Southern Pimento Cheese Nachos

Recipe Pin
30 minutes
6 servings

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Savor the creamiest Southern Pimento Cheese Nachos, smothered in tangy pimento cheese and topped with sweet gem peppers and spicy chorizo sausage! Make a whole lot or just a little – this fun variation on traditional cheese nachos is easily scaled 😉 

Pimento Cheese Nachos in a carbon steel skillet.


In the heart of the South, where pimento cheese reigns supreme, I’ve decided to share my go-to nacho recipe that combines the creamiest of all Southern cheeses, Pimento Cheese, with crunchy tortilla chips and sweet caramelized peppers. Oh, and the ‘heat’ in this savory Southern snack comes from chorizo sausage and jalapeño peppers! 

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You’ll need 2 cups pimento cheese for this recipe. Whether store-bought or homemade, it’s melted on the stove into a tangy, warm pimento cheese sauce. If you want to make it from scratch, you’ll need aged cheddar cheese shredded from a large block, a brick of softened cream cheese, a jar of pimentos, and mayonnaise. I have a fantastic recipe for Piquant White Cheddar Pimento Cheese courtesy of my Georgia-born neighbor, who has made this pleasantly sharp version of pimento cheese her entire life!

Charleston’s food scene is a delicious melting pot, thanks to the vibrant Mexican and South American community that has enriched it with its flavors. The pimento cheese nachos recipe is a tasty example of this blend, combining Southern comfort with Mexican flair. It’s a match made in heaven that’s perfect for satisfying cravings and bringing people together! Additional influenced dishes to try are my Shaved Beef Fajitas, Perfect Margarita Cocktail, and my Chicken Enchiladas with Three Cheese Chipotle Sauce

Pimento Cheese Nachos piled in a skillet with melted cheese and jalapeno peppers.
A letter 'J' logo with artistic foliage at the end of the letter.

Things to Love About This Recipe

Oh, So Southern – Pimento cheese, a Southern staple, adds an interesting and delicious regional flair.
Visual appeal – The colorful peppers and gooey cheese make a visually stunning snack.
Texture variety – The combination of crunchy chips, creamy cheese, tender peppers, and crumbles of chorizo provides a satisfying texture experience.
Unique flavor combination – The tangy, creamy pimento cheese offers a flavor experience unlike any other nacho recipe.
Customizable – This recipe accommodates different tastes and dietary preferences with options to add or substitute various toppings. Serve as indicated with loads of sour cream and green tomato salsa in individual bowls or pop beneath the broiler on an oven-safe serving platter and load the chips up with caramelized onions, black olives, black beans, and a healthy drizzle of a sharp bite BBQ sauce or hot honey!

Ingredients for Southern-Style Pimento Cheese Nachos

Ingredients required for cheese nachos including tortilla chips and pimento cheese.
  • Tortilla chips – Use sturdy, crunchy chips that can hold up to the weight of all the cheesy goodness.
  • Pimiento cheese – The ‘soul of the South,’ this tangy cheese spread dotted with sweet pimentos is prized for its rich, creamy texture.
  • Gem peppers – A low-heat, sweet, and slightly smoky vegetable, these peppers add a pop of color and flavor. Use a mixture of fresh sliced peppers and a handful of small dice.
  • Fresh jalapeno pepper or pickled jalapeno peppers – Adds a spicy kick that complements the pimento cheese perfectly. I use a combination of both!
  • Chorizo sausage – Spicy and savory, this sausage takes the nachos to the next level.
  • Green onion – roast the white and light green parts along with the peppers, reserving the green tops for garnishing the nachos at the end.
  • Lime wedges – Squeezed over the top of this hot and fully assembled Southern classic, lime juice has properties that enhance the hot pimento cheese.
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See recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.


A carbon steel skillet beside a bowl of lime wedges and green onions.
Click the image to own this Farmhouse Skillet from Smithey Ironware.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Swap out the chorizo – for spiced black-eyed peas or gaucho beans for a meatless option.
  • Experiment – with unique tortilla chips like blue corn or rice chips.
  • If you like more heat – substitute hot peppers for the gem peppers.
  • Large dice of white onion – may be substituted for the scallions’ white and light green parts.
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This recipe has not been tested with other substitutions or variations. If you replace or add any ingredients, please let us know how it turned out in the comments below!


Colorful diced peppers.

Step By Step Instructions

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Tip: Serve From a Skillet

Instead of grabbing a large serving platter, grab a large skillet. The entire dish can be assembled, broiled, and served from a skillet, and it does an excellent job of keeping the nachos hot. Slip a sleeve over the handle so folks won’t be burned.


Cooking diced peppers and chorizo sausage.

Step 1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Add diced and sliced gem peppers, jalapeno pepper, and white and light green scallion parts to a small bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Scatter onto the lined baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring halfway through. 

Step 2. Brown the chorizo in a skillet over medium heat. Break the sausage up as it cooks and cook it thoroughly. Turn out onto paper towels to drain. Select an oven-safe platter or carbon steel skillet and set aside.

Step 3. Adjust an oven rack in the center of your oven and set your oven to broil. Heat pimento cheese in a large, non-stick skillet on the stove. Do this over low heat and stirring frequently. Since the base of pimento cheese is cheddar, it has a propensity to separate naturally, and stirring will help prevent that. Aim for smooth with few lumps. 

