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Ramona King

Southern Kitchen pimento cheese


Learn how to whip up pimento cheese (and all the recipes you can use it in!)

All across the South, people have started dusting off their grills and picnic tables in preparation for Summer time. Down here, the warm weather is a signal to bust out some of our favorite regional delicacies.

If you've ever been to a Southern outdoor celebration then you know that there are a few staples that always make an appearance. You can pretty much bet on there being some sort of grilled meat, an array of deviled eggs and of course a healthy helping of pimento cheese. 

Pimento cheese, also lovingly known as the "pâté of the South" has been around since the 1900s. Back then, this "cheese" wasn't quite the cult favorite it is now. It rose to fame during World War I as a cheap and flavorful spread that could be used in sandwiches. Now pimento cheese is a requirement on any respectable Southern table. 

There are several ways to actually make pimento cheese. Some people only use cream cheese as a base while others prefer to cut the mix with mayonnaise. Still others like to substitute roasted red peppers for diced pimentos. However you choose to make this classic, one thing is absolutely non-negotiable—you have to bring it to your next family gathering. 

Southern Kitchen's Pimento Cheese
Use this cheesy spread on just about anything for a decadent, peppery kick, or eat it straight from the bowl — it's that good. When blending the ingredients, do not use the puree function, as the peppers will break down too much and the mixture may come out too soupy. We like to use Texas Pete hot sauce in this recipe as well as Duke's Mayonnaise. 
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Cast Iron Breakfast Pizza

You might be thinking to yourself "pimento cheese on breakfast pizza? Why?" Because it's delicious. Made with hash browns, smokey bacon, country ham, crumbled breakfast sausage and pimento cheese, if you serve this for brunch, you likely won't need to eat again until dinnertime. 
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Pimento Cheese With "Woo Woo Sauce"
If ever there was a pimento dish to cart to a summer picnic, this is it. Using crisp celery sticks as a boat of sorts, pimento cheese is topped with Worcestershire sauce to give it an extra kick. 
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Pimento Cheese Horse

Channel your inner racehorse by molding pimento cheese into the shape of this year's winner. You can use any pimento cheese recipe you'd like, but make sure to lightly puree the mixture in a food processor to make it into a moldable texture. Use raw veggies to build a scene around the horse, as you'd like.
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Proper Pepper Pimento-Bacon Sliders
These easy pimento cheese, bacon and avocado sliders will be the hit of any summer party or cookout, and we especially love to make them with Georgia's own Proper Pepper Pimento Cheese. 
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Pimento Beer Cheese

A party staple in Kentucky, beer cheese can either be served as a cold spread or as a warm fondue. For this recipe, we’ve given beer cheese even more of a Southern accent by likening it to pimento cheese. For the best results, grate your own cheese from the block instead of buying cheese that’s already shredded. The packaged stuff is coated in a food starch that does not melt as smoothly as freshly grated.
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Proper Pepper Pimento Cheese Flag
This unique pimento cheese and fruit flag is an easy and festive addition to the table, especially when using Georgia's own Proper Pepper Pimento Cheese. This easy appetizer may be scooped up with a firm cracker or assembled with a spreader. Top with pepper jelly or jam for an additional punch.
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Pimento Cheese Noodle Kugel

Kugel is a traditional Jewish baked noodle dish that is often personalized from household to household. It can be either savory or sweet, but the premise is that the noodles are baked in a custard and allowed to get crispy on top. For something of a Southern twist, this kugel takes inspiration from classic pimento cheese.
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Photo credit (Cast Iron Breakfast Pizza, Pimento Cheese Horse, Pimento Cheese Noodle Kugel): Ramona King
Photo credit (Pimento Beer Cheese): Ryan Hughley 

Author image

Ryan Shepard is the editor-in-chief at Southern Kitchen. Though originally from Los Angeles, she has lived in Atlanta since early 2017 and cannot imagine calling any other city home (except maybe New Orleans). Before joining Southern Kitchen's staff, Ryan worked on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on public policy issues. When she's not at work, she enjoys hunting down the best Mexican food in the city and drinking whiskey, obviously.