lb. sharp yellow cheddar
¼ lb softened cream cheese
1 tsp fresh ground white pepper
3 large red bell peppers, grilled, peeled, seeded and ¼” diced (see “how to” section)
½ c homemade mayonnaise or best quality store bought (see “how to” section)
1 tsp sugar
Splash of cholula hot sauce or similar
Dash of cayenne pepper (optional)

Grate the cheddar in a food processor with grating disk or grate on the medium holed side of a box grater. Turn grated cheddar into a bowl and add cream cheese, white pepper, bell peppers, mayonnaise, sugar, hot sauce and cayenne, if using and mix well.

Refrigerate and served chilled with crackers or a variety of raw vegetables (celery, carrots, seeded cucumbers, etc.) This dip also makes a great sandwich.

Loveless Cafe Pimento Cheese

1lb block Sharp Cheddar Cheese

1lb block Smoked Gouda Cheese ( I changed this from American)

1 cup Buttermilk

4 Fire Roasted Red Peppers

Chop the peppers into a fine dice and set aside. Shred the cheddar cheese by hand (do not use pre-shredded cheese) and cut the Smoked Gouda cheese into 1-inch cubes. Place cheeses in a food processor and quickly pulse 2-3 times before adding half of the buttermilk and quickly pulsing until just combined. Transfer the cheese mixture to a mixing bowl, add the diced peppers and remaining buttermilk and blend by hand until fully combined using a sturdy whisk or wooden spoon. Transfer to an air-tight container and refrigerate overnight. The finished product will keep for up to two weeks.

Deep South Pimento Cheese

  • 4 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup of grated Vidalia or other sweet onion
  • 4 ounces of roasted red peppers, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup of buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon of spicy mustard
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning,  to taste
  • Couple dashes of hot sauce
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste


In a large bowl, mix together the cheddar cheese, onion and red peppers.  In a separate small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, buttermilk, mustard, Cajun seasoning, hot sauce, salt and pepper, until well blended. Add this mixture to the cheese and combine well. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Allow to come to room temperature before spreading.

Variation: Use 2-1/2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese with 1 cup of shredded Monterey Jack cheese and 1/2 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese.


Easy Pimento Cheese

  • 12 lb shredded cheddar cheese (colby)
  • 12 lb pepper jack cheese (shredded)
  • 4 ozs pimentos (diced, 2 tablespoons juice)
  • 12 red onion (diced)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 cloves garlic (finely minced)
  • 1 tsp hot smoked paprika
  • 12 tsp celery seed (ground)
  • salt
  • black pepper

In a medium bowl, combine cheeses, pimentos and pimento juice, onion, mayonnaise, garlic, paprika, and celery seed. Mix well and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Transfer the cheese spread to a serving bowl.

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