Building cheese nachos in a carbon steel skillet.
Building cheese nachos in a carbon steel skillet.

Step 4. Add the first layer of chips to the skillet or platter. Generously add 1/3 of the roasted peppers and onions followed by 1/3 of the chorizo and 1/3 of the melted cheese. Repeat twice more beginning with chips and ending with the cheese sauce. 

Step 5. Place the skillet under the broiler for 3 to 5 minutes or until the top of the cheese is bubbling and the top layer of chips begins to brown lightly. The heat from the broiler will melt the rest of the cheese just enough to get that ooey-gooey consistency that cheese nachos are famous for.

Step 6. Remove from beneath the broiler and cool for 2 minutes. Top with heaps of sour cream and the reserved green onions. Garnish with fresh cilantro if desired and offer salsa on the side.

Pimento Cheese Nachos piled in a skillet with melted cheese.

How to Serve Pimento Cheese Nachos

  • Game day parties
  • Summer BBQs
  • Outdoor movie nights
  • Potlucks
  • Casual gatherings with friends

Wine, Beer, and Cocktail Pairings

  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Pinot Grigio
  • Lager
  • Pale Ale
  • Classic Margaritas

Jenny’s Recipe Pro Tips

  • Melt pimento cheese over low heat, stirring constantly to ensure the cheese does not begin to separate.
  • Layer the tortilla chips and the toppings in 3 distinct layers ensuring even chips on the bottom have toppings.

Recipe FAQs

What is pimento cheese made of?

Pimento cheese is made using aged cheddar, cream cheese, sweet pimentos, and mayonnaise.

What chips go best with pimento cheese?

Pimento cheese is typically served with captains’ wafers and lightly salted tortilla chips.

Need Some Ways to Use Pimento Cheese?

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After trying this recipe, I would love to hear your thoughts! Consider leaving a star rating in the recipe card located below or sharing your feedback in the comment section. Your reviews and comments are highly valued and appreciated.

A skillet piled high with pimento cheese nachos.

Southern Pimento Cheese Nachos

Jenny DeRemer
Savor the creamiest cheese nachos, smothered in tangy pimento cheese and topped with sweet gem peppers and spicy chorizo sausage.
No ratings yet
Servings: 6 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Cooling 2 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American, Southern
Servings 6 servings
Calories 674 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
 

  • 2 cups pimento cheese see my recipe for Piquant White Cheddar Pimento Cheese or use store-bought
  • 10 oz tortilla chips
  • 12 oz chorizo sausage
  • 1 medium jalapeno sliced; may use pickled jalapenos or a combination of both
  • 3-5 gem peppers diced
  • 2-3 green onions slices, white and light green parts separated
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup sour cream whisked until smooth and almost pourable
  • pico de gallo optional for serving
  • green tomato salsa optional for serving
  • cilantro leaves optional for serving

Instructions
 

  • Adjust an oven rack in the center of your oven. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line baking sheet with foil. Add sweet peppers, jalapeno pepper, and white and light green scallion parts to a small bowl. Toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Spread in a single layer onto lined baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring halfway through. 
    1 medium jalapeno, 3-5 gem peppers, 2-3 green onions, 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • While peppers are roasting, brown the chorizo in a skillet over medium heat. Turn out onto paper towels to drain. Select an oven-safe platter or carbon steel skillet and set aside.
    12 oz chorizo sausage
  • Set your oven to broil. Heat pimento cheese in a large, non-stick skillet on the stove. Do this over low heat and stirring frequently to avoid the cheese separating naturally. Aim for smooth cheese sauce with few lumps. 
    2 cups pimento cheese
  • Add a layer of chips to the skillet or platter. Generously add 1/3 of the roasted peppers and onions followed by 1/3 of the chorizo and 1/3 of the melted cheese. Repeat twice more beginning with chips and ending with the cheese sauce. 
    10 oz tortilla chips
  • Place the skillet under the broiler for 3 to 5 minutes or until the top of the cheese is bubbling and the top layer of chips begins to brown lightly.
  • Remove from beneath the broiler and cool for 2 minutes. Top with sour cream and the reserved green onions. Garnish with fresh cilantro if desired and offer pico de gallo or salsa on the side.
    3/4 cup sour cream, pico de gallo, green tomato salsa, cilantro leaves

Notes

Storage – if you find yourself with leftover nachos, line a container with foil and spread the remaining nachos in a single layer in the container. Close the lid and refrigerate up to 3 days. To Reheat – remove the foil with the nachos and place directly on a baking sheet. Bake at 350°F for 8 to 10 minutes.

The nutrition value can vary depending on what product(s) you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use a calorie counter you are familiar with.

Please note that table salt and iodized salt are NOT substitutions for Kosher salt. Do not deviate unless otherwise specified.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 674kcalCarbohydrates: 47gProtein: 10gFat: 46gSaturated Fat: 17gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.03gCholesterol: 100mgSodium: 985mgPotassium: 264mgFiber: 4gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 3111IUVitamin C: 95mgCalcium: 385mgIron: 2mg
